Article | Let’s Surprise Students
It’s a usual Tuesday morning. You wake up, get dressed for work and eat your breakfast. You take the bus and head to work. As you walk into the office, you go over things you have planned to complete for the day. You settle at your desk and check your emails. The first email informs you that the management has planned a surprise movie viewing for everyone after lunch. You read the email again to check if you’ve misread anything; you haven’t. You grin to yourself, thinking this is going to be a fun Tuesday – don’t we love surprises?
The MI Monday article this week featured a school teacher, Reena, who extended her daily class schedule by an hour, so that she could introduce extra curricular activity in class. Reena would plan an activity each day, and not tell her students about it until the end of the day; this surprise factor that she introduced, got her students excited and motivated about coming to class everyday, and helped improve the attendance.
Breaking off from the routine is welcomed by all – adults going through mundane daily routine at home or work or students going through their daily classroom grind.
But, it is not easy to deviate from the routine. Reena had to present a strong case to the school management and parents in order for them to accept the additional hours she was recommending. Is it only possible to break class routine by adding additional time to daily class? Can we not break the routine during regular school time?
Think about it, a school week is typically five days, and subjects are spread out evenly across these days. If each subject teacher plans one class differently, then there would be a surprise class planned for students each day.
- For example, the math class on Monday could turn into a treasure hunt ground – students would need to solve math puzzles to solve clues and unlock a treasure.
- On Tuesday, students could collect leaves of different types, analyze them, list their characteristics and properties and then use them to make a leaf art.
- On Wednesday, students could be told that they would be visiting the north pole. They would have to research the climatic conditions of the region and pack bags and resources to survive in the cold for five days.
- On Thursday, students could watch a game of cricket or football and discuss the physics of the game.
- And, on Friday, students could survey the school to analyze the power consumption and discuss ways to reduce the same.
Teachers of each grade can plan one activity per week. They can discuss the same with the other teachers of the same grade and create a “Surprise Class” chart for the month. The chart would not be shown to the children, thus, each day, they would wait with excitement wondering which class will be the “surprise class.”
Do you think it’s possible to include a surprise element each week in class?
Would such a strategy motivate students?
What other strategies or techniques can teachers use to break-off from the everyday routine?
Please share your thoughts in the comment box that appears at the end of this article.