Saturday, November 7, 2009
Humor and Fun in the Classroom
Our classroom is not always a quiet and still place. It is often filled with happy chatter, movement, and laughter – and I think that is a very good thing.
Whenever humor or fun can be injected, I try to do so. But I don’t do this just so I can have more laughs (although that is an added benefit – and when I’m enjoying the classroom, I find that the kids feed off my good energy). Children benefit from a learning environment full of laughter and fun for reasons including:
• Reduced stress – just like for adults, a good laugh is a great stress releaser for children
• Increased attention and motivation – children are less likely to tune out due to boredom if they are learning through games
• Risk taking increases – mistakes are more acceptable in this atmosphere
• Creativity rises – humor encourages children to be more creative and open to new ideas
There are certainly times when our room is very quiet – and that is a good thing, too. Working out of our math books, quiet reading, and journal writing are things best done in a still and reflective atmosphere. But learning multiplication tables through silly songs, honing money skills by shopping in Irma’s store or practicing our spelling words by writing silly stories are all examples of ways I try to make school a place kids think is a good place to be.
Do you remember school being such a place? Full of laughter, curiosity and – yes – joy?