Good 'ol fashioned fun
Sometimes, it just makes sense to enjoy our students: let them laugh, be silly, and create an atmosphere where they want to be there...simply because it's fun. This past week I have created a Survivor competition with my seniors. They are already in study groups, so these groups competed all week for accumulative points. The end result was that the winning team wouldn't have to write the Life of Pi paper. They will help with the reading of them! The incentive was excellent and still provides a learning opportunity for them. The students had to complete knowledge challenges (quizzes covering over 120 pages of reading in 1 week!, gathering of information), analysis challenges (looking at information from the book and analyzing it from a Maslow's hierarchy of needs philosopy), loyalty challenge (tribal "gear" was donned for class), physical challenges, and creativity challenges (using foil to create a thematic representation of Pi's journey). It was a week energized and one that encouraged seniors to read carefully, even though this part was long, seemingly tedious as Pi spent 227 days at sea, and all during Homecoming. The students were amazing and stepped up the challenges with enthusiasm and true enjoyment of the class and each other.
Next week, we are back to presentations, discussions, and paper writing/grading, but for one week, wow...what fun!