Timing is the most important variable in this formula. So remember, once you get your class to giggle they rarely stop. These strategies could be used ten to fifteen minutes before they go to lunch, to recess or home. Never, think you will be able to bring them back from the laugh factory once you have taken them there.
Why would you want to make them giggle? Because it’s fun and you are a fun teacher!!! That’s why kids will do whatever you ask them to do, even if it is difficult, challenging and requires a lot of effort. They like you and they learn from you. Not only are you funny but you are also a top-notch teacher who understands all aspects of teaching, especially the aspect of building rapport.
So here they are Five Ways to Make Your Class Giggle!
1. Dance Party!!! Ten minutes before the end of class tell the kids you need their advice. You have been practicing your dance moves for a party your family is going to and you want to know what they think. Be very serious, set up the music, turn it on and begin but with little confidence. Say “No wait, let me start again.” Now they will think this time it is going to be really good. Turn the music on and dance!!! Dance like crazy! If you are an amazing dancer then that is great you will impress them with your dance moves. But if you dance like the rest of us, exaggerate every bad move you have ever seen and the kids will not be able to keep a straight face. Go for a while, then turn the music off and ask them what they thought. Hopefully, they understand you were joking but if not, or if you have a few literal thinkers, let them in on the secret. Then let everyone dance. Doing this infront of middle school and high school students might take a little more confidence but I will tell you they will laugh just as hard.
2. Magic Show! Everyone loves a magic show and you will earn high points in the “I got the best teacher” department by learning a few tricks. If you haven’t been to a magic show lately or you haven’t been to a kid magic show, Google it and watch one. They are funny!!! Learn a few tricks and show them off. Take time to learn a few each month and the laughs will keep coming.
3. Most Embarrassing Moment! Open yourself up, be a little vulnerable, can you do that? Middle and high school students love to hear about embarrassing moments. They are past the point of thinking you sleep under your desk at night and realize that there might be a little bit of human in every teacher. Those that have been teaching middle and high school for a while probably do this often. Why? Because they inadvertently shared a story that started something like this “Guess what happened to me this morning.” And they experienced the door into the soul of the adolescent open just a smidge. So, now they do it all the time. If you haven’t done it, start writing down all your embarrassing moments from birth till now and start sharing….just make sure it isn’t TMI.
4. American Idol! Give the students independent work and let them know you will be sitting at your desk correcting papers. If they should need help they may first ask a friend, quietly, then they should raise their hand hand and you will come help them. Sit down, put on a pair of head phones, not ear buds (that’s not funny), plug into your favorite song and start a quiet hum. Continue correcting papers and humming on and off (it would be really funny to video tape the class’ reaction to what is happening, but there might be some legal issues with that.) Then add a few words quietly, then a little louder, move a little, do a little chair dance, pick up the volume and then look up. They will be laughing so just join the crowd!!
5. Your Ideas….keep them coming!
Have a great week!