Monday, May 18, 2015

Games Help People Open Up

My students are restless, are yours??  I've noticed a trend in my student write-ups and a certain day of the week. That's right people, Friday.  Most people hate Mondays, I'm starting to dread Fridays.  This past Friday I decided that we were going to end the week on a good note no matter what.  I declared it a game day.  Tabletop games that is...

I understand why families initiate a game night.  It's a way for family members to connect with one another.  I never really noticed this though because my family and I are very close.  There was no difference if we were playing a board game or anything else.  But I notice a huge difference in some of my students while playing a board game with them.  Our students want to open up to us but it's difficult when we are plowing full steam ahead with the curriculum.  Some days I don't even have a chance to ask them how their day is going.

But back to Friday.  There were two students in particular who I played a board game with that could have made this Friday miserable given the opportunity.  But instead they played a game and talked with me.  Isn't this part of our job too?  It's in the Charlotte Danielson model about getting to know our students.  I always feel guilty about days like this; where I declare that I'm not going to teach any math today, I'm going to play board games with them (a.k.a get to know them).

Here is my suggestion to you.  Play a game with your students.  Not a whole class game, a board game.  Watch them open up.  Watch them trust you.  It's an amazing thing.

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