I leave this here for you to look at and consider.
I wonder what you think…
I was part of a Twitter chat recently that was looking at way to teach/encourage reading.
Several ideas came up:
- Extreme Reading,
- Read Around the World,
- Reading Races and so on.
It reminded me of this:
I first came across the Crazy Professor Reading Game (Chris Biffle), when I was trying out some Power Teaching ideas in 2008-09.
If you haven’t come across Power Teaching it is a Elementary School teaching style from America relies heavily on Learning Styles.
(Please don’t hit me! **Ducking for cover**)
Look up Chris Biffle and Chris Rekstad.
I tried it out a few times and did have some success with it. Children certainly enjoyed it and they did want to play.
I was thinking about giving it another go.
I am not sure I would use the format used by Rekstad in the video, but I would go along with the core principles.
The 4 Stages of the Crazy Professor Game
Read your text using as much expression as is possible
Read again using lots of expression and physical gesture
Teach Your Neighbour – Summarise your reading to your partner, show you understand what you have read.
Crazy Professor vs Eager Student: The ‘professor’ gives an excitable summary, being expressive and asking the ‘student’ questions. Meanwhile, the ‘student’ listens attentively, answers the questions and encourages the ‘professor’ to give more and more feedback.
I can see how this might aid children’s comprehension skills
I can see how the use of expression and gesture might encourage enjoyment
I can see how the paired feedback and questioning would support mutual understanding of the text
I can see how this might be one way of teaching a whole class reading session.
It allows for differentiation of text to higher and lower levels
It would allow the teacher to join in and work with whichever group of children were the focus for that session.
It would quickly show those children who might need help, or are being passive.
How sustainable would playing the game be?
Could it lead to genuine and significant progress in children’s reading?
Would this just lead to children shouting out stories?
One to try in the new term perhaps.
Could be great for reading comics, including speech which might then lead to drama and performance.
I really would like your thoughts to be added to the comments section:
Pros and Cons of the Crazy Professor Game.
If it was that awesome wouldn’t we all be doing it?
Again, this is not originally my idea but I have adapted it from an email I received years ago from Classroom Power.
It’s a fun one and I thought I would share!
In addition to Memory Football, I suggest you try Beach Ball Baffler as a reward that children work for.
All you’ll need is a beach ball or Balloon (Balloon Baffler).
Here’s how to play:
- Throw the ball toward the class. One (or more people) bounce it into the air.
- While the ball is in the air, ask a short question, “What is 4 times 4?”, or “What is the capital of Brazil?” … any question you wish (It can be helpful to have a list in front of you so you don’t have to think them up)
- The class must answer the question in chorus before the ball comes down.
- Then the ball is batted into the air again by the next person … you ask another question … and so forth.
- The goal is to see how many times the ball can be batted into the air before either the ball hits the ground or a fair number of the class aren’t answering or are giving a wrong answer.
To increase the tension:
The class only gets three tries (their goal is to break their previous best class record)
Increase the difficulty and interest in the game by posing harder questions
Wait until the ball is drifting down before posing a question (and thus your students have a shorter time to answer)
Have half the class volley the ball to the other half of the class, etc.
Introduce the idea of levels and keep making the game harder and harder.
Beach Ball Baffler could last for months!
One final note:
If anyone complains about anything, your score keeping, a classmate’s failure to hit the ball, anything … it automatically reduces the number of hits earned.
So, for example, the class kept the ball in the air for 10 hits … but Rick complained about Dale’s miss-hit, Carl said that Maggie never answers a question and Carole complained that the ref, you, weren’t throwing the ball properly… those three complaints reduce the score to 7 …”
This one can be a lot of fun.
It can be use effectively in nearly any subject area, with any age group and can be a great way to reinforce learning, vocabulary or key points of a lesson.
For additional change ups you might substitute a large balloon if you are in a smaller or younger classroom
Make sure you have spares for either a balloon or a beach ball!
This is a really quick simple game that makes for a good plenary activity, mini-plenary to re-invigorate if needed, or for a maths starter game. Practicing multiplication tables… you can come up with many uses I am sure!
It is so easy that children could run it themselves, or even as a small group task with a balloon.
So, there you are ‘Beach Ball Baffler’.
There are lots of crossover rules with Memory Football too.
Adapt it and make it fit your own purpose!