Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapter 6 {Humor }

I'm linking up with Amanda over at One Extra Degree to discuss chapter 6!  
Before I go on...I'm happy to admit we did a graphic organizer together, just yesterday, for one of our guided reading group books!  I've gotta tell you, it really solidified what we were reading. It really helped us organize our thinking!

Oh, gracious, she 'aint pretty - but I did 'er!
And doggone it - some little critter erased my "can, have, are"!
Strategy 6:

"Research shows that jokes, riddles, celebrations, and other forms of positive interaction not only create a positive learning environment but may also facilitate learning itself." {Allen, 2008; Jensen, 2007}

This chapter is RIGHT up my alley!  I don't know where I'd be without humor!!!! {probably curled up in a ball crying for my mommy}

You've seen this little guy on my blog before - it's meant to keep an eye on me.
I might be known to pull a prank or two at school.  I do have some accomplices though!  

 "Effective classrooms are alive with positive emotion, anticipation of novel experiences, the excitement of discovery, and celebrations of success." {Allen, 2008}

I have two boys of my own and as they outgrow Halloween costumes they make their way into my classroom.  You just never know when one might come out in the middle of a lesson.  I sort of feel like Superman - I dig deep in my closet and come out with something like this.  I realize this might not be your shtick - but I tell you; you put a beard on and they are putty in your hands!

I've used the magic hat, wand and beard to teach my students how to listen for those "magic words" in number stories {i.e. how many are left, how many in all, etc.}, I've threatened to turn them into goons if they didn't turn on their listening ears - you name it, and this get-up WORKS!

"What we learn with pleasure, we never forget." {Allen, 2008}

I've got a bin FULL of goodies!
Turkey, Firefighter, Old Man, Pom Poms
Capes, Hulk, Ninjas, Soccer Ball Hat

Who doesn't love a good joke, riddle or funny book!?

"Having laughter breaks in class increases the flow of positive neurotransmitters, which are necessary for alertness and memory." {Jensen, 2007}

I've got a stockpile of joke books - but I tell you, if you haven't allowed your little ones to make up their own - you have been missing out.  Sometimes we'll take a little break and read from my wide array of books - but other times, we just do an open mic kinda deal - and holy moly, I might laugh louder than my first graders! 

Of course there's GoNoodle - specifically KooKoo Kangaroo - those guys make me giggle like no other!  We like to switch up our brain breaks with a little song/dance and some jokes, riddles - both are great for those noggins and really buy you some time in the learning/teaching department.  Consider it an investment!

Might I suggest an accent?  This book is fun to "round up the rhymes" with.  It's full of rhyming words that you can record on chart paper and then look at spelling patterns {or notice that not all words that rhyme have the same spelling pattern}.  I like to read this one with a southern accent...which I do REALLY badly!!!  But you can't round up the rhymes without sounding like yer a cowboy, y'all!

And my "smart glasses" - We can't forget zee smart glassees...complete with accent.
Trust me when I say, you will get through a whole lesson with your students hanging on
to your every last word if you do it with an accent.  These glasses help for some reason - Dollar Tree!

I've got a confession.  I think I'm pretty funny.  Sometimes I think I'm as funny as Ellen.  Like, I will giggle at myself and sometimes wish there was a hidden camera in my classroom - because Ellen
would invite me on her show if there were.  

Humor can come at the least expected of times -and honestly, if it's not in your nature to be silly/funny, I have to tell you - I'm not sure you can stick it in your lesson plans and pre-plan it. Maybe you can.  I can't...usually the mood just strikes. 

Like here...

I bought this little arm/hand thingy at the dollar store.  It has a magnet on it and it's a spinner.  Thought that guy would be mighty handy - except it doesn't work {on an upright surface}.  Every time you spin it, it lands in the same place.  Soooooo....you choose the word, say a fill in the blank sentence, spin the spinner...

Mrs. W. is ________________ {awesome}

Learning is ________________ {awesome}

The other day our word of choice was "macaroni".

Math is {spin the spinner}...MACARONI - oh the laughter!

Even if you aren't a stand-up comedian...anything silly you do or say, your kids will LOVE!

Ever drop a pencil? Giggles.
Write the wrong date? Laughter!
Forget something? All out chuckles!!

It doesn't take much, people.

And there's Yurtle - how can you not smile at a turtle tent?

My take away?  I'd like to find more ways to incorporate humor into our actual learning activities.

 Where are you in the humor department?  Deserve your own show? 
 Or are you the more sweet and quiet type?

Go visit One Extra Degree to join the linky and see what others have to say about humor in the classroom!


  1. "What we learn with pleasure we never forget"... love this quote as well! I just blogged about it too! That really hit home for me. Reminds me why we do what we do.

    1. I was just so happy to hear that not only does silliness and laughter build community but it has a brain/neurological reason for it too! Gotta love that!

  2. I love your idea of using costumes and other goodies. This is an area that I definitely could have improved on. I think I hated to look or feel silly but I think it is important for us as teachers to take those risks to show the students that it is okay to look silly but also to really help them remember a lesson by presenting it in a humorous way.


    1. Thing is, if being silly isn't your thing {like graphic organizers aren't really mine} - it doesn't mean you aren't rockin' it out. You have to "do you" and feel great about it, right? I did stretch myself a little and actually DID a graphic organizer this week....so I challenge you to do something uber silly! Didn't happen if you don't Instagram it though! ;)

  3. I have to agree - humor can't be planned. Spontaneous humor is the best! (When I first started teaching, I felt like I was a little too serious. Like I was afraid something funny or crazy would automatically result in chaos.) It's ok to lighten up and laugh!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. ...and there are years that I can't be as silly as I'd like to be. The kiddos just can't handle it - they go wild and just can't reign it in. Some years it's like being on stage, and other years it's more like playing police officer!

  4. Thanks for sharing your ideas and silly costumes! :) LOVE!

  5. Miss Holly...you are amazing! You have stuck with us through this book study the entire way and comment on all of the other blogs! I bet that you are an amazing teacher! I just wanted to say thank you for participating and making this little book study such a success! All of your posts are always so detailed and filled with how much you love your job! I'm glad to know there are teachers like you out there!!!

    1. Thank you, girly! I have really enjoyed this book and sharing thoughts and ideas with others!

  6. OMG! I love this blog post! Thank you for sharing. For me personally, I'm not a "funny" person, but I love to laugh and have fun. I do a lot of the little things like you mentioned above to infuse humor in my classroom. I work with special ed kiddos who tend to take a lot of things way too seriously. So it's almost like a classroom management tool to TEACH them to laugh at things and not take themselves so seriously!
    Thank you!

    Ashley Lafleur

    1. Hi Ashley,
      I definitely can start taking myself too seriously too - I'll even forget to breathe some days and when I feel my shoulders scrunching up to my ears...I know it's time for me to LAUGH!

      Thanks for chiming in! :)

  7. Thanks so much for sharing about KooKoo Kangaroo on GoNoodle!! I'm a fairly new GoNoodle user (I LOVE it and my students LOVE it) and haven't used that one yet with my students!! They love Maximo, Zumba, and Mr. Catman so I am going to have to check out your suggestion! Thank you!!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...