When I was a grad student, I remember saying, "I don't think it's right to give the students candy. Knowledge should be the reward, and sugar's bad. Motivation should be intrinsic."
I know--at 22, I had ideals.
So what changed? I feel like I do still have ideals, but the classroom trenches give me a new perspective, and I realize something extraordinarily important--students LOVE candy.
Case in point. I have an exchange student from Kazakhstan who does not approve of the American diet. Everything is unhealthy. But she LOVES the jolly ranchers that I keep in a jar on my desk. As a matter of fact, she asks for one (or five) everyday.
Who doesn't love a treat?
Not a soul in my most difficult class is failing so far this semester, and because of it, they are getting a "Colombian Exchange" party this Friday. We're having pizza, cookies, and chips, oh my! (My 22 year-old self is shaking her head in indignation--at least it's connected to our current unit.)
But the students are happy, and their hard work is rewarded. And my life is made easier (small [k, HUGE] bonus).
Little treats add fun to life, and why should that be a bad thing? Everything in moderation--both sugar and hard work. But life needs some of each. So why not embrace the holidays instead of ignoring them? The students are excited, anyway. Why not channel that excitement into learning opportunities?
So for Halloween, instead of keeping calm, I'm embracing the festivity. I'm making pumpkin lattes, crock pot-style. We're going to play Halloween games (content-based, of course--learning Mary Poppins-style with "a spoonful of sugar"). I have some content-based Halloween activities for world history and sociology, and I'm working on one for psychology that should be a lot of fun (check them out here).
But here is a treat for you this Halloween--a free game that can be used with content for any subject:
|Grab it HERE!|
|Picture this in fine paper cups....|
-7 cups coffee (brewed double-strength)
-1 cup sugar
-1 & 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
-2 tablespoons vanilla
-1 cup canned pumpkin
Mix it all together in a large crock pot, cook on high for 2 hours, and then set to "keep warm."
Looking for more teacher-treats this Halloween? Check out these great posts from the Secondary Smorgasbord teachers. Be sure to let me know how you'll handle Halloween in the comments below!