True story.. I was dreading "getting out the glitter" this school year. I have never been scared to dive in to hands-on learning, or to let my students make a mess. It doesn't scare me. I ask myself.. Can my students handle this? Do I have the energy for this? Remember what happened last time? The answers are: no, no, don't do it.
Then what did I do? I drank my coffee and pulled out the glitter. It's not always glitter.. as glitter, I am referring to anything hands-on and messy. This year, it was "Jitter Juice". Juice that contains 200 calories made from Hawaiian Punch, Lemon Lime soda, and sherbet ice cream. Students drink the punch and then we graph if they liked it or not. It's messy, packed with sugar, and guaranteed for at least one person to spill it. I even purchased color-changing straws. It was summer time, and I was fully rested and tan. Don't judge me.
I have dreaded this all week. So I did it. I made three pitchers and I listened to the little voices asking me questions. "What is that?" "Do we get some?" "Will we get 2 cups?". I am sweating and regretting this decision already.
Finally I served the punch, and screamed the rules. "Don't spill this!". "Show me you can handle something fun!" Then I thought.. why am I so stressed about this? Yes there were spills, and yes they were crazy... BUT they LOVED it! They loved every single second of it. They cleaned up their mess and graphed beautiful graphs. The little voices chanted "This is the best day ever!" "I love first grade!" My heart melted. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was tiring. BUT.. It was so worth it. They will remember these lessons forever. So why get out the "glitter?"
- Your students will remember the lesson.
- The lesson will be engaging.
- The overall message will come across.
- They can practice handling bigger lessons for the future.
- Your class will appreciate you.
As teachers we always want to do is easier. We want our lessons to go perfectly and hands-on lessons take the chance with more errors. It might take some time, but I can tell you.. They will be happy to play in the GLITTER.