Work Hard, Play Hard

Friday, October 25, 2013
from the curly classroom of Suzanne

In the words of a famous theologian (or maybe it was David Guetta), "We work hard, play hard."

The year that I moved from middle school to high school was the first year that our state began STAAR testing.  To say that I was uptight was an understatement.  I had never taught for a 90 minute block, it was new curriculum, and the state told us virtually nothing about about the new standards to which we were being held.  That year we worked hard and then worked hard some more.  During the summer, I reflected back on the year and felt that I had been so task oriented that I failed to really get to know and enjoy my students, and I vowed not to make that mistake again.  Thus Big Fun Fridays were born!  

Each Friday my students and I stop for a few minutes to celebrate the fact that we worked hard and made it to the end of another week.  I keep the initial classroom routines in place.  After our Shared Reading and Star Point, it's time for fun!  I think there is power in having BFF early in the class period.  If I waited until the end, we would run out of time and it would never happen.  Students are able to transition back to classwork because they understand that we wouldn't get to have them if they couldn't.  I try to keep a rotation of big fun activities to keep it fresh.  

I recently received one of the greatest compliments- that I always knew of funny YouTube videos.  Seriously, I'm blushing just thinking about it!  If I need a quick and easy BFF, I turn to one of my funny friends:
We showed this gem in honor of Beyonce before Super Bowl weekend.  I dare you not to laugh and watch it at least two more times.

For whatever reason, this is usually a favorite.  Maybe it's just that we are suckers for talking animals.

If I could have any talent, I would pick mad dance skills.  In my current state, I have deranged dance skills.  That is why I have an unhealthy appreciation for instructional dances (Ch-Ch-Slide, Cupid Shuffle...yes please!) The next best thing is Just Dance.  

Moves Like Jagger is my current favorite.  Those turns at the chorus just get me!  And I feel that you deserve to know that we have implemented a Teacher Fun Friday to start our planning period.  Imagine, three adults alone in a classroom trying their darndest and keeping up with this and other dance videos.  That's funny stuff.  

Lastly, I love and appreciate a good Minute to Win It game.  This little product has directions and supplies for 15 games.

You can pull up blueprint videos for each game on YouTube (It should practically be my homepage!).  Here we are in action:
Kevin is playing Keep It Up.  Warning: My Texas twang is out in full force in this video.

For more ideas and links, check out my BFF Pinterest page.

Have yourself some big fun this Friday!

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