THE POWER OF A BIG OLD LAUGH

Injecting some laughter into your classroom

I’m a firm believer that laughter really is the best medicine. I cannot fathom one of my classes without at least one burst of laughter. It softens the seriousness and stress on the student’s part of having to speak in a language that isn’t their own, it increases rapport and it just makes a lesson more enjoyable. Not to mention memorable. The classes in which we have laughed the most seem to be those that student’s have less problems with down the line. Coincidence? Probably not! We can always remember a movie or book that made us laugh and can even recall specific moments incredibly well. Same thing happens when we cry, but this certainly isn’t something you should be trying with your students! So yes, laughing is GOOD. It’s good for the teacher, good for the students, good for remembering the lesson and great for establishing a learning environment students want to come back to. We all know that it’s that coming back to class and practicing that makes for great language learners.

For all of these reasons, when one of our readers emailed me the link I’m about to share with you today, I was over the moon. If there’s one link you need to bookmark to go with your games for the classroom or ESL techniques, it’s this little gem. Thank you so much Dirk Tiu for sending me this wonderful resource, “Comedy in the Classroom: 50 ways to bring laughter into any lesson”. I absolutely love the way this article is written and how easy some of the tips are to put into practice. There’s no need for props or hours of setting activities up, it’s all about how you can approach the different situations that come up in class and turn them into a laugh fest. Believe it or not, laughing when done with the teacher and as a whole group can actually improve behavior in a rowdy classroom. The simple practical tips like wearing crazy t-shirts and talking about their favorite tv show are wonderful! The idea that you can even turn your difficult days as a teacher into common ground was simply inspirational. This article is so well rounded out that I simply couldn’t wait to include it in Sunday Best, it definitely deserved its own post.

I remember a lot of laughing during my childhood, my mother (top photo – as a teen-) had this incredible laugh, as did my grandfather (photo below) who had the loudest, funniest and most contagious one out of everyone in the family. My mom’s friends were constantly putting on sketches that made us grab our stomachs and left us out of breath with all the giggles (photo below). Even in the really early years, I might not remember the moments per se, but I remember laughing. A LOT! It made my childhood so memorable.


laughter is the best medicinelaugh, play

Again, thank you Dirk for sending us this piece, I hope it brings a lot of readers your way and that many of the fellow teachers that read this blog begin to use some of these wonderful ideas. Speaking of laughter in the classroom, a very special act of funny sticker vandalism is coming soon. Stick around! I’ll also see you tomorrow for Sunday Best! I hope you liked my old family photos! It made my day to shift through some old pics and stroll down ‘funny memory lane’.

SUNDAY BEST

Autumn leavesIt’s been a long weekend for me and further proof that three days is exactly what a weekend should entail. It’s the perfect amount of sleeping time, reading time, dog and hubby time, movie time and friend time. Two days just isn’t enough am I right? Tomorrow a big day of lessons awaits me and now I’m completely ready for it.

This week the mountains of lesson plans, activities, worksheets and projects seem to have gotten out of hand so I’ve been searching for a good system to keep everything organized and handy at all times. For that reason I’ve been researching some great inventory and teaching apps and I’ve come across some pretty great things, so soon we’ll have a Sunday Best Special Apps Edition! Don’t worry, it won’t be all for teachers, we’ll have a little something for everyone! I’m excited to start researching this for you. If you have any suggestions or favorites please share them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to include them!

Now on to this week’s Sunday Best…

For designers, photographers and lovers of all things pretty, Jessica Comingore is an LA based photographer and designer that collects her sources of inspiration in this beautiful blog.

For foodies and DIY fanatics, My Little Fabric is one of those adorable/cute/girly/perfectly crafted websites that have a little bit of everything. You’ll mostly love browsing their beautiful website for inspiration and I’m sure you’ll end up making a thing or two.

For parents who want to buy cool stuff for their kids that seems less like the neon pink plastic they sell in toy stores nowadays and more like the awesome FAO Schwartz/our generation goodies visit Bungalow Kids. Really special toys, arts and crafts supplies, beautiful furniture and decor. Great for parents, aunts, uncles and loving gift givers who want ‘old school’ to be back in business!

Last but not least, something that I rarely post here but I just had to this week, A Thread has beautiful clothes and accessories if you’re looking to buy a special gift this season. Another reason why I love it? With every purchase you make, A Thread donates 5% of the money you spend to a charity of your choice. Gift giving all around which is what Christmas should be right?

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Best! I hope you enjoyed it! Our photo today is yet another one of the beautiful Spanish fall colors. Have a great Sunday everyone!