Drawing closer

4 Mar

On Wednesdays, I only have one class: a 30-minute homeroom Advisory. Our counseling staff prepares lessons for us to teach, usually around Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Some of the lessons have been excellent, but it can be hard teaching a lesson some one else prepared and you see 30 minutes before teaching it. Some Wednesdays, I feel bad for my students. Yesterday, having looked at the lesson, I couldn’t take it any more.

First, let me say, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the lesson. It was sunny out and I felt an energy I hadn’t felt in months, and, after six months of SEL lessons, I wanted something fun. I threw out the lesson and decided we’d play Pictionary. We’d played the week before Winter Break and I laughed with my students harder than I ever had. Pictionary was what we needed today, not another slide deck.

Once everyone had arrived to the Zoom meeting, I asked, “Was there someone who won the last round last time, and I promised could go first?”

Silence at first, then a name was suggested. That person couldn’t recall, so I went to the list I’d prepared. “We have three birthdays this week, so I will offer it to the celebrants.”

Thursday’s birthday declined. I was worried.

Friday’s birthday declined. I was really worried.

Saturday’s birthday accepted and we had a Pictionary game up and running.

Suddenly, it was two minutes before the end of the class. I gave the word to the last drawer. She drew, They guessed and class was over. As I wrapped things up and we said our goodbyes, the comment that stood out to me in chat was We should do this more often. Yes, we should.

9 Responses to “Drawing closer”

  1. arjeha March 4, 2021 at 8:14 am #

    Sometimes those scripted lessons we get from companies that produce advisory programs, our school bought into one, lack a certain amount of excitement to them. Straying from them at times is what the students need and we teachers need as well.

  2. Fran McCrackin March 4, 2021 at 9:50 am #

    Pictionary together- a different approach to SEL! Great reminder that teachers can use our power and our judgement.
    My favorite part, I have to say is when you described asking child after child and wondering if your idea was falling flat! Thank goodness for the 3rd birthday 🙂

  3. jumpofffindwings March 4, 2021 at 10:09 am #

    I need JOY suggestions! This sounds awesome. Note to self: DO! I have a tough group, nine of them, 100% online, who could use this game. How do you do it virtually? I could use pointers. Tomorrow is a day for some JOY!

    • jumpofffindwings March 4, 2021 at 10:10 am #

      By the way, thanks for any suggestions!

    • Adrienne March 4, 2021 at 10:12 am #

      They actually figured it out for me. They all have some sort of drawing program…including Google Keep. I googled “Pictionary word generator” and gave the word to the drawer. They typed their answers in chat. It was super fun.

      • jumpofffindwings March 4, 2021 at 12:07 pm #

        We’re playing! Thanks so much.

  4. Erica J March 4, 2021 at 10:21 am #

    Thanks for the idea — we have a similar class that has slowly devolved into a study hall where kids are rarely studying. Maybe I will suggest Pictionary instead! Glad you took that lead.

  5. thelifeofamomteacherandwife March 4, 2021 at 10:23 am #

    Sometimes we absolutely need more of these moments! Today I did the same with our SEL lesson, again, the lesson was fine, but we were all so excited to start a new read aloud! They had been waiting for this book and it felt so good to read it just because we could!

  6. Lisa Corbett March 4, 2021 at 6:35 pm #

    I think this is an example of SEL in action! Knowing when to do the lesson and when to toss it aside (for now) is wisdom! 🙂

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