First, student says “1,” or “1, 2.” The next student picks up where that student left off, and can say a maximum number of 2 numbers. The movement continues clockwise until it gets to 10, where that student has to sit, and the game starts back over at 1 at the next student. Note that there can be no pausing or silent counting—any pauses or indications the student is counting/calculating forces them to sit.
Also, pouting or talking during counting results in elimination from future rounds. The idea for the students is to count strategically so that they can keep from saying ’10.’ The best part of this activity is that it can give some students who may not be the ‘best’ at anything all day long a chance to win. If less than 90% of your students are smiling the whole time, you’re doing it wrong.
2. 60 Second Talk
Students are chosen to give Ted Talk-style 60-second talks on anything, from self-selected topics they are passionate about, have specific expertience in, etc., to topics given by teacher. The only rule is that they can’t stop talking and maintain credibility.
3. With A Ridiculous Debate
Debate colored pencils versus crayons, ice cream vs cake, or even something a bit more serious like self-driving cars versus light rail and bicycles–even the best way to break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend. Require students explain their reasoning with evidence, data, or some other compelling support.
4. With A Confusing Analogy
City block: city: paragraph structure:_______ is not confusing. Civil Rights: United States::________: Facebook is.
In the right context, confusion can be disarming and fun.
5. With A Smart Tweet
Tweets are short, quick, and to the point. Find one that’s set up the lesson—or that doesn’t, frankly: it’s short, quick, and to the point either way.
6. With An Impromptu QFT Session
These aren’t ‘fun’ on the surface—and frankly, beneath the surface either, but QFT sessions are brilliant ways to move from topics and ideas to questions and eventual learning pathways. Fantastic for self-directed learning, project-based learning, or even a typical academic lesson.
Excellent as a pre-assessment as well.
7. With Silence
First 10 minutes are in complete silence. Notes only—students can pass notes provided they’re willing to staple whatever they write to the bulletin board as they walk out. You probably can’t just bust out the meditation rugs tomorrow, but you can prime them for such a move with a little quiet time. Good for the soul—and the teacher’s nerves.