Getting kids to the front of the class has been a challenge in my class. They are very shy and by the time they get up and come to the front of the class, we have already spent some time. So, how do I get children eager to come there and face the class to read something or talk about something, in English?
A spur-of-the-moment idea has turned out to be a big hit in my class. I drew a smiley with a chalk, called it the Magic Smiley. When I call the kid to the front of the class, he/she has to stand away from the smiley and jump into it and suddenly he/she gets “English Power” We built so much hype and drama around this (like how you get sudden power when you acquire that ‘magic potion’ in videogames) that the kids love to do it now.
But, the funny thing is, today, when I came back to class after the lunch break, some kids had drawn many Magic Smileys on the floor and were jumping into it So, Bhaiya had to tell them that only Bhaiya’s Magic Smiley will work because of a special chalk
What I learnt is: Build hype and drama around every little thing you give them or ask them to do. Even if you are handing out test question papers, homework papers, give it first to kids who are following classrules. Making this a big deal will make kids want it badly that they will follow class rules.
I am a Fellow of the Teach For India movement and am a Class Teacher in a Municipal School in Mumbai