> Mrs. O'Neill's Blog: April 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008


We are back to school after Spring Break and I am enjoying warmer weather. Yesterday it was around 60 F (about 16 degrees celsius). It's been hovering around freezing, for the last few weeks, so this felt like summer, albeit a Scottish one.

Many of my students are starting to ask me if we can 'go outside' for lessons. I suppose they have cabin fever after all these months. I have fond memories of sitting outside on warm days, even in secondary school. Unfortunately it's not very practical and tends to lead to a breakdown in discipline as other classes see you heading out and feel aggrieved.

Having said that, like most teachers, I love making school fun for students. It seems to me that we should build on their natural high spirits without letting up on discipline. Is that unrealistic?

Here in America a 'quiz' is actually a test and students groan when you announce one. You are testing memory in many cases, not understanding.

With this in mind I am trying to put together some genuinely enjoyable word games for end of class or Friday afternoons. Spelling bees can get a bit intense. That's why I use 'Backspell' which is easy to play and quite often has unexpected experts. Two players, five rounds. You begin with a short word -spell it backwards and the person who shouts out the correct answer gets a point. As soon as a student reaches three points you have a winner. They can then challenge someone else.

Any other tried and tested games?