In my last post I wrote about an “AirMail” Game using binder clips, rubber bands, and letters (source quotes). Read that post for an overview but I have a few updates.
- I eliminated the points system. It was too much to keep track of and the students didn’t care anyways.
- I gave the “mail carrier” an additional job. In addition to shooting the letters (sources) they had to call out which mailbox they think the source goes into.
- I made a graphic organizer instead of actual boxes. I didn’t have enough boxes for 4 for each pair. I made a simple 4 box table on a Google Doc and students collected the sources onto the paper.
- I printed the answer sheet and gave a copy to each student. This allowed them to check their own answers and then have a set of notes to study from.
I have started each class this week with this activity. Instead of dead eyes behind the plexiglass students have been laughing and talking. Adding the mail carrier’s job of suggesting which mailbox the letter goes into helped focus the conversation onto the curricular goal but left enough time for laughing and joking about the various slingshot mishaps. (Don’t tell anyone but I have about 6 little paper triangles on top of my florescent lights).
The most important thing I am finding is that the kids are appreciating my effort to make this Plexiglass learning more interesting. I have a terrible suspicion that many are feeling stuck inside these boxes all day and that the isolation could be as bad or worse than what they were experiencing before. In a Trauma Informed discussion the other day our School Counselor suggested that some signs of HYPO-arousal was emotional numbness, exhaustion, dissociation, depression, and ‘deadness’. The first few classes with the plexiglass definitely showed signs of that. I hope that these little plexi-games are providing the movement and social interaction our Counselor suggested would help students escape that feeling.