Posts Tagged ‘Game’
Or is that DS’s?
Today at the teacher’s meeting we continued our discussion on whether the students should be allowed to bring their hand held video games to school. My position is that it takes away from brain power and focus that should be geared toward and heading into one direction – learning. Not to mention that ther are issues of “I jsut ahve to plug it in” “Just let me save my game” and a myriad of other responses and comments that take away from class time.
Though another teacher pointed out that the kids with Asperger’s who ordinarily would not talk to anybody are now relating to each other concerning the games, and discussing strategies and cheering each other on during time when they are using the games. I had not thought of that, and while that is valid, it still seems to me not to me a good use of their focus, and heaven knows focus is sometimes very hard to come by at school.
The Dean of Students is going to lead a discussion in the meeting tomorrow and talk with the kids – there is an idea that we could allow the games in school firdays, and only during Friday Fun time. This seems to me like a great compromise.
Meanwhile, at Glenforest -
This week I noticed some really neat changes in the attitudes of some of the students who are new to my classes for this marking period. A little one who has a great deal of trouble with becoming easily over stimulated and has problems with aggression seemed to finally be able to enjoy himself, and with the help of the teachers – wonderful, tireless, and extremely talented teachers – was able to enjoy himself, to relax enough to play some of our games, and to smile. Even just a smile – it made my day.
In the older group, I saw changes in one of the students, initially very angry at being assigned to the theatre/music section of our FAW class. He had spent the first few weeks of the new marking period being sullen and insubordinate to me, refused to cooperate or to even consider that what we were doing might be interesting. He refused to make eye contact, refused to look anywhere but down, and made negative comments frequently.
This week he began to come out of this mood and began to participate! He even raised his hand to ask to try something a few times, and one day this week even came over to me to ask to be included in the next wave of activities. One of the games we played was called “Emotion Party.” The kids were given a slip of paper with an emotion, and every time they entered the scene of the party that was going on, they were to display the emotion they had, and then all the other party go-ers were to emulate their emotion. Unbelievable how popular this game was, and my formerly reticent student was even seen, when the party emotion was changed into a “loving” party and the kids at the party initiated hugging, to actually hug a student he had a long history of antagonizing.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to observe Creative Drama at work with our students this way.
It truly is the little things in life.
This week I had my first drama class with the elementary students! I had been hoping for an opportunity to work with these younger guys since I started at the school and this week we were finally able to make it happen. They arrived at 11:15 Friday and after we discussed the procedures for my class we played a few name games and then moved on to playing “Everybody Who…” which has been a huge hit with the older guys in the last few weeks.
We played it with the same number of chairs as actors in this case, as I felt it important to get to know them all a little bit more before adding the stress of removing one chair (the game is ordinarily played in a fashion similar to musical chairs, with one less chair than actors.)
It was a great opportunity to learn more about these younger Glenforesters. And lots of fun.
And my goodness, they are clever!
We’ve been playing games these last nine weeks in my class. I decided that we needed some time to just play – I truly want to provide the students opportunities to relax and laughe with each other more, and practice important social skills things learning to take turns cooperatively and not make unpleasant comments about the choices others make. So we have been playing. And it has been good on so many levels. I think one of the best things we have accomplished is the way that the students are beginning to see that drama can be purely and completely just plain fun.
I have really enjoyed it and have been happy about the way the kids have begun to come out of their shells quite a bit hopefully learning that it is safe in my class to take a risk. That I will not allow any mean or mocking behavior.
It has not been perfect of course, and we do have our days when all we can get to is high point/low point and then a wild game of fruit, but in the past few weeks there has been some moments when each child has shown me just who they are, what they love and of course, how very talented they are…
This week I discovered that my students are every bit as capable as I had hoped in their talent for picking up and running with each new game I introduced them to. It was fascinating to see the way each child responded to the different games and I was able to learn a great deal about the students as I watched them struggling perhaps at first, but them excel practice during each new activity.
Tomorrow we go to the Dutch Fork high School to perform for the first time at a fundraiser. We will be presenting some of our favorite games and I have a great deal of hope that while the kids are not in any way used to performing as of yet, their love of the games and fledgling consideration of this group as a cohesive unit of friends will provide them with what they need to enjoy and entertain.