FOCUS - the 5 letter 'F' word that affects the enjoyment, satisfaction and confidence of students. I call it the 1st of the INTANGIBLES of Learning. Successful students all have the ability to: focus at will; focus with intensity; focus with clear goals.
When you teach students know how easy it is to master 'instant focussing' they enjoy the ride. To be most effective, focus exercises should be fun ... students should grow in awe of the possibilities, gratitude for the possibilities and appreciation for your decision to share the skill. It is important that skills are developed over time, through the use of games and challenges.
Try this one, as a jumping off point.
1. Get whole class attention
2. Explain the skill and how you will introduce it.
3. Game 1 - you write a simple sentence on the board/screen. I use "Write this down"
4. Instruct students to write the sentence down.
5. Count to 5 silently and then immediately erase the words.
Variety and surprise are important in this game.
6. 'Hands Up' who managed it, High 5 after a neighbour has checked it.
7. Wait and accept the tales of woe! unfair! ...
8. With excitement, explain that is the challenge of the focus game - listen, respond, do a task - all tasks will have boundaries.
9. Explain that, for this week, you will be repeating the focus skill exercise 3 times each day.
Students keep a tally of how they go. Use a simple grid: 5 x 3 - students colour a square every time they achieve the goal.
Next game the sentence is, 'write this down, now', then use 'now, write this down'. Change capital letters and commas randomly.
Next days: do the same for another simple sentence, less than 5 words. Be creative, use humour and surprise.
Building expectations of what the next sentence might be is part of the process.
This is just ONE of more than 20 focus ideas included in our July Subscription.
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WHY THE GAMES SHOULD BE FUN
memories and skills stick better when combined with an emotion.
Pleasure. Joy. Gratitude.