Hi and welcome back to Attention-ology for K – 5 Teachers!
Picture this…you and your students are getting ready to review the math they’ve been learning this semester before a major test. You blink and all the kids’ eyes have turned toward the door because a costumed team mascot has suddenly entered the classroom. Wow, what an attention-getter!
Here’s the best part…you’ve pre-arranged for the mascot to come to class for a mini-pep rally ahead of test time. The mascot will boost student morale, kick up a can-do attitude and reduce pre-test stress with some light-hearted fun.
Hockey, Soccer, American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Track – no matter what sport, no matter what season of the year – a mascot of any kind is a great way to cheer students on to success in school.
No major team in your city or town? No problem. Ask someone to dress up as your school’s mascot. Most elementary schools choose animal mascots where alliteration makes for easy identification. For example, Broadhill Elementary School might be home to the Broadhill Bears, and so on. You and your staff or parent volunteers might have to get creative to come up with some animal costumes, but you get the idea.
Another option is to invite a local high school student to come dressed as his or her school’s mascot. Some high schools have key clubs with members who spend time with elementary students on a regular basis. They could help you out. Or, if you have a college or university nearby, you can contact the Athletics Department on campus and ask about the possibility of arranging for a mascot visit.
Sports mascots are quick to catch and keep attention because of their funny looks, their antics and their allegiance to popular teams. But , you might prefer to arrange for a local sports star player to be a guest in your class. Go for it! Don’t you know that kids will zero in on every word a superstar utters. Whether you arrange for a mascot or star player, make sure you outline your specific goals, such as math test prep, ahead of his or her visit.
Some educators may think that celebrities, including mascots and members of sports teams, are too busy to have time to visit an elementary school. Not so, if you go through the proper channels to schedule visits. Google the team you have in mind and ask around school to see if someone has a personal connection with the team.
The benefits of having a mascot or other sports star visit your class can last far beyond your initial focus on test preparation. You can refer back to the mascot’s or sports star’s pep talk all year long with motivational questions and phrases like, “Remember how ‘Stormy’ encouraged us to do our best when he came to class before last semester’s major math test? Go Team!”
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings!
Talk with you next week,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet