Catch Kids’ Attention with Wacky Wednesday Antics!

What's wacky about this math problem? See if students spot this upside down equation on the board on a Wacky Wednesday.

What’s wacky about this math problem? See if students spot this (or another) upside down and backwards equation when you post it on Wacky Wednesday.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Dr. Seuss, the world-famous children’s book author has a birthday coming soon in March.

Why wait for the calendar to turn from February to the third month of the year to celebrate his wacky word play.

Dr. Seuss inspires year ’round.

His book, Wacky Wednesday, published in 1974, lit a wacky fire in my own writing zone that sizzled with ideas to share…

Catch kids’ attention with Wacky Wednesday antics!

Challenge Students to Find What’s Wacky at the Start of a Wacky Wednesday – When attendance is taken and morning announcements are past, ask your class to look around the room to see if anything is “wacky.”

“Wacky,” they might ask, “What do you mean?”

“Out of sorts,” will be your reply. “Something not quite right in our classroom; can you find it?” is your challenge to now very attentive kids.

How wacky on on Wednesday...a sign that you post in a place where you usually encourage students to spend time, like your classroom library.

On Wacky Wednesday, post a sign in a place where you usually encourage students to spend time, like your classroom library! No Students Allowed. That’s wacky! This sign will catch kids’ attention.

Upside Down Math Problem – Before students arrive, post a new math problem upside down and backwards on the board as part of a math set for students to work for extra credit as a school day starter or during math time.

When you ask the class if anything looks wacky on the board on Wacky Wednesday, see if a student discovers the wacky upside down and backwards math problem.

Set Out a Wacky, Silly Sign – On a Wacky Wednesday, tape up a sign that reads “No Students Allowed” in a place, like your classroom library, where you normally encourage children to visit!

“What in the world?!” kids might call out. “Why is there a No Students Allowed sign in our classroom library?” 

Your answer of course…“It’s Wacky Wednesday.”

Count the Wacky Ways on a Wednesday – Delight younger students with a countdown to wacky ways on a Wacky Wednesday.

Begin with one wacky discovery, like the upside down and backwards math problem that you’ve posted on the board and move on with rhyme

Well, we’ve found Wacky Way, number one,

But Wacky Wednesday has only just begun.

Where will we find Wacky Way, number two? 

Will I discover it on Wacky Wednesday, or will you?

…and so the count goes on.

How else can you catch kids’ attention with Wacky Wednesday antics?

Host a Wacky Wednesday Word Day! – Kids love funny words…words like wacky, loony, madness, crazy and thing-a-ma-jig.

Every language has funny words.

Funny words are fun to say and fun to feature on a designated day that celebrates their meaning and application in educational and entertainment settings.

On your designated Wacky Wednesday, surprise students at the start of school by posting a sign on your classroom door that reads, Welcome to Wacky Wednesday!

Listen for laughter as students take their seats.

"Class, 'Let's Go Loony Day' will be a day when we can express what we love to do best."

“Class, ‘Wacky Wednesday Word Day’ will be a day when we can express and engage in some of what we think is wacky and love to do best.”

Tell the class that you’ll explain Wacky Wednesday after attendance and morning announcements.

Announce that on Wacky Wednesday everyone will have a lot of fun but also get a lot of good work done!

Using age-appropriate language, describe Wacky Wednesday as a time for students to go “wacky” and engage in some of what they love to do best.

Make copies of a sheet that invites students to write in what they are "loony for, loony to do."

Make copies of a sheet that invites students to write in what they are “wacky or loony for” (what they love to do).

Hold up another poster that says, “I’m wacky or I’m loony for __________________________,” and tell the class that you’ve made copies for each student to complete.

Elaborate on the meaning you’re emphasizing for the word wacky…you’re meaning being wacky or loony for something is loving to do it. 

In the course of your brief discussion, offer the substitute word wild, and explain that some people say I’m wild about something to show that they love it.

Give an example, like “I’m wild about cats.” Remind the class that today is Wacky Wednesday!

Distribute the Wacky Wednesday copies at writing time, leaving class time afterwards for students to engage in acceptable activities that connect with their wacky choices.

For example, some students may write “I’m wacky for music.”

Plan ahead for a music break on Wacky Wednesday when you invite kids to clap or snap along to a song, acting a little bit wacky.

If students lose focus and self-control (become too wacky), remind the class that Wacky Wednesday is a time for fun, but also a time to get some good work done!

Choose your own Wacky Wednesday activities to share with the class.

Please send comments about your choices.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara The Lovable Poet

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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Situation: Students are acting sluggish in class.

Solution: Show "The BIG E," for ENERGY, an enlarged letter E (or other first letter for the word energy in your alphabet), available in craft stores. Remind the class that energy is a must-have item to get good work done. Tell the class to show you "The BIG E!"

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