Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Mix ’em up. Mash ’em up. Match ’em up…WORDS!
Make the most of Word Mash to catch and keep K – 5 kids’ attention…
and to make important messages stick in children’s distracted minds.
Mattertude Makes a Difference – Teachers face the challenge of motivating students in ways that create good attitudes about working hard in and out of school.
This challenge is all the more difficult in a world full of more and more entertainment options and increasing distractions, including continuous fleeting images and messages.
Focus attention on the importance of attitude by making the most of Word Mash.
Mix the word attitude with the word matters and mash up the word, mattertude.
This attention-grabbing Word Mash helps students receive the important message…mattertude makes a difference!
Present a Problemtunity – Begin a school day by announcing that you have a problemtunity for the class.
A problemtunity, as the Word Mash suggests, is a problem that presents an opportunity.
Watch for students’ reaction to your Word Mash. Ask what they think problemtunity means.
This question opens the door to helping kids see problems in a new light.
Offer an example of a problemtunity…Say you have a bunch of old books cluttering up a classroom bookshelf with limited space.
Problem…you need more space.
Opportunity…the old books might be useful to someone else.
Connect problemtunities with Character Education.
For example, suggest to your class that turning problems into opportunities is one way to show responsibility. Tackling a problemtunity is a way of saying, “I can handle this situation with a positive attitude…a mattertude…and a positive outcome.”
How else can you make the most of Word Mash?
Wow Kids with a Fun Word Mix Up – WowPow – Many students struggle with writing and talking in front of a group.
Break through their wall of worry about making words work by attracting attention to the fun one can have with writing or speaking about a subject using wowpow.
Explain to your class that wowpow is this…word power that wows a reader or listener.
Say the crazy new word aloud several times…wowpow.
Ask kids to join you in saying the mixed up word aloud.
Repeat this activity at the start of writing time to remind students that you want them to use words that have the power to wow with the word picture that they paint.
Word mashes, match ups and mix ups, like wowpow, are memorable; this trait makes them effective teaching tools.
Get Silly with Word Play to Ready Children for Learning – Teachers in the early grades often use word play to gather children together before a lesson.
A teacher might say, for example, “If you can hear me say touch your nose, touch your nose,” and then moving around the room, continue the word play with, “If you can hear me say touch your toes, touch your toes.”
Get silly and add to the variety of ways you catch kids’ attention by using word play that mixes up the commands.
For example, you might say, “If you can hear me say touch your nose, touch your knee.” Knee?!!! See who notices the silly mix up.
Ready children for learning with silly word play that mashes up correct word associations.
For example, you might say, “Let’s stand up, stretch, and speak like animals for a minute before we start our next lesson.”
“Okay everyone, bark like a cat!” Bark like a cat?!!! Listen for kids to laugh as they yell, “That’s silly!” You have their full attention.
The base word, attention, comes from the Latin noun, attentionem, which means mental heeding and the verb attendere, which means to direct one’s mind or energies…the very definition of teaching!
Have fun making the most of Word Mash. Mix ’em up. Mash ’em up. Match ’em up…WORDS that suit your teaching goals.
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