Issue 72: The Power of Silence

First lesson of term after the Christmas holidays, and the children are hyper and chatty and restless and inattentive and just NOT READY TO LEARN!

Well, some of it was not their fault. We thought we had got the sound system working and we had tested the music track we were going to use before the lesson, but then – when we needed the quick and snappy first activity to capture everyone’s attention, it all failed. That made the rest of the lesson hard work. Very hard work.

After a fairly trying half hour, there were just ten minutes left, and, quite frankly, I had run out of steam. Time for a brainwave…

…I challenged them to be silent for thirty seconds – epic fail.

I challenged myself to be silent for thirty seconds – a year 4 was put in charge of watching the time, and everyone froze to see if I could manage it – you could have heard a pin drop – result!

Could anyone in the class manage just 10 seconds? A small boy stepped into the centre of the circle, and there was silence while we watched him standing completely motionless – success!

How about all of year 3 – yup!

How about all of year 4 – would they be as good as year 3? – easy!

Oh look – time’s up. Instruments away, see you next week.

Oh yeah, next week. We will START with the silence challenge this time, and see if that is effective. And I’m bringing in my own (PAT tested, of course) amplifier as I am not going to risk their sound system again.

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