Issue 120: Ten Seconds of Stillness


Here’s another weird thing that is working well at the moment; challenging an extremely chatty, fidgety, distracted, noisy, class of year 3 and 4 children (aged 7 and 8 years old) to stand absolutely still for ten seconds.

I didn’t make them do this as a punishment, but as a challenge, and to my surprise, they stood stock still, motionless, without speech, for the ten seconds. I think that the children were as impressed as I was! Before they had a chance to move, I catapulted them back into the song that we had been failing to teach them for the previous ten minutes, which they now sang with focus and commitment and a good sound.

I tried this again today; half the class had arrived in the hall a full fifteen minutes before the lesson was due to begin, and, as usual started, to racket around the empty space. I got them organised (with the help of my samba whistle which I discovered that I still had round my neck from earlier in the day) and set them the challenge of standing stock still while the other half of the class came chuntering in.

The new arrivals were both impressed and baffled, and I was able to start the class from a point of silent focus rather than fighting to catch their attention in order to begin. It was altogether a much better lesson than previous weeks.


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