I have a homeroom every day that meets for 20 minutes. It is a mix of about 15 6-8th graders. They are good kids for the most part, but here's the problem: half of them (mostly boys) are so LOUD and can't sit still and constantly monopolize the class. They are not rude, persay, but just have trouble sitting in their seats and staying quiet for ANY period of time. The other half of the class (mostly girls) is completely the opposite. They are silent and shy and barely move a muscle.
EAch Friday, we have game day. It is meant for the kids to have fun, let loose, and get to know each other so they can feel comfortable within their homeroom. I have tried (and scrapped) Outburst, Pictionary, and 20 questions as games each day becuase the loud kids make it hard to play anything without them getting too riled up, and it's like pulling teeth to get the other kids to participate.
Does anyone have any ideas for games that would be appropriate for this??
7-up is a chestnut of a game that we all played as children. I think one of the beauties of this game is that it is kind of a quiet game. Also silent ball is quiet. I realize that these games aren't particularly educational.
Maybe you could play a movie or some streaming media for them to hold their attention. Sometimes I'll use my LCD projector and show CNN for kids, particularly when it's about Hurricane Katrina. We live in the hurricane zone so we are pretty familiar with the potential devestation. CNN programming may be videotaped as well--it airs in the middle of the night which is a pretty convenient time to tape for most folks. You can download questions and additional teaching material from the website.
can't the games be educational? it would kill me to lose 20 minutes a week!
here are some games i use a lot to teach:
concentration/memory (can play with 2-4 players)--this might take one week to set up the cards: okay kids, everyone take 6 index cards and write 3 pairs of synonyms on them--next week take them and have kids turn them upside down to find matches
bingo on a given topic--i just played decimal operations bingo with my math class after we had tested and were waiting for the other 2 classes to "catch up". i passed out bingo boards (mine were 4x4, but i've played 3x3 when i didn't have as many items) and a set of squares with all sorts of decimal operations/problems--kids had to solve--i called out answers and they marked their problems/answers. of course, i always give prizes...this ups the ante so they want to do well and pay attention and stay quiet (the quieter it is, the faster we play, the more games we play, the better the chances for a prize!)
the I have game...basic math facts, vocabulary terms, genres, literary terms, story elements, landforms....
listening games where they have to listen to fill in blanks to get the right answer--or draw the right thing to come up with a picture.
I just thought of it as homeroom--dead time for me. I frequently have my students use homeroom as a study hall. I send some to the library and have some work on the computers. Most of the time, it is unstructured time. Thankfully homeroom is only about 15-20 minutes for me. They start arriving before 8 and leave at 8:15. I am supposed to supervise the hall as well as keep peace in my room. With the announcements, pledge, moment of silence, and handouts I must distribute, it's hard to have a truly educational experience in homeroom--that's why I would recommend noneducational games that are played quietly if you have time to put a game together.
I have found that my group of loud, animated 8th grade boys LOVE to put together jigsaw puzzles. The first one they did (250 piece) was amazingly "cooperative" so we moved on to harder ones. They have to be quiet and focused to do them. Plus, it gives me a chance to interact w/ the quieter ones, who are often overlooked! The girls like to make "me" collages with magazines or cut out pictures to glue in their journals or on their poetry. In terms of games: how about getting several checkerboards or scrabble games?- they can rotate and play each other.
Lots of Jeopardy like templates are available online. Just go to any search engine and type in [Jeopardy "Mark E. Damon"]. (http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/PPT-games/)
With some preparation time, you can make gazillions of Jeopardy games to show from your computer. The games can be based on the subject you teach, on an upcoming test, a compilation of completed unit facts, or simply trivia.
If you don't have time to prepare, simply draw a Jeopardy board on the chalk board and grab any old text book or dictionary. You don't have to create categories, just call them "Column A," etc. Read a definition and let the students provide the terms for the answer.
One of the rules is that I have to be able to see the mouths of all students. Sometimes we have three teams, sometimes four. Only the captain of the team can raise a hand and give the official answer. If any other team is heard talking while another team is answering, the answering team gets a bonus 100 points. Of course, you select the quietest persons as the team captains. Divide the teams any way you want. Tallest to shortest, by birthday, who lines up first, counting off by threes, but the trick is not to tell them HOW you will divide them when you tell them to line up! Sometimes I just tell them, "Make four teams of five students each--you have 30 seconds." Anyone not on a team goes to the team of my choice.
My students literally BEG for Jeopardy. I've used released items from the state and NAEP websites for questions. They think they are playing, I know they are learning. Win-Win!
I am actually an incoming senior leader at my High School. Everyday for homeroom instead of going to my own class I go to a Freshman homeroom and help them out. one thing they LOVE to do is play Cranium Kazoo. Its a really fun board game that can be played by big teams. There are different activities like pictionary, charades, trivial persuit, and molding clay. It is really fun and I bet middle schoolers might like it too.