Recently, Fusion Yearbooks reached out to us with some awesome tips for creating a classroom culture of laughter. We loved them so much that we wanted to share some of those tips with you today! By the way, if you haven't heard of Fusion Yearbooks, check them out and pass on the info to that lovely person on faculty that is looking a little exhausted and frazzled about this time of year trying to meet the yearbook deadline!
Back to the giggles! Humor is such a valuable commodity in the classroom and when used with great care, it has the power to:
- bring joy to a demanding job (for both students and teachers!)
- diffuse some aggressive or disruptive behaviors
- relieve tension brought on by high stakes testing or other student woes
Here are a few ideas for creating a culture of laughter in the classroom:
1. Decorate with familiar memes to create a fun classroom climate as soon as your students walk in.
Let your students know with posters like this one that you have a sense of humor and you’re not afraid to use it. If your students are older, give them some time to create their own memes for class rules. It will help them to remember the rules as they laugh!
2. Calling attention won’t be an impossible mission if you use music as your cue. (even for secondary students)
As soon as I play the theme song from Mission Impossible, my students know it’s time to clean up. They also know they only have until the end of the song to get it finished. We smile and hum along to the song as the room is quickly tidied.
A fabulous article from Mr. Vaudrey introduced me to TelevisionTunes.com and other ways to use music to communicate instructions to the class. (FYI – other student favorites are Batman and Spongebob.)
3. Introduce literature and historical context with flair:
“Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov
Unlike Nabokov, the creators of the “historyteachers” videos have mastered the art of using parody to teach lessons. They have quite a collection of famous songs for which they have changed the lyrics to describe different historical characters and periods. For example, students can learn more about King Tut to the tune of Smashmouth’s “Walking on the Sun.” The French Revolution makes much more sense when it’s explained using the music from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”