Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd . . . ahhhh, nothing like spending an afternoon at the ballpark! While in Seattle, we took in a MLB Seattle Mariner vs. San Fransico Giants baseball game. Blue skies, hot weather, and sunscreen were certainly in order for this event.
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We sat in center field, in hopes of catching a home run ball. It was fun to watch the professional players play the game with skill and strategy. I remember playing baseball, but don’t recall using strategy to win the game. Who knew there was so much more to the sport.
A sports theme or sports twist is something that I always include in my classroom – whether classroom management or academic. Friendly competition is good for students to experience. We all can’t be winners, sometimes we fail, BUT it is what we learn from our failing that propels us to success.
For several years, I used sports as my classroom theme. I even developed a classroom management program around sports where teams played each other throughout the week. It was a lot of fun for me and the kids. I knew that my fourth graders were beginning to get involved in sports at school (and outside of school), so this would be a great way to engage all students. Although there are many, many sports to choose from, I focused on the three that I know the most about: football, basketball, and baseball.
Besides having fun playing games during class, the other important piece of my sports theme was for the kids to get to know me. I grew up in Ohio and am a huge Ohio State buckeye fan! After the first day of my call back response (OH – IO), the kids figured out that we were spelling OHIO. It wasn’t long before I brought out the football field and explained the game, rules, and how to play/win the game in class. The kids loved this aspect of our classroom. It became even more fun as kids started sharing teams that they rooted for throughout the year. A little friendly competition . . . even with the teacher. YES please!!
While using a sports theme generated some friendly competition throughout the year, the kids learned about teamwork, turning a failure into success, demonstrating good sportsmanship, and working hard for the good of all. The students didn’t expect to earn a prize for everything that they did because they were developing intrinsic motivation and feelings of self satisfaction.
Are you a sports fan? Do you have some fun hobbies? Regardless of what your specialty, you can easily use this as part of your classroom management program. Best of all, the kids get to know YOU as a real person AND your relationship is more significant.
We all can’t be winners, sometimes we fail, BUT it is what we learn
from our failing that projects us to success.