California Educator

August/September 2023

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them. Play the music as they do it. At the end ask if anyone is proud of their handshake, their slogan, the nickname they were given or their hug. Name It! Have students walk around the room and every 3 seconds they should stop, point at something that they see, and name it with gusto! After doing that for a minute, students walk around the room and every 3 seconds they should stop, point at something that they see and name it anything they want BUT what it actually is. This is surprisingly hard to do, and you can have a discussion with students about why that is at the end of the game. Plan a Party Put students in groups of three or four and tell them that they are to plan a party. Let them know that they have an unlim- ited budget for this party. One at a time, each person adds an idea to the party. In the first go-round, when a person wants to add an idea they need to start their sentence with "yes, but…". So one student might say, "Let's have rockets with bal- loons on them" and the next student will start with "yes, but let's also have video games…". After a minute, see if any group is willing to share what their party is like. In the second go-round, have students do the same thing but instead of saying "yes but", have them say "yes and" when they want to add an idea. They are going to see a dramatic shift in creativity and ideation. Have groups share their ideas. Knife and Fork Pair students up. Tell them that you are going to call to things and in 5 seconds or less, without talking, they are to transform themselves into these things. Shout out "Knife and fork," and see your students turn into that. Then shout some- thing else, like "salt and pepper," and wait until they turn into that. Be sure to tell students to look at other pairs as they turn into these things. 4 Person Titanic This game is similar to Knife and Fork except that your students will be in groups of four and you will give them between 10 and 15 seconds to become what you decide to call (like the Titanic). Remember to tell them to do it without talking and to look at other groups once they are done. Ideas to call out are Titanic, a plane, a car, the zoo, a house, etc. Group Story Put students into groups of three. They will create a story together by having each person say one word at a time. The first person will say "once". The second person will say "upon". The third person will say "a". The first person will say "time". Then the second person says whatever word comes to them, and the third person builds off that word with their own word, and so on. The group needs to bring the story to a conclusion of some sort. The Realtor Pair students and tell one of them that they will play the realtor and the other the home buyer. The person playing the realtor takes 2 minutes to interview the home buyer about what they love to do. Then the realtor takes 2 min- utes to envision in their head the perfect house for the homebuyer. Then the realtor takes the home buyer on a tour of the house. The realtor "shows" the homebuyer the door and the beautiful ringer on the door, the amazing rug, lights, artwork, and all the other ideas that they came up with. Important: the homebuyer has to be excited about everything the realtor says and ask the realtor lots of questions about the house. The realtor is to be fully confident about every answer they give. At the end of the game you can ask them: "How did it feel to have someone agree with you and be enthusiastic about what you said? How did it feel to come up with answers on the spot?" Group Rock Paper Scissors Pair students up and tell them to play one game of rock paper scissors. The winner gets to duel with a winner from another pair. The loser becomes the most amazing and loud cheerleader for the winner, shouting their names and encouraging them to beat their next opponent. After the next round, the winner will have three cheerleaders behind them to duel another person who won in the second round. The game continues until one person wins. Important: Emphasize that the support, enthusiasm and team effort by the cheerleaders is way more important than the winner of the game. California-based EQ Schools provides trainings to schools and districts that help adults and students thrive. Founder/ educator Roni Habib spoke at CTA's 2023 Summer Institute, through the Instruction and Professional Development strand. Visit to view the video and visit for more information and resources. "Games bring vulnerability to the surface in a way that more deeply connects students and teachers to one another and makes failure and being imperfect feel safer." 25 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3

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