I have a bone to pick with someone. The problem is I am not quite sure who it is. If you are scratching your head right now, so am I! Maybe I should back up a little and give you the whole story.
As we move towards the end of the school year, everyone (including me!) gets a little over excited, unfocused and lackadaisical about school. Unfortunately, the focus fades much much before we are finished with all the academic tasks that need to be complete by the end of the year.
Because it is my job to pull everyone back into the reality that we are STILL in school and are STILL supposed to be learning, my entire day consists of fighting the uphill battle of motivating everyone in the room to stay on task, and finish up their assignments.
Honestly, I end up feeling like Wayne Brady on Let’s Make a Deal for the last couple weeks of the school year. Mr. Brady doesn’t ever have to worry about me wanting his job!!
Which leads me back to why I have a bone to pick with someone. No, it isn’t Wayne Brady.
It IS whoever decided that you HAVE to be “in the mood” to complete a task, or finish a math problem, or write 4 or 5 sentences!?!?!?
During the last few weeks of school, whenever I go over what we are learning, and explain what is expected of them, I get this response: “I don’t feel like it.” But it usually sounds more like this: “I don’t feeeeeeeeeeel like it.”
If I had a quarter for every time I heard “I don’t feel like it” in the month of May, I could retire tomorrow!!!!
Which brings me back to WHO started this crazy idea????
I don’t remember anyone EVER telling me that my mood (or my feelings) is the determining factor of my productivity?!?!?
I always end up giving my famous speech called, “You DON’T have to be IN THE MOOD!!” And if you wait until you are in the mood, nothing will EVER get done! And I always finish up my “Your Mood Doesn’t Matter” discourse by suggesting they would be much more productive (and it would make me much happier and much less frustrated) if they followed Michael Jordan’s suggestion to “Just DO IT!”
Now, I have been teaching WAY TOO LONG not to know that my “In the Mood” lecture goes in my students’ one ear and out the other! All they hear after my first few words is BLAH BLAH BLAH.
So, rather than waste my time searching for this villain who taught my kids about moodiness, I came up with some “teacher friendly” ways to motivate children when they tell you, “I am not in the mood.”
1. Bribe Them.
I am sorry but it IS the last 2 weeks of school, and I feel like a good bribe may be in order.
For example: If you finish your journaling activity, you will get to enjoy 10 minutes of free choice time on your chromebook.
This is an excellent course to take for kids who need to feel in control or don’t want to feel like you have control over them.
Example: You can finish your journaling activity at your desk, or in our reading corner, or sitting in one of the bean bag chairs.
Choices let them have enough control so they don’t feel the need to rebel against your authority.
3. Make it a Game.
For my middle school kiddos, any time I can add a little competition to an activity it always alleviates some of the whining.
Have I told you HOW MUCH I dislike the whining????? 😉
For example, everyone is going to finish their journal entries, then cut out each sentence. Then we will get into pairs. While I use the timer, each partner must take the other partners cut up sentences and put them together in the correct order. The partner who does it first wins.
It usually doesn’t even matter what the prize is, as long as they get the bragging rights about winning!!
I hope these help, if you too are experiencing the “I am not in the mood blues” at home or in the classroom!!
What do you do when your kids give you The Moody Whining Blues??? I would love to hear some new suggestions!!
Have a great day and Always Pay Attention!