The other day I happened to come across my virtual Google friend Craig Dwyer's post A vow of Silence . I loved the idea! It would be great to be silent for the whole day. I had my doubts as my 8 year olds are absolutely, unequivocally irrepressible. What I did not realize is that my day's lesson plans had to be carved and moulded to suit this paradigm shift! So if you want to try it out, keep that in mind, Comrades:)
The children loved it! Something new is always greeted with widening eyes and a toothless grin. They actually did quite well apart from a few suffocated throttling noises from one of my students :)
But this is not why I am writing the post. I write it for a totally different reason...
A few day after our Vow of Silence episode, my students were trying to find out the perimeter and area of their silhouette using wool and post-its. They were busy and the voice level was more than the acceptable 5 on our noise-level continuum. I could hear them arguing and fighting for the resources. Some where debating about how to place the post-its. Though a great inquiry time, I noticed their collaboration skill was not that great. I left the class to get a glass of water from the dispenser outside. When I came back after a few minutes, there was pin-drop silence! The students were hunched over the silhouette and working quietly, efficiently together. They did not do this to please me. Someone had decided to execute the LAW OF SILENCE...and somehow they all learnt to work together. They gesticulated and nodded. Some of them got busy and quietly passed out post-its or adjusted the wool.
They found their own solution through the medium of silence.
A novel way to teach conflict resolution?