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And we'll have FUN FUN FUN...

FUN in the classroom is ESSENTIAL. Especially in the Middle School. It keeps you stimulated as an educator and it keeps the students engaged. But there's more to it than that. There is BRAIN BASED RESEARCH to support that fun is MORE than just ok in the classroom, it stimulates learning!

The Neuroscience Behind FUN!

When students experience joy in the classroom, it is scientifically proven that their minds are MORE OPEN TO LEARNING! The endorphins that are produced as a result of positive experiences allow them to be more receptive to learning. In addition, those endorphins are addictive. The body remembers the positive and safe feelings that are associated with the environment and will produce those endorphins each time the student is in the environment. This means that you'll have created a situation where the student's physiology will be biochemically altered to perceive your classroom as a safe place for risk-taking that is necessary for learning.

Fun and engagement comes in many ways. There are tech integration strategies like: gamification augmented reality, virtual reality and scavenger hunts, and non-tech options like: Escape Rooms (Breakout EDU), costumes, skits, joke telling and more. There are so many other ways!! Even the little things can engage and ignite interest in your students. So here's ONE way you can incite a room full of giggles....FAKE student names.

Fake Names

When beginning a lesson that requires note taking, I often start that lesson by modeling the heading on a student paper:
Rather than dry, droll note taking, that ONE little element of levity can capture student interest and provide a small smattering of giggles. It seems simple, but it's fun, and as we now know, it helps set the stage for learning!

Here are some of my FAVORITES!!

Avery Goodyear
Rita Book
Moe Mentum
Neera Nuff
Dewey Hafta
Obie Quiet
Constance Ubervision
Igor Beaver
Les Ismore
Doris Shutt
Moe D'Lawn
Russell Papus
Laura Deboom
Amal Shookup
Linus Scrimmage
Isabelle Ringing
Paige Turner
Arty Ficial
Ed U. Cation

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Special thanks to Amy Hysick New York State's 2017 Teacher of the Year for sharing with me the science behind fun!  See her AWESOME Discovery Education article here!

and of course, thanks for

For more on the neuroscience of learning, try:

Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher


Teaching with the Brain in Mind, Revised 2nd Edition