When I want my students to listen to directions (ALL of the directions), I tell them that they cannot move until I finish and say the magic word. The first time I said this they immediately wanted to know what the magic word was. Truthfully, I had no plan and was totally bullshitting. And when they made me stop and think of it, I didn’t want to tell them any old word because then they would start moving without my finishing directions and they’d be all, But you just said the word! Because 10 year olds are all about semantics. So I said, You’ll know it when you hear it.
When that time came I realized I hadn’t actually come up with a word, so at the top of my lungs I shouted out the most magical thing I could think of. UNICORN!!!!! And then I got my unicorn figurine from the bin of toys I keep behind my desk (but don’t let my students play with) and put him up on the screen with the projector.
Now my students won’t do anything until the unicorn dictates it. Because magic. And pooping rainbows (which sometimes I will scream in class, just because).
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