I have read studies where teachers have commented about children’s lack of hand strength. We would incorporate the physical and the mental for the balance needed to learn and grow long term.
I wanted to teach them balance and the importance of the journey. The kids loved the change, and embraced the new learning technique. It was a fun thing to do. They were engaged. We had a base for growth. Let’s play.
When I was doing just a day long sub I used to tell the kids: "Give me 35 minutes of work and I will reward you with 5 minutes of free time at the end of class." This paradigm served me well, but as always, there are some things that just do not go as planned and you have to adjust on the fly. But as their trust in my ways grew, more and more kids wanted to embrace this paradigm. Some even commenting, “Mr. Stanley we want to learn.” "Mr. Stanley, we believe you.” “Mr. Stanley, this is good.”
There was a saying I thought up for the kids and related it to the children at the beginning of my first class. After a while kids requested it from me at the beginning of class. Children have an innate desire to learn and grow. I just add the fuel. Here is the saying.
“I’m a huge believer in choice. I can’t force you to study nor do I want to. But I can and will create an atmosphere in this classroom for those children who want to study and learn, can do so in peace and quiet. The deck is stacked, the game is rigged. I’m going to win. I’ve seen me do it. It’s not my job to decide when, how, or even if the educational light goes on for you, my goal is to just keep flipping the switch.”
I also taught them a handshake. It is the same handshake I taught my players and other students. It’s called “The peace of mind is victory” handshake. You take the first two fingers in your right hand and make the “V” for victory sign palm up. The other person does the same thing palm down. You then slide your fingers over their fingers in a quick snap motion. Kids like it.