Wednesday, March 9, 2011

RIP: Bad Mondays

I have found week after week, month after month that my students REALLY hate Mondays.  Beyond being tired or lethargic or slow, Monday's classroom behavior is usually the all time low for the week. 
I think the general funk is due to the difficult transition from home to school, to the changes in expectation placed on them and their general feeling of lack of control over their environment.  In fact, I try not to introduce anything new (or talk very much) on Mondays.  I have ranted and raved in the past on the subject, to no avail.  My students' external locus of control (is my ed psych professor smiling?) simply does not usually allow them to take power over such circumstance such as the day of the week.
So, after an especially frustrating class this Monday, I decided to try something NEW.  Part of the idea came from somewhere on the Incredible Art Dept (if you know where exactly, please share!) for students who have a habit of saying, "I Can't".
First, students wrote or drew three reasons why Mondays are terrible.  The paper was then folded in half, and they wrote "BAD MONDAYS" on it.  Next we read with partners two pages of suggestions I printed off the internet to make Monday a better day (go to bed early, stop for a better breakfast, pick out a cuter outfit, etc.).  We shared the suggestions and students even had some of their own!  Then we tore the bad monday papers up, put them into a quick coffin I made:) and laid bad mondays to rest...complete with me humming Taps.
I will not pretend that this has transformed classroom behavior in a day, but perhaps some students will think it over and allow it to change their current pattern of thinking... Well I can hope can't I?

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