Just like any other concerned teacher (but also because something happened to me that made me want to break the routine), I am always looking for new ways of engaging my students and get their attention out of their damn cell phones. I have been using the usual pair/ group work recipe with variations and add-ons, but even though the students are different, the teacher is still the same! So I thought, "Why not?" I was thinking, I don´t really know why..., about Pavlov and conditioning. So I said it out loud, just to make real (it is a kind of spell...try it, it makes things have a sound and look real). Of course, the lady walking past me thought I was crazy, but what the heck, "Why not?"
I went to the Plaza Vea at the corner and got a bag of lemon candy, 60 pieces, and headed to my classroom.
I gave out a piece of candy to students who got answers right, and it was like opening a jar of butterflies. Hands began to flash up even before I asked for answers, I saw smiles on their faces, and, what´s more satisfactory, I am under the impression (I hope it´s not because the sugar in the candy has afected me too!) that their participation acquired a new quality, the correct answers were more often than the wrong ones. Funny. I said to them towards the end of the class period (4 hours in a row!) that they looked like children for struggling for candy...and they laughed in agreement. One even asked for "chicha" flavor instead of lemon.
When they left (without one word of protest for the homework I gave them) I counted the left over candy and came up with an astonishing number: 14, which means I gave out 46 pieces! Now I think I am going to be broke pretty soon.