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Silent Ball

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My collegues have been ingenious in a fun way to get kids settled down, take a break, and get revitalized for more: many classrooms, mine included, play Silent Ball. The kids all sit on their desks, and a judge or two are chosen to mediate the game. The judges tell the kids they're out if 1) they talk; 2) they've thrown a hard-to catch ball; 3) they didn't catch the ball; or 4) they threw the ball to hard/fast. Some teachers take a twist on it by allowing the "eagle eye," in which the student looks at one person but throws to another. Otherwise, this is also terms for ejection from the game. It teaches kids patience, trust in the peer-judges, and responsibility in being the judge, the only person in the room, besides the teacher, with the final say.

Jennifer Wattnem-Díaz
Central Elementary School, Shakopee, MN
jennifer_wattnem@shakopee.k12.mn.us

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