Sometimes it can be difficult to get students to pay attention to what is really happening. We have all be guilty of making false assumptions and not paying attention to details. To shock the students (and ourselves) out of our routines, the cohort discussed doing the following exercises to get students to see how automated their responses can be:
- Hold up a white piece of paper and ask students “what color is this?” Ask again over and over until their responses become automatic: White. White. White. Then ask “What do cows drink?” Many students will say “Milk.” Point out that cows drink water.
- Ask students to play “Follow the Leader” with you. For example, have them tell them to snap with you, clap with you, slap their legs with you. Once they are following along quickly, say “touch your nose” but touch your cheek. Many students will also touch their checks. Point out how they were watching but not listening.
These exercises are cumulative. They get people to connect with one another. That connection becomes something to fall back on when difficult things happen.