So there I am in the classroom and no starter activity, if you are not familiar with this process, it can mean that you are a tidgy bit screwed. You need to get students attention immediately, before the phones come out and you lose them all to Face Book, Snap Chat or You Tube, so you need a starter activity. I remembered that only the day before there had been a Dandelion seed storm. I hate them because it means more dandelions and since ‘Snoopy’ our Guinea Pig has gone to The Piggies Retirement Home there is no one to eat them any more. I said rather loudly, “Aha, Dandelions.” Twelve carpentry students all aged between sixteen and seventeen looked at me. ‘Yes,’ I thought, ‘I have your attention.’
“As you all know a starter doesn’t have to be Carpentry based so for the next five minutes I want you to tell me what Dandelions mean to you.” I said. Joe put his hand up and I motioned for him to speak.
“My Dad hates them, he’s always moaning about them, coz they ruin his lawn,” he said.
“Yeah, but they must have a purpose, everything has a purpose, doesn’t it?” Asked Billy. Now I was thinking that this was good, I would let the debate roll for another few minutes and lead them into Japanese Tangle Weed, which was part of our subject for the day. This could be a phone/disruption free lesson then a voice from the back of the class interrupted.
“In my country,” said Ebram a Kenyan boy who had been here about four years continued. “De Cheetah runs faster dan-de-lion.” This brought about howls of laughter, phones came out to check if that was actually the case and disruption ruled, thanks Ebram. He did state later that this was an old joke his father had told him. No real harm done but I always ensure that I have a starter activity prepared 😏