Add Some Fun!

 

This week our topic for #saskedchat is Add Some Fun!

Fun

Joy

Happiness

These aren’t the same but they are often used in various ways to qualify what many people are looking for:  the pursuit of or search for Fun, Joy, Happiness. In fact, many people spend their lives studying things like Joy and Happiness. Johnathan Fields’ book How to Live a Good Life explores how people have made decisions that help them to lead a good life. The intention of the book, as Fields’ describes it, is that

Maybe some small piece will awaken a part of your story in a manner that helps you breathe a little easier, love a little more openly, or live a little more fully.

It’s not about lightning bolts and revelations, although that might happen, but about small changes that help us to be aware, change habits, and listen and feel deeply. Field’s Good Life Project grew out of his desire to share what he had learned from others. The Good Life Creed captures the foundation of The Good Life. This is just one example of many of the growing recognition of the need to pay attention to the Good Life Buckets (you’ll need to read the book now!).

 

Fun in School – Why not?

I am often struck by comments from people who talk about children in school having “too much fun” or “It’s about learning, not fun”. I’ve heard too many parents or people I know comment about children not learning the value of hard work or not understanding how hard they need to work. Why are we so against fun, joy, and happiness in school? Don’t we want children to be excited about the fun and learning they will be doing? Why  shouldn’t school/learning be fun? Why does learning and fun/happiness/joy need to be separated? What makes the stress students endure for exams and tests “okay” but not having fun?
What can we learn about fun/happiness/joy from other normally ‘non-fun’ activities?

The Fun Colour Run

Who would think that going out for a 5K – 10K could be turned into an annual fun event which brings thousands of participants together to run and get covered in colour?
Running, from many people’s perspective, isn’t exactly a fun thing that you get up early to do. Yet the Color Me Rad has become an international event that takes place in 12 countries. Across Canada the run takes place in numerous cities where people come out and run and get covered in colour. A few years ago, I ran in it with one of my daughters (I have 4 of them). Now, I don’t usually run in many events but my daughter persuaded me that this would be a great idea. And it was so much fun! We ran, were covered in colours, and had a blast. Running! And there were hundreds of others who were doing the same. Running and having Fun!

The fun wasn’t from the running, which still made me tired at the end. The fun was being with others who were also having fun running and the colours added a twist that was, well, fun. Running through the different color areas made us slow down. We talked. We laughed. There were kids having fun (and not having so much fun). All around us were people out for the event and having fun.

If the act of running a 5K/10K can be turned into fun, why can’t learning in schools? Just like running is hard, learning can be hard too. But, with a bit of a twist and some coloured dyes, running became a fun event. I know that all days of running aren’t like this. Training to run requires building habits for running and not all running events are like this. But, it’s the idea behind this – taking something that isn’t necessarily fun and making it fun enough that even non-runners want to be there and take part.

Seeing a way to bring fun and enjoyment to something that isn’t usually associated with fun.
Your classroom doesn’t need to be a Fun-Factory each day. In fact I would suggest it would soon become less-than-fun. But there are all sorts of ways to bring a fun into the classroom each day. But it’s not just the classroom. It’s staff meetings, school gatherings, parent nights, open house night, Celebrations of Learning, sports events – seeing each of these as opportunities to bring fun, joy, happiness to others.

There is a vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  (Martha Graham  as quoted by Johnathan Fields).

How do we help our students keep their channel open?

How do you bring fun to your classroom/staff/school?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions about this topic.

If you enjoyed this article, Get email updates (It’s Free)

kellychris

I am a husband, father, son.... I am currently working on my PhD in Education - Curriculum and Instruction. My focus is teacher professional development and social media integration. I have a beautiful, supportive wife who has been my partner for 28 years. We have 8 wonderful children who are amazing individuals. Together, we are exploring the world around us, sharing our stories, and enjoying the journey!