I went to my youngest sister's high school band/orchestra concert last night. As I watched my high school band director conduct, I thought of when he would do silent rehearsals with us. He would not say a word for the entire 85-minute class period. He would get his point across with only his gestures and facial expressions. The only sounds that were heard in the band room were the sounds we made with our instruments. I loved those rehearsals.
I decided to try the whole "silent" thing with my last hour class today as I listened to them correct (yes, listened) their homework. I collected the homework and then started to say as little as possible throughout the rest of class. The kids caught on pretty quickly. It turned into a really fun lesson. Well, at least for me.
The kids who wanted to learn paid attention. The kids who didn't care were talking a little, but were usually shushed by their classmates who were trying to pay attention to my charades at the front of the room. I felt like I got my point across better than for any of the other classes with respect to teaching the kids how to reflect images across a line. :)
I was even able to stay mostly silent when explaining the reflection project the kids worked on today.
And you know what? I felt so much more relaxed throughout the entire class period. I wonder if I could pull off a "silent" lesson again....