Friday, November 13, 2015

RALPH THE RAG AND MY QUIET FRIENDS

You know, I really miss being in the classroom. O.K., I don’t miss everything, but I sure miss having fun with the kids. They were my best audience and I loved coming up with tricks to capture their interest. One of my favorites was Ralph the Rag. I took an old towel and knotted it at the top and used it like a puppet to focus the children’s attention. I would let Ralph sit on my hand and say:

This is my buddy Ralph the Rag. Let’s see if you can do everything that Ralph does. (I’d lean Ralph one way and wait for them to follow. Then I’d lean Ralph the other way. I’d shake his head, move him backwards, etc. Then I’d have Ralph stand up. The children would follow along as I made him turn around, jump, and so forth. I always ended by having Ralph sit quietly back in my hand.)
video

If the children didn’t follow along with Ralph or if they kept talking I’d pretend to cry and be Ralph. “The boys and girls aren’t listening to me so I’m just going to go away.” They’d say, “No, Ralph. We’ll be quiet and listen to you. Don’t go away.”

It was fun and it worked for a week or so.

Another trick I used was the Quiet Family. I placed some little toy figures in a lunchbox and said “I have some little friends that would like to visit our class. However, the friends have teeny tiny ears so you’ll have to use teeny tiny voices today.” The class would agree to this and I would open the lunch box and take out the friends. If someone got too loud I could count on another classmate to say, “Shhh! Remember our friends and their little ears!”

You’ve just got to create your own happiness and fun every day! I’d love to hear some of your stories.