“Making sure that (Props) happens, inspires, and is reliably on-message is one of the most productive things you can do in your classroom..”
KEY IDEA: Public praise for students who demonstrate excellence or exemplify virtues.
- Quick. You should be able to cue a prop in one second.
- Visceral. Props are usually better when they rely on movement and sound, especially percussive sound.
- Universal. When you give Props, everybody joins in.
- Enthusiastic. The tone is fun and lively.
- Evolving. Let your students suggest and develop ideas for Props
- “The Hitter”. Teacher: “Let’s give Clarice a Hitter.” Your students pretend to toss a ball and swing a bat at it. They shield their eyes as if to glimpse its distant flight. They shield their eyes as if to glimpse its distant flight. Then they mimic crowd noise suitable for a home run for some fraction of a full second.
- “The Lawnmower”. Teacher: “Let’s five Jason a Lawnmower.” Students reach down to pull the chord to start the mower and yank upward twice. They make engine sounds, grip the imaginary handles, and smile for some fraction of a full second before the Prop ends.
- “The Roller-Coaster”. Teacher: “Oh, man, that answer deserves a Roller-coaster.” Your students put their open hands in front of them pointing upward at forty-five degrees, palms down. They “chug, chug, chug” (three times only) with their hands mimicking a roller coaster slugging its way up the last steep hill. Then they shout Woo, woo, woo” three times as their hands mimic a coaster speeding over three steep hills after the big drop.
- “Two hands”. Teacher: “Jimmie, lead us in a No Hands.” Jimmie calls out, “Two hands!” Your students snap twice with both hands while chanting, “Ay, ay!” Jimmie calls out, “One hand!” Your kids snap twice with one hand while chanting “Ay, ay!” Jimmie calls out, “No hands!” Your kids do a funky impromptu dance for exactly one second.
- “Hot Pepper”. Teacher: “An answer like that deserves a Hot Pepper.” Your kids hold up an imaginary hot pepper, dangling it above their mouths. They take a bite and make sizzle sounds “tssssss” for exactly one second.
- “Two Snaps, Two Stomps.” Teacher: “Two snaps, two stomps for Jimmie P.!” or a variation on the sounds. Your kids deliver two snaps and two thundering stomps that end perfectly on cue
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)