Or normal teachers, or RE teachers...
I want to tell you about a game that can bring joy to the most trying class. It takes no equipment. It takes no preparation. It works 100% of the time. It is a gift to us all.
The game? Silly Sausage.
It has no educational value (you can tell the kids this - it will make them want to play even more!)
You get 2 kids and stand them facing each other about 5m apart. One says 'silly' and the other responds with 'sausage'. If one of them laughs or smiles, then they are out and replaced with another kid. If neither laughs, they both take a step forward (towards each other) and say it again and again. The rest of the class watch on silently and point if either kid smiles. Most kids last for about 2 seconds, but if they keep a straight face, they keep on taking steps forward until they are about 20cm apart. The kids keep count of how many other kids they 'defeat'. The child with the most victories after everyone has had a turn plays against the kid who is left in at the end, and a winner is announced.
See? Absolutely no educational value.
But it's gold. Here's how it works:
1. You walk in to a class of random kids who are planning on misbehaving for you and tell them that after they've done their maths (or whatever) you'll all play a game. Stress that you don't cope with noise at all and they'll have to work in absolute silence. Be a cow and follow through on this. Warn kids once, then move them. Take on the kid who takes you on. Win. Make the kids work silently. "I'm sorry. I don't handle noise. You have to be quiet."
2. Introduce the game. Tell them again that it has no educational value. Explain how to play. Demonstrate (it's fine/good if you lose and laugh. The kids will like that.)
3. Play the game. Notice how:
- the kids who gave you the most trouble during the maths are the best at the game? (Silly Sausage favours ASD.) Build them up with this. Tell them that if they work well in English they can have a rematch.
- It is a good team building game. People look closely at each other's faces and notice the smallest changes in expression. People feel accepted.
- Everyone laughs. When one person laughs, everyone else joins in. There's lots of happy hormones flying around the room. It's a great release.
- Suddenly all the kids like you. All your cow like insisting-on-quiet behaviour is forgotten. You are the teacher who gave everyone good feelings.
-The kids are happy to work silently on their English for the next hour.
Silly Sausage. Golden game. Everyone wins.