Posted in Miscellaneous

Let’s Play Possum


The ring leader. Every class has one. A student who seems to come to school just to spite you. With a turn of their head, they can derail any lesson or plan no matter how organized. So how do you deal with such trouble makers? In my own classroom, I have tried a few techniques that have worked beautifully to stop the ring leader and bring the entire class back to focus. One of these strategies is to play opossum. This game consists of a few easy parts. The object being that the student who can be the most silent and still for the longest wins.

  1. I count to ten, giving the students ample time to position themselves on the floor.
  2. Once the students are laying on the floor (giving the teacher some much needed silent time), the teacher walks around looking for movement or speaking, especially giggling.
  3. One by one each student is taken out, because of a twitch here or a snicker there.
  4. They then line up silently by the wall until a winner is chosen.

This game is wonderful. I use it during those times when I have had enough or the ring leader has fought and won. This makes being quiet a game and one where my ears can take a quick break. By the time the students finish playing possum they are ready and willing to sit quietly in their seats. It makes being quiet and still a game. In my own classroom the students beg to play opossum. Let me know what techniques you have used in your classroom!


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