Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3 Interesting Topics for the Classroom!!!

Foreign Language of Laughter

Scientist all over are beginning to see the evolutionary importance of laughter. Would you guess that it is a language?! Being a social animal laughter is the cue that the company is safe and fun.

I did not like Spanish in high school and after getting immersed in the Costa Rican culture for 14 years I have to say I absolutely love Spanish! The Costa Ricans are considered some of the happiest people on the planet and learning Spanish with them is often pretty easy because they have a great sense of humor and laughter is very prevalent.

I started to think after reading an article in Psychology Today that maybe just a few minutes a day of laughing in class would ease students' nerves to use their new foreign language. This is to also say that if you laugh you can now say your bi-lingual! Ok, that might be stretching it, but it is still an interesting topic.  Read below the comments from the article in Psychology Today:

"Given the universality of the sound, our ignorance about the purpose and meaning of laughter is remarkable. We somehow laugh at just the right times, without consciously knowing why we do it. Most people think of laughter as a simple response to comedy, or a cathartic mood-lifter. Instead, after 10 years of research on this little-studied topic, I concluded that laughter is primarily a social vocalization that binds people together. It is a hidden language that we all speak. It is not a learned group reaction but an instinctive behavior programmed by our genes. Laughter bonds us through humor and play."


My mom always says we have to save this planet because it is the only one we know of that has Chocolate. We have started a fund-raiser with a women's group here in Costa Rica. They make the organic chocolate from the cacao tree and our student guests sell the bars. They could not compete with the larger companies of Nestle which are now here in Costa Rica.

A neat lesson might be using Chocolate and this example of this womens group to teach your kids about locally grown food. It is a bit more attractive to talk about than organically grown vegetables for most kids.

Nature Awareness through Mindfulness

With the age of technology we live in and the idea that we are always doing something it is actually very beneficial to your health to stop and do nothing for a bit. There are many great activities to do in the classroom to get kids to slow down (while you have a chance to slow down too as a teacher).

You can find many activities on the web or a great book is Child's Mind: Mindful Practices to help our children become more Focused, Calm, & Relaxed.

Give it a try you will be glad you did and so will your kids. This ultimately is something that can be applied to the classroom and in nature. ENJOY!