In one of my rowdier classes, we were getting nowhere in the lesson due to the constant level of chatter in the room. While reviewing my rules and expectations, I noticed that none of what I was saying really seemed to be sinking in. It seemed like the kids knew perfectly well what the rules were, but ignored them anyway. It was like they simply didn’t understand the purpose of having rules in the classroom. In particular, the class struggled with rule number 2, which concerns raising ones hand to ask permission to speak or move about the classroom. I decided to get creative. I proposed to the class that we see for 15 seconds what the classroom would be like without rule number 2, when I said “go”.
Complete bedlam broke out. People screamed. Desks were kicked over. Chairs went flying. Kids jumped off tables.
I thought things would get rowdy, but I seriously believed the kids couldn’t possibly do any real damage in 15 seconds. Considering nothing got broken and no one got hurt, it was absolutely hysterical. But clearly it can never happen again.