Have you played Silent Ball? If so, you know why it’s a great tool in your classroom-management toolbox. If not here’s a new product just for you!
The Silent Ball instructions are simple. Use a squishy or soft ball and ask the students to pass it to each other. Students can stand in a circle, sit on the carpet, or even sit at the top of their desk. They only need to remember two things: 1) they cannot throw the ball and 2) they must remain silent.
If a student throws the ball, they are out of the game. Your class keeps ringing until a student stands (or sits).
Although the rules are simple, Silent Ball can promote some powerful lessons in your classroom. Here are five reasons why each class should play Silent Ball.
1. It teaches students how to remain silent.
The purpose of Silent Ball is to keep quiet, so this is the perfect game to play when you need to spend some quiet time in class. Students love this game so much that they are willing to stop talking so they can play. This is a good time to calm your students down before they are fired. Encourage students to say that they can play a round of silent ball before going home, only if they can clean and pack up within a certain period of time. You will be pleasantly surprised when you see how quickly your students move.
2. It supports fine motor skills.
You need to be quick and ready to catch when you see the ball fly in your way, especially when there is no verbal warning. Students need to use their hand-eye coordination, as well as their skills, to catch the ball without dropping it. Using a small ball can help students with their grip and reaction when catching the ball.
3. It creates a positive community.
While you are playing Silent Ball, some variations of the rules may involve students who have to give the ball to students outside of their table arrangements or to students whom they cannot normally hang out with during leisure time. Creating such rules can encourage students to communicate with others and build a positive relationship with new classmates.
4. It encourages friendly competition.
You can take this game to the next level by competing with students. Divide the class into two groups and see which team can run the longest without dropping the ball (and silently). Make sure students are on the team that helps them build new and positive relationships.
5. It enhances nonverbal communication.
The best part of this game is that the kids communicate with each other without using their voice. Nodding, exaggerated eye contact, and fine hand gestures show how committed the students are to winning. This proves that students can only communicate using their voices.
Silent Ball is one of those games that can be played anytime, anywhere. Play it during indoor vacations, just before dismissal or if you have a quick three minutes before converting to the next lesson. This is a simple brain break and can help give your students an emotional reset to stay focused during their next job.