Professional Learning in a Ball Pit
Inspired by the video created by Soul Pancake, I wanted to translate the effects of the experience in the ball pit to the staff in my building. In the video, two strangers sit and discuss question prompts written on various balls. Through the experience they come to common group, develop relationships, and communicate on a deeper level. Plus, sitting in a ball pit is fun, unique and out of the norm for most adults!
So, with a baby pool and plastic balls already in our storage room from our school carnival, I set to replicate the experience as an ice breaker to our staff meeting. The ball pit wasn’t as big as the one from my inspiration and the staff weren’t strangers to each other, but we did learn a lot about each other!
As teachers or staff members sat in the ball pit, they pulled questions and prompted answers from their partners. Questions included light-hearted questions to get-to-know each other and education related topics focused on sharing strategies and best practices. Some questions included:
- What’s your proudest moment as a teacher?
- Why did you become a teacher?
- How do you de-stress after a challenging day?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What content area, skill, or concept do you enjoy teaching the most?
- What is your favorite technology tool to use in the classroom?
- How do you connect your students to others outside the walls of your classroom?
- If money were no object, what would you want to add to your classroom to improve student learning and engagement?
- What’s your favorite read aloud?
- What website do you visit most frequently?
- Use only one word to describe your classroom.
- What is one thing you would wan the public to know about teaching?
Some questions were also just plain silly to bring some laughter and levity to our experience:
- Would you rather be hairy or bald?
- What would you name your yacht if you had one?
- What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
- What would the title of the book based on your life be?
- If your personality was an animal, what would it be?
The ball pit ice breaker was a perfect introduction to our staff meeting. With a little humor and fun, we learned about the teaching practices and lives of our staff.