When I pass out papers to my class, I chuck them in the air and let them rain down all over the room.
Yes, I really do this. And I did it with my 3rd graders, my 4th graders, my middle schoolers, and even with teachers during workshops.
5 Reasons to chuck handouts
- It’s fun The kids, and even the adults, get energized when they see me throw handouts into the air and have them explode all around them. It’s a party. It lightens the mood. It shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. It makes you more approachable.
- It saves time If I can save the 2 minutes of slowly passing papers down aisles, or having student representatives help pass out papers, then I potentially could be adding hundreds of minutes of instructional time to my school year. That’s a lot more time for more important matters, even if it’s playing with the kids or resting.
- It encourages teamwork I train my students to quickly take a paper, but they also learn to pick up extra papers in their proximity and look for students who have a raised hand indicating they didn’t get a paper.
- It’s energizing All students get up and move. They get a burst of exercise that can help them be more alert to learn.
- It requires maturity I make it perfectly clear to my students that if they get super wild or can’t settle down after I throw the papers, then I can’t do it the next time. And they WANT me to throw those papers, so they learn to handle the crazy with maturity.
So do I chuck papers when I’m passing out papers with student names on them? Yes. The trick on this one is to have each student grab ONE paper only and hand it to the owner. They don’t look for their own paper. They don’t grab two or three papers. They just grab one and quickly get it to the owner. If a student hands one paper out and has extra time, then they grab a second to give out. This saves a LOT of time. I can pass out 30 named papers to students in about 30 seconds rather than take three minutes handing them to the owners one at a time.
Try it with your class. Shoot a video and Tweet it to me, won’t you? I will share out your video.
Here’s this week’s episode of The 5-Minute MishMash where I share about raining handouts…and more!