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Emeritus Faculty in the School of Engineering / University of Connecticut

Messy Is Good!!!

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I don't know about the phrase: A messy desk is the sign of a genius. Would be good for me if it had validity! BUT I do believe "messy" is a good characterization for both effective problem solving and effective learning.

TickleMe Plants- Another Fun Hands on Activity

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I agree having fun isn't usually antispeptic. Back to school we start the year with having every child plant a TickleMe Plant. Like eating a mango, kids love watching the soil pellets expand and getting messy planting the seeds. And you should see the joy and smiles when the kids first see their plants move like an animal. TickleMe Plants are the only classroom plant that will close its leaves and lower its branches when tickled. My kids run to homeroom to tickle their plants. You can see a live video of the plant and pick up classroom kits to grow them at http://www.ticklemeplant.com or search online.

Mango mania

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I have always believed that learning should be fun! As a Spanish teacher, we do many hands on activities and play games in class. Other teachers do not understand that even though the students are laughing and enjoying the class, they are also learning the information. Some of the teachers at my school really need to try eating mangoes from time to time. Thanks for the affirmation that it is ok to have fun at school!

Having fun is learning too!

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You're comparison between learning and mangoes is great! Funny thing is that I enjoy messy foods and the messier, the better! Similar to students' learning when there is excitement and fun involved the students are fully engaged. Students are having fun and not knowing they are learning. This reminds me of the saying on a poster I read,"please excuse the mess, my children are busy learning". Stephanie from GA I do believe your students are learning and a mess is a great sign!

2nd grade teacher from GA

Getting messy

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I love your comparison of learning and mangoes! How original! I believe students have the most authentic learning when they can get their hands "messy" in their learning and are having fun. They need to be completely involved in lessons, not just handed the final product. I heard somewhere that the students should be doing more work during the school day than the teacher. They are the ones learning, so they should be the ones doing the most work and making the mess! My classroom is often a mess at the end of the day...Is that a good sign?

K/1 teacher from WA

Messy but good!

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Thank you Ben for your insightful view on classroom engagement. I love mangoes and I love teaching- so this was so wonderful for me to hear. I tend to avoid chaos and messiness in the classroom, so your words helped to remind me that student learning can be much sweeter when we don't fear getting our hands dirty. Especially in a primary classroom, I need to remember to allow my students the opportunity to get messy and have fun learning. I think I'll go eat some mangoes and reflect on how I can apply this to my classroom!

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Fun in the Classroom

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Just for the fun of it...the best way for deep learning and the best method of review!

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Fun in the Classroom

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Just for the fun of it...the best way for deep learning and the best method of review!

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