Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adventures in Wall Ball

Setting: On the playground at school during "Break" (a short 10 minutes recess)
Opening Scene: Kids come bounding out of the gym doors at full speed (and full volume), race to the back side of the gym, congregate in a large group, and excitedly begin playing a curious-looking game. 
The teacher is quite confused by this and has no clue what is going on as nearly her whole class is in this group, shouting "Wall ball!" and randomly catching, throwing, and running to the wall. 

Teacher: Hey guys, what's that game you're playing?

Kids: (Sort of talking over one another) Wall Ball! You run and touch the wall! You have to throw it! Don't let it hit you! 

Teacher: (With a puzzled look): You mean, you just throw it, then get out of the way?

Apparently, jumping into this game is the best way to learn it, so that is exactly what I did. Shouts of excitement and shock began to fill the playground:

Kids: Mrs. Kilgo's playing! (more kids come to join in). Let Mrs. Kilgo throw it! No, give her another chance!

Conclusion: Teacher fails miserably, but has a great time playing and laughing with her class. 

Eventually, I did finally figure out the rules of the game, and even had to run and tag the wall once or twice, but the real learning? How about:

  • working as a team
  • cooperation
  • listening
  • take time to learn about something important to my kids
  • show them I care by spending time with them
My kids were super excited all because I played a 10 minute game of wall ball with them. I didn't have much of a clue what I was doing, but it was the willingness to learn from them and take time with them that spoke volumes to my kiddos. It really amazed me how much that small investment mattered to them. 


  1. I love that you did that! I imagine you seem more human to your students. I'll bet they have a whole new respect for you, will relate to you in a different way, and their desire to learn will improve.

  2. Thanks, Junassicpark! It was a lot of fun getting to see them in that different light, and I imagine they feel the same way.



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