It’s only natural for a typical seven-hour school day to be filled with peaks and valleys of student enthusiasm and productivity. Whether it’s the early morning first period when some students are still half asleep, or the predictable post-recess crash, there will always be times when it’s wise for teachers to have a few creativity-sparking tricks up their sleeves to get the classroom back on track.

This is where “brainteasers” come in handy. Have a book of them ready to break open in case of emergency! Here’s a great example of the kinds of teasers that work:

Mrs. Green, Mrs. White and Mrs. Black met at the Tea Room. One lady was wearing a black dress; one wore a white dress; one wore a green dress. “Isn’t it odd,” suggested the woman in black, “that our dresses have the colors of all three of our names, but not one of us is wearing the color that matches her name?” Mrs. White looked at the other two and said, “You’re right!” What color dress is each lady wearing?

(Answer: Mrs. White is responding to the woman in black, which has to be Mrs. Green. So we know Mrs. White is wearing green, and Mrs. Black is wearing white.)

Another option that will serve as a breath of fresh air during the day is the sharing of cartoon clippings from recent newspapers and magazines. This “show and tell” of comics will probably catch the unsuspecting students by surprise — and just might prompt a new discussion topic or journal entry. Who knows — the exercise might go over so well that students start showing up for class with their own clippings!