7 Sparks to Create Classroom Buzz Moments

Early on in my career, I recall experiencing a unanimous moment of joy across my classroom. It all happened quite unexpectedly, but when it did, I knew that I was getting something right.

I am sure educators reading this will have also witnessed these unanimous moments of joy, which I like to call buzz moments, across their classrooms too. The first ever buzz moment I witnessed across the room was when I’d told my class that we were going to be using dressing-up costumes for our drama activity that day. I had no idea that this would be such an exciting concept for the pupils. Across the room, the buzz could be seen and heard with pupils displaying one or more of the following actions: 

  • Fist pump
  • Whisper YES (with a long extended sss at the end!)
  • Dart eyes across to their best friend
  • Grin like a cheshire cat
  • Almost spring from their chair with excitement

Granted, it was a year two class- I wouldn’t expect my year five’s to react in quite the same way to dressing up, but for every class, there will be magic words which create a buzz across the room. 

This buzz of excitement will lead to motivated, ready learners who are keen to get going on a task or project, leading to higher involvement and opening pupils up to better outcomes. 

Sounds great, but can we create fist pumps and extended yes’s for every lesson? Realistically no. Could we, however, plan in some activities that lead to buzz moments, which keep our pupils inspired and excited? Absolutely yes. 

Here are some activities which I have seen spark buzz moments across the primary classroom:

1) Using instruments, song, rap or poetry to present knowledge or facts. Witness 32 pairs of bulging eyes when you bring out the box of triangles, drums and shakers.

2) Going outdoors. Any weather, any lesson, this ignites grins, gasps and glares across the room, especially if thrown at pupils with a random, ‘Right guys, coats on, let’s go.’ 

3) Painting (or any art) used outside of an art lesson. Using art to develop learning in another area of the curriculum allows for showing deep understanding, creativity and expression, which most pupils just love to do. 

4) Designing and filming a television advert. A great activity for any topic, which allows pupils to consider audiences and key features of concept or product (and put on silly voices and create fake TV names). 

5) Interviewing someone real. A staff member, a peer, a member of the local community, a video conference with someone special - whoever it is - pupils feel a real buzz when they know they will have to extend their learning beyond the text book and into the realms of reality by interacting with real humans.

6) Money or food. Enough said. 

7) Choice. From EYFS to year six, providing choice to pupils is inevitably going to make them more interested in the task at hand. Where possible, offering choice leads to that buzz, because pupils want the opportunity to show independence and to be in control of their learning. It is theirs, after all. 

You may have used one, some or all of these. The trouble is, education has many demands. Unfortunately, creating a buzz isn’t on the interim framework, but without buzz moments, pupils’ interests will dwindle and outcomes can suffer. Planning with the pupils’ gasps and fist pumps at heart is worth it, because it’s those long YESSS moments that give us teachers our buzz moments too. 

There are more sparks that create buzz moments out there! Share yours now and spread the buzz. 

Check out these 8 ways to reduce your carbon footprint. 

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