Well, it’s back to school time! I’m not even going to attempt to describe what we are up against this year, but regardless of the situation, we need to put on our big girl panties (or boxers) and make it work.
I must admit I was feeling pretty defeated the first two days, but after lots of discussion, awesome support from my school administration, hard work and collaboration with colleagues, I left not only feeling ready to welcome my new students on Tuesday, but actually with a sense that some of the necessary protocols might in fact influence some of my future practises. Sometimes you have to dig deep, but in hard situations, when change is forced upon is, it might just be an opportunity to rise up and emerge stronger and better!
When we first were faced with school shutdowns in the spring, I decided to convert my Youtube channel BOWhemian WRAPsody to a kid based video series to support my own students as well as others throughout the world that might benefit and enjoy the daily Mystery Box challenges. I came up with a system for writing, shooting, editing and publishing that worked well and decided to continue to produce videos through the summer. I have now posted 138 Mystery Box Riddle videos (with another 9 scheduled to be released over the next two weeks). In addition to the Mystery Box Riddles, I had already published over 60 gift wrapping videos, so to date, my channel has 215 videos on it. It’s amazing how one’s direction can change so drastically in a moments notice. When I launched my channel at the end of June in 2019, my initial goal was to post 60 gift wrapping tutorials in the first year. I thought this seemed like a reasonable goal since I was still learning the ins and outs of using Youtube, blogging and working full time teaching Kindergarten. I honestly can’t believe that now, just over a year later, I have made more than 215 videos, most of which are riddles geared to young children! What happened there?!
Although I don’t really know the future of the channel and whether gift wrapping tutorials will emerge again or not, for now I have decided to continue with the riddles. The students seem to love them and in many cases, solving Mystery Boxes became a daily family routine. With so much still up in the air regarding school and Covid 19, I thought that I would continue for the time being.
Why Mystery Box Riddles?
This playlist was initially produced for students that were being impacted by the Covid19 outbreak and forced to learn from home. It was designed to engage early years students (5 to 9 year olds) in critical thinking, problem solving and vocabulary development….all while enhancing their listening skills. My goal was to use clues & riddles to engage students ~ hoping they would have fun trying to figure out what might be hidden in my mystery box. Our students loved them so much, that we have decided to make the riddles part of our daily routine, even though we’re back at school. The riddles can be used to promote great discussions, enhance English vocabulary, improve listening skills and develop critical thinking.
Subscribers can expect to receive a new riddle each school day through notifications! Aside from the fun in solving the riddles, the format is purposely patterned and predictable. This has sparked many students’ creativity and they in turn are writing their own riddles and some are even motivated to make their own videos. This can be done at school or as a home project because the channel is public and accessible by all!
What an awesome way to promote oral language skills!
I’m asking for your help: Please LIKE, SHARE & SUBSCRIBE.
I really believe that the riddles are a great tool for both teachers and parents. Many teachers are struggling to find new ways to teach and engage students while adhering to new regulations and many parents have opted to home school during the pandemic. We all know teachers, child care workers and parents! Please help me out by sharing this post and the link to the Mystery Box Riddle Playlist. I will be releasing new videos Monday through Friday, but you can always use the playlist to start at the beginning. The order you watch is irrelevant, but as a teacher of little ones, it makes sense to start at #1.
Again, my channel is a public channel, so it is fine to LIKE and SHARE the videos. If you wish to get regular notifications of new Mystery Box videos, I suggest SUBSCRIBING to my channel. In the mean time, please feel free to share with other teachers, child care workers and parents. Thanks for your support and have fun solving the riddles!