Goal 7: Play and Have Fun! #30Goals

Goal 7 of The 30 Goals Challenge 2011


Short-term– Observe a child not in school play for at least 5 minutes. Notice how the child learns before the influence of school. Find a way to incorporate play, fun, and movement into a lesson this week. Ditch the worksheet! Also, reflect on how to integrate play that supports learning.

Long-term– Think about limiting the amount of textbook work and worksheets used in class. Using less paper is environmentally friendly as well as offers the opportunities for students to move around and have fun with the learning. Try integrating fun and play into one lesson a week regularly.


“We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.”

by Phyllis Diller


  • Take a lesson outside!
  • Have students play a game!
  • Sit on pillows on the floor for your next discussion!
  • Try integrating a mobile device.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt or field study.

The Fun Theory Video


Observe how a child learns before the child starts school. Ditch at least one worksheet assignment this week and find a way to incorporate play and make the lesson fun!

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30Goals, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the 43 Things web/mobile app, or adding a comment below! Feel free to subscribe to The 30 Goals podcast!

Keep an eye out for the book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, that will be published by Eye on Education in the Fall of 2011!

Background music is Surprise Me by Alex featuring Mykle Anthony from CC Mixter

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


  1. Hello Shelly!

    Thanks for inspiring us, teachers, and for making us reflect on our teaching practice!
    I’ve started using technology in my classes and I plan to add more variety to my classes.
    Hugs from Argentina!

  2. Hi Shell!

    I absolutely loved this post – I love your ideas and especially the distinction between short-term and long-term goals. The fact that you emphasize play is so important and all teachers should take this into consideration.

    Thank you for everything you do in education!


  3. Shelly, for the past few weeks I’ve been playing around with a piece I wanted to share at the #sirken blogathon. It’s tentatively titled “Returning FUN & PLAY to the School Day.” It fits right in with Goals 7 of your #30Goals.

    The inspiration for this unfinished piece comes from two sources. Firstly, from a 10th grade English student of mine (English is his 3rd language.) He’s currently passionately involved in the First Robotics international program ( http://bit.ly/g10v78 ) which he finds amazing FUN!

    Secondly I’ve been inspired by a new Twitter friend, Bernie DeKoven. I met Bernie when he visited Jerusalem this past December/January. Bernie, a former teacher and developer of some early digital games, is now a Fun Coach. Bernie blogs almost daily and I love his recent piece, School o’Fun! http://www.deepfun.com/fun/2011/01/the-bernie-dekoven-school-ofun/ Hope everyone who reads this will have a shift in mindset about the value and joy of FUN in schools/in life.

    Friends, why not enjoy following the Fun Coach @BernieDeKoven?!

    In friendship,

  4. My favorite challenge yet! This is one of my favorite things to do, we can learn so much watching children explore and discover through play. We need to tap into that natural desire more often!

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