The M&M Game

How can you bring more fun to CPD?

Some CPD sessions are as dry as a bone.

Some are so PowerPoint-heavy they bring about a sort of CPD flu where you feel tired, get a headache and just want to curl up in bed and forget everything.

CPD certainly does vary in its quality but the most effective sessions mix things up a bit and go for a mash-up approach. In fact, the best CPD sessions are arranged as living lessons not one-way streets.

If you have ever led a CPD session though you will know that these events are far from easy.

Icebreakers can be excruciating if they aren’t pitched right and so knowing the audience is key. Sometimes though you just have to go for it and use it as a learning curve. We are constantly told that one size can’t fit all but I think it can be on occasions.

Here’s an activity called the M&M Game and its perfect for when you are delivering an inset. You may have used it in class as a ‘getting to know me’ activity and this is an adaptation of it.

What to do

Give each of the participants or a group of participants a bag of M&Ms.

Ask everyone to sort their bag by colour.

For the number of each colour they have to answer specific questions as follows (you can adapt these)

  • Green M&Ms – List strategies you can use to improve behaviour in your class
  • Yellow M&Ms – List strategies to encourage more dialogue
  • Red M&Ms – List strategies for improving your time management
  • Brown M&Ms – List people on Twitter that have the most influence on your educational thinking
  • Blue M&Ms – List ways that your school could improve its staffroom
  • Orange M&Ms – List strategies that can improve your wellbeing and work-life balance

For example, if one group have 5 red M&Ms then they collectively pool their ideas and list 5 ways they can ‘steal time’.

The M&M Game generates lots of discussion and requires some pretty nifty scheduling and structuring but when responses are shared together it can be very revealing, provoke new thinking and ultimately lead to change.

The M&M Game is a bit if fun with a serious side to it that is well worth a go in a staff meeting.

Its simple, creative and flexible. Give it a go and let me know.

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