Today is April Fools’ Day. Part of me really wants to like this day, really! But, of course, a significant part of this day terrifies me. When you are a teacher on April Fools’ Day, you never know when, where, and how you will be the center of a student prank. This year, I’ve done my research and figured there is a simple way that I can deal with my fear of this holiday – strike first! Here are some ideas for setting up awesome April Fools’ Day pranks in your classroom where the students (not you) will be at the center of the joke.
1. “The Early Release” – At some point during the day, casually tell students that there is a problem with the water pressure systems in the school that causes the toilets to not be able to flush. Due to this, students will all be sent home early today. To make it super-realistic, you can even schedule a coworker to call your room and pretend to tell you this over the phone.
2. “The Everything is Wrong” – Throughout the day, give wrong answers to questions and problems. Similarly, incorrectly correct students on how words are pronounced just to confuse them and see who catches on.
3. “The Pop Quiz” – Tell students that they will be getting a pop quiz on a certain topic today. This is a classic April Fools’ Joke. If you think it might be predictable, you can just say that it is a quiz and that you mentioned it a week ago, giving plenty of prior notice. Feel free to pass out a fake or made-up quiz with silly questions, too.
4. “The Saturday Extra Help Session” – Tell students that due to the recent poor test scores, several students will be required to attend a Saturday extra help session over the next several weeks. Walk around the room handing out notices to particular students, asking them to make sure their parents sign the sheet.
5. “The Clock Change” – While students are in another class or at lunch, change the clock an hour or so. This one will really confuse several students (provided they do not use phones, ipads, or other technology!).
6. “The Broken Copy Machine” – Let students know that due to the copy machine being broken for an extended time, there will be no homework for the remainder of the week. Don’t let this one go too long before letting them know!
Whatever joke you come across, have a happy April Fools’ Day!