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Topic: Tricks For A Substitute Teacher?
Message: Posted by: pharcyded (Feb 4, 2012 09:48PM)
I am looking for a few nice tricks to perform for classrooms as ice breakers, etc. I am obviously not putting on a full-blown show or anything, but magic is something that truly grabs their attention. I was thinking of maybe doing a trick in the morning and if they behave I can show them a few more throughout the day. Basically, I want to treat them with nice effects of magic as a reward for letting me do my job. I am not looking to do card tricks or use a TT (my hands are very small and quite white so the tips always look stupid/obvious). I have the TKO so I can do a pretty simple coin vanish, but my shirt is tucked in so retrieving it is pretty much impossible. I also have sponges and a lot of card tricks, but as I said cards are not what I want to do. I want things that are very visual and gimmicks are welcomed. They are just kids that are sitting at desks so I can get away with more than most.

I thought about getting this book: Teach By Magic and a few other tricks. What would you guys recommend? An ITR? Gecko? etc?
Message: Posted by: Pecan_Creek (Feb 4, 2012 10:17PM)

If they get out of line it has a dual use!!

But seriously, Professors nightmare is perfect for this situation. Try the WGM series Prof. NIghtmare disc and their Ring on Rope disc.
Message: Posted by: Evan Jay (Feb 4, 2012 10:31PM)
No TT? Do yourself a favor and reconsider that. A TT is amazing! Seriously, doesn't matter how dumb the tip looks on you, they won't see it if you're using it correctly! It also gets incredible reactions. :)
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Feb 4, 2012 10:40PM)
Steer clear of IT. Most schools are well lite with flourscent lights, that is too revealing for most IT.
Message: Posted by: pharcyded (Feb 4, 2012 10:46PM)
Pecan...haha! I will look into some rope tricks and the Professors nightmare routine. I will also look at some TT although I am very...very sketchy about it. A guy at the Disney world magic shop sold me one a few years back and I tossed it because it was just far too large and disappointing.
Message: Posted by: pharcyded (Feb 4, 2012 10:48PM)
Thanks for the heads-up on the IT too. I didn't think about the lighting...good call. More suggestions please! :)
Message: Posted by: bowers (Feb 4, 2012 11:04PM)
Rope tricks would be great
professors nightmare
cut and restore rope
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Feb 5, 2012 12:50AM)
Needle through balloon! You can relate it to science after the trick and have a lesson about why it works.
Message: Posted by: donny (Feb 5, 2012 01:08AM)
Here's a couple that might apply, in no order, medium to advanced skills est:

THE THING by bill Abbot could play strong to 30-30,000 spectators.
One Coin Routine w/ or w/o a silk and Jumbo Coin production
then explain difference between fusion and fission via Sol Stone's FUSION FISSION, because you loaded for it and don't need to go to pockets/load etc. - Quick and Casual DVD
Pencil Bin/Saltshaker through table.
Coins through desk.
D'LITE routine
EYE OF THE TIGER w/ Prof Nightmare.
HOT SAUSE. If a Flash Paper effect is okay, and you warm up to the TT. Out of the Box - Kranzo DVD
OFF THE CUFF. Rubberband ‘through’ wrist effect. Off the Cuff – Wilson DVD
SELF TIEING SHOE LACE. Play dumb, then fix it!
COINS TO CANDYS. Two coins change to two candy’s via advanced sleight of hand. Revolutionary Coin Magic Sankey
COIN FROM PENCAP. Coin vanishes, then appears from pen cap. In the Beginning there were Coins - Noblezada
CATIPULLAR LOVE. Card Packet w/ Butterflies to Spectator's hand! Item
Message: Posted by: desprado2 (Feb 5, 2012 01:13AM)
I'm an elementary school teacher and I recommend the Teach by Magic book but Teachbymagic.com is even better. Their site does charge a fee but I think it's great for a teacher.
Message: Posted by: 55john55 (Feb 5, 2012 08:06AM)
The age of the students are certainly an important factor. Don't totally dismiss close up tricks involving a few students. When I taught, I allowed a few students at a time to come to my desk (after they had their work finished) and see a couple of tricks.
Also, Mac King has some GREAT things you can do in front of a class. If you like the humorous things his "cure for the hicups" is FANTASTIC. There are plenty of light quick tricks such as hanging a spoon on your nose - I could get one on my nose and one hanging from each ear.
If you don't mind bringing a prop, you can "fly" using a mirror. If you would like more info on these send me a P.M. I sent you one P.M. and will send you another.
Message: Posted by: pharcyded (Feb 5, 2012 09:35AM)
Thank you all for the suggestions and the PM's 55john55. I forgot to mention that I am in the Elementary School realm so I can't go to far over their heads. They are going to be more responsive to visual effects that are just eye catching like maybe an appearance of a magic wand, and things I can teach them how to do as well like those from the teachbymagic website (great suggestion btw). I don't mind bringing props at all as long as they can either be worn or fit in a briefcase. Once I finish my degree and get my own classroom I will be able to stock the room with a lot of cool stuff, but for now I need portable solutions as I travel to new rooms and schools on a daily basis.
Message: Posted by: rhettbryson (Feb 5, 2012 10:01AM)
IF you can find a copy, Martin Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic is a treasure trove of LOTS of things you can do to entertain endlessly with ordinary objects. Amazing stuff in that classic book.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Feb 5, 2012 10:45AM)
Did you mention how hold the kids are? If they're young, the magic coloring book and disappearing crayons are fun.
And, good old sponge balls.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Feb 6, 2012 08:03PM)
I'm so confused.
Message: Posted by: Lash (Feb 6, 2012 08:10PM)
Anything visual is always good-- ropes, silks, torn and restored card or newspaper and pencil through the dollar bill (I recommend Misled). Anything involving appearing money or coins is good as well. Larry Anderson's "Jawdroppers" DVDs have some good ones to use as well.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Feb 10, 2012 01:05AM)
How about this:



Message: Posted by: Eric the Excellent (Feb 20, 2012 11:06PM)
I do a bed of nails routine and, because it is one of my strong points, I try to work it in to as many shows as I can. Always, there is at least one person in the audience who will tell me about how their high-school teacher did that trick once, and explained how it worked. Most of the time, though, they don't say it in a smug "I know how this works" way, but rather in a fond and reminiscent way; it's obvious that the experience stuck with them.
Message: Posted by: J-L Sparrow (Feb 21, 2012 12:42PM)
On 2012-02-04 23:40, Father Photius wrote:
Steer clear of IT. Most schools are well lite with flourscent lights, that is too revealing for most IT.
Ironically, I've found that the TT (not IT) works well under flourescent lights. Of course, it works well under pretty much all light, but it's harder to notice under flourescent light than it is under natural light.

At least, that's my opinion when I've practiced in front of a mirror.

And I second the use of the TT. However, it sounds like your students might be at the age where some have seen one before, and would recognize its use if you perform a simple silk vanish. But then, even if a student does blurt out that you're using a TT, it's likely that the other students will have no idea what he's talking about, so a simple silk vanish would be fine.

You might be self-conscious about using a TT, but every magician is, at first. When you look at the TT from your perspective, you see it with a dark, shadowy ring around it, making it obvious to you. But when you practice in front of a mirror (especially with artificial light), don't draw attention to the gimmick, and POINT your thumbs to the spectators's faces (when not moving your hands), you'll see that you can spot something odd about your thumb [b]only when you compare it to the other thumb[/b]. And, seriously, who does that in real life? Magicians who are aware of the TT, that's who. (Spectators won't glance from finger to finger, comparing them. They're too busy looking for the bright red cloth!)
Message: Posted by: volto (Feb 22, 2012 02:57AM)
For kids, visual is great. Also, there are a few 'bits' that you'll see in most kids magic shows -

"Look but don't see" - for instance, the stiff rope, for the indian rope trick. Say you can't work out how to do the Indian Rope Trick, then casually hold it out horizontally while you're looking at them. When they howl at you that it's working, let the rope fall, then look at it. And so on.
Slapstick - for instance, silver scepter. Be careful if you're having it go up your nose, though, you might [b]actually[/b] hurt yourself.
Repetition - for instance, sponge bananas. It's an endless production of sponge bananas. Comedy gold.

The New York kids magician David Kaye ("Silly Billy") has an excellent book that explains his approach, which has a lot of the psychology of kid's shows in it - it's called "Seriously Silly". Lessons I took from it are that the magic should be about empowering the kids - letting them shout as much as they like, laugh at an adult, have fun, and maybe show off a little. For slightly older kids there's an opportunity for slightly gross and/or rude material, but it should obviously be carefully considered. They like it when the magician is the butt of the joke, or apparently not in control of the magic (although you need to retain status and some kind of boundaries). Never, ever make a negative comment about a kid or make the kid the butt of any joke, even indirectly (e.g. break away wand, "not that one, the clean one", "empty your mind/that was quick", whatever). For props/effects like the breakaway wand where the gag is inherent, make yourself the subject of it and have the kid look good. It's a great book.

Sponge bunnies is a great close-up kids trick, but regular sponge balls will do.
Pom pom pole is great. And you get to say "pom pom" a lot.
For rope, Aldo Colombini's "Rope in" works well, doesn't need scissors and can use two volunteers.
A hank ball or pull and a few silks can be good. Duane Laflin's DVD on the hank ball is excellent. This looks nice and flashy.
Standard stuff that will work: change bag, drawer box, dove pan. Temple screen. Any of these will let you produce a toy rabbit, and loads of other stuff.

Hope some of that helps. A great source for ideas and props is "Practical Magic" in the UK. Check out their video demos: http://www.youtube.com/user/practicalmagic101
and John Kimmons channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/konjuror
Their website is http://www.practical-magic.com/
I've been happy with everything I've bought form them, which is a rare thing in magic...!
Message: Posted by: Synatics (Feb 23, 2012 05:57AM)
Linx by Alex Pandrea TRUST ME! It's a rubber band trick and it looks AMAZING!
Also is easy to learn.
Message: Posted by: felbermagic (Feb 23, 2012 11:07AM)

I started out wanting to be a teacher. I have my degree but have since discovered magic and entertaining lay-folk is my main job now and I love it. I still do however sub in the local schools as my part time job to magic. I am certified to sub at any age level. I smiled when I saw this post because I use magic all the time as a sub and like you said it can help keep the kids "good" if they know they are behaving to see a trick aka get entertained by the adult in the room.

To the tricks:
-Try Pointless by Gregery Wilson
-I know you have spongeballs but they do play well for younger kids like you have
-I do what I think is called the Bird Catcher Paddle
-Rope magic like prof nightmare/Richard Sanders' rope dvd has more moves on it
-Airborne with the greatest of ease when you pour yourself a drink will really grab their attention.

If you need more let me know and ill respond. have a good one, teach!!

-Ari :)
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Feb 23, 2012 07:37PM)
On 2012-02-21 00:06, Eric The Awful wrote:
I do a bed of nails routine and, because it is one of my strong points, I try to work it in to as many shows as I can. Always, there is at least one person in the audience who will tell me about how their high-school teacher did that trick once, and explained how it worked. Most of the time, though, they don't say it in a smug "I know how this works" way, but rather in a fond and reminiscent way; it's obvious that the experience stuck with them.
Points? Stuck? You're very punny! :)
Message: Posted by: Bugatti (Feb 24, 2012 10:07AM)
I totally back up the magic coloring book (combined with vanishing crayons) for elementary school. You could also use a skipping rope for a cut and restored routine...