Monday, December 27, 2010

Starting Class on Time

Purpose: It’s important to start class on time, even if only half of your students are there! Starting on time sets expectations about when students should arrive. Students who arrive early or on time can work independently, or in pairs, on review activities, and verify their answers on their own.

Preparation time: This depends on which activity you’re planning, but remember that once you prepare the materials, they can be used over and over again. Also, think about asking students to help with some of the preparation. This can be a learning activity in itself.

Materials: 3 X 5 or 4 X 6 index cards, markers, pens, pencils

I. Practicing Spelling and Vocabulary

  • Pair dictations from flash cards or spelling lists
  • Put word cards in alphabetical order
  • Sort vocabulary cards
    • Into word groups - words related to weather, words related to jobs, words that are nouns, etc.
    • Sort adjective cards into 1 or 2 syllable words (great for teaching comparative and superlative).
  • Write two statements on the board.
Minnesota is ___________________.(adjective)

Minnesota has __________________. (noun)

Give one student (the “teacher”) 5-8 flash cards that are all true about Minnesota.

The other students use the flash cards to make a sentence, using the models on the board. Write the correct sentence on the back of each flash card. The “teacher” affirms or corrects his/her students. As students advance, make a new set of cards and change the model, for example, making the statement negative or using the question form.

II. Drilling

  • Preposition Cards - Write sentences on the fronts of the cards with a blank where the preposition should be. For example, “He works ___ night”. On the backs of the cards, write the appropriate preposition, in this case, “at”. One student takes the role of teacher, shows the front of the card to the student(s) and affirms or corrects the response.
  • Verb Cards - Make a set of verb phrase cards: work at Pizza Hut, sit in the chair, drive a car, etc. Write a model on the board: He is working at Pizza Hut. Students work through the cards, following the model.


· Change “he” to “they, I, we”, etc.

· Change the model to practice present tense, the negative, a question, or past tense.

· Regular present and past tense pronunciation:

On the back of each card, write the final sound of the present tense, third person singular: -s, -z, or -ez. For regular verbs, write the final sound of the past tense: -d, -t, or -id.

wash the clothes

-ez -t

play with children

-z -d

· Drill irregular past tense with flash cards. Write the present tense on the front and the past form on the back. One partner says the verb in the present tense and the other writes it in the past. The student with the cards checks the other’s work.

· Add in irregular verb phrases as in model above.

III. Checking Homework

Make a transparency of the homework page. Have it projected on the board or wall when students arrive. Alternatively, write sentences on the board. Ask each student as they come in to choose one that they are confident of, and write it on the board or the transparency. Those who haven’t finished, use the time to finish. Ask those who have finished to edit the work on the board, checking for capitalization, punctuation, etc.

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