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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > DUELING BANJOS (i. e. our heads)    

DUELING BANJOS (i. e. our heads)



anitarobi
Croatia

DUELING BANJOS (i. e. our heads)
 
Hi, everybody!
Since it s almost the weekend, and most of our school years are coming to a close, I thought you might be interested in some brainstorming... (I haven t been starting any new threads in months, so bear with me, pls) You might think this is a topic for the cafe, but I mean to do this for teaching only, so if you d like to expand on the topics, do take it to the cafe - it will be fun, I m sure!
Most teachers are really tired at the end of the year, filled with all kinds of frustrations, overloaded with info and grading, and can barely get the strength to pull out a smile on graduation day, so why don t we try doing something positive here? You may be serious, you may joke or be a bit sarcastic, but do try to resist any negativity or, heaven forbid, offensiveness in replying.
The idea is this: let s have some dueling!
First one teacher writes a problem (something to do with teaching, dealing with material, sts or their parents, etc. - don t use this to solve any private relationship issues or sth like thatWink), sth that they face every year at this time or sth that s happened to them these days... and then another teacher offers a solution for that problem. Then someone else writes another problem and another teacher writes a solution. Both the problems and solutions can be dealt with seriousness or humour, so we can all get some help or at least a good laugh of it!
To start the game off, let me state a problem I face at the end of every school year:
when you prepare that final performance or show or play for parents with your sts, how do you really get the parents to show real interest, to applaud for their kids, to truly appreciate the effort put into it by you and the sts, and to overlook any unintentional little mistakes that might take place during the performance?
Thanks in advance to anyone who joins this dueling with positivity in their hearts, wit in their use of the keyboard and smiles on their faces!
Anita

20 May 2010      



Lina Ladybird
Germany

Tell every single student that they have a leading role in the play even if they haven t got one and have them inform their parents about it like this:

Make a colourful poster with the name of the play or show, put some appealing pictures on it and print out a poster for every student saying "starring Anita Robi" or whatever their names are in biiiiiiiiiiiig letters. (Of course, every student will get a poster with his/her OWN NAME only.) Then they take this poster home in order to show it to their parents.
 
What sort of parents will NOT come to watch their daughter or son being the star >>> Star <<< of such a play?? Wink

20 May 2010     



anitarobi
Croatia

I agree, Silke! Thanks for playing ! Anybody else willing to try?

20 May 2010     



twin_sister1
Norway

A nice idea might be to announce a competition for the most active parent. The most positive, cheerful... member of the audience will be chosen by the sudents themselves :)
The award can be a crown with a corresponding tittle (but do not mention it in advance).
How about that?
 
 
Next problem.
All the students want to do on a sunny day is stay outdoors. How can you organize an English lesson then?

20 May 2010     



Montypython
France

you can ask your students to wear a tracksuit & teach them some English  American sport.
it would be fun!!

20 May 2010     



aliciapc
Uruguay

Try treasure hunt! You have the beginning of a sentence and they have to look for the ending. There are several hidden endings, so if they find one which doesn t apply, they have to think of the beginning themselves... the only pair of ss who doesn t do this is the one which found the ending. Or ... ss form 2 lines facing each other, when you say a sentence they have to take a step back if it s wrong AND correct it. Those who do it successfully keep playing, the rest leave the line , and so on until one ss is left.
Or... ss form to lines one after the other, on the other end of the (playground) there are 2 boxes with (irregular and regular verbs). When you say a sentence without the verb you want them to find in the box, the first ss has to run and look for it and give it to you and go to the back of the line. Another sentence, another ss who finds the verb and gives it to you. The first line to finish, wins.
Or ... place chairs in a circle facing outwards (if you have 20 sts place 19 chairs). Play music while they go around the chairs, when the music stops, everyone has to sit down but the slowest one will be left without a chair! So on until there are 2 students and only 1 chair (this is not educational, just for fun ! !) I hope you can use some of these !
 

20 May 2010     



Rainboow
Poland

twin_sister1: I think that you can try taboo game or pun game using gestures also. The teams feel excited and on the same time they want to compete, they want to show which team is better, you can ask them to give funny names to their teams ( one my team was called: wild pigs ;) ), another idea is to write a poem about what they can see around (in English of course) I suggest the acronym with the hidden title.

My problem is that I teach teenagers and I have one really rude and impolite, he never does anything and says that i MUST give him positive grade. Most teachers are afraid of him as he has problems with law.

20 May 2010     



aliciapc
Uruguay

Problem : what activities are ideal for a day when we don t feel like doing much or are too tired ??? (except for the wonderful ws there are here ! ... ) Something that will engage ss ?

20 May 2010     



MarionG
Netherlands

Take the lesson outdoors! Depending on the level of the kids you can do activities in English varying from reading a story in English while they lie on the grass, find objects for every letter of the alphabet, divide in groups and give each group a bag with ramdom items and instruct them to make a play using all items in the bag,play twister on a giant sheet with colors, throw a ball and they need to answer a question before they catch it, roleplay a conversation with a tourist in the park or a new student interested to register for the school, pantomiming can be used for many subjects, basically anything that doesn t involve writing can be done outdoors.
If you need to stay inside do a video based lesson (like sequencing or something) which cannot possibly be done ouside because of the light What might also work is promise them they can go out 5 minutes early if they behave.....(under the motto; If all else fails, bribe them)
Most important tip; Don t take it too hard, this is an effect that happens every year, they smell the summer and the end of school and motiviation and concentration drops, that is part of life (here is starts to get summery in March !)
 
Hope this helps.
My problem is probably something only i can solve but any insight would be appreciated. I often find myself in the situation in which i am the only teacher who prepares (or brings from here) nice worksheets and enrichment activities. On the one hand I would want to be the kind of person who always shares and doesn t care that others get credit or are on the taking side only. On the other hand I can t deny i don t always wholeheartedly want to share. if I prepared something really nice, especially for my students (whom i love dearly) or I get resentful when my collegues tell about their fun packed weekends or evenings and I just sat for hours preparing materials. Lately I even find myself in the situation where they tell me what I should improve without offering to do the work themselves. I know It is me who needs to find a balance between feeling great for giving and not feeling abused..
any insights?

20 May 2010     



Lina Ladybird
Germany

Lately I even find myself in the situation where they tell me what I should improve without offering to do the work themselves.
 
That s what I call ungrateful and bold!!!! Angry
 
Dear Marion, next time your colleagues want to have something improved, do this:
 
Firstly, ask them if their parents have failed to teach them this very wise saying: never look a gift horse in the mouth!!
 
Secondly, tell them that nobody forces them to use the ws in question, but that it is editable so that they can adapt it according to their needs if they wish to.
 
Im usually not that rude, however, your colleagues are just acting really, really cheeky... :((
 
Don t let people milk you like a cow!!
 
Take care - Silke
 

20 May 2010     



anitarobi
Croatia

sorry I haven t been here - had to feed the baby...
 
Wow, you ve been busy with this thread - thanks for joining!
 
@twin sister1 - if possible, organise a beach party in your classroom - bring or have sts bring beach towels and sun hats, you can even have them prepare (in advance) posters with words and pics of exotic beaches and places and then place it all around to create the mood, move the desks with them, play word games (bingo, with older sts you can play with longer words), do some beach song lyrics, have them all sit around and do a chain story(put word cards in a box placed in the middle, have a st pull one out and say a sentence with it, another st pulls a new word and says a sentence which continues the 1st one to create a meaningful story, etc....
 
@rainbow - law problems? I don t envy you! I didn t have a st like this, but parents - yes. You might try giving the st a task - he can be the teacher for one lesson, but he has to prepare the materials and notes and bring them to you to check before the lesson. He can even get a prize - a can of cola or a chocolate would do the trick, and he gets to choose the st who can do the same next week. It helps if you can pair him up for this with sb, perhaps a girl he admires? Of course, you have to keep the right of censorship - you can stop the lesson he s giving at any time you feel it s too much of sth you don t want. It s risky, but think about it. You can even do it with several pairs of sts as a challenge - so challenge him first to see if he has the guts - and invite a teacher or two to watch and grade and then choose the best pair work...
 
@alicia - I love bringing old magazines in English and have them cut out some words. Then have them write a group story on a huge piece of paper using one of the cut-out words in each sentence. Afterwards, place the stories on the wall and have all your groups grade the stories, so next time they find out whose story won the most votes! (if you choose to do this at the last minute, you can even tear up an ampty piece of paper, have each st write a word in English on it and then do the same activity with this instead of the magazine)... I did this once and they loved it...
 
@marion - I was in the same situation. I know you know what to do. Silke said it nicely! The problem is that when you get people accustomed to you doing everything, they think they re entitled to it! You ll learn to find the balance between giving as much as YOU want and getting them to be grateful...

20 May 2010     

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