Tuesday Tricks: Too Much Time

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January 10, 2012 by k. liz

I often hear teachers talking about how they can never accomplish all of the things in their lesson plans because they are always running out of time. I don’t often have that problem. But, thinking realistically, I have 6 year old students in a foreign language for the majority of the day. That’s a long time when you think about it, and I’m not such a stickler as to force my children to be doing English exercises for 6 hours a day. So . . . I often find myself needing things on the spur of the moment to fill time. I like to do activities that are still going to give my students English exposure but that they view as fun and relaxing. Here are a couple of things that my class and I have done on a whim . . . I wouldn’t say that they are book-worthy or things that I would plan, but we have fun with them.

1. Go on a lion hunt. Today we went hunting lions. We had to quietly cross the desert, then swim the river past the crocodile, then climb a tree and look for the lion, and finally we all sneaked up on him and caught him! I have to say that it was good verb practice, and the kids loved it. It was also a good way to spend a bit of energy before making them sit.

2. Explore something online. Sometimes I do this with Google Images, or I might find a game or program and just explore it with my students. I will let them ask questions and give suggestions. I’ll let them pick the pictures that we look at, etc. I think that my students really enjoy doing this every now and then.

3. I don’t know what to call this one, and my husband makes a lot of fun of me for it – but . . . I will tell you that my kids love this. So, during the Christmas time, we sang the song “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” a lot. I mean, 15+ times a day. Here’s why, I found that if I take a whole line of kids, hold hands, and dance around all of the chairs while singing, they get a kick out of it. Even better, after each time we sang the song, I made the person at the end of the line sit down until it was just me and one student. I was amazed how popular this was (not to mention that it takes like 7-10 minutes and is a pretty good workout for me.) I’m not really suggesting this as an idea, but more just suggesting that you let there be times when you just live in the moment and do dumb stuff in the classroom. My kids appreciate those dumb things more than intricate lessons, and they end up asking for those things over and over again.

Well, sorry there are no revolutionary ideas today, just some make it through ideas. Hope you’re enjoying your week! I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

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