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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 26th, 2006, 10:09 am
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Default First Day Activities

Well a new semester is just around the bend for some of us. so let's share some first day activities that you do with classes/students that you are unfamiliar with.

Here's mine:

i have 1 activity that i almost always use the first day of class. it's a great way to get to know your students and for them to get to know you.

First, i write 10 things about myself on the board. I write some easy ones like: 'Bob', '30', 'swimming', etc... And then i write some more obscure ones like: ,'Sage', 'Yes', '8/12/2005', etc...

Then i get the students to guess the question to the answer that is on the board. So they would ask:
whats your name?
how old are you?
whats your hobby?
whats your dog's name?
are you married?
when did you get married?

after they have figured out the question for each answer, it's their turn. they write down 3-5 things about themselves that maybe their classmates don't know. then they come up to the front of the class, i write their info on the board and the class guesses about the student.

its a great activity because you really get to know a lot about your students and they learn a bit about you. plus, its a lot of fun!

what do you do?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 26th, 2006, 07:50 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

On the first day of class for classes of about 15 students or less, I like to play the familiar game "snowball sentence".

I ask the person sitting on my right to tell me their name and their hobby.
"Hi, I'm Lucy and I like skiing". Then I say, "This is Lucy and she likes skiing. I'm Karen and I like drawing". And we go around the room, each person introducing everyone who has spoken on their right. Usually I try to WOW them by naming everyone and their hobbies as the last person to take a turn, but sometimes that backfires Still, it's very fun.

To get people who have answered early to continue to participate, you can allow students to mime hints to others who are having trouble remembering.

As a follow up you can have students write down either 3-5 sentences following the pattern: "NAME likes HOBBY (ie. Karen like drawing. Lucy likes skiing, etc) or if you're that kind of teacher you can challenge them to remember as many as possible. Perhaps a prize for the winner is in order?
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Unread Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:31 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

thanks for all the wonderful teaching techniques you've posted! Its such a great help to me. Please continue giving the surfers idea.Cecille Antenorcruz
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Unread Feb 21st, 2006, 09:57 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

With children (8 - 12), even with true beginners I like teaching them how to introduce themselves : "I'm Mary"
" I'm Bill" then have them shake hands with me in turn and say "Nice to meet you" "Nice to meet you too". THe whole class helps out the children who are shy.
Then I teach them to clap hands, shake their shoulders, snap their fingers, shake their heads, shout OK, slap their knees, stretch their arms etc when they respond correctly to these orders I sing " If you're happy and you know it" and they just do the actions.
If there are books to hand out I also teach them
"Here you are" Thank you" "Not at all"
So by the end of the first hour they can introduce themselves, offer things,say thank you and respond politely to that and can understand a number of orders that get them familiarised with parts of their bodies.

I liked the two activities listed above in this thread, a lot. Have tried out the
the Snowball thing, didn't know it was called like this. It' s an activity that comes in handy for revising vocabulary learnt so far too.
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Unread Jun 7th, 2006, 10:27 am
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Wink Re: First Day Activities

Cool... I've never heard of the Jeapordy warmer... will use it soon..
Here are some I use with my high school kids.. works for adults advance class as well.
I ask the students to think of an adjective that describes them using the first or last Initial of their first or last name.. (in case there are any Y's or Z's in there) then studetns volunteer to go around the room and name the person and their adjective
or
I ask students as they walk into the class to cut a piece of string... any length they choose.... once everyone has their piece of string I ask them to say as many things about themselves for every wrap around their little finger ( thumb if it is a big class)
or
I have an assortment of magazine pictures of houses and homes cut out.. as the students come into class I ask them to select a home they would like to live in... on the back of the picture is a number ( the numbers double the house made of straw is #2 and the mansion is #2) when all have pictures I ask them to turn the picture around and find their mate, they must then tell their mate why they chose the house they did and their info ...name age.. etc..... give five or ten minutes (depends on size of class) once they have done this using the number order 1-??? have the pairs introduce each other to the rest of the class....and tell why their partner pick the house they chose...

these are very successful.. it gives the class a feeling of trust and gets them speaking the language or if they are beginners they find ways of comminucating using body language or what ever little bit of the language they might know..
beware... I teach classes of 35 ...when they are this big it takes at least two days to complete the warm up..35 kids 42 minutes....if your teaching time is longer kudos.....
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Unread Jun 21st, 2006, 09:36 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

ON my first day, of teaching grade 1 learners, I made a worksheet with an empty picture frame and got them to draw a self portrait. Underneath I'd written basic sentences, "My name is ..............." "I am ........ years old" " I live in ..............." "My teacher is ............"
They got to fill in the relevant information, (with lots of help from me) and draw their picture, (which they mostly love doing) and I managed to learn a bit about each of them (certainly helped with matching names to faces!). I put the pictures on the wall so we had a gallery for each class which helped them to feel it was going to be their space for the term.

xx
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Unread Aug 19th, 2006, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

I am very keen to learn the children's names as fast as possible, but will only see each class once or twice a week. Any ideas for fun ways to learn names quickly? In England, I get children to wear name labels for the first few classes until I know them. I thought I might get my children here to make their own labels - anyone do this? I will also try the soft ball idea - say your own name, then the name of the person you're about to throw the ball to - this can be extended in many ways, eg, say your name and favourite food/country of origin before throwing the ball/toy.
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Unread Aug 22nd, 2006, 09:17 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

I like to play an interviewing game. Before class, make up a list of characteristics that students are likely to have such as "I live in a house" or "I am an only child". Then add in a few unusual ones such as "I have a pet turtle" or "I have broken more than two bones in my body". Of course, you have to make your statements relevant to your students' level. Then, give each student a sheet and have them walk around the class trying to find classmates who fit the characteristic. The first person to find someone to fit all of the characteristics wins, or get a bonus or whatever you want to do to reward the winner. If it turns out that you cannot fill in all of the characteristics, then you can see who gets the most. Another twist would be that the students cannot put anyone's name on there more than one time.
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Unread Aug 25th, 2006, 08:26 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

I use this one for children with at least decent English 7+.

It's called sausage. Any question that you, or the students, ask must be answered with 'sausage' as the subject.

For example:
What's your name?
My name is sausage.

This activity always brings a laugh. Try and get your students to think of the best questions that they can.
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Unread Aug 26th, 2006, 08:15 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

I always use a sponge ball and get the students into a circle (depends on the class size, bigger classes can stay in their seat or break into a few circles if you have space) and then throw the ball around. Have some easy target language for them to practice for example, since it's the first day, "I'm John. What's your name?" Then change it to include the last person's name, "His/her name is _______, my name is John. What's your name?" You can make it more and more interesting by introducing more sponge balls or by having one person to remember all the other names.

It's very simple and never fails for break the ice with the students.
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Unread Aug 26th, 2006, 08:21 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

Hahaha, I just got a beach ball from my school to use in the classroom. The kids go absolutely nuts playing volleysentence. NUTS!
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Unread Aug 26th, 2006, 07:17 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

Quote:
Quote simplyesl
Hahaha, I just got a beach ball from my school to use in the classroom. The kids go absolutely nuts playing volleysentence. NUTS!
How do you play?
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Unread Aug 26th, 2006, 07:37 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

You have two teams and play volleyball. The team that serves the ball asks the question and the team that receives it answers. You can put a time limit on how long they have to ask/answer the question. If they can't ask/answer a question in the time frame or the ball goes out of bounds, then a point is awarded to the other team.
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Unread Aug 26th, 2006, 09:31 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

I've seen the same thing done as tennis if you have a ball lying around. Biggest problem is always who is going to answer.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 26th, 2006, 09:33 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

For big classes you can have 2-3 people do an intro every day. Limit to 5 sentences or so. It's a good way to get to know everyone a little better.

For the first day you could do yours (obviously) and then ask for volunteers. There are usually a few brave ones in the class. fter that just do it alphabetically.
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Unread Aug 27th, 2006, 12:45 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

Quote:
Quote mesmark
For big classes you can have 2-3 people do an intro every day. Limit to 5 sentences or so. It's a good way to get to know everyone a little better.

For the first day you could do yours (obviously) and then ask for volunteers. There are usually a few brave ones in the class. fter that just do it alphabetically.
I do that with my elementary students -
- Hello how are you today?
- What day is it today?
- What is today's date?
- What's the weather like?
- What time is it?

For kids I always give some points, which is a great motivational factor!
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Unread Aug 28th, 2006, 01:53 am
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Default Re: First Day Activities

To get everyone involved in the Volleyball/tennis:

A team will only get a point once everyone on the team has answered (and therefore asked) a question correctly.

You could even try having a knock out competition with teams of two.
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Unread Aug 28th, 2006, 07:12 pm
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Default Name Tags

Quote:
Quote stanley
I am very keen to learn the children's names as fast as possible, but will only see each class once or twice a week. Any ideas for fun ways to learn names quickly? In England, I get children to wear name labels for the first few classes until I know them. I thought I might get my children here to make their own labels - anyone do this?
Yes, I always do name tags, even with adult classes (though I don't make the adults wear the tags).

I precut paper and fold it, teach the correct romanization of the letters (in Korea, it's the vowels that are killers) and have everyone write their name on the sheet and stand it on their desks. At the end of class for the first few lessons (OK, many lessons) I collect their tags and then use them when I call roll next lesson. I also group the tags into clusters of who sits together and that also gives me a way to remember who's who. With classes of 30+ that meet once a week, it takes some time.

For kids, I let them use colour and maybe draw something on the tag that they really like. Then I have a visual image to go with their name and their face. That helps me remember.

Karen
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Unread Aug 28th, 2006, 07:21 pm
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Question First Day of Basic Uni Writing Class

Hi, a question here.

Does anyone know a good activity for the first day of university age, very basic level composition class? I want to get a writing sample from the students to gauge their skill, but I don't want to be too boring and obvious.

What springs immediately to mind is "Write a few sentences to introduce yourself" or the very cliche "What I did on summer vacation". Can anyone either spruce up these themes or advise me on a more exciting activity?

Thanks in advance.

Karen
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Unread Aug 28th, 2006, 08:20 pm
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Default Re: First Day Activities

Karen - how about 'Where I would like to be in 10 years' time' or 'My earliest memory' - or perhaps you could write a few options on the board so that the students can choose their own title.
Thanks for the name label ideas. Funnily enough, I'd planned to do it in exactly the way you describe, also taking advantage of the colouring part to practise coulour names- they have to ask me for the colour (of pen) they want initially, then if they want other colours, they have to ask their classmates to swap. (Please may I have the red? Would you like the green?)
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