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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 8th, 2010, 07:54 am
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Join Date: Feb 24th, 2010
Location: Jinhua, China
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Default My difficult class

Hey there! I'm looking for help for my most difficult class. Here's some background on the class.

My school is a prep school in China. The school is pretty expensive and most of the students in my class are pretty spoiled. The school is not traditional as we use Smartboards for our lessons. I have 6 classes a week. This particular class is composed of 6 students, aged from 7-9. The city I'm in is a business trade city and the students are here because their parents want them to study English early on. The students do not want to be here.
This provides some difficult challenges for myself. I've only been teaching since October. The students are disruptive and do not pay attention. Instead, they laugh and show off for their classmates. The only thing they're interested in...the daily worksheet. They are also interested in the games. In class, we have fun using the software lessons provided by the school and some I make myself. The lessons are fun and when the children pay attention, they really enjoy them. The lessons give a decent push to learn english as they aren't too advanced nor too easy.
I tell the rules after we do our daily warm up and explain the baseball rule (3 strikes and your out). Instead of the rules giving good behavior, the students usually do the opposite to be funny. I try to keep them entertained as well. I believe that teachers are like actors...we gotta keep them interested and entertained. I don't yell...except on rare occasions.
This is a new class for me so we will have a long road ahead. I've established the rules early on yet when I try to enforce them, no one cares. Does anyone have any suggestions? I need help!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 14th, 2010, 06:42 am
clever
 
Join Date: Nov 18th, 2009
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Default Re: My difficult class

Well maybe applying a reward system will get them more interested. Students (especially the spoiled ones) can be competitive with each other, so a little healthy competition among them might be a good thing.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 14th, 2010, 02:28 pm
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Default Re: My difficult class

Hello,

Are there any consequences if the students break on of your rules? They will keep breaking them if they know that the rules are not enforced. I don't know what you can and can't do at your school in terms of discipline. I taught ESL in public school to that age group for years. If I had trouble with a student I would keep them after class, have them come in for recess or take away a privilege.

Keeping them active with learning activities is a good strategy. Have them working on games where they are competing with each other to get the correct answers. They obviously want to impress their classmates.

From experience I know that not much learning will occur if the students are disruptive. Concentrate on getting the kids in control and make it a priority. In the long run they will learn a lot more this way. Good luck
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 21st, 2010, 12:10 am
J Philip Woods
 
Join Date: Jan 12th, 2010
Location: hong kong
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Default Re: My difficult class

In my class (in HongKong), i have a class list with student names and pictures I can use to report disruptive students.

Perhaps you can use this (or get one) to communicate with the school and / or parents about the situation.

I have a disruptive class and I find that by making the lesson simpler to the point where the academically lower end of hte class can participate. Crosswords (vocab) and gap-fill sentences (simple gramm) have worked. To do this, I had to step a little outside the lesson plan I was supposed to use, but my boss has been understanding of the problem.

Hope this may help.

Rgds,
Philip Woods HongKong
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 21st, 2010, 02:48 am
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Default Re: My difficult class

Heaps of activities they enjoy with 0 time for them to be disruptive. Crack the whip. NEXT!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 21st, 2010, 10:35 am
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Default Re: My difficult class

Get them to create their own game and they write the rules. You could give them some equipment (dice, colour cards, etc) and then they think in a group to create the game but the focus is on English Communication. They will love to play a game that they have created.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 24th, 2010, 02:43 am
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Default Re: My difficult class

I teach in a very similar situation. I have been in a Turkish private school for 4 years now and teach from 3rd grade all the way to 8th grade with around 24 students in a classroom. The school is expensive and these kids are really spoiled. Don't loose heart - there is hope. I tried a lot of things but I learned that lesson planning is critical with kids who don't want to learn English. Especially with the younger kids I usually change activities every 10 to 15 minutes. I have come up with my own moto that "a bored kid is a naughty kid". Don't let the kids sit with their friends. They can be with their friends on the breaks. I have found that competition works great as the other teachers have mentioned and that both positive and negative reinforcement is necessary in the classroom. Make sure if you say you are going to do something, do it. The kids learn quickly if your words are empty or if you mean to do what you really say. Hope that helps.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 27th, 2010, 07:40 pm
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Default Re: My difficult class

I used to teach a bunch of really spoiled rich kids in Shenzhen China and struggled with the same question. Use these TV style interactive classroom games and tell me how it works. Luckily you have interactive whiteboards and that is just a perfect tool. Try using using firefox or google chrome browser. Internet explorer has issues. If they liked it like my students here do, please let me know. I will create more and put them up for you.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 28th, 2010, 04:37 am
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Default Re: My difficult class

Ahhh, thanks everyone for responses. Classes are much better now. I've got a lot of interesting games to play from messing around with Smart Notebook. My classes rotate with the local teachers (so the students get me one lesson, a local teacher the next one, then me, local, and so on). The students really enjoy the games I made and found. One of the local teachers was telling me that her students even requested one of them during her class. Some games are competitive and really enjoyable for them. I also now use a 'big voice/low voice' approach to learning new words. Even the usual quiet students get into this. Basically, I tell them to use a big voice to say the words and raise my hands up really high. Then, I tell them to use a low voice and put my hands near the floor. My students are so used to this that I don't even have to tell them to use a big voice or a low voice anymore...I just raise or lower my hands. The children love this and it keeps them entertained.
~To clevermae: Now I do have a simple reward system in class. The students get awarded candy for achieving so many symbols through the lesson (based on participation). Also, the student with the most symbols gets to choose the game that we play to practice the new words. The reward system is great to implement!
~To alawton: The school's really strict about what we can't do. Now, we can't remove students from class...no matter how difficult they are. Keeping them active with the games and the high/low voice really pays off to keep the problem children under control. I still have a couple problem children...but I'm working on that.
To Jphilip woods: Now we use a small notebook to communicate with the parents. I records participation, attitude and other various information. The parents are very interested in this. I also include the content taught for the parents.
To rycfarley: I agree with changing the activities a lot. I had variety to my classes to keep them curious, practicing, and entertained. I found keeping the students entertained is a big help to keep them under control. I'm also glad I'm not the only one in this state. It's a pain but it's getting better. I've only been teaching since October of 2009. It can only get better.
TO kisito: I haven't checked out your TV style games yet but I will later tonight. Thanks!
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 28th, 2010, 04:23 pm
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Default Re: My difficult class

Kisito, thanks for the link to your games! I looked at 2 of the games. They are of excellent quality and I am very impressed! You must have put an enormous amount of work into them. What software do you use to make the games?
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Unread May 4th, 2010, 05:13 am
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Default Re: My difficult class

What should I say you about it. We have the same matter as you have suffered. Our teachers also can't control the class. But from last few months they behave with students too smoothly and all time keeps the students busy with activities. Now they are in control.
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