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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 9th, 2013, 01:52 pm
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Default Games for teaching sentences to big groups

Hi there

I'm going to teach 1st - 4th graders very soon. What we have is a storybook and the rest is up to me. The group size will be around 40 students and each class (1½ hour) I will be teaching one chapter of the book.

Now, I could really use some games or tools to use when teaching this way. I used to teach kindergarteners where the material were quite different and much based around flashcard-games which is not the case this time.

What kind of activities or tools can I use for teaching sentences to such big groups?

Thank you.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 14th, 2013, 07:22 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

Is technology available (computers, internet, videos...)?
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Unread Mar 14th, 2013, 09:50 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

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Quote abarboza View Post
Is technology available (computers, internet, videos...)?
Hi abarboza and thanks for replying and showing interest in helping a fellow teacher - much appreciated!

Yes, to an extent. This primary school where I teach we have got a laptop hooked up to a projector displaying on one of those pull-down fabric screens (don't know what you call them) - so it is not an interactive whiteboard.

We haven't even got speakers, but as I've got some pretty decent portable speakers at home I have got the option to bring them. However, I honestly don't think a teacher should have to do that, so in the light of this I don't have speakers in the classroom.

So yeah, a projector display and blackboard is what I've got. I can use internet as well.
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Unread Mar 14th, 2013, 09:54 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

Worth mentioning is that we have got the stories in powerpoint as well. Each slide is a picture and some text underneath just like in their books. First comes the picture, then when clicking again it displays the text.
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Unread Apr 29th, 2013, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

This was taken with permission from the You Can Teach TESOL and Recruitment in China : Home texbook:

Step 1: The first step when leading the students through a reading is to introduce the topic and to access their prior knowledge about the topic. For example if the reading is about holidays in different countries, you read the heading (if it has one), then tell them something like: ‘This story is about holidays in different countries.’ You would then get them talking about the holidays they already know. Some things you might talk about may include: What is the most important holiday in China? Do they celebrate Spring Festival in the U.S.? How do people celebrate Christmas in Australia? What kinds of gifts do people give each other? Of course, these questions should be suited to their level of English.

Step 2: The next step is to draw the students’ attention to important new language found in the text. This requires you to do a series of mini presentations and practices. Remember to find out what your students have learned before, and what they may need help with. Unlike dialogues where you may decide to leave out some of the new language, when using short stories and passages, you should be at least explaining and demonstrating the use of all the language found in it. While songs are mainly for fun, and dialogues as a starting point for role-plays, stories and passages are there not only to practice reading, but also reading comprehension. If they don’t understand all the language used in the reading, you can’t expect them to understand all of its content.

Step 3: The next step is to present the passage as a whole. For readings, this simply involves you reading it for them. You shouldn’t slow down too much at this stage, as you are modeling fluent reading for your students. This means you want to read as a skilled reader would: like you are talking. As you model fluent reading for your students, they should be following along in their books with their fingers.
Step 4: As with dialogues, the next step with passages and short stories is to do a choral drill, then a choral reading. Remember that you want to get your students rereading the same thing a number of times until their fluency has improved. However, this can become boring for your students. Let’s look at a couple of ways to turn a boring choral reading into something your students will enjoy:

Correct the Teacher - This is essentially the same concept as Correct the Teacher for listening practice, except that we are now using it to make choral reading a bit more interesting. As you read along with the students, they are listening for you to make a mistake. When you make a mistake, the students need to identify a) what you said, and b) what you should have said. Always reread the sentence in which you made a mistake, and avoid making too many mistakes, as it will make the choral-reading go for much longer. Students love this game, and pay a lot more attention than they otherwise would during the choral reading.

Funny Reading - This activity is a great way to turn a boring choral reading into something your students will enjoy, and simply involves replacing words within the passage with a funny word. You may decide that any word beginning with ‘b’ will be replaced. You may decide that all nouns will be replaced. You may decided that a character’s name will be replaced. Once you have decided which words you will be replacing, you then decide on the word that you will replace those words with. How much your students enjoy this activity isn’t dependent upon which words you choose to replace, but the word you replace them with. Choices like ‘monkey’, ‘kiss’ and ‘ugly’ will have your students enjoying what would otherwise be a boring reading. However you should try to replace words with the same kind of word. For example if you are replacing verbs, you should try to choose a verb to replace them with. This activity works best with higher level students, and when reading paragraph by paragraph rather than sentence by sentence. As such you should always have done at least one choral reading sentence by sentence before you do this.

Step 5: The aim of reading practice is not just to increase fluency. Once you have done a choral reading you should check your students comprehension of what you have just read. Some ways to check comprehension include:

• Simply asking questions - This is the easiest way to check comprehension of what you have just read. If your scoring and reward systems are good, you will have no shortage of hands in the air when you ask a question. To make this a little more interesting, you can have the students ask each other questions. Remember to ask specific questions, not something like 'Do you understand?'

• Worksheets/ exercises in the textbook - Instead of asking the students questions, you may wish to give them a handout or have them complete the exercises in their book. These may include a number of questions to answer, charts to fill in, pictures to draw etc. It is always better to have the students use their textbooks rather than print out worksheets and waste paper. Remember that parents like to see the textbook being used.

• From the workbook - Most textbooks you will be using come with a workbook. Most schools encourage you to leave workbook activities for homework, but if you think it beneficial, you can use them in class (providing the students have them).

• Finish My Sentence - This is basically an oral close-exercise. You make a sentence (or read one from the text) and the students need to finish it, or fill in the word(s) you left out.

While these activities are all beneficial when done individually, reading comprehension activities are best done in groups. By having the students discuss the text, answer questions, and complete exercises together, they are engaging in real, meaningful communication with one another.

Hope this helps!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 29th, 2013, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

This was taken with permission from the You Can Teach TESOL and Recruitment in China : Home texbook:

Step 1: The first step when leading the students through a reading is to introduce the topic and to access their prior knowledge on it. For example if the reading is about holidays in different countries, you read the heading (if it has one), then tell them something like: ‘This story is about holidays in different countries.’ You would then get them talking about the holidays they already know. Some things you might talk about may include: What is the most important holiday in China? Do they celebrate Spring Festival in the U.S.? How do people celebrate Christmas in Australia? What kinds of gifts do people give each other? Of course, these questions should be suited to their level of English.

Step 2: The next step is to draw the students’ attention to important new language found in the text. This requires you to do a series of mini presentations and practices. Remember to find out what your students have learned before, and what they may need help with. Unlike dialogues where you may decide to leave out some of the new language, when using short stories and passages, you should be at least explaining and demonstrating the use of all the language found in it. While songs are mainly for fun, and dialogues as a starting point for role-plays, stories and passages are there not only to practice reading, but also reading comprehension. If they don’t understand all the language used in the reading, you can’t expect them to understand all of its content.

Step 3: The next step is to present the passage as a whole. For readings, this simply involves you reading it for them. You shouldn’t slow down too much at this stage, as you are modeling fluent reading for your students. This means you want to read as a skilled reader would: like you are talking. As you model fluent reading for your students, they should be following along in their books with their fingers.
Step 4: As with dialogues, the next step with passages and short stories is to do a choral drill, then a choral reading. Remember that you want to get your students rereading the same thing a number of times until their fluency has improved. However, this can become boring for your students. Let’s look at a couple of ways to turn a boring choral reading into something your students will enjoy:

Correct the Teacher - This is essentially the same concept as Correct the Teacher for listening practice, except that we are now using it to make choral reading a bit more interesting. As you read along with the students, they are listening for you to make a mistake. When you make a mistake, the students need to identify a) what you said, and b) what you should have said. Always reread the sentence in which you made a mistake, and avoid making too many mistakes, as it will make the choral-reading go for much longer. Students love this game, and pay a lot more attention than they otherwise would during the choral reading.

Funny Reading - This activity is a great way to turn a boring choral reading into something your students will enjoy, and simply involves replacing words within the passage with a funny word. You may decide that any word beginning with ‘b’ will be replaced. You may decide that all nouns will be replaced. You may decided that a character’s name will be replaced. Once you have decided which words you will be replacing, you then decide on the word that you will replace those words with. How much your students enjoy this activity isn’t dependent upon which words you choose to replace, but the word you replace them with. Choices like ‘monkey’, ‘kiss’ and ‘ugly’ will have your students enjoying what would otherwise be a boring reading. However you should try to replace words with the same kind of word. For example if you are replacing verbs, you should try to choose a verb to replace them with. This activity works best with higher level students, and when reading paragraph by paragraph rather than sentence by sentence. As such you should always have done at least one choral reading sentence by sentence before you do this.

Step 5: The aim of reading practice is not just to increase fluency. Once you have done a choral reading you should check your students comprehension of what you have just read. Some ways to check comprehension include:

• Simply asking questions - This is the easiest way to check comprehension of what you have just read. If your scoring and reward systems are good, you will have no shortage of hands in the air when you ask a question. To make this a little more interesting, you can have the students ask each other questions. Remember to ask specific questions, not something like 'Do you understand?'

• Worksheets/ exercises in the textbook - Instead of asking the students questions, you may wish to give them a handout or have them complete the exercises in their book. These may include a number of questions to answer, charts to fill in, pictures to draw etc. It is always better to have the students use their textbooks rather than print out worksheets and waste paper. Remember that parents like to see the textbook being used.

• From the workbook - Most textbooks you will be using come with a workbook. Most schools encourage you to leave workbook activities for homework, but if you think it beneficial, you can use them in class (providing the students have them).

• Finish My Sentence - This is basically an oral close-exercise. You make a sentence (or read one from the text) and the students need to finish it, or fill in the word(s) you left out.

While these activities are all beneficial when done individually, reading comprehension activities are best done in groups. By having the students discuss the text, answer questions, and complete exercises together, they are engaging in real, meaningful communication with one another.

Hope this helps!
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread May 2nd, 2013, 09:19 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

Thank you so much, Beepdabop. That is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.

I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for written exercises I can give my kids. The kids do not have a workbook, so it has to be something I can write up on the blackboard or that I can prepare beforehand and display on the whiteboard, and they then do the exercises in their notebooks while I walk around and check up on them.
At the moment what I have are exercises such as "Connect the halves", "Fill in the blanks" and simple tasks like creating a number of sentences using the key structure being taught.
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Unread May 7th, 2013, 01:46 am
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

Those were great ideas thank you for sharing!
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Unread May 21st, 2013, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

cut up sentences from the book. Students in groups have to build sentences. The fastest group wins. Always good to get a little competition going :-)
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Unread May 21st, 2013, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

cut up sentences from the book. Students in groups have to build sentences. The fastest group wins. Always good to get a little competition going :-)
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Unread Jun 1st, 2013, 08:49 pm
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Default Re: Games for teaching sentences to big groups

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Quote jellybeanenglisch View Post
cut up sentences from the book. Students in groups have to build sentences. The fastest group wins. Always good to get a little competition going :-)
This is actually a very good idea. You will get them engaged in the activity.
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