In 2002, when I'd been in the teaching game for seven years, teachers were given a £500 bursary to spend on their own personal CPD. Some of my Science and Geography colleagues, and MFLers come to that, managed to spend it on holidays under the guise of "looking at igneous rock formations" and the like. I, however, always the geek, spent mine on books. Lots of them. To give me lots of ideas for things to do in the classroom.
I became an AST later in 2002, and decided to go down that route rather than the HoD route because essentially I am a teaching and learning person. I like finding out and trying new ideas in the classroom to enhance my teaching and pupils' learning. I also have a pretty low boredom threshold, and get fed up teaching the same thing the same way year after year.
So in 2002, I took my new books and read through them, writing down all my favourite things and saving them in a document called "Ideas". Today I had to start preparing a training session for our FLAs, and my first port of call was this document, to find things which FLAs could usefully do in the classroom. To my surprise, I found that I have actually tried out a lot of these ideas, and some of them are part of my core repertoire.
Since then I've acquired a lot of new books, with yet more ideas, and I'm reading through those too, as much for the FLAs' benefit as for my own CPD as a newbie primary practitioner.
Now I'm guessing that if I haven't tried these things before, then there'll be others too who haven't tried them, so I thought I'd share them.
Here's the first instalment. There is a primary bias, but I'm sure that some of these could be done with KS3 too.
1. Crazy Talk with pupils (I have had it for a while and have used it in resource making, but have never let pupils loose with it)
2. Wordle with pupils
3. Making comics with pupils. Again I've made comics myself for resources but I'd like to see what the children can do with them.
4. Mini-books - an excellent way to unleash creativity.
5. Good taste, bad taste: Arrange opinion phrases in descending order along the wall (Me encanta to odio) Play snippets of music (get lots of different music styles) and pupils stand in front of the poster that reflects their opinion. They are creating a living graph (and not in the Thinking Skills sense !) Ask one or two children for their opinion, and they should say the same opinion as is on the card behind them. Quickly change music and repeat
6. Stick ‘em up: Show a set of pictures on one side of the IWB (or board) with corresponding labels on the other side. Two pupils come to the front and match them up while the rest of the class time them by counting in the TL in unison. If they think they’ve finished but some are wrong, tell them in TL how many are wrong and they try to put them right. When they’ve finished shout Stop in the TL, and the number that the others have counted to is noted as the record to be broken.
7. In the bag: Find a series of objects and put them in a bag. In teams pupils ask "¿Tienes un(a) ...?" and you reply "Sí, tengo ...." or "No, no tengo..." If you do have it, it’s given to that team. The team with the most correct guesses wins.
8. Lily pads: A variation on the writing grid theme. Arrange words on lily pad shapes in columns on a big pond on the IWB. A frog has to jump across safely by jumping on the lily pads one from each column, to make a correct sentence.
9. Choral repetition - I need to increase my repertoire.
Say the word in a different way, such as quickly, slowly, angrily, sadly, happily, quietly, loudly, lightly, heavily, strongly, calmly, lazily, sleepily, fearfully, proudly, secretly, silently, painfully, lightly, seriously, dramatically, gracefully, decisively, worriedly, thoughtfully, stiffly, jerkily, childishly, drunkenly.
Have one half of the class say it then the other.
Say the words row by row or table by table.
All the girls or all the boys
10. Pass me the salt please: Show pupils a selection of objects. Ask different pupils to ask for one of the objects "Pásame el/la....por favor" until all the objects have been given out. Then a pupil who doesn’t have an object asks for one and pupil who has it has to hand it over. This can be done with word or picture cards as well, and obliges pupils to listen in case their card is chosen, and listen to all the available options in case they have to do the asking.
11. Matching sentences with pictures: Give each pair a different picture (e.g. fashion picture from magazine) and about 10 statements about the picture. Some of the statements are true, others are red herrings. The pair read the statements and place the correct ones on the picture and put the rest back in the envelope. You check it, then they swap with another pair to get lots of practice. As a follow-on they can find their own picture and write their own sentences. They could also put into sentences into chronological order if appropriate
12. Weather: Give pairs of pupils sets of picture cards, for example weather symbols and activities. They pair the cards up to make sentences which they can present orally or in writing.
You could also use maps with weather symbols “In the north it’s rainy” or different countries in the world, as well as different animals for different climates.
13. What did I have for breakfast ?: Another way to practise vocabulary. Put a big picture of a whale on the IWB, with some small pictures inside Drag the pictures out and say “For breakfast I ate….” Then put them back and pupils have to guess which one will be pulled out first, by repeating the sentence. You could also use a cat by a dustbin
14. Freetime activities: Show pupils a group of aliens which are all different. Add a speech bubble in which pupils can say what activities the aliens do. Go for some obvious characteristics like couch potatoes, brainboxes, sporty ones, blobs.
15. Action listening: Pupils all stand up to listen. They have to do the correct action when they hear a certain word, and have to sit down if they are wrong. To avoid some sitting down and being bored you can time games and give a point to those left in at the end of the time before starting again.
Give pairs of pupils a sheet with pictures on and they have to listen and point to the right picture.
Or you can give out cards, which they hold up when they hear theirs. Then swap cards over to make it more difficult.
So there's 15 ideas for starters, 15 things that I want to try that I haven't tried before. I'll let you know how I get on !