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Get up and active for Spring!

2013/04/03

Hello, is everyone cozy with your new job or new contract? If not, let's get together and make it happen. My name is Ryan, and I'll be taking over the Educareer updates going forward. I've lived in Japan for several years with my wife and now our baby daughter. I'll have to restrain myself from only posting photos of my daughter on the blog. So please just take my word for it, she's very cute. :^)

 

Instead, let's talk about the new school year. Many of your classes may be full of new faces for you as well as for your students. I find the best way to build positive relationships is through good old fashioned fun. I'd like to encourage you to try some activities in your class that will get your students up and out of their desks. It's been proven that children benefit from kinesthetic learning, and it's a great way to make friends. Plus, this is the farthest from the final test as you are going to get, so let's cut loose!

Here are a few activities to get your classes moving.

 

Get all the desks and chairs out of the classroom if possible, and all the students in the center of the room. I love to get out a long jump rope and have someone else hold the opposite end of the rope and help me make a line on the floor with it. Ask the target or review English phrase, and reward the students with their response by dragging the jump rope along the floor with your assistant. The students will have to jump the rope together or have their feet snagged. It's better to go slow than fast and let them have an easy time of it. Next lift the rope higher, forcing the students to either jump higher or crouch under the rope after answering the question. This is just a simple way of putting some action into the classroom, and may only work with younger classes, but you might be surprised to find older students enjoying it as well.

 

Still, for older students, when you are studying something that has a sequence such as days, months, numbers, or even just something where everyone takes a turn. Such as a self introduction, you might try the Hand Slap game. Make smaller groups and have the students sit around a single desk. After each student says their part of the target English they put a hand onto the desk. One student puts their hand on top of the previous one, making a sort of tower of hands atop each other. After all the students hands are part of this tower on top of the desk, all the students slowly raise their hands together while still keeping this tower shape. Then,... the student with their hand on the bottom of the tower quickly tries to slap the hand of someone else. If they are too slow they will hit nothing but desk. The students whose hand was slapped will then begin the next round. This could be separated into teams of only boys and only girls to keep them from feeling shy. But it is Spring, the season of love, so why not embarrass them a little and help them to hold hands.

 

I'm sure everyone has their favorite games and activities to help students to get up and help them mingle. I'm sorry if these examples weren't applicable for your classes, but I hope you have some great ideas for your class. I would love to hear them too! Anyone can feel free to drop me a line at ryan@educareer.jp

 

Enjoy the remaining cherry blossoms, and get active in the classroom!

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