Sunday, October 22, 2017

The consequences of having a blast.

- Did you have trouble to wake up this morning?
- Yes, Miss Ellie.
- I supposed so...

Getting back to routine can become a big problem when it comes to secondary students, specially after enjoying a bank holiday. According to The Mirror, renowned sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley, when you are out of your normal routine, the body isn't expecting to wake up at the time the alarm goes off, so it's still in deep sleep and just isn't ready, that is why you feel so exhausted.

While theoretically the more students there are in a class, the more possibilities for interaction there should be, this is not the case when it comes to a bank holiday or Mondays; let me say that the more learners there are, the more difficult developing interaction can be since there are more people to monitor and, therefore, more chances of problems. Thus, when I notice my students are dragging, I try to add energy (without completely abandoning the lesson) playing a quick "wake up, you sleepy students!" game:

- With my youngest graders I sometimes make the kids stand up and jump up and down and then, after doing it a couple of times, I call for silence clapping my hands and I order them to get into groups of a certain number of students and the left over students have to do a challenge in the middle of the class. It is funny and it entertains them. It usually takes 4-5 minutes.

- With my 5 or 6 graders I use cards. They play a cooperative game called "pick-a-card". The focus of this strategy can be to review a concept, discuss an issue, demonstrate understanding of content, or share information about a topic. In pairs, student 1 holds question cards, reads the question out loud and allows thinking time; then, student 2 answers the question. If the answer is right, student 2 picks the card, but if it is wrong, student 1 keeps the card. Then, they change roles. The aim of the activity is to collect as many cards as possible.

- With the oldest ones, I tend to use the computers. I found out that they adore flipped classroom so I schedule activities in order to avoid boredom in these tough classes. If students watch lectures or correct their own homework the day before, you can spend time focusing on revision activities, such as crosswords, jigsaws or fill in the gaps exercises. Everyone appreciates games instead of reading the traditional book early in the morning.

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