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Segmenting children's classes 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post Segmenting children's classes
I wasn't really sure how to title this thread.

I generally have several portions to each lesson for children. I have:
    Talking Time
    Exercise Time
    Phonics/Reading Time
    Singing Time
    Vocabulary Time

Maybe not all in one class :D

I separate these sections with a regualr routine that lets students know one section has finished and now we are going to do something new. I start with a short introduction, explaining what we are going to do. I usually end each section with a game or activity and award stickers or marks at the end to signify that section's completion. Then start again with a new section. I sometimes write a schedule on the board for some of my classes and cross things off as we go.

I don't think I read anywhere to do that, but it seems very useful to me and the students. But, the other day the topic came up in a discussion. A woman told me that she was told to do the opposite in her CELTA course. She said she was told that segments should flow together and there should be no obvious break between sections.

The CELTA course is for teaching adults but she seemed to feel it applied to children as well. What do you think?

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:11 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:54 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
I think segments are good for children. A flowing lesson may work well for adults, but children can get restless and bored very easily and a definite change in activity and pace can help revitalise a kids enthusiasm, because they think they are being exposed to something new. New = fun/interest

The way that I teach a normal class for 6-12 year olds is as follows (my classes are 50 minutes long)-
1. Game time- i teach a new phonics sound with a few examples and then we play a phonics game (10 minutes)
2. Writing and Reading- kids practice their spelling and reading words/sentences. (10 minutes)
3. Game time- I introduce the target sentence/question and the vocab and then we play a game. (10 minutes)
4. Textbook/worksheets- kids complete a listening quiz section and refamiliarise themselves with the vocab through a short role play. (10 minutes)
5. Game time- general english game time (includes the days target sentence, but also previous structures as well)

As you can see, it is very segmented, but as soon as you mention game time, kids don't care if the lesson is flowing or not....they just want to play a game. I also write the schedule on the board.
1 game time
2 writing/reading
3 game time
4 textbook
5 game time

kids love the fact that there is more game time than anything else.....they dont realise that i teach them something (ie a new phonics, vocab, sentence structure) so that they have to use it in the game time.......silly kids.

One person's idea can inspire another.

Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:49 am

Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:27 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Hanau, Germany
Hello everyone!

I can share with you what my routine more or less is:

1. Sharing Time (5mn max)
<anything anyone has to say in German before we start the English class, as later no interruptions (except emergencies) are accepted in German>
This works quite well as children have an urge to share everything with me like a water fountain: their bruises, how it happened, how the weekend was, etc....

2. Hello song (5mn)
3. Attendance (5mn)
Who´s here? Julian is here! or No, Laura is not here!...

4. Basic Questions (10mn)
Name, age, favorites....

5. Flashcards Theme + Game (10mn)
6. Craft or colouring (10mn)
7. Happy Birthday Song (if any) (2mn)
8. Reward Stamps (3mn)
9. Good-bye Song (if little time short version) (3mn)
10. Reward Surprises (if any)

Depending on their mood (some days are better than others), some part of the agenda is extended. For example if they are loaded with energy, there is more emphasizing in physical activities, etc.

Hope it can be of good use to someone!

Always look on the bright side of life!

Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:27 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 135
Interesting topic.
There are some brain research that suggest segmenting can aid learning, especially for younger 'computer age' learners.

In 'How the Brain Learns' by David Sousa, the author illustrates when the most learning is likely to take place. For example, people are likely to remember the most in the following order:
1. the beginning of the lesson
2. the end of the lesson
3. what goes on in between (downtime)

the downtime increases as the length of the lesson increases.

By segmenting the lesson and taking some sort of off-task break in between, the studies suggest that students were more likely to stay focused.

Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:32 am
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