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The first day 
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:37 pm
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Location: France
Post The first day
As the beginning of the school year approaches I'm having a hard time decided what to do with my students on the very first day.

I've never actually started teaching on the first day, both my recent teaching jobs have started halfway through the year in classes with well established routines that I chose to maintain.

I'm teaching little kids, from 2-5, and I only have them for 20minutes at a time, so too much discussion is lost on them, but at the same time I want to establish clear boundaries and expectations. Seems like a lot to accomplish in a short time and in a language they don't understand!

Any suggestions?


Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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Day one is really no problem at all. The kids are nervous as well and not sure what they are supposed to do (and what they can get away with.) It's usually the second and third day you get some kids 'testing' the waters.

I never sit down and formally go over any rules with young children. They won't remember anyway. They'll learn by experience. I just address issues as they pop-up. 'Spit out you candy, Timmy. No candy in class.'

I'm sure there are some institution rules. Just follow those and be firm and fair. They will learn all the rules, dos and don'ts. They'll just want to see how soft or hard you are.[/list]

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Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:05 pm
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:59 pm
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Perhaps consider introducing some TPR/action words that will be useful throughout the year, like sit down, stand up, etc.
Or, just fun, getting to know you games so that students learn each other's names (and yours).

Just had a thought...maybe the song "Where is Thumbin?" (same melody as Frere Jaque). Then, after saying all the fingers, adapt the song to say "Where is ___(student's name)?" and wave at them. Students could even sing along "Here I am" etc. if they're comfortable (but maybe not to be expected on the first day.. :D )


Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:06 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:14 am
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Location: Nago, Okinawa, Japan
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If you only have a short period with them, how about an action game like "Simon Says" In the game you can not only teach actions but also commands that they will need to recognize in the future such as stand up, sit down, hands up, stop and so on. Have fun!

Cesar


Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:24 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
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Hi,

I am new here to the forum although I read the posts regularly. I have also printed and successfully used a few of the games on the website.

With regards to the first lesson, this is often the best because the children come all wide eyed and excited. They are on their best behaviour as they still don`t know you or what is going to happen.

I start my first lesson with classroom language and teach stand up/ sit down. they sit in a circle and I say stand up/ sit down several times doing the action until they understand what I mean and then get a child at a time to give the commands . They find this great fun.
You can also play a version of the duck duck goose game using sit down/ stand up instead.

I also have some hand puppets which I introduce, then hide behind my back. I then sing "Where is Ernie... how are you today sir, run away".

I give the puppets to the children and sing the song again.

Next, ask the children to hide and then call them using this song but say "please, sit down" instead of "run away".


Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:30 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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ranabjam - Welcome! It's great to have you. :D

My first class with young learners is typically 45-50 min. However, the very first thing I do is some silly magic tricks and juggling to draw the students attention and get them to relax about the whole 'English' thing. I generally then get all the students names and then repeat back the names, messing it all up. This makes them laugh and again draws them in. That whole deals takes about 5 minutes.

Then we do some exercise (TPR) much like the other posters have said. I work on some simple commands like raise your hand, stand up and sit down, but also jump, turn around, clap ... They enjoy the movement and hopefully are less anxious about the whole thing.

(I do the name thing again)

I might follow with book reading, singing some action songs or introduction of the letter 'A' depending on the age of the group.

(I do the name thing again)

Lastly, I use the animal set 1. I go over the vocab with the group and we generally play some easy game.

Before saying good-bye, I get all the kids names right and we all go away having learned something. :)

nutella - I assume we've passed that first lesson. What did you do and how did it go?

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Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:28 am
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:37 pm
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Location: France
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Thanks for everyone's great ideas!

The first day was yesterday, and it went well. Almost all of the students that I saw I had taught the year before, so that helped. We practised saying 'hello' and 'goodbye', sang some songs (old ones and new ones) and I introduced some classroom vocabulary with the older kids, and animals with the younger ones. We made 'hello' posters for two of the classes, and they enjoyed that. That was about it. 20 mins goes by quickly!

They were all quiet and fairly well behaved, but I know that will all change soon once they get re-acquainted with each other.


Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:56 am
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