Teaching ESL

This is gold
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Author:  xenofied [ Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  This is gold

A child's imagination is way under appreciated. Did you know that a child can learn the most boring and redundant concepts with ease? all you need to do is use a mud ball. Or all you need to be is a robot teacher. walk into the classroom as a robot, play the part the best you can, and your kids will have more energy to learn then you can imagine. I taught kids how to read with the correct intonation, something that has been like pulling teeth before, and the kids love it. They read whatever passage I ask, and if they read it incorrectly, I shoot my rocket launcher arm at them and pretend they fly to the moon. They love trying to read something correct if they know they might get their head blown off if they don't.

If you wanna practice conversation, just toss a mud ball in your hand. if the student responds incorrectly, throw it at his face. They freak out!!!! and the best part is if they get it right, they get to throw their giant mud boulder at you!!!!!!!

Imagination is the strongest tool i have discovered as a teacher.

Author:  alislaura [ Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: This is gold

I like your ideas. I can imagine my 3rd and 4th graders in particular getting into this. How old are the kids you do this with?

Author:  xenofied [ Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: This is gold

That is the thing, even though adults appear to have lost their imagination sometimes, i believe they haven't, so I have been figuring out how to teach my style with any age. so far the oldest I have talk with imagination is high school aged kids. of course with them I don't use mudballs, but being different characters works well. just yesterday, with my 15 year old class of 7 girls, I had them sing a story as if they were in a choir and i was the conductor, I would wave my hands, and they had to say the sentence to the beat of my hands, which is how we talk naturally. If i heard someone off tune, they all had to start over.

It is all in how you present the activity, and how much visual interest you yourself show in it. if they class sees that you want to be a robot more than life itself, they will want join the ride........or they won't. that is the beauty of teaching, nothing ever works 100% you always have to evolve.

Author:  alislaura [ Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: This is gold

Good point. I started teaching preschool kids after several months with elementary kids and it has definitely improved my teaching. With the youngest children you naturally appeal to their imagination to make things more fun and interesting for them and I've started to introduce more of this with the "older" kids now too (having said that, my oldest kids are 10 years old).

Do you have any ideas about how to engage their imaginations on a walk - to keep them together and keep them walking and safe (i.e., on the sidewalk)? I have to take my after-school class from one building to another one a good 10 minutes away. It's a real pain! I have stragglers, picking flowers and collecting rocks, I have racers who always try and get ahead of the other ones, and then there are the endless quarrels about who is taking cuts, pushing, or doing some other objectionable thing.

I started off using a chant. "Hey, hey, get out of our way...." Which was great the first billion times but it's getting old now ! I've used other songs but a lot of kids HATE singing. (It's also hard for me to lead a song while walking forward ahead of them.) Right now we play counting games - how many manholes, how many lampposts, how many gates? It's okay but about half the kids don't do it and I'm more interested in getting where we're going than making an issue of it.

If we could be on some kind of fun, imaginative mission...using English....with variations possible....that would be great. I'm going to mull it over but if you have any ideas, I'd be happy to hear them.

Author:  alislaura [ Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: This is gold

Xenofied - if you ever check back here - I have to thank you. I really had a lot of success with my group walking from the school buildung to the buildiing where we have English.

I decided we were going on an expedition to The Forgotten Temple. The streets were rivers of lava. Every car coming down was a fireball. The houses were volcanoes and the other people we met were skeletons (the kids came up with that one.) Before we crossed the street we put on our lava suits. If we walked past "monsters" (gated animals) we had to very quiet.

I gave out points for everything the kids could name in English on the way. They could name the things for real ("car") or pretend ("fireball"). If they died they would lose all their points and have to start over. You can die by - touching the lava river without your lava suit on (we took them off after each crossing because they're too heavy to walk in), by getting ahead of the expedition leader (me) or getting too far behind the group.

The three kids with the most points got the "keys to the temple" and got to unlock the three doors. (Yes there are really THREE stupid doors in this building that I have to unlock and it's always been stressful as they kids crowded me and tried to be the first ones to squeeze in.) All the other kids start off next week with the points they gathered this week and the 3 kids who got to unlock the door start back at zero (so that everyone gets a chance.) They loved this and when we came into the room and sat down I have NEVER had them looking at me so expectantly and attentively and ready for the next fun thing!

At one point one boy said (in German): It's going to take forever for us to get there. And another one answered: Who cares? This is so fun!

So thanks Xenofied for giving me an idea that I think is going to work very well.

Author:  xenofied [ Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: This is gold

That brings tears to my eyes just imagining the whole expedition. your kids have no idea that they are learning, which is good in that your technique is so fun, but I also wish I would somehow teach kids to want to learn. like the give a fish to a man and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats forever. I want my kids to wake up and spend their free time learning. make hobby study.

I love that you were able to come up with such a diverse imaginary world for your kids. and it makes the rudimentary tasks you have to deal with work!!! I will never forget my first day being the robot. how the kids just loved it and did everything I asked without a single hassle. I honestly felt like I wasnt even teaching, just having fun with the kids. this was a month ago and they still ask me for the robot. I am trying to come up with another character right now.

I am so glad you have had success!!!!

Author:  Kiwione [ Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: This is gold

interesting thread

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