Category: Classroom Management

1-min Eltt guide – How Can You Manage Hyperactive Students?

Hyperactive students struggle to focus and stay organized. Many students, mostly primary ones are hyperactive. They need special attention from teachers to control them and help them understand the lessons. In case some students showed hyperactivity in my classroom I would:

* Great them by their names and create some time to speak to them individually.

* Build strong relationship with them by asking about their personal life, hobbies, activities, health and emotions.

* Praise them, if they did good things to make them feel emotionally safe in the classroom.

* Reinforce their appropriate behavior by giving them stars or gifts or by displaying their photographs on the class board.

* Tell their mistakes indirectly by asking them or the class: “Is that good or bad behavior?”

* Specify some time during the class for movement or doing some physical actions and encourage them to participate.

* Let them sit in the front rows to help them get the maximum concentration.

* Divide the big tasks for them into small steps making sure that they completed the first step before going on to the second one.

* Communicate with their parents and the psychological specialist at school asking for more information about them to use to improve their learning level.

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Ten Tips for Effective Use of the Board in Teaching EFL

As a teacher of EFL, your board is a memory tool for things you want your students to remember. It is also a helpful tool to keep you on track with the lesson. What should your board look like? In what way can you organize it? How can you get the best use of it? In this article we are going to give you some tips to consider when using the board or while writing on it.

1. Stand right:

While writing on the board, stand sideways without hiding what you are writing and keep eye contact with your students.

2. Prepare your text:

Prepare beforehand what you are going to write on the board. You can imagine an A4 paper as your board and write on it your text in advance, and then copy this prepared text to the classroom board.  Be focused and write as quickly as you can.

3. Keep it neat:

Try your best to make your writing look neat and clear. You can walk to the back of the classroom and check how your board looks like. Your writing should be big and straight enough. If you think something is not clear enough, do rub it out and write it again.

4. Keep students’ attention:

While writing, keep your students’ attention by reading the key words and phrases aloud. You can also pause for a while and ask a student to read what you have written.

5. Give clear instructions:

Tell students exactly what you want them to copy and at which time you want them to finish copying. After you finish, stand back and let them complete copying. When time finished, say “Stop copying. You can continue copying when I finish explaining”.

6. Organize your board:

Divide the board into three sections: the left one for key vocabulary and phrases, the right one for questions or home assignment, and the center for main structures or language focus. Try to leave a space under each section for temporary items that you can rub out as you go along the lesson.

7. Make important features noticeable:

important features are the points which you want your students to distinguish and remember such as auxiliary verbs, irregular endings, pronouns, contracted forms, … etc. You can do so by underlining them, using different colored pens/chalk, circling them or even making them italic.

8. Use tables for prompting:

Build these tables with students, then use them for controlled practice that are aimed at achieving accuracy such as substitution and transformation drills.

9. Use diagrams, mind/word maps and time lines:

You can use these aids on the board to clarify time, space, quantity or to increase the stock of vocabulary.

10. Stick items on the board:

You can use the surface of the board to display all sorts of items such as posters, flashcards, pictures, … etc. and have students to come out to the board for oral work pointing to or talking about these items.

Two Solutions to Challenges Teachers Face in Large Classes

Large classes are a reality in many countries and they bring many challenges to teachers. In this article, I discuss two important solutions to these challenges but let’s start with setting the challenges first.

The main challenges of teaching a large class?

  • It’s difficult to keep good discipline or manage the class.
  • You have mixed-abilities children.
  • You can’t easily give each child the care and attention they need.
  • You may not have enough teaching aids and learning materials.

How can we overcome these challenges?

Let’s discuss the following two solutions:

1. Set clear basic rules from the first beginning of the school year.

These rules should establish a code of behavior that learners understand, such as:

  • Each group should work quietly.
  • They may talk, but not loudly.
  • Children who have finished the lesson tasks can read the lesson silently.
  • If you want to talk with the teacher, put your hand up on the desk.
  • Reduce your voice when you see this sign (specify one).

Discuss with your class this code of conduct. The children can also sum up the rules in simple sentences and write them on a poster. Put this poster in a visible place. Beside to these rules, you can appoint responsible leaders who can help you maintain discipline and remind their friends with the rules and encourage them all the time to commit to them.

2. Use group work:

In a large class, group work can help children to learn from each other without getting bored listening to teacher talk. Even if they made some noise, it will be a healthy noise which means that learning occurs.

How to organize the groups:

A teacher can try different strategies to do so such as:

1. Mixed-ability groups: The more able learners in the group can help the others to master the work so that the teacher needs not teach some parts.

2. Same-ability groups: The teacher can group the faster learners together to do the work on their own and they can be given extra activities if they finished the work. On the other side, the teacher can give extra help to individual learners in the slower groups.

3. Using a group of leaders/monitors: the teacher can make a group of faster, more able learners and appoint them as leaders or monitors asking them to help slower learners. They can also give out and take in work for the groups and explain what each group should do exactly.

In all strategies the teacher needs to move around the classroom to see what progress learners are making and what problems they are facing. The teacher should give advice, encouragement and extra individual help where it is needed.

One more important advantage of group work is helping the teacher to manage with few teaching aids or not enough learning materials. Instead of making a teaching aid for each child to work with, the teacher can design only five or six of it and let each group have it to work with or the teacher can make different five teaching aids and the groups can exchange them, so by the end of the lesson all the groups will have done some work with each teaching aid.

With or without group work, in large classes the teacher should make the best use of the board by writing the important things on it in large size before the lesson.

The advantages of a large class:

Although most teachers consider a large class is a disadvantage, but there are some advantages of teaching a large class. You should make use of them.

  • Many children in the large class can share many different ideas and interesting life experiences. This motivates the children to discuss and learn from each other.
  • The large class divided into groups enables you to apply project-based learning approach.

During project work, children can learn to share responsibility and help each other. This also brings variety and speeds up the work. When you plan a group project, let students know that each group member will have their own special task that is connected to the others. Children should also know well that there is a deadline for the project. That means they will agree to do their own task and finish it by a certain date.

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