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.

Six Back-to-School Ideas for the First EFL Class.

Back to school. Finally! In Egypt. The first day of school is a special day for students and teachers. It is a day full of emotions. Teachers get anxious about how to start their first lesson and students feel nervous about how their teachers are like. I agree that first impression counts, so it’s necessary for each teacher to plan for a successful first lesson that will set a good tone for the rest of the lessons of the course along the school year. Here are some useful back-to-school ideas for the first EFL class.

1. Get to know your students and let them get to know you:

First, introduce yourself to your students telling them what subject you are going to teach. Give them some detailed information about yourself such as your likes and dislikes, your hobbies, your favorite football team, … etc. and then get to know your students asking them questions to find out a little more about them.

2. Do some activities to break the ice with your students: 

Plan for some warm-up activities to create a friendly and comfortable atmosphere in the classroom. Make it fun and always encourage students to communicate (in English if possible) with you and others comfortably. Remember, some students may feel shy on the first day; it’s probably the first time they’re meeting you and their classmates. A good way to help students overcome their shyness and lighten up the mood is to use icebreakers.

3. Go through the textbook with them:

Talk about what they are going to learn, and the specific skills covered in each unit. Tell them what they will be able do at the end of the course and how it is very interesting. Focus on the fun they will feel if they engage in the lessons.

4. Set the tone for all future classes:

Your first lesson is the perfect time to set your rules and expectations. Go over what you want out of your students, but also tell them what you plan to do for them if they stick to the rules. You can write the rules onto a piece of poster board to be shown clearly for all students every day.

6. Talk about possible disruptive behaviors and their consequences (For Adults):

You can mention some classic examples of disruptive behaviors such as:

  • Insults or put downs,
  • Bullying,
  • No respect for other students and their personal belongings,
  • No respect for the teacher,
  • Unwillingness to participate in the activities,
  • Not following the rules agreed upon beforehand,
  • Cheating,
  • Not completing tasks, assignments, homework,
  • Untidiness and littering, …etc.

And then, talk about what happens if a student do one of the previous behaviors. It is recommended that you tell them a system of punishments and rewards as well. You may choose to give them a warning first; the second time, they lose a privilege, like going outside to play; the third time, a call is made to his or her parents.

5. Get an idea of your students’ skill levels.

Plan activities that test the four basic English skills: listening, speaking, writing and reading. You can make a short quiz to know brilliant students and low achievers.

6. Let your students have a way to reach you.

Tell your students that you are in the school to help them and they can come to you for any problem they encounter in the course. Be precise and tell them exactly where and when they can come to meet you in the school. You can also give them your WhatsApp number to connect with you at any time.

Have a Great First Lesson!
Having a great first lesson sets a great tone for future lessons and makes students look forward to your classes. All you need is a good attitude and a few activities prepared beforehand. Treat your first lesson as a meet-and-greet rather than a classroom lecture and be sure to have fun! Start your first class in a fun way. That’s ALL.

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Six General Tips to Manage a Class

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What does “Classroom Management” actually mean?

Classroom management is the most important factor affecting student learning.

It is the effective discipline in the classroom that provides a safe, comfortable learning environment, motivates your students, build their self-esteem and encourage them to be imaginative and creative in daily lessons.

It is having control of the class by organizing students and resources so that teaching and learning can occur effectively.

Reasons for disruptive behavior in the classroom:

Students misbehave for several reasons:

  • They are bored.
  • They don’t know the purpose of your presentation.
  • They are not aware of the importance of the information that you are delivering.
  • Activities are not interesting.
  • The pace of the teaching is too fast, or too slow.

Principles of classroom management:

  1. Dealing with disruptive behaviors.
  2. Minimizing off-task behaviors.
  3. Engaging as many students as possible in learning activities.

Six General Tips to Manage a Class:

1. Over plan your lessons:

If you don’t plan, the student will plan for you.

The more you plan, the more effective the lesson and delivery will be and the less problems with discipline will occur.

  • Ensure that you fill each minute of the period with learning activities.
  • Be prepared and organized well.
  • Minimize transition time among tasks.

2. Arrange the seating:

  • Rearrange the desks — both for your language lessons and sometimes even for a particular activity so that it is both easier and more natural for students to see and talk to each other.

3. Look at the students:

  • If you are standing, and your eyes are constantly moving over the class, everyone feels involved.
  • Your eyes help your students’ concentration.
  • The easiest way to check whether your students understand what you have said or what they have read or heard, is for your eyes to look at theirs.
  • Any incomprehension or confusion will show in their eyes long before they tell you that there is a problem.

4. Use your hands to encourage and direct students:

  • A simple gesture can indicate who is going to answer a question or which pair of students should now read a dialogue.
  • Simple gestures can also indicate that something is wrong.
  • Use a collection of gestures to avoid unnecessary language which can distract students.
  • Gestures can indicate what is required from individual students, or even from the whole class, with a minimum of fuss.

5. Vary your voice:

  • Pauses, stress and changes of voice when you change from comment to instruction and from statement to question will mean that it is much easier for students to follow and pay attention to what you say.

6. Gain attention:

  • Gain student’s full attention before giving instructions.
  • Provide instruction with simple and clear language.
  • Provide one instruction at a time – do not provide too many different instructions.
  • Make your lessons relevant and interesting to your students.
  • Use examples that interest students.

Eight Tips to Manage the Classroom and Keep your Students’ Attention

big-23-super-effective-ways-to-get-your-students-attention-without-raising-your-voice

Classroom management is mainly based on attracting and keeping your students’ attention. If you succeed to do that, you will be able to achieve your learning objectives easily. Here are some tips to attract your students’ attention

  1. Use a signal for zero noise (e.g. if I raise my hand, you all should keep silent.)
  2. Come close to two students chatting and surprise them.
  3. Give clear instructions for each activity telling students what to do exactly.
  4. When making transition from one activity to another, ask for your students’ attention.
  5. Eye contact with as many students as students to monitor the entire room.
  6. Differentiate and vary your activities during each lesson to break monotony.
  7. Ask questions to check students’ comprehension.
  8. Keep silent for some moments while looking at students until they pay full attention.

Four Tips to Enforce Students to Follow Rules in Class

Do you allow students to chew gum or use mobiles in class? Why?! Simply because we have rules in our schools. As we have rules, we have to follow them. The first one who must follow these rules is YOU. If you don’t, you will lose respect for yourself and for your rules. The point is that you should be a model for your students. Once you tell them a rule, you have to stick with it. In addition, I learned from experience the effectiveness of the following tips for students to follow your rules in class.

1. Use a reminder:

If you see a student chatting a bit with a classmate, ask: “Do you have a question? Is there something you want to tell me about? Have you finished yet?” This serves as a reminder. The key point here is that you remind the student and the whole class with the rule agreed upon that was not followed by someone. This kind of situation may not need a consequence. Just a reminder for that student to stop and return to follow the rules.

2. A consequence has to follow:

Not all rules can be treated the same. For example, when you see a student using a mobile, you can’t just say: “I remind you not to use your mobile.” In this situation, students will not expect a reminder but a warning and then a consequence. You have to say then: “This is a warning and a consequence will follow.” And then, a consequence has to follow if the same student or any other one does not stick to this rule. All students watch and expect the consequence. If you just sigh or neglect what happens, students will not see any rule to follow in this situation.

3. Be transparent and fair:

Be respectful to all and set your rules nicely and clearly but don’t be selective in your reminders or warnings. Give the rules to the class collectively. As a result, a consequence for not sticking to a rule has to be the same for all students.

4. Talk more about objectives not rules:

Always put in your mind, the ultimate goal of your teaching in class is not enforcing students to follow rules but teaching effectively to help students achieve certain learning objectives. Don’t talk much about rules but spend most of your time talking about effective teaching and the objectives that you are charged to help students to achieve, and don’t forget that students from a time to another need to feel a sense of accomplishment.

The First Five Things to do to Manage a Classroom

For teachers who return to teaching in the schools, I know that the most difficult thing to do is to master classroom management. But, you know, classroom management is not to be strict but it is simply to be organized. If you want to have a classroom run smoothly, you should set up a structured learning environment where certain behaviors are praised and others are discouraged.

I think the following five procedures will help you teach in a quiet classroom with students attentive and observant to you.

  1. Create a friendly but respectful relationship with your students.

This kind of relationship is very important to create learning opportunities. Start at the door with a smile, greet your students and shake hands with some of them. Use your students’ names and actively praise them. Know them and their needs and use this knowledge to adjust your teaching methods. If you have a good relationship with your students, you will be able to push them harder and further to learn because they will trust you.

  1. Train your students on how to understand and learn in the classroom.

You should have a learning philosophy that guides your teaching methods in the classroom; tell it to your students. Tell them that you don’t expect them to be at the same level in learning but add that you have some steps if they follow they will learn. Write these steps on the board in the first period or spread over a printed copy of them. Don’t forget at the end of each period to summarize what students should learn to give each student the opportunity to practice self-evaluation.

  1. Prepare your mind and materials well.

Managing the classroom includes managing the time minimizing lost time in activities like handing out papers, taking attendance and announcements. You should protect your time and increase the time spent on learning. You will not be able to do so unless you are well mentally prepared. You should know how to transition students from one activity to another without wasting time in order not to give them any time for side talks.

  1. Anticipate your students’ behavioral problems.

Anticipation is not enough, but you should put in your mind the solutions. Don’t go ahead directly to punishment but build activities or ask questions that can lead students to return to the lesson and attention.

  1. Establish behavioral standards from the first day.

These standards should hit the main points regarding showing respect, communicating correctly and coming prepared to learn. Explain the standards of performance, as well as the limits of behavior.

Practicing classroom management should begin at the start of school and throughout the year.  It needs to be flexible, tolerant and smiling to manage your students. These are my priorities for managing classrooms, what are yours?

12 Tips to Control a Large Class.

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It’s difficult to control a large class which includes different abilities and speeds of learning. It’s not easy to give each student the attention he needs. In addition, students may not have the textbooks to write on, so they have the chance to make noise. The following 12 tips will help you to overcome the previous challenges and achieve a satisfied level of control on your large class so that your teaching will be effective.

  1. State a system for everything, e.g. speaking, turn taking, respect of others, test taking, answering questions, …… etc.
  2. Achieve an agreement with the students from the first beginning. Focus on praising frequently those who are committing to their promises.
  3. Be firm but warm. Use strict words but preserve the dignity of students and don’t humiliate them.
  4. Pursue the main source of disciplinary problems not symptoms and think and use various alternatives to solve them.
  5. Get used to call your students with their first and second names.
  6. Increase the amount of interaction activities during each lesson.
  7. Use pair-work or small group-work technique when doing the exercises considering the variation in ability levels.
  8. Use audio-visual aids to attract students’ attention and facilitate learning.
  9. Don’t bury yourself in the textbook or the preparation notes but always eye contact with students.
  10. Don’t plant your feet firmly in one place for the whole lesson but always move around the class.
  11. Dress appropriately and use effective facial and hand gestures.
  12. Arrange the chairs, organize the board, free the class from external noises, speak up to be heard and show yourself to all the students in the classroom.

Five ways to pair or group your students

pair or group work

1. Decide who you want to work together and tell individual students their partners.
2. Gesture with your hands to students who sit beside or near each other to work together.
3. Divide students according to their birthdays, height or any other criteria.
4. Give each student a card with a word or letter or phrase and ask students to find their partners by connection of the cards.
5. Give each student a number and ask who have same numbers to sit together. You can do that with letters or words. This is a nice warm-up for the start of the lesson.

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