Author Topic: Teaching the first class  (Read 1784 times)

Offline heddenswest

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Teaching the first class
« on: March 12, 2010, 09:10:45 AM »
Question for all you high school (and other) teachers:  what lessons/activities have you used for your first day of classes?  I am looking to revamp my introduction lesson and want to hear your ideas!

Last fall I did a PowerPoint presentation with pictures that was interspersed with Q and A from the students.  I put the students in pairs and gave them a notecard with a question on it.  For example, do you have any siblings?  Some words (like siblings) I had to explain.  Then, one student asked me the Q and I answered, using pictures and maps, etc.  Then I asked the other student in the pair the same Q and they answered.  This got everyone speaking and we could all learn a bit about one another. 

I want a new idea though!  What should I do?

Any suggestions would probably be helpful and interesting to a whole bunch of us, with the new school year fast approaching.

Thanks! 

Offline The Notorious M.I.G.

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 09:21:46 AM »
My first lesson (which I will use for a third time this April) is a powerpoint presentation about Ireland.

I introduce myself as does the JTE (If they haven't yet met) and then I tell them I am from Ireland and tell them a bit about it. Then we do some work on it - fill in the blanks, dictations etc. Then I give them a wordsearch.

My second lesson (which you could use as a first lesson - but might not be very fun for a first lesson) is making name cards and going over "usefull classroom english".
Concilium Slaccorum ad Victoriam!

"WTF you guys?!?! It was funny to ME!" - Erik

Taisetsu na mono protect my balls!

I live vicariously through myself.

Offline Twinkling Dookie

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 09:32:48 AM »
I also do a short powerpoint presentation where I introduce myself.  After I would ask them some questions about my presentation.  For the last 20 minutes of the class I do a little introduction game with the students.  They sit in a circle and I give them a small ball to pass around.  While they're passing the ball, I play music for about 20 seconds and then pause it.  The student who has the ball in his or her hand when the music stops has to give a short introduction to the rest of the class.

My name is
I went to ______ middle school
My hobby is
My favorite subject is

I give the student a piece of chocolate as a reward

Offline nobody

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 03:01:30 PM »
To add to what Hang said, the crazier the pictures are of what you're showing, the more interested the students will be.  Also, if you can use pictures the students can relate to, it hooks their attention.  For example, I superimposed Mt. Fuji in front of Mt. Mikinley to show the size difference.  I told them one of the animals back home is a Grizzley bear, then superimposed a picture of me standing next to a Grizzley that was standing on two feet.  Other examples including putting their school next to your school back home, etc.

As for new ideas, you could put together a true/false quiz about yourself and the students have to guess the answers even before you give your intro.  And, since it's the first class, it's important to capture their interest at the very onset, so:

1.) dig deep and make the facts about yourself interesting to the kids.  Things like "I have 2 brothers" is not interesting.  However, things like "I am youngest in my family, but I am the tallest member in my family." could be of interest.
2.) make it a one-time thing, but bring small prizes for a handful of students who get the most answers correct.  The prizes don't have to be ultra-cool, simple things like erasers, pencils, etc. will work just fine.  Or if you wanna get fancy, find various popular people here in Japan and print them out in color on 'label paper' so the students can peel off the back and stick it to whatever.

Offline heddenswest

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 03:10:32 PM »
I like both of these ideas....thanks! The T/F quiz could be a fun way to get started....I like the idea of beginning with that so that maybe students talk to each other and try to figure me out. 

The music/ball pass is good too because it forces students to speak.


Offline nobody

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 03:27:34 PM »
If you have no reservations at all, you could even include T/F info like:
1.) I have 3 boy/girlfriends.
2.) I'm gay.

'Shock' sentences like these would really get their attention and spark their interest.

Offline Twinkling Dookie

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 03:43:07 PM »
I have to say those work pretty damn well.  It gets the students all excited.  The only problem with that is maintaining that level of excitement throughout the year.

Offline nobody

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 04:02:54 PM »
@Hang, it's just like meeting someone for the first time AND delievering a good speech, the point isn't to keep the person entertained the entire time they are in your presence.  

In regards to meeting someone for the first time, it's the first impression that is the most important; they're the impressions that last the longest and are the hardest to change.  So, your first class needs to kinda be on a higher level than your average class.  You need to show the students English class is interesting, fun, funny and all-around a relaxed environment to be in.  

In regards to delieving a good speech, statistics show that you need to capture your audience's attention within the first 30 seconds or you'll lose them for the rest of it.  So, your first English class should have 'something' that gets their attention.  The 'something' I mentioned was a 'shock-n-awe' method.

You shouldn't be afraid of trying to KEEP the same interest level for the entire whole year, the goal is to CAPTURE their attention; PEAK their interest.  I tend to look at a student simply a 'rock' when I go into a classroom for the first time.  By getting them interested in what you're doing and being able to turn their heads away from their friends and towards you, you slowly turn each rock into clay, which over time, becomes much more moldable.

And, if you're worried about keeping their excitement all year, tell them you have a new g/f every week. ;)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 04:06:13 PM by nobody »

Offline Electric Barbarella

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Re: Teaching the first class
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 10:29:37 AM »
I do a short introduction of myself (and the JTE too if they haven't yet)  and I go over the rules of class and how they are graded in my class.  If I am teaching only 20 students, I have each student stand up and introduce themselves, but if I'm teaching all 40, I wait to do that in the next class.

Next, I teach them some new words/phrases for "hello" "how are you" and "goodbye."  I then give each student a slip of paper with a question on it.   They practice using the new phrases and question in a dialogue with a partner.  When most groups appear done, I ask for a few volunteers to stand up and read their dialogue.  I tell them they will get participation points.

Next,they go around the room, using the dialogue they just practiced with five people.  Each time they finish a dialogue, they switch questions, so they aren't asking the same question five times.  They write what their partner said on their papers.

After this I give them their homework.  They have to write about themselves and decorate their hanko (participation) card.

This is what I did last year and I think it went pretty well, but I don't want to do the exact same thing this year, so I'm probably going to modify this.  Maybe add in "how to handshake like an American."  It's always fun to pull a kid up to the front of class.   :evil: