Seat arrangement -the fun way….

DSCN0094As a teacher, creating seating charts is always something difficult.  Seating charts are one of those things where there is no way to make everybody happy. In the past, whenever I created a seating chart I felt  like I was putting together a giant puzzle with too many pieces.

Therefore, a few years ago, I decided to change that, and make the monthly seat arrangement , more fun and meaningful….
The purpose of a seating chart is to group and move students so that they are in the best learning orchestration possible for that instructional time period.

What usually happens in most classes is that, students often don’t see the purpose behind their seats or read more into their assigned seat than is there.  It is important for students to understand that sometimes their seat won’t be the seat they would choose, but it will be a seat that they will be productive in and that his or her seat assignment will change again and again over the course of the school year.

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Of course, students need to be able to communicate with the teacher about their needs, when it comes to a seating chart, as well as listen to the teacher about the reasoning behind those seats. This is an important skill for students to develop as it will help them in future endeavors and realistically, seating charts are a part of their school experience the whole way through.

I personally ,assign seats and switch them every month, and rotate project  groups as well – anything to get students interacting with others outside their own social groups. Anyone with special needs is accommodated as well. It works great!

I tell them right from the beginning that I am going to move their seats around, and that they will work in teams, and that they will work with everyone at some point, and it’s going to be SUPER FAB. Then there’s some grumbling, but at least they know what to expect.

My primary reason is to ensure that the students have a chance to work with all of their peers, actually. I want to try to avoid cliques and make everyone feel welcome.

I also am a big fan of cooperative learning in general .

Also, there is good reason to randomize the groups again and again. This helps students experience different levels of group success – with most groups becoming more successful due to each student’s experiences.

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Activities for  my older students

Sharing here, some ideas I have found on  http://www.edweek.org/  , and have tried successfully!..

Each activity takes 10 to 15 minutes but there is some preparation. Before beginning, I label the tables and chairs in an orderly way and post the seating challenge prominently.Here are the ideas….

1: Greet each student at the door and make sure he or she is in the right classroom. Next, before he or she has a chance to sit down, direct the student to follow the posted instructions: “Sit in birthday order so that the person with the birthday closest to January 1 sits in Seat 1. The year you were born doesn’t matter. Don’t skip seats. When everyone is seated, the student in Seat 5 will raise his or her hand and report that the class is ready to begin.”

Observe the interactions: Look for organizers, active and passive participants, refusers and disrupters. Be mindful that some students would rather be invisible and that the activity is probably something they haven’t experienced before.

If anyone asks you what to do, redirect him or her to classmates and the posted instructions. Encourage students and remind them that you don’t know the answer.

When Seat 5 reports in, do a couple of spot checks, show them where your birthday lies (just for fun!), and begin your lesson. By the end of this activity, every student will have interacted with other students and many will have reported to the whole class in a safe, nonthreatening way. (Ok, Seat 5 is under some pressure.)

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 2: Ask the students to follow these instructions: “Line up in alphabetical order by the name you like to be called. Then sit with an equal number of students at Tables 1-4. Remaining students sit at Table 5. When all are seated, the last student raises his or her hand and reports that the class is ready.”

Adjusting to have equal numbers at each table produces a lot of interaction and some tension. Watch closely how students with different ideas negotiate. Don’t intervene with the answer, but mediate if necessary. Have students quickly report out their names. Treat alphabetizing mistakes kindly, of course.

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 3 is different. Meet each student at the door with a paper that says, “Read this card completely. Do not enter the room until you understand the instructions. You may talk about the instructions before you enter the room. When you understand the instructions, give the card back to your teacher, enter the room, and begin.” Here’s what the card says:

1) Complete this challenge in complete silence: Remain silent for the entire activity. Do not talk or whisper after you enter the room.

2) In the room, line up in order by height.

3) Then take your seats with the shortest person in Seat 1.

4) Do not skip seats.

5) When the class is seated, the student in Seat 12 raises his or her hand, and when called on reports that the class is ready.

Post the instructions in the room as well. Although the task is easy, the silent rule adds some stress, so observe which defense mechanisms students display. Note who is comfortable reading the cards and who avoids the task.

On activities 4 and 5 students sort themselves into groups and sub-groups that may be lopsided. The instructions demand more judgment and decision-making from the students.

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 4:  The instructions read: “Sort yourselves into two groups: sneaker wearers and non-sneaker wearers. Next, each group forms two subgroups: students with curly hair and those with straight hair. You have curly or straight hair if you think you do. Each sub-group finds enough chairs and sits in order from the person with the shortest hair to the person with the longest hair.”

A tree diagram showing the groups may help. Watch how they negotiate and decide where to sit.

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 5: The instructions read: “Form two groups—students who prefer to spend free time indoors and those who prefer to spend it outdoors. You may like both but choose just one. Within those groups, define your own subgroups based on the last thing you did when you spent free time the way you wanted to. Find a place to sit together and talk about your free time activity.”

Some extra fun activities I have tried with my very young learners are:

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I hand out coloured pieces of paper to each student as they enter the room. They then arrange themselves in groups according to the colours.

I hand out cards with half a word or sentence written on them and students look for their..other half to  change a seat with…

I hand out simple question cards to half the class and the answer cards to the other half. Students, walk around the classroom asking and answering questions , to find their match and change seats with them.

I also, whisper to each student’s ear a word or a number and ask him/her to remember it for a while. I make sure that, I whisper the same word to two different students. Then , I ask them to walk around the classroom and look for their partner…The student, with the same word. This is either the person they have to sit next to or the person they exchange seats with.

A favourite activity is, to have the class listen to some dance music and ask them to walk around until it stops…When it stops, they have to sit down in the nearest chair they find….It’s similar to the Musical Chairs game!

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I also, hand out papers with animal names on them. The students mill around making that animal noise or action until they find the “animals ” in their group. I used this when we were studying Animal Farm when we needed groups. Lots of fun and very funny. Most kids loved it.

These ideas do not necessarily involve a lot of cooperation by the students to arrange themselves but then I am forever telling kids that groups or partners are not a life time commitment. They last for about a month or even a bit longer, depending on the assignment or reason. Kids are generally pretty happy as they know this will change. The line of “this is not a life time commitment” must work well as I have heard students repeat it to each other and all seems to work well.

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All group arrangements take time but it is time well spent as we all have to learn to work with others. A class that learns to cooperate early in the year will learn and share more over the course of the year than one that is always fighting groups.

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Teachers4Europe project, 2014/2015

The books we used during the project

The books we used during the project

A few months ago, I decided to take part in an amazing European project called ” Teachers4Europe”. That project, was the best follow-up of the British Council project ” Life Skills” , which I had finished just a week before.

One of the activities , was actually about tolerance , acceptance and respect which  proved valuable when we decided to start working on this  new european project.

Τhe project idea,  presupposes the acceptance of certain values without which Europe cannot exist. These core values are Respect for Human Dignity, Equality and Respect for Human Rights, which, along with Democracy, Freedom and the Rule of Law, are the founding values of the European Union. The main goal of our  project was to help students enrich their knowledge about Europe in general and especially about the basic principles that permeate the family of countries which constitute the European Union. Another aim was to sensitize them to the notions of collaboration and supporting one another through group work, as these notions are also part of the essential European ideals that lie in the core of the Union itself. The project methodology was based on cross-curricular, experiential, cooperative, communicative and learning-through-playing approaches. By the end of the project the students had acquired a significant amount of knowledge as to how the European Union works. They developed an understanding of the basic values that bound the European countries together and the significant role they play in our lives. They understood the importance of notions such as “acceptance”, “collaboration”, “respect” and “equal opportunities for everyone”.

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For more information about Teachers4Europe:

http://www.teachers4europe.gr/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=9 )

( teachers4Europe” http://www.teachers4europe.gr/newsite/ )

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The project lasted about two months .

I decided to name it ” Our European House” . Actually, that was the name of one of the project activities, as well.

I wanted to emphasize the fact that, all Europeans live under the same ” roof” ! We are  European citizens , a characteristic which unites us all !

The class project activities ,were the following:

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Warming-up activities

 

We spent about a week, playing team games , in order to get to know Europe better! We used the books ” Let’s discover Europe” and ” The European passport” as well as a map of Europe , to find information since, we don’t have a computer lab at school!

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We played a guessing game about European monuments and  did a quiz on European flags and capital cities.

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ACTIVITY 1

 

“ The story of a 50 Euros banknote”

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Creative writing: a 50 E banknote travels from hand to hand and from country to country , around Europe

  1. Work on the myth: “ Europe’s kidnapping by Zeus”

Description of the tool

We work in 4 teams, 4-6 students each.

Two teams work on the first topic while the other two work on the second one.

The first two teams, write their own story using creative writing tools. The other two teams , receive a worksheet with the myth of  “ Europe’s kidnapping by Zeus”  and are asked to write their own short play about it!

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Alternatively,  a representative of each team, picks up a card

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with a word having to do with one form  of Art on it ( theatre, music, dancing, literature-poetry) and the team is asked to  compose a unique work of art either on the story of a 50 E note or on the myth of Europe and Zeus .

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God Eros! lol!

God Eros! lol!

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Later, they have to present their work , in class. There are four teams working on four different works of Art.

We give plenty of time both for the writing  and for the rehearsals.

A discussion follows about the whole experience, in class.

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ACTIVITY 2

What is Europe for me? Our European house.

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Getting to know one another and coming close to the topic of Europe

Description of the tool.

Preparation

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A topic is presented to the group through a question and/or a heading e.g.: “My house of Europe – what is Europe for me?”.

(Further variations: “My picture of Europe”, “I find this exciting about Europe?”, “I would like a Europe like this….” … )

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What is Europe for you? A brainstorming group activity.

Procedure

Small groups of 4-7 participants are divided between several rooms so as not to disturb each other. Each group gets a large sheet of paper and draws on it their outline of ‘A European House’ with foundations, a roof and as many rooms as there are participants in the small group. They can decide on the architecture of the house. In this way their drawing of the house (crooked or futuristic, strong etc) can also represent their ideas on Europe. Additional ‘extensions to the house’, as well as the environment the house stands in or the ‘surrounding weather conditions’ (sunny, stormy etc) can with other associations be integrated into the picture.

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In one of the rooms the participants write down their personal associations and answers to the question ‘What is Europe for me?’ and then exchange opinions on these statements. The second stage is the group filtering out things they have in common. These things form the foundations. The roof is filled with the group’s shared visions for the future of Europe. The game leaders should make it clear that the small group must reach a consensus concerning the foundations and the visions for the future (30 – 45 mins).

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Evaluation

The small groups present their ‘European House’ to the larger group and hang up their poster in the group room (30 mins). To conclude common factors and differences between the group posters should be discussed (15 mins).

The participants should recognise that the European Union grew out of a long line of ‘events’ and that this process has not finished; important events in this process should be found out and their chronological order.

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Orangito, a flat puppet ambassador from our pen pals in Spain, took part in the project, as well!

 

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We decided to build a 3D European house in class, as well!! We loved every minute doing so!

 

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ACTIVITY 3

Story on a long line.

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Description of the tool.

Preparation and procedure: select event and picture cards (possibly, look for picture cards at http://europa.eu.int/comm/mediatheque/photo). Form small groups of max. 6 people. The small groups each receive a set of event and picture cards as well as the corresponding dates, additional washing line and pegs and possibly glue.

The small groups should match the dates with the event and picture cards and then put them in the correct order attaching them to their washing line or prepared pinboards.

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The washing lines or pinboards stay in the classroom.

Evaluation: The ‘story on a long line’ (time line) is designed as an introductory unit. The correct chronology is discussed and the results of the small groups’ work then correspondingly altered. The results will then subsequently be discussed and the participants’ questions addressed

Variations: The method can serve as a targeted introduction to a specific topic. The selection of event and picture cards should correspond accordingly

Event and date cards examples :

The beginning of the strike at the Lenin docks in Danzig

Greece joins the EC

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Spain and Portugal join the EC

Turkey applies to join the EC

The fall of the Berlin Wall

The treaty of Maastricht comes into force

Austria, Sweden, and Finland join the EU

The treaty of Amsterdam comes into force

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The EU and Morocco sign an association agreement

The beginning of economic and monetary union

Turkey gains the status of a pre-accession candidate

The Charta of basic rights is accepted

The treaty of Nice is agreed

The € is introduced as cash in 12 countries

The European Convention begins with its conferences

The draft constitution is presented

 

ACTIVITY 4

Name that european tradition.

 

Exercise that allows participants to reflect on European traditions in a fun way.

Aims of the tool

Reflect on which traditions/people we identify as “European”

Description of the tool.

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The player has one minute to take a paper and explain to his partners what is on the paper without saying the word.

Participants take 3 slips of paper. On each paper they write a name of a person (historical or present) or something that they perceive as typical European. All things written down should be known by most European people.

  1. All papers are put in a hat.
  2. Participants are divided in pairs and sit in a circle whereby the members of the pair sit opposite of each other.
  3. The game has 3 rounds

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  1. FIRST ROUND: The hat starts with one person. This person has one minute to take a paper and explain to his partner what is on the paper without saying the word. If his partner finds the correct answer the first person of the pair can take a new paper. S/he can continue until the minute is over. Then the person on the left has the chance. We continue until there are no more papers. In the end of the round the points are counted (1 point per guessed answer)
The hat

The hat

  1. SECOND ROUND: same as round 1 but you cannot speak only mimic the issues. The points of this round are added to the first round
  2. THIRD ROUND: same as round 1 but you can use only 1 word to describe it. The points of this round are counted to the other rounds

 

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After the exercise the facilitators make a small debriefing:

– Why did you pick the following issues related to Europe

– What determines why something is European

– Where do you make the border of Europe

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ACTIVITY 5

THE STORYBOOK

First, we read the book " The Stars of Europe"

First, we read the book ” The Stars of Europe”

 

Description of the tool.

Creative writing: The students are given a several pictures that come from the book “ The Stars of Europe” – “Τ’ Αστέρια της Ευρώπης” .

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They first read the book story and later decide about how they can adapt it or completely change it using any of the pictures given in any order they wish, to write their own stories about Europe.

Students work in groups of 4-5 .

Highly engaged teams of students, working on their comic strips stories!

Highly engaged teams of students, working on their comic strips stories!

 

Their story pages are put together and form their own creative writing storybook. They decide about the cover and about how to colour or decorate it inside.

Finally, all the storybooks are read by all different teams of students, in turns. The teams decide about which story liked best and why. A discussion about both stories and Europe follows.

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A few days later, the Eurobooks were almost ready! My students amazed me, by asking me to let them work on their stories ,during all the breaks!! They were so excited and enganged!

I am really  thankful for the chance I have been given ,  to be a “Teacher4Europe” !

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Looking forward to more such creative and engaging projects, in the near future!

 

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The “Ten second object” and the ” Essence machines”

I'll let you guess about this one...what do you think the object is??

I’ll let you guess about this one…what do you think the object is??

This is a very popular drama game and a useful technique which can be developed easily towards improvisation or physical theatre. It’s also highly accessible and great fun!

Divide everyone into small groups (4-6). Call out the name of an object and all the groups have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually every group will find a different way of forming the object. Examples could be: a car, a fried breakfast, a clock, a washing machine, a fire.

In the photos below, you can view only FEW of the objects the students were asked to make the shape of…

A tree

A tree

The Star shining

The Star shining

A hot-air balloon

A hot-air balloon

An airplane

An airplane

Full moon

Full moon

A desk and chair

A desk and chair

Books on a bookshelf

Books on a bookshelf

An umbrella

An umbrella

I often combine this drama activity with one other old-time favourite…the Essence machines!

This activity provides a useful technique for generating physical and aural ideas around a theme. Explain that the group is going to create a “machine” out of themselves. Name a topic and give the participants a few moments to think of a repeating sound and action linked to that theme. For example, if the theme was “shopping” a participant could mime taking money out of a purse to give to a shopkeeper, whilst saying “I’ll have two of those, please.”

As soon as someone has an idea, ask them to step into the centre of a circle to begin their repeating sound and movement. Ask if somebody else can think of a suitable way to add in their own idea. Gradually, more and more people join in the activity. Some may be linked to existing parts of the “machine”, whilst others may be separate. To continue the example above, someone could join the action by becoming the shopkeeper and saying “Shall I wrap them for you?”, whilst somebody else could be a cleaner in the shopping mall.

Essence machines: at the gym

Essence machines: at the gym

A bus

A bus

A fireplace

A fireplace

Another version of the airplane

Another version of the airplane

A river

A river

Another version of the Sun!

Another version of the Sun!

A new vesrion of a tree

A new vesrion of a tree

A vase full of flowers

A vase full of flowers

A bike!!

A bike!!

 

Learning english the RIGHT way, can be so much FUN!

Learning english the RIGHT way, can be so much FUN!

 

 

 

 

 

Our English class Christmas games and activities

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Well, every last week  before our Christmas school break, we  ALWAYS leave the course books aside and start….enjoying Christmas !

Actually, it all starts much earlier…..about a month before Christmas, I put up  our Advent calendars, full of surprises inside…! This is when all  the fun starts! We continue with our 4th graders  short Christmas plays rehearsals and our  artistic Christmas cards ( to be offered to our Christmas show guests ) and we conclude with the Christmas games and activities week!!

I’ll share some games that have really worked with my students!

Stocking guessing game

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You will need a small Christmas stocking (or perhaps a bright red sock). Into the stocking put a collection of small objects that you see or use around Christmas time. Tie a ribbon or rope around the opening to make sure nobody peeks.

Give everyone a piece of paper and, passing the stocking around, ask them to write down all the objects they can feel. The person that guesses the most objects is the winner. A GREAT game to teach or revise Christmas vocabulary!!

Rudolf, the red nose reindeer!!

Rudolf, the red nose reindeer!!

This is a take on ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Put a picture of a nose-less Rudolf on the wall, blindfold the students, spin them around and see if they can pin a red nose in the right place. The nearest wins a prize/points.

This is a Christmas card, which we received some years ago, from one of our first partners -pen friends, abroad! Love it!

This is a Christmas card, which we received some years ago, from one of our first partners -pen friends, abroad! Love it!

Santa Says

Same as ‘Simon Says’: The S up is “Santa”. S says “Santa says hop”. All Ss hop. S says “Stop”. Ss should continue hopping on until “Santa” says “Santa says stop”. Repeat for other actions such as jump, run, turn around, sit

The Snowman game

The object of the game is to complete a picture of a snowman ( two eyes, a carrot nose, one hat, one scarf, three buttons, one umbrella) .

Materials

One copy of a snowman worksheet for each student

one die for each group

crayons

a pencil

I first review the objects with the class.

I help students practice saying the names in english.

Pupils take turns throwing the die. The player , says the name on the die  and the english word for the corresponding object.If the player identifies  the object correctly, he may draw it on the snowman.If not, play passes to the next child.A pupil who rolls a number and has already completed that particular feature on his snowman loses his turn.

The first pupil to complete the snowman, is the winner!

I ask them to speak only in english.I put expressions like…” It’s my turn.Throw the die.I can’t go. Pass me the die, please”

For homework: I ask them to write a short description of the snowman.

The snowman game

The snowman game

Scramble Christmas Words

Supplies: index cards, paper bags. How To Play: Choose a Christmas word such as: Christmas, Candy Cane, Santa Claus, Reindeer…. Write each letter of a word on individual index cards. Put the set in a paper bag. Divide the Ss into teams. Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag wins. A variation of the game would be to divide into teams with the same number of Ss as there are letters in the word. Each S gets a letter and the team must arrange themselves in the right order to spell the word.

 

Who am I Santa?

Who am I Santa?

Who am I Santa?

Blindfold one student. The other Ss stand in circle around the blindfolded student. Spin the student around and then stop him/her facing another student. S says “Ho ho ho. Who am I?”. The blindfolded S must guess who that student is and call out his/her name…Great game for the youngest learners!!

Word Find

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Supplies: timer, paper, pens. Divide Ss into teams. Take a Christmas related word such as: Christmas, candy cane, Santa Claus, etc. and find as many words as possible using the letters of that word. Give a time limit (e.g. 2 mins). The team with the most words wins! Example: Christmas 1: (sit, is, his, miss, rat, tar, this, math, chair, rim…), Example 2: Candy cane (candy, cane, and, dance, day, nay, can, dye, an, any…) Awesome spelling activity!

Freeze

Freeze!

Freeze!

Supplies: Christmas music

How To Play: Begin playing music, everyone moves and dances until the music stops then they must “freeze” in whatever position they happen to be in. Just for FUN!

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Christmas Charades

I prepare two banners,that say whatever  I  want them to say, ie Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, etc. Also prepare a set of letters for the same words cut out in two different colors hidden randomly around the room. I I divide the class into 2 teams with two captains–the captains sit and wait for their teammates to bring the letters for their banner. If a student is on the “red” team and sees a letter for the “green” team he/she just leaves it alone. The first team to cover their banner letters wins.

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Frozen Snowman

In this game, everyones tries to make the snowman move!

The snowman has to stay frozen still…

They can’t touch him but they can, make faces, make noises, tell jokes, dance!

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If the snowman moves, smiles or laughs, it’s the end of the game! Whoever, made the snowman move, is the next snowman!

Christmas Whispers

I usually choose to play this game with the christmas vocabulary I have previously taught!

It works best with lots of people.The first person on a line, whispers a Christmassy phrase to the person next to them.

That person whispers what they think they heard to the person on their other side.

The game continues until the phrase reaches the last person.

That person says out loud what they think the phrase is.

It could start ” Reindeer love to fly in the sky” and finally be ” Raid ear love to fling in a…pea!”

With my younger learners, I  use one word each time eg ” Snowflake”.

Pass the snowball

This is a great game to have the class sing new Christmas songs and learn them easily.

For this game, we need a ball- the snowball- and christmas music.

Everyone sits in a circle, and one person holds the snowball. The music starts,  all students are asked to sing along, and the student with the snowball, throws it to someone else.That student, quickly throws the snowball to someone else and so on…When the music stops, the student holding the ball is out!

The game continues and the last person still playing, is the winner!

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Rudolph!!

The Christmas tree

I give out the worksheets. You can make them on your own, it’s simple to draw.

I explain that as I name a decoration, they must draw it on the Christmas tree. I call out different combinations of decorations.

eg Draw two balls on the Christmas tree.

 Draw three bells on the christmas tree.

I later give them specific instructions on how to colour the decorations.

Colour the tree , green.

Colour the balls blue and pink etc

I use the worksheets to decorate the classroom.

Students can alternatively stick the trees on a poster in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Or, complete sentences below the tree with the correct colour of each item.

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree Game

This is a simple printable Christmas Tree board game, with some exciting cards to pick up every time you land on a square – will they help you or hinder you?

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I have come across this amazing game which my students just LOVE in www.activityvillage.co.uk

Print and cut out the Christmas Tree game board, and laminate if you like for durability. Print and cut out the cards and shuffle before placing face down in a pile by the side of the board.

Youngest player rolls first and moves his counter. If he lands on a square, he takes a card and follows the instructions. First to reach the Christmas Tree Star wins!

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My Christmas Book

I generally, love mini books and often use them in my class!

They are simple to make. Ideas can be found on line . eg  http://www.miikogibson.com/origami/Making%20a%20Mini%20book.pdf

I tell my students  that they are going to draw their own pictures about Christmas on the blank pages, writing a sentence for each one. I ask younger learners to write single words.

I can help them get started by asking questions such as :

What do you put under the tree?

I write all possible answers on the board.

eg My tree has got two balls and an angel.

Instead of drawings and sentences/words, they can write lines frfom Christmas carols.

While they are working on their books, they can listen or sing along with carols on the cd.

They finally, staple the left side of the pages together, to make a book!

A letter to Father Christmas

I always ask my students to write their own letter to Father Christmas soon…

I tell the younger ones that, I used to be an elf  (!!) therefore, I know the REAL Father Christmas’ address cause, I used to work and live there! They feel really surprised and ask me lots of questions about my life there! It’s so funny! They usually ask me about my ears…and why they don’t look …”elfy”! I tell them that , I had to undergo a plastic surgery as soon as I left the North Pole cause, people used to make fun of me!

Some of them DO believe me and tell all the other students during the break ” Our english teacher used to be an Elf”!!

I have several worksheets that I use to help them write their letters!

I am soon going to upload photos of them. For more ideas you can visit http://www.pinterest.com/indial/printable-santa-letters/

Here, I am sharing with you the address where my students send their letters and ALWAYS get a reply letter by Father Christmas himself, at home!!

They are so proud when they show it to  the rest of the class , as soon as they get back to school after the Christmas break!

If they write in english, the reply letter comes in english, if they write in albanian, the reply letter comes in albanian, if they write in greek , the reply letter comes in greek…..! It’s really fascinating!

Santa Claus,

North Pole,

Hoh Oho,

Canada.

Enjoy!

More ideas soon…stay tuned!!!!!

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The benefits of team work in the classroom

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My classroom and any classroom, dosen’t have to be a solo learning adventure…..it can also be a collaborative learning environment!

I always include many teamwork exercises in my weekly curriculum, to mix my lesson plan up a bit!
These group activities can be beneficial on a personal, group and class-wide level.
Our  PROJECTS depend a lot on teamwork, too! Teamwork,
 has been neglected in greek schools, where individualism prevails!
These are what I think, teamwork benefits are:
On Social Skills
When students form a group, social skills kick into action. A team of students must actively listen to each other, articulate ideas and use genuinely constructive criticism to be effective. Kids must learn to work together and cooperate. This is an opportunity to make friends and talk with others — networking can start in the classroom. This is a chance for the kids to expand their vocabulary, work on patience and learn how to take turns. Conflict resolution may also become part of the learning equation.
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On a Personal Level

Each student can benefit on a personal level from teamwork. She can feel like a valued part of the group as she contributes to the project and shares her ideas, which can build confidence and self-esteem. The student will be exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking, which can expand her personal view on the subject. Teamwork activities can be the time for each student to shine and show others her skills and talents.

Learning Together

As you watch the teams work toward their goal, the educational benefits of teamwork becomes clear. As the team works, they can all offer ideas and come to conclusions together. Students not only learn by working through the team project, they also learn by explaining their thought processes and reasoning to others. Teamwork also helps foster problem-solving skills, reasoning skills and group brainstorming. The students will learn to use critical thinking and evaluation skills as a group. An effective team will evenly distribute the responsibilities, blast through the material and cover more ground than if they did the homework or project individually.

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The Class Environment

Days can get long and dull when you have a group of kids that are disconnected and staring at the walls. Group work is a welcomed change in the normal routine and gets the kids out of their seats. Schoolwork becomes more enjoyable and rewarding when you incorporate teamwork exercises. Just make sure that you define some teamwork boundaries before you let the kids loose. The kids need to know what they should be achieving, how to tell when they have accomplished their task and how long they have for this activity, otherwise you’ll just have clusters of talking students not staying on task.

Last but not least: I always have a teams seating  arrangement in the classroom.Students ,sit and work in groups !

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