Launching the PYP Exhibition!

We’re very excited here at AIS Kuwait to have launched PYPX 2019!

Our Exhibition takes place within the Transdisciplinary Theme of Sharing the Planet, and we further connect it to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  This helps our students find real meaning in their work as they look to investigate the impact of the UN SDGs both in the region and beyond.

So our first challenge was how to help the students get to know the goals and begin to think about their meaning and implication? Luckily, we have a large and amazing school team to call upon!

We managed to set up 14 stations (we have 7 classes in grade 5 so they were split accordingly) for students to rotate through. We took out Goal 17 as inter-agency cooperation was considered by our team to be the least likely for our students to connect to for their exhibition and Goals 14 and 15 since they knew most about these already.  After that each member of staff took 1 goal and devised a 10 minute provocation or introduction activity.

On the day of the launch we began with a short video (thanks to my husband Mark for the video editing!) and intro speeches from myself as PYPC and our Middle School Principal.  Then when had students rotate through 3 activities.

Some of the provocation/introduction activities included:

  • Comparing water samples
  • Looking at maps which show phone/internet access in different regions
  • Comparing the relative speeds of transport on single lane roads
  • Tasting ‘nutrition biscuits’ and discussing why these might be important in some areas
  • A demonstration of the difference between equality and equity
  • A game to help understand the spread of diseases and why immunization is important

Students were prompted to reflect after each activity with some visible thinking to answer questions such as:

  • What does this goal mean to you?
  • How did the activity help you to learn about the goal?
  • What connections can you make between this and other units you’ve studied as a PYP student?
  • What questions do you have about this goal?

These shared thinking sheets were then hung throughout the Grade 5 corridor as a gallery walk to help students share their learning.

Feedback from students and teachers from the launch was positive with the students excited for the Exhibition. Our main point of consideration for next year is that we’d like to stretch this over a longer period so that the students could experience more of the goals – and give them a broader base to start from.   

After launching to the parents, myself and one of our Grade 5 team then met parents to walk them through the launch too (see the powerpoint).  Here we helped families to understand the SDGs but focused more the skills their students would be developing and how they could support this at home.

Our students are now up and running with their Exhibition process and I for one am so excited to see what they will achieve!  A huge thanks to our amazing AIS Team – this worked because teachers, coaches, librarians, leadership and students all came together and it couldn’t have been done without any of them (and an extra thanks to one of our PE team Crystal who stepped in to lead an activity at the last minute when another teacher couldn’t make it)!

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What if then…?

Recently at school we’ve been talking a lot about culture building. The need to build strong relationships in our classrooms is always a major focus for educators at the beginning of a school year, and for good reason.  I’ve also been talking to others at our school about how we support a positive staff culture.  Those conversations are, as always, ongoing and complex, but recently I saw a heartwarming example of building a learning culture that I wanted to write about today.

Our son, Kiran, is 4.  He loves Lego, and has been thrilled that one of his friends loves Lego too and they’ll often take turns visiting each others houses to play after school.  One day last week I came home to find Kiran and his friend busy playing together (not too unusual), but they were so absorbed in what they were doing that I got chance to just listen to them play. And I heard something awesome.

The 2 little boys were busily building some kind of vehicle, a ‘lair’ for bad guys, a hide out and goodness knows what else.  But what amazed me was the way that they were taking turns and building on each others’ ideas. One of them would add something and describe what it was/its purpose “If we put a door here the bad guys can escape through it” – cute!  Then, the other would look, agree and reply with “What if then…” and add their own idea.

It was great to watch, they were quite happily building forward.  Each idea didn’t need to be scrutinised too much, nothing they did brought this little game to an end, there was no final product, they just kept moving forwards – together. It was so simple, and yet so effective.

Now, sadly, the world is a little more complex than Lego (although seeing some Lego kits recently makes me rethink that statement), and I myself am a strong advocate of working towards a clear aim… but watching their exchange made me consider how we could recognise and honour times when building forwards together was most valuable.  If that approach of seeing a constant stream of problems and solutions as progress was actually incredibly useful.  And if maybe their way of removing limitations and just seeing possibilities was one we all need more of.

We all know the power of positive talk but how many of us check the way we talk to each other? How much time do we really spend considering how the way we say something can impact what happens next (think about ‘the power of might’ and how much difference 1 small word can make)? And do we take time to consider our responses when someone else raises a problem they are facing – do we respond in a way which encourages finding solutions?

I don’t have any answers yet about how to build this into a school culture, to be truly honest I’ve been so busy in the past week with other projects at school I haven’t put much time into thinking about it yet… but I am hoping that writing about it gets my thoughts flowing a little and maybe prompts me to find some ideas. If nothing else, at least it made me smile thinking about it again 🙂

 

4 Great Ways to Use Ed-Tech to Build Communication Skills in the Elementary Classroom

 

If you read my recent post about my return to blogging, you’ll have seen that I’ve been on a bit of a crusade at my school to prove that ed-tech can be, should be, and is being, used to develop the communication skills of students (If you haven’t read it you can find it here).

 

One of the positives that came from the frustrating conversation that happily pushed me back into blogging, was that I set about putting together a list of practical ways educators could do this.  It’s not enough to tell time-pressured teachers than you can, in theory, do something. I’ve learned in the past 18 months that giving people something they can directly transfer to their classrooms is critical.  So, without further rambling from me, here are some suggestions for ways to build communication skills in the primary classroom (secondary suggestions hopefully coming soon, too!):

 

Chatterpix Kids by Duck Duck Moose

If you teach or have young (3-8) children and haven’t already checked out Duck Duck Moose’s app (they’ve recently joined the Khan Academy family) then go and do that now, then come back – we’ll wait for you.

 

What does it do?

Chatterpix Kids is a very simple app, you snap a picture, draw a line where you want the ‘mouth’ to move, then record what you want to say.  You can also add in a few simple extras such as stickers (funny hats are a big hit with my 6-7 year olds), text, frames, etc.  Then watch your creations, export them to share, or make another.

 

How could I use it in class tomorrow?

  • To practise giving opinions on a topic/story/event – we recently used it to discuss Chinese New Year, practising giving specific reasons for our opinions (rather than ‘I like it because it is nice.’)
  • Give feedback on work for a partner
  • Student created definitions/points of interest for vocab and topics (share them on your class site, Google Classrooms, Edmodo, blog, etc.)

 

How is this helping build communication skills?

  • Get all the students are speaking.  Every kid in my class loves doing this, even the shy ones – they can choose whether only I see it, they share it with a couple of friends, or add it to the whole-class mele.
  • It’s a great differentiation tool (you can vary what they speak about, but have all kids join in)
  • Add in a listening station – playback a couple of classmates chatterpix and give them feedback
  • Confidence – okay so the first time in particular everyone gets the nervous giggles about how silly they look.  But then they realise they can talk about things, they do have great ideas, etc.

 

ThingLink – www.thinglink.com

 

What does it do?

ThingLink allows you (or students) to annotate pictures or video clips with notes.  You could use it in a number of ways, but I primarily use it as a discussion prompt.  I add questions to the tags, discussion ideas, etc. and send my students a link to the saved version.  They click on each tag to see the questions/prompts I’ve added, then my kids work in pairs/small groups to go through them and discuss them together.  We model and practice language that helps us have good discussions at the start of the year (e.g. I agree with ___, and would add… , I understand your point, however I think…) and recap it for these lessons.

 

How could I use it in class tomorrow?

  • Activating Prior Knowledge – bring up a picture for a new topic and add some discussion points – what do your class already know about this?
  • Apply new understanding – I recently used this to give students chance to discuss how different objects met, or did not meet, the 7 life processes

 

How is this helping build communication skills?

  • I have 26 kids in my class.  With the best will in the world I could never, and would never, oversee every discussion they have.  But sometimes, they need a little help staying on track with their discussions.  This way I can, virtually, be there to provide a new question when they need to move on, but they have the freedom to practise without me over their shoulder and can decide how long to spend on each question.  I’m able to get them working independently of me, but with support right there if they need it.
  • Differentiation – I can change the questions as I need to.  Or I can mix up the students working together.  They can change the pace.  They can choose to go on a (reasonable) tangent, or stick to just what I asked).  I can go to groups/students who need me most. Pretty awesome, right?
  • Asking questions – eventually my class get to a point where they are able to set questions too, and then share them with each other – adding another great strand to their communication skills

 

Podcasting/Vodcasting

For this I use Audacity for podcasts, which free and pretty simple, but there are plenty of other options out there too.  For vodcasts we keep it simple with either Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.  

What does it do?

Recoding a podcast is a bit like a radio show, only instead of broadcasting it live over the radio, you record it to your device to listen back or share later.

How could I use it in class tomorrow?

  • Book Club discussions – record a round table discussion of a book
  • Record a drama performance
  • Discuss world events
  • Perform poetry pieces
  • Interviews
  • School News

How is this helping build communication skills?

  • Students will be able to plan, script and then record their podcast pulling in so many skills
  • Builds teamwork and collaboration
  • Again, builds confidence in speaking
  • Allows students to listen to their own work, and that of other students, and reflect on them together

 

Skype in the Classroom from Microsoft – https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/overview

Microsoft are busily chasing down the the likes of Google and Edmodo in providing great services for education (we can compare them another time!).  But a lot of their ideas are, as yet, relatively undiscovered! Skype in the Classroom is a great communication tool.  Last year whilst studying Oceans we were able to Skype an expert, a non-fiction author, direct from our classroom!

What does it do?

You use Skype to connect your class to guest speakers, virtual field trips, other schools, to collaborate on projects, or all of the above!

How could I use it in class tomorrow?

Visit the website and check out the experiences available and then schedule one for your class! My school is not in the US, where many using the service are, but plenty of those offering their expert services have been great at working with us on finding a suitable time!

Use it in connection to:

  • Theme units
  • Geography and History
  • Science
  • Author studies
  • More!

How is this helping build communication skills?

We prep for our Skype session in advance, thinking of topics and questions in small groups. But then we get the chance to actually speak to experts or other students and really put our communication skills into practice!
Clearly, this list is not extensive, it’s not really meant to be.  It’s simply intended to share a few ideas from my own practice, and to help other teachers to think of a few simple ways to use tech to support those all important interpersonal skills!

Blogging and Education – Why I really need to reconnect to blogging!

In a meeting discussing the implementation of a BYOD scheme recently I heard an argument from a senior colleague which genuinely surprised me.  They were arguing that, in light of the rise of socratic style seminars in some of the world’s best schools, we should reduce the use of technology as it hampers students ability to communicate with each other.

 

Whilst I completely agree that communication skills are really important and agree that approaches such as socratic discussions can be very powerful in building this, it is the argument that the use of technology undermines this which I feel most strongly about. The argument went along the lines that if students are working on devices they won’t be able talk to each other and won’t be able to collaborate.  I can see how you get to that point in the argument, we have all seen people using their personal devices at the expense of conversing with people around them.  But do we really believe this is the way we use tech in the classroom?

 

I quickly scrambled to pull up (from my device, which until then had been sat, inactive, on the table in front of me whilst I participated in the meeting fully I add!) examples from my own classroom of some of the ways in which we use ed-tech to support, encourage, build and improve communication and collaboration – not diminish it. As I was talking through just a couple of the ways we had done this it occurred to me that I was looking at some pretty surprised educators. The variety of ways in which I use tech in my classroom to support and enhance learning was in contrast to the notion that the predominant uses would be individual, mostly for internet based research and perhaps typing up notes/assignments, or working on a powerpoint presentation. Furthermore my students are some of the youngest in our school at 6-7 years old (in a 5-18 school), which seemed to add to the surprise.  

 

The meeting moved on, we discussed policy issues, digital safety, insurance, physical and intellectual infrastructure, etc.  But later, when reflecting on the meeting, I realised that the success or limitations of blended learning, BYOD, whatever system it may, ultimately rests on the school’s intellectual infrastructure. Yes we must have all the other things in place. And, yes intellectual infrastructure should include some structured training, but more importantly it needs a culture of self-driven learning and best practice sharing within the school. It would be just as impossible to attend a course for every app, website, idea, etc. that could be used in education as it would to try and actually use all of them.  But we do need a way to share ideas, and expose teachers to some of the possibilities and feedback on how effective they were. If we compare this to literature, we cannot expect a teacher to have read every book in existence to select the most appropriate and engaging to study, but we do talk about what we have done in the past, heard about from colleagues and friends, share ideas and resources, etc.  

 

From this I went back to the primary school thinking about how we could improve our practice sharing (more on that in an upcoming post).  Whilst my school may not, yet, have an embedded culture of this (we are working to build it, but it will take time), there are many educators I can connect with online who do. I have dabbled in blogging in the past, but it fell to the wayside with other projects and a busy life going on around us. But this discussion gave me renewed impetus to grow the ways in which I learn from the practice of others via online sources, collaborate with others beyond my school and to share my own practice too. It became painfully apparent I was narrowing the scope of my own learning far too much. This blog represents one facet of this, sharing my own practice, and hopefully will also help me to connect and collaborate a little more too. I still believe blogging to be a hugely powerful tool for educators, so I am hoping to reinvigorate my own involvement! 
In the past I’ve shared some ideas from my own practice, as well as broader, more theoretical posts too.  I’m hoping to continue this, balancing between the need to discuss, debate and understand the theory behind our practices, with the need for concrete ideas which can be easily applied to a classroom.

Encouraging Reluctant Readers

I’m back in the UK at the moment for our summer break before we head over to our new school and home in Malaysia in August.  You might think that means I’d have more time to write, but I’ll be honest here I’m spending it all with my little boy and our families – today for example I’m writing this while he naps after a busy trip to a farm a day at the zoo an evening with his grandma and cousin (okay so it took a while to write this)!

Still, with the 2014-5 school year now finished my thoughts are turning more and more to the year ahead. One of the biggest successes in my classroom for the last couple of years was the incredible experiencing of turning some reluctant readers into real bookworms! This love of reading is something I really want to build into everything I do with my new class.  With that in mind I started to think, and write, about some of the strategies I have been using, or wish to try out, to encourage those reluctant readers:

Reading Corner or Classroom Library

Ask my students what their favourite place is in my classroom and I’m pretty sure almost all would reply ‘the readers’ corner’ and this isn’t by accident.  When I set up my classroom (which I’ll be writing about more later)  I always start out with my reading area first.  This has to be a few things:

  • Easy for students to access and easy for me to see everyone whilst working in other areas of the classroom
  • Inviting – students should want to be there
  • Comfortable (obviously!)
  • Easy to organise/maintain

Having a great reading area makes a huge difference because it makes reading feel special.  This is a vital part of the overall effect I’m going for.  I’m also aware that my more confident readers aren’t quite as reliant on feeling comfortable and relaxed as my emergent or reluctant readers, so if needed I can tailor the space to the latter. Generally my reading corner last year was more about being a comfy space than storing books effectively due to our school set up.  That meant it had some nice rugs on the floor (bath mats make great individual/paired reading spaces), a mixture of cushions (big, small, softer, harder, different colours, etc.), a bright but not too distracting display area and some colourful decoration (last year this was some colourful scarves hung over the window).

What is in your reading area/classroom library will vary hugely based on space and resources but with some creative thinking, like the bath mats as reading rugs, it is easier than you might think to create a warm, inviting space. If you’re struggling for inspiration I’d highly recommend searching ‘classroom library’ on Pinterest.

Visual bookcase

This is a great follow on to the reading corner, because it can be included as part of the design.  I used the back of a book case (it was being used as both a case and a space divider) to make a pretend bookcase.  It was covered in brown paper and had ‘shelves’ drawn on (actually stuck on using long strips of black paper) and I provided strips of coloured paper in different sizes to be the spines of books on the case.  My students would read a book and when finished make their own book spine for it and stick it on to the case.  When the case was filled up we had a class celebration. This worked in a number of ways;

  • It encouraged students to read more without pitting individuals against each other (this can work really well sometimes but would not have been the right fit for my class)
  • It was a way for students to celebrate each and every book they read
  • The students could see what their classmates were reading an draw inspiration from it
  • It was a visual reminder of how much great reading progress we were making!

Positive Modelling

Just as I do with my son, I also model being a good reader with my students. Now, this doesn’t mean I leave them to their own devices during maths to read a novel I’ve picked up… but I do talk to my students about what I’m reading as well as reading aloud in class daily. Once children are able to read it’s easy to fall into the trap of not reading to them as much, but its still absolutely crucial that children hear expert reading daily.  If possible I do also strongly encourage buddy reading systems with students from older classes which has multiple benefits for all those involved!

Further more it is important to model good reading procedures (reading to self, someone, etc.) for your class. As with so many things in class I follow a simple but effective procedure for modelling early in the year when we’re establishing good reading habits:

1. Discuss the behavioural expectations clearly with your students: talk about what ‘good behaviour’ would include, and what it doesn’t include.  If you are vague in your expectations you force your students to try to figure them out, which leads to increased distractions and reduces positive engagement.  For example, when we are doing a ‘Reading to Self’ session expectations might include reading the whole time, staying in one place, reading silently, not distracting others, etc.

2. Have a student model all these great behaviours: let the other students see what it looks like to follow all the rules and give lots of praise.

3. Negative modelling: Choose a student (some teachers choose a child here who is more likely to struggle to follow the rules in class) to get everything wrong.  Clearly tell them to break as many of the rules as they can, your class will find this incredibly funny and that’s great! Then, and this is crucial, have the same student show everyone how to do it correctly once more.

4. Short practice: Get everyone in the class to practice all the correct reading procedures together, but just for a short, easily achievable time.

5. Slowly build up the time spent, reviewing the procedures and rules regularly for a few weeks.

Wide choice

Often with reluctant readers the key lies in getting them ‘hooked’ with that one really special book.  For a young sports-mad student I had recently the ‘Diary of…’ series by Shamini Flint (not the Wimpy Kid series, although that also works well to encourage readers!) was akin to an elixir – once he started reading he simply never stopped!  Something I’m working on at the moment, but that is surprisingly tough, is building a good non-fiction selection.  For so many readers non-fiction appeals more than fiction but is vastly outnumbered when it comes to books to pick from.  I’m perhaps a little more conscious of this as my husband Mark is an avid non-fiction reader and has similar issues finding content to really connect with.  What I’m aiming for to start with is a broad spread of reading options and then I can add depth in specific areas later as needed.

Another important aspect of this is to encourage parents to get their kids reading widely in normally occurring situations such as reading menus, road signs, the news, etc.

Want to try: Book boxes

This is an idea I saw over on The Thinker Builder and I can’t wait to try it! Each child has a book box that they keep at their desk.  They are allowed to swap finished or unwanted books at designated times in the week and keep a supply of reading materials at their desk.  I like the idea of having set times to swap books without restricting kids to just one book.

Book Marks

One simple technique that has worked really well has been to have students create and use their own bookmarks.  You can make really simple ones just using strips of paper, or go for a more durable book mark by using card and laminating them.  This really simple little touch gives students a little more ownership of what they’re reading and also makes the whole reading experience more fun.

On a related note, I always have lots and lots of bookmarks available in class for students to use (maybe this year they can keep them in their book boxes?).  Post-it notes work brilliantly for this.

Reading games

I’ve written before about the importance of games in learning and how to include more games in lessons, and this is also true of reading.  Great games about creating stories, writing and reading secret messages and changing the endings of classic stories are all such wonderful ways to encourage readers.  By making the process more interactive you’re breaking down some of their preconceptions that reading is ‘boring’ (not all kids have this, but it is an important consideration for some).  If you’re in need of some inspiration for games to play have a quick read of my earlier post series Great Games for Literacy and Numeracy.

Want to try: Recommendation tags

This is another one I really can’t wait to try out; periodically have students write a short recommendation for a book on a post it note or a cute little tag and then pop them inside the book.  That way when students are browsing through the library they can see what other thought of the book and it might just inspire them to pick it up and give it a try!

Book talks

I’ve written about Book Talks before and how great they are for inspiring readers and involving parents.  Rather than repeat myself too much, here’s a quick link to my previous article.

In short though, hosting a class Book Talk does wonders for making books exciting! It also then draws on a whole host of other skills such as writing, presentation and speaking which are great to practice.  Bringing the parents in to watch adds to the feeling of creating a reading community which is just lovely for all involved!

How To: Incorporate More Games into Your Lessons

As teachers we all know the tremendous benefits of using games for learning; however it is so easy in the middle of a busy week, term or year to lose track of their importance and neglect to include as many as you would like to. In this post I’ll be discussing a few tips and ideas to build educational games into your lessons on a regular basis to maximise their impact.

Build up a good stock list of games

There’s nothing more discouraging for your students than seeing the same 3 games over and over again.  That’s not to say that repetition isn’t valuable – it absolutely is.  However variety is also really important and so having a great bank of games to draw upon (and circle back to when the time is right) through the whole year is crucial.  Check out Pinterest for an easy way to search for ideas, or even my earlier series on Great Games for Literacy and Numeracy.

Organise your games

Once you have a great set of games all prepared and ready to go make sure to keep them organised.  Critically, make sure its an organisation system that your students can use independently.  I’ve used some little stacks of tray, simple boxes, ziplock bags and more – you know your games and your students best so choose something that works with both.

Make games a regular session in your core lessons

The easiest way to build a good habit is to build it into your routine.  I specifically have a Maths games session twice a week in my maths class.  I also link some games to my Daily 5 sessions for ELA (e.g. Vocab Rock n Roll for Word Work). This also helps your students to understand and value the role of play in learning – at all ages!

Discuss the games with your class

Listen and respond to their feedback.  If they are telling you they love a game you can include it more, if they dislike it find out why.  It could be too easy, too hard, too short or too long, or maybe they’ve just not quite got the hang of it …or, without wanting to be too harsh, maybe its just not a good enough game.

Reflecting is incredibly important as a teacher and including your students in the process can increase its value even further – not least because they see you modelling this behaviour.

Get involved

Play the games with your class! I cannot stress this enough: it shows the students the high value of the games, it ensures they have understood how to play, its great for your relationship building with students, you can scaffold weaker students more easily, you can informally assess progress AND its fun! Need I say anymore? This doesn’t mean I play every round of every game with every group (I can’t be in that many places and they need to play without me for a whole host of developmental and educational reasons) but I make sure to play with each student (often in groups) at least once a week.  Sometimes that’s only for a short game, but that connection is still remarkable valuable.

If you follow these simple steps you’ll soon find that your class LOVES to play a whole range of games and that this ensures they get much more practice of some of those vital ideas and skills.

See you again soon!

Emma

Great Games for Literacy and Numeracy

Great Games Part Three: No resources needed

For the final part of this mini-series I’m going to look at a handful of games that hit a number of great criteria:

  • They help students to learn or practice something important
  • They are fun and engaging
  • They require nothing (or at least, very little!)

These games are great to have ready for those moments when a quick review is needed, or you want to take a quick break from a lesson without losing your class’ momentum.  There are so many others out there such as 20 questions, Pictionary, hangman, etc. but I’ve tried to include a few lesser known games that I actually play much more frequently than these.

Sparkle

This classic English game is great for practicing spelling and the random chance involves makes it great for whole class activities as well as small groups. Instructions:

  • Sit your students in a circle if possible as this makes keeping the order of the game easiest
  • Choose a word to spell that is right for your class/group, in this example I’ll use ‘hat’
  • The first child says ‘h’, the second says ‘a’, the third ‘t’
  • If a child says the wrong letter they are out
  • After the word is finished the next student shouts ‘sparkle’ and the person after them is out of the game!
  • You continue with a new word until eventually everyone is out and you have a winner.

Slap Count

This simple math game is great for practicing multiplication skills (count by 2’s, 5’s, etc.) but can be adapted for counting money amounts, fractions, decimals and more.

  • Sit students cross-legged in a circle with their hands on their knees, palms up.
  • Their hand should then rest on top of the hand of the person to their right, and under the hand of the person to their left.
  • After choosing a counting pattern, let’s say ‘plus 2’ one child begins with 0
  • As they say the number they (gently) slap the hand of the person to their left
  • The next child says the next number in the pattern e.g. ‘2’, then ‘4’, etc. and slaps the hand of the next child and so on

I set a target number to reach, and (once we’ve practiced a few times) a time to reach it in to make it even more exciting!

Math Ladder

This one does need paper and a pen (sorry!) but is great for practicing maths facts and easily adapted for vocabulary:

  • On a few pieces of paper write out some maths problems for your class (e.g. 3+7 or 4×5 etc.) and arrange them in a line to make a ladder.
  • Split your class into 2 teams and line them up at either end of the ladder
  • On ‘GO’ the first person from each team starts to head down the ladder answering each question as they go
  • When the members from both sides eventually meet in the middle the students battle using ‘rock, paper, scissors’
  • The winner continues down the ladder, the loser heads to the back of their teams line and a new team-mate begins at the start of the ladder
  • The team scores a point if they make it all the way to the end of the ladder

Mixed Up Stories

Another one requiring paper and pencils! Each student takes a piece of paper and writes 1 sentence to begin a story (its fun to set a theme) at the top of the page.  They fold the page so the sentence cannot be seen, and pass the paper on.  The next person adds their sentence without reading the previous one.  This continues until the teacher decides to stop really.  Then you open up the pages and read the stories – be prepared for a lot of laughter!

A to Z

This game is great for building vocabulary and general knowledge.  You simply set a topic and then go round the class taking turns to name something in the category that begins with that letter. For example if your category is animals you may have ‘alligator’ followed by ‘bear’ followed by ‘catfish’ and so on.

That’s it for this mini-series; I hope it has given you some ideas for your classes! If you haven’t already, then don’t forget to check out the earlier posts in this series by beginning at the introduction. Thanks as always for stopping by,

Emma