This school year has had many ups and downs, and we have only just begun! I am looking forward to putting the whole experience into words, but I think I need to take some distance in order to analyse it with a more positive and objective outlook. I have a lot to learn, indeed, but it is probably too early to reach conclusions.
However, in the middle of the haze of doubts, there are some things things that are working really well. I wrote a blog post about sticky notes and their amazing potential in a learning environment. Simple as they are, they have turned out to be an essential tool in my drawer.
In this post I’d like to share an activity I did in class with my first year students at school.
1) Practising verb phrases to express daily routines and free time activities.
Fisrt year English students often have difficulties when using verb phrases with go, go to, get, or leave. A very common problem among Spanish speakers is that they are often hesitant when it comes to using or omitting the definite article the. So, I proposed a game in class where they had the chance to revise and practise them afterwards.
I posted the five verbs on the blackboard and scattered sticky notes with all the endings in a few desks. Students stood, picked the notes and had to stick them by the right verb. They helped one another and eventually created a diagram showing the main verbs with at least six examples of activities.
When that part was over, we had some feedback and took a picture of the result, which I posted on our LMS and twitter account.
The second part was a class-mingle speaking activity. I invited the students to take two notes from the blackboard and move around the class asking their partners questions with “Do you…” How often do you…” “When/What time do you…” A little bit of music in the background and lots of speaking.
I am very pleased with the result. The students improved their fluency, revised vocabulary and question formation.