Learn some new activities to use with your students!

September 29, 2009 at 2:11 PM | Posted in Class, Lesson Plans, Teaching | Comments Off on Learn some new activities to use with your students!

Creating Comfort

Classes have begun!  The anxiously awaited first week is finally here and the AmeriCorps members are excited to start teaching.  Most classes begin this week, but I taught my first class at Sherwood last Tuesday.  Preparing a lesson before meeting my students was a challenge, but I quickly realized it was not so much about what I said, but how I said it.  I set the tone of the class with energy and enthusiasm and the students matched it.  The most important objective to accomplish in the first week is creating a comfortable environment for the students.  The AmeriCorps members have been working hard to find activities to achieve this task; here are a few of our favorites:

Ball Toss

Bring a ball with all sorts of simple questions written on it.  Questions such as “What is your favorite color?” and “Where are you from?” work well.  Have the students stand in a circle and toss the ball around.  When a student receives the ball they should say their name and then read and answer the question that their thumb lands on.  This works well in a mixed level classroom because if one student has difficulty reading or understanding a question, his or her classmates can help.

Alphabet Soup

Reviewing the alphabet is always a good first week activity.  As you review each letter have the students point out something in the room that begins with that letter.  If there are not many items in your classroom you can modify the game.  My students enjoyed working together to brainstorm words that began with the letter we were reviewing.  For an added challenge create two teams and have them compete to see who can come up with the most words within a specified time limit.

Spelling Bee

The AmeriCorps members were fortunate to have the opportunity to observe an experienced teacher, Elizabeth, teach a FLP class at Crestwood Elementary.  We walked away with many valuable ideas for our own classes so I thought I would share one.  Elizabeth brought magnetic letters and each student took a turn going up to the board and spelling their name with the letters.  The student then said each letter and the class repeated it.  This was an excellent way to learn each others names, practice pronunciation, and put students at ease about speaking in front of the class.

I hope you find these activities helpful as you prepare for your first class of the fall semester!  Best of luck.

Courtney Pergal, Americorps Instructor

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