“Kids Want To Shout, So Let Them” – this was the best piece of advice I was given 5 minutes before walking into a class of 8 year olds. I knew that so long as the shouting was on my terms, everyone would be a winner.
I use this everytime a pronunciation issue comes up. The first one was the word “uncle”. My Spanish kids just couldn’t get their heads round it. I drilled it a few times, then we started off at a whisper “uncle, uncle, uncle” getting louder and louder until they had their hands over their ears and everyone fell about laughing. Then we would quickly take it back down to a whisper. This would get their energy back up and know when was time for shouting and when was time for quiet.
I love movement in kids lessons too, every lesson we do some sort of activity which involves them getting out of their seats, and hopefull, running about, or jumping up and down or racing each other.
Peer discipline works a treat too. The first thing I do when I walk into the classroom is write the word “GAME” on the top corner of the board. Everytime someone misbehaves, I wipe a letter off the board. The kids immediately knew what it mean – if the whole word disappears, then there is no game at the end. Make sure you keep to it though! And make sure you have a game for every lesson! The kids immedately towed the line with the naughty kids, and I didn’t have to look like the bad guy!