Back to normal after the Christmas break and looking for ideas to get students back into the mood, my faithful companion The Wheel of Fortuneis again unfailingly helping me to provide, with almost no effort, an engaging activity to get started: grammar and vocabulary will probably follow, but let’s start off on the right foot.
So, I have in mind a warm-up activity that gets students out of their seats (have they even had time to sit down?) while animatedly sharing their experiences during their Christmas break.
After the mandatory welcome-back salutation, I asked my students to stand up (initial sceptical look assured, so please, don’t be discouraged and insist with your sweetest voice)and occupy the space in the middle of the class or any other free space available in your classroom. Ask them to choose a partner.
Spin the wheel and ask them to talk about the randomly chosen question with their partner. Allow them 2 or 3 minutes to discuss the question. Use aclassroom timer to add more fun and excitement.
Ask them to change partners and spin the wheel again.
Note: this is a warm-up activity, so I’ll keep it going for just about 15 minutes.
Now, that they are right where I want them, let’s begin this new term.
I am in Christmas mode. My class already has a Christmas tree decorated with white stars, some silver baubles and not a trace of tinsel- I don’t like tinsel. Christmas carols are already playing in my hi-fi and I am trying to figure out what to cook for Christmas Eve and Christmas day without ending up dead tired and falling asleep in the middle of the dinner.
So, fully into Christmas mode, I have chosen these two clips from The Cosby Show to help my intermediate students get into the mood and improve their listening skills, too 😉 Hope it serves both purposes!
I wish this show was still on air. For me, it is probably one of the best sitcoms ever and the scenes with Olivia among my favourites.
What Race is Santa Claus?. I would suggest playing the video once without bothering with the listening task .Watch it on youtube here
Kids at Christmas Time. Again, I would suggest playing the video once without bothering with the listening task. Watch it on youtube here
Now , guys, here it comes again! This time of the year when I feel torn apart between my desire to celebrate all the good things life has given me and all the things life has taken away from me (shall I say “people”?).
So I can never guess what my mood is going to be like when I write my Christmas post ; sometimes it is a tearjerker ( most of the times) and sometimes I am just the biggest fan of these holidays.
But this year I feel my mood is going to be quite festive and I have even promised myself I’ll try my hardest to wear my sweatpants only when going to the gym and to dress up in sequins whenever the occasion demands it ; to be nice , polite and kind towards everybody, to struggle not to speak my mind even though the occasion might require it and to try to understand that though everybody has a table and chairs at home to rotate the family gathering , it is me everybody loves and that must be the reason why year after year everybody decides to celebrate all the gatherings in my blessed house where ,it goes without saying, my dear mother gently suggests that I use my best wedding presents to decorate the table even though she knows I won’t be able to put them in the washing machine and I’ll have to spend hours washing everything up!!
So, after so much giving and giving I’ve decided, these holidays, to treat myself to some getting and getting. (prompt… this is where you need to watch the video ) and this is where the photo of my kitchen window applies.
Christmas is a mere four days away and I want to wish you the best of Christmas and advise you to treat yourselves once or twice during these holidays. You deserve it, don’t you?
Happy, happy Christmas!!! And please, enjoy every minute because life … is just this!
Well, folks! With only a fortnight to go before Christmas Eve I can safely say that the holidays are upon us and it’s time to start decorating. Below I have posted two presentations . The first one is for inexpensively decorating our classroom .Big fun! (I have used the tool Slide.ly , which I highly recommend because it’s free and easy to use). In the second presentation I have included ideas to decorate the house and to dress our Christmas tables.Hope you like them! And …a big thank you to my students ,who have enthusiastically helped me decorate.
It’s been quite a long time since I haven’t sung any Christmas Carols with my students . I might be wrong but I’ve always felt that although they might have been willing to learn about some cultural issues , singing Carols was out of the question. But this year …. is my year for all these secret pleasures that I used to enjoy doing when I was in primary or secondary school.
That’s why with my elementary class there is going to be a Christmas Cards competition and we are also going to learn the Christmas Carol ,Jingle Bells . We are going to practise really hard and delight teachers and students with our graceful singing. No kidding , some students sing really well!