Successful young learners’ teacher is like a gymnast trying to keep balance during the lesson. Discipline is a cornerstone of the primary school lessons. Kids’ short attention span shrinks if someone distracts the class. The secret of perfect discipline lies in the right amount of stirring and settling activities to get all students engaged.
Calm lessons are comfortable for students with slow pace. Most children get bored without diversity. Stirring activities include songs with movements, action games, surveys, miming, mingling activities, gap-filling tasks, group and pair work. They energize kids and keep them motivated.
Here are tasks to stir your students:
- “Find a thief”. Students mingle to find out who stole a diamond. They ask each other questions based on the picture they have. The person who guesses correctly is called the best detective of the class.
- “Gather together”. Students get cards with information about their hobbies. They go around the class and ask each other questions aiming to unite in groups with similar interests.
- “Buzz groups”. The teacher declares the topic for discussion and blows the whistle. Students discuss their ideas for a while. After the next blow they change the groups and have to prove own ideas among other people.
- “Running dictation”. Children come to the blackboard, read the sentences, then sit on their places and try to copy them in the notebooks. This activity develops students’ memory and writing skill.
- “Blind painter”. Children get two different pictures. They describe them to each other for other person to draw the same without seeing a picture.
- “½ crossword”. Students work in pairs. Each one gets the half of a crossword puzzle. They need to ask questions to fill the answers in the other part.
- “Proofreader”. Students get two texts where the information is different in some details. One of them reads the text, the second one corrects “mistakes” according to the given information.
Active lessons stimulate students’ productivity. Children interact freely, feel involved, however, they easily get overwhelmed. Excited kids behave as imps violating classroom rules. Noisy classes tire a teacher and students that results in worse teaching. Settling activities pacify the class. While children are re-writing or reading silently, the teacher can prepare for the next part of the lesson, do the organization routine (assess or hand out materials).
Analyze your classes to choose the relevant number of stirring and settling activities. Draw diagrams comparing successful and inefficient lessons. Kids are different. Naughty classes should have less stirring tasks then obedient ones. Settling activities can be involving as well.
Wish you to find balance and create good working climate on your lessons.