Want to teach this movie class to help classroom management and need the DVD? Click here
Kids love the Harry Potter films and you can use Harry Potter and The Sorerer's Stone in your own Young Learner ESL classes to help you with classroom management. By having your kids divided into houses, you can award points for winning language games, doing good work in class, raising hands, speaking English and helping others. Similarly, you can take away points for naughty behaviour, not listening, being boisterous, shouting too much, whatever. A student is far less inclined to behaving badly if he knows he'll lose points for a collective team.
Download the movie lesson plan for a more detailed look into how you can use Harry Potter to help your classroom management with children and how to get a really good vibe and routine in your English classes.
Written by Stuart Allen
Create a Good Routine for Your Young Learner Classes
Quality Language Games and Play for Children
Stuart Allen has been an English teacher since 2002 and has taught Chinese, French, Italian, Austrian, Korean and Spanish students, both in the UK and China. He runs two successful TEFL blogs in China and is a well-known voice in the China TEFL industry. Stuart is the founder and owner of www.rayenglish.com
Four Ways to Quiet Your Classroom Without Losing Your Voice (or Sanity)
When I was coming to teach English in China I was often told that Chinese students are very shy. Now if you told me that, I would just laugh! My students in China are just as loud as my students in New York City (some in fact are even louder!). My Chinese students are just as happy, annoying, loud, funny, obnoxious, eager, and frustrating as any of the students I taught in America.
Teaching in New York City
When I taught middle school students in NYC, I emphasized the idea of one microphone (“one mic”) and the idea of respecting someone when they are speaking. I could say, “Listen to the instructions now. You will have plenty of time to talk later during the activity.”
The China Language Barrier
Now I have a huge language barrier with my Chinese students and little support from my school, so this type of logic can’t be explained. When you put thirty-two middle school students with one foreigner teacher there is bound to be some talking among the students. Thankfully I have found some easy ways to quiet my classroom without raising my voice. Here are 4 Ways to Quieten Your Classroom without Losing Your Voice!
If you can hear me, CLAP!
1. “If you can hear me clap one time. If you can hear me clap two times. If you can hear me clap three times.”
a. I quietly say this phrase, “If you can hear me clap one time.” Whoever can hear me claps one time. Then I continue, “If you can hear me clap two times.” Whoever can hear my claps two times. I do this until I have everybody’s attention. Usually it only takes about three times and it really helps them to refocus. Plus, it reinforces English numbers! If a student messes up and claps too many times I give them a funny look. You can go in numerical order or switch up the numbers. The highest I go up to is five.
2. Clapping different rhythms.
This is another great way to quiet your classroom without raising your voice. I clap a simple rhythm and the students copy it. I have created four standard ones that the students all know. Sometimes if feel a little creative and daring I’ll even use the desks (it really depends on the class)! The students love it as they have to listen very carefully to get the rhythm right. This will re-focus them very effectively.
Hit the Lights!
3. Use the lights.
a. I simply flicker the lights to get my students’ attention. I have only been able to use this later in the day as my classroom has windows on both sides. Another great way though to quiet your classroom without raising your voice!
Get Creative to Quiet Your Classroom!
4. Create your own!
a. Since my students are beginning to learn English I have to use simple techniques. I let my students listen to ABBAs “Money, Money, Money,” and they LOVE it. I hope to use this song as a way to get my students attention. If you students love a certain English word or catch phrase use it to your advantage!
b. In America, I would use “Freeze, everybody clap your hands” from some pop song. My students also had a strange obsession with chickens so we had:
i. Teacher: Winner, winner!
ii. Students: Chicken Dinner!
I try to use only about two of these per English class, as too many can be confusing. Which ever one works best for quietening the class, I continue to use it. I personally have being going with the clapping theme as my students respond best to it and I don't lose my voice (or sanity!).
But sometimes these methods don’t work I have to use another tactic:
1. “There is one teacher. There is 32 students.” I emphaze that I am the teacher and outnumbered. I still need to be heard to give instructions. You can relay this to your students using TPR...they'll get it.
2. I stay quiet and put signal quiet by putting my finger to my mouth. Let the students self regulate.
And some times when things get out of hand, I do have to say “Be quiet” in a firm manner - don't be afraid to do this. A well-behaved and listening class is essential to good English teaching. My last resort is I put a timer on for three to five minutes and my students have to do be quiet and read their English books. This technique works as they would rather be playing a language game and being active. They also know this is my last resort and I am not happy about their behavior.
Most of these techniques help during teaching, but then somedays they just don’t. But as Franklin Habit says, “Teaching seems to require the sort of skills one would need to pilot a bus full of live chickens backwards, with no brakes, down a rocky road through the Andes while providing informative commentary of the scenery!"
by Emily Kugel