Now it's time for the dreaded dull bit: time to open your books. Grammar exercises. Focussed book practice. You can't avoid it, working through the book is required by the institution. Or perhaps you don't even wish to avoid it, some focussed practice is necessary to round-out your students' mastery of what you're working on.
But suddenly your high-energy, highly student-centred class comes crashing back down to normal old classroom-land with a thud and a yawn.
So how can you keep the energy zinging and at the same time have your students more dynamically engaged with the learning process?
- have them work in pairs or small groups - instantly they must discuss and negotiate their answers and be more dynamically engaged with the subject matter. The number of skills being used rises, from the classic book reading and writing, they must also listen and speak, postulate, defend and negotiate answers.
- have them switch partners to check answers. Monitor to check they are on the right path. Often 'whole group' checking may be proven unnecessary.
- another excellent alternative is while small groups work on exercises in their books, have particular groups come up and write their answers on the board. When they have finished, have them pass the marker on to another group. This provides for excellent and easy group discussion of any problem areas.
- if there is something incorrect, you can identify the problem area by underlining it and then hand the marker onto another group to have them try to propose a solution.
Working with books does not have to be downtime!
Do you have any other book-work gems to share?