Like everything in our lives so does the lesson need to have some way of starting.
Let's name the starting of the lesson the introductory routine.
Routine in a lesson is similar to habits; if you want to shape yourself in the desired way and achieve a lasting result, you need to repeatedly do things that will lead you to the desired consequences. In other words, you establish habits.
The introduction to every lesson is, therefore, a habit, which consists of routinely performed activities that consequently lead to a permanent effect on children's lives: educational, social and personal.
You can choose what to include in the routine and shape your own desired effect on children, providing you know what you want to achieve, of course.
My introductory routine:
- I want us to greet first, so we do the body counting (some sort of brain gym activity) and after that, we sing a 'hello' song. This way children also learn how to count (in a 'by the way' manner).
- The next thing I want to do is 'prepare them' for the lesson. Children need to activate their brains, so we perform some brain gym activities into which I incorporate shapes. With rhythmical counting, while touching our limbs (in different places on our bodies), together with clapping, we outline different shapes. The shape-activity always ends in a sentence like 'It's a star.' (if the shape is a star).
- The next activity in an introductory routine is a rhythmic game, with which children practice concentration and some language learning (vocabulary, articles, sentence structure) can be included. Since it is a game, the elements of a game are tailored into the activity to gamify it.
- If it is children's first contact with English, it is better to start with social games first, for establishing a positive emotional environment precedes academic learning.
- The last activity that I use in the routine is so-called 'Poster Presentation'. In that, children present something that is relevant to the ongoing project and is gradually upgraded during the course of the project. With poster-presentation children practice speaking and reporting.
How long does it take to get through the routine?
I never rush. Usually, it takes 15 to 20 minutes. After that, we start the 'body' part of the lesson.
After the routine, there's not much left of the lesson, is there?
If you plan to organise a 'Child-centred classroom, you cannot have a quality child-centred learning within a 45-minute session. You can rush through it and leave children bereft of internalising the process and only skim the topic for the vocabulary.
There is a lot more to tell about the project stages. You can read all about it in my next posts.
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