Here we are back in the classroom enjoying the new year with our students. Some of you will walk in and get right back into the groove- reteaching some expectations and then hitting the ground running. Others of you will stop and contemplate where you should start…reteaching, special small unit on the season to get us back into the groove with small steps, some will start completely different- new year- new class. Me- well… I’m a bit of everything, aside from reteaching some class norms and rehashing expectations of course🤞. I like to get back on track a week or after returning to the classroom, especially when my students are language learners.
Taking any sizable break means many of my students may not have had the opportunity to practice their academic language skills or hear models of proficient speakers. They are in their home environment and enjoying life with friends and family, as it should be. Back at school, these students may need a little time to remember and practice the language skills that they were working on prior to the break. They may forget tenses, sentence structure, vocabulary, and more.
Don’t let your students get overwhelmed.
So, here we are back to the new year, start with a refresher for a week and get your students back on track in a successful way. Here are three tips for success:
- Read the room- have students workin in talking partners and walk the room, reading posters to each other. Make a picture/ word checklist of items to read: posters, rules, chants/songs, directions, class jobs, and anythign else that students can read and recognize that are vital to their classroom independence and their ability to partiicpate in the class discusssions and activitites, When everyone is done- review the spaces with the class to ensure that students are using hte correct words. Choral response allows for oral rehearsal.
- Sentence frames: Reintroduce some sentence frames for you students to oral practice alone, then with a partner, then writing their completed sentence frame, and reading it back.
- Play games with the pertinent subject matter vocabulary so students feel confident participating in the classroom. And example of this is…I have you, have vocabualry game. Students are distributed 1 card in a random order. Card 1 student stands up and say their statement such as …”I have the definition of addition-counting on two or more numbers. Who has the addition sign.” Card 2 would say, “I have the + addition sign. Who has the equal sign? And so on it goes. You control the information by using the vocabulary you were working on before the break. You can also use tenses/verbs/ sentence order or other information.
The goal is to get your students back up to speed so they feel like they can participate. After any length of time not practicing their English skills that can revert and have difficulty remembering what they have worked on. Just like any other content, for all of our students no matter their language levels.