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Warm upsHow to warm up a kids english class?

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hani8425 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 19, 2010 at 3:43 AM via web

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Warm ups

How to warm up a kids english class?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM (Answer #2)

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Warm up?  You mean make more exciting?  As a student, maybe you should suggest to your teacher that they let the class publish some of their work.  You can publish individual books of poetry very cheaply (hand-sewn is best) or you can put together a class book and publish through an online company - including in hardback with cover art - for about a hundred bucks.  Just a thought.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 20, 2010 at 5:52 AM (Answer #3)

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When you say "Warm-Up" I think of the high school "Bell Ringer" or anticipatory set.

No matter the age of the class, I'm a big fan of a seated and independent warm up.  This gives the teacher an opportunity to take roll and do any other business type task in the first 5-10 minutes of class while the class is actively but silently engaged in something.

The younger the class is - the more likely I am to give them something similar every day.  This could be a simple journal prompt for those who are already able to write, or a worksheet of some sort that requires no explanation.  My warm-ups always review something from the day before, or prompt students to think about what we'll be doing in class that day.  In order to get students to stay focused, you can make it fun by creating a competition out of it.  I wouldn't say "The first one done gets a prize" (this only challenges you to come up with something that takes a long time even if they rush).  Instead, a task which requires that they keep a running log of something, or chart progress, or keep track of "how many" and then reward them for completing multiple days worth of warm-ups is best.

Even in my high school class, I require silence for the first 10 minutes (in a 90 minute block class).  I walk around with stickers or a stamp and put a star right on the warm-ups of the students who are working silently.  Later, I grade the warm-ups based on how many times they got the sticker indicating they were quiet and on task.  Even high school kids will do almost anything for a sticker.

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hani8425 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 22, 2010 at 1:50 AM (Answer #4)

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Warm up?  You mean make more exciting?  As a student, maybe you should suggest to your teacher that they let the class publish some of their work.  You can publish individual books of poetry very cheaply (hand-sewn is best) or you can put together a class book and publish through an online company - including in hardback with cover art - for about a hundred bucks.  Just a thought.

I meant how a teacher can excite the student in class?

and how it can be usefull for the related lesson?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:27 AM (Answer #5)

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It's true that teachers should be more aware of how their teaching methods are being perceived by their students.  If everyone is yawning or doodling or doing something else, it should be clear to the teacher they're not engaged in the lesson--in short, they're bored.  As teachers, it's our job to impart information, but we also need to ensure that it's presented in a way which is engaging and, certainly in high school, interactive.  If you've been in lecture mode, change it up a bit and make it a point to ask "what do you think" types of questions.  From your question, it seems as if there's maybe not enough interaction or dialogue happening to keep students' interest.  Even playing "devil's advocate" is sometimes an attention-getter; it forces students to think and express the correct answers or positions to combat your arguments. There are lots of teacher resources online which can help with a variety of activities to make the classroom more dynamic than static, and I'm sure you'll get some great ideas here, as well. 

In general terms, the more you connect with students, the better the experience will be for all of you.  I commend you for wanting, it seems, to make the classroom experience more interesting and effective for your students.  On the other side of that, today's young people live in a high-tech, quick, sound byte kind of world, and if they have to listen for too long or don't have all the glitz and glamor of everything else in their lives, they are easily bored or uninterested.  The reality is that we all have to be able to concentrate and think and analyze without any gimmicks or tricks, so don't feel bad if you make them listen a little longer than they'd like.  It's something they'll need to be able to do in all areas of their lives.  However, don't be afraid to have a little fun along the way.  You'll all appreciate it!

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 27, 2010 at 7:44 AM (Answer #6)

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It seems to me, that giving students more autonomy and choice is what many of them find exciting. In addition, if we are discussing literature, they still seem to like it when I read aloud, and then ask questions as we read. This relieves some anxiety if they struggle with reading, but they are still able to get the material and meaning. Balance this with opportunity to read independently though.

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