Read 888 times

After school help!
« on: April 09, 2021, 08:04:15 am »
I just started my after school classes at my boys middle school and to be blunt, it wasn't good. I have 11 students in total. I have two really low level 1st graders, five 2nd graders and four 3rd graders. My question is how do I get my lower level students to actively participate and talk in class? One of my 3rd graders, did not participate at all and set the tone for the rest of the class from the very beginning. I come to find out after class, that he absolutely hates English and has made it very clear to my co-teachers. Also after the first period, 4 students leave due to personal reasons, so I'm curious as to what you do to keep the class flowing? I just feel defeated and any help would be appreciated.


Re: After school help!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 10:25:09 am »
HI! I don't know if I can be of great help but hopefully I can help just a little. I have an after school class with 4 students for about 90 minutes. What I have been doing are lessons based on a "big" activity, that way there is more of them doing and less of my speaking. So, similarly, I would advise you to do activities that keep them busy individually or in groups. Maybe even try to find some of their interests and do a lesson around something they like. My co-teacher told me its like their free period so I don't do anything too structured. 
Again, don't know if I was helpful but you got this!


Re: After school help!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2021, 10:46:25 am »
HI! I don't know if I can be of great help but hopefully I can help just a little. I have an after school class with 4 students for about 90 minutes. What I have been doing are lessons based on a "big" activity, that way there is more of them doing and less of my speaking. So, similarly, I would advise you to do activities that keep them busy individually or in groups. Maybe even try to find some of their interests and do a lesson around something they like. My co-teacher told me its like their free period so I don't do anything too structured. 
Again, don't know if I was helpful but you got this!

I appreciate it. Thank you for the advice.  :) Can you give me an idea of what kind of big activities you do with your class?


Re: After school help!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2021, 12:44:20 pm »
I appreciate it. Thank you for the advice.  :) Can you give me an idea of what kind of big activities you do with your class?

For example, I found a lesson on here that is like "Make your own DVD sleeve" and that was very successful for my class. You basically show your class several Pixar short films and then you demonstrate what a DVD sleeve is and they make one for their favorite one. If your after school class is one period then I think it will be perfect. 


Re: After school help!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2021, 12:58:02 pm »
For example, I found a lesson on here that is like "Make your own DVD sleeve" and that was very successful for my class. You basically show your class several Pixar short films and then you demonstrate what a DVD sleeve is and they make one for their favorite one. If your after school class is one period then I think it will be perfect.

I have them for two class periods (90 minutes total), but I definitely will keep that in mind. I do have one high level 3rd grade in my class, and he wants to learn more than what some of the other kids can do currently, so I am trying to find a healthy balance.


  • respirit
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • July 20, 2019, 09:31:08 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: After school help!
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2021, 07:51:09 am »
I would recommend finding out what their interests are. I worked a full year at an all-boys' high school as a male teacher, so I discovered most boys liked League of Legends (LoL), soccer, basketball, WWE, MMA, etc., and planned my lesson themes around them. For example, I would've done a LoL theme lesson where I grabbed artwork, design features, and characters from the game and put them together in a PPT. I taught opposite (antonyms), action verbs, and comparative/superlatives with LoL. Sometimes, just seeing their favorite games or interests in English can pique their learning. Bonus points if you can tie the game or sport concepts with English.

Also, change your mindset. Kids pick up on what you feel and any annoyance/frustration/apathy you show will affect them. Instead of thinking "why am I doing this" or "what the h*ll", see this as an opportunity to connect and build a relationship with your small class size. One thing I would do to help foster rapport with my students was go up and talk to them or playing ball with them outside of class (ideally during breaktime). It could be just a simple "how are you?", "did you eat breakfast?", "what did you do this weekend?", or talking about the sports they like. This approach lets them know that there are no personal or hard feeling and you care about them. It humanizes your relationship beyond "student-teacher." I found that they would be more attentive in my class, wanted to learn from me, and would even tell other students to quiet and focus.

Lastly, don't sweat it. It's just a few hours of your life. Make your class positive and encouraging. There will be BS and disinterest, but that's typical when starting off. It's all really about your mentality and how much you can pounce back after experiencing hardship. Just remember that they do have a life of their own outside of school and cannot behave the way you expect of them all the time. Lower your expectations, but keep your boundaries and don't let too many things slide. I learnt all of this the hard way at my all-boys' high school, but had a great time with them!


Re: After school help!
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2021, 03:14:09 pm »
I work at a co-ed MS but I have all boy classes and the one thing I've learned, especially with my boys, is that they like competing. So quizzes and challenge activities always go down well. Try Kahoot, Quiziz or even Waygook. And I second @respirit Find out what they like (You can even make a survey lesson out of it) and use that as much as possible in your lessons.
Newbie