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Help! New teacher that outpaced herself.
« on: June 04, 2021, 03:28:57 pm »
I've just realized i'm almost half way through the books for my classes with a month til summer break. This is my first semester teaching so I thought the lessons would go longer and forgot to keep an eye on the pace. So now I'm looking for time fillers. I do plan to have a class or two where they make decorations for the classroom as my room is sad looking but was hoping for some advice for other things to do and teach. I've mostly been just teaching from the lesson and doing games along with the lesson so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I teach elementary students 3-6.

I was also planning on going over handwriting during a period or two as I can tell some students really need to work on it, however, I am worried about how the students that have good handwriting will fair.


  • simonli97
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • March 03, 2021, 12:44:45 pm
    • Yeoju, South Korea
Re: Help! New teacher that outpaced herself.
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 07:50:02 am »
I'd recommend doing a good amount of review activities. This will give the weaker students another chance to try to master stuff and it may not be a bad idea for the better students either as it might be a good chance for them to show what they know to the class. At some point maybe even have the better students try to teach some of it to test their understand it as you probably know, the best way to show that you understand something is to teach it. I'd also try to go through phonics as well since a lot of my students don't even know consonant or vowel sounds and the curriculum isn't really good at really including phonics.


Re: Help! New teacher that outpaced herself.
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2021, 08:36:39 am »
It's pretty much guaranteed that your students are deficient in a number of communicative competences.

Spend this time developing their ability to communicate.

Modern studies strongly emphasise group activities and it really does help as the stronger students are able to help the weaker ones and the weaker ones are oftentimes more receptive to instruction and tutelage from their peers than from a teacher asking them questions in front of the whole class. You could work on:

Phonics (CVC words)

Group dialogue
Group oral presentations
Group plays/skits etc.

A good idea is to give them a theme from one of the lessons (directions, food, emotions etc.) and plan the activities around that.
So, give them a task at the beginning of the lesson, show some examples or demonstrate (don't leave the examples up or prohibit them from copying your example as many will). Split them into groups (at least one strong student per group) and monitor them. If it's going to be a speech, dialogue or skit encourage it to be lighthearted, goofy and fun; there's a lot of anxiety to speak English in front of others and making the atmosphere as jokey as possible helps reduce that anxiety. Give them time to make simple props or costumes, some students are incredibly low level and this gives them something to do.


Re: Help! New teacher that outpaced herself.
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2021, 10:59:00 am »
I think everyone has done this before. I worked at a lot of hagwons where the books are suppose to last 6 months, but just don't have enough material for that time. You will learn in time how to pace stuff out and balance your books with extra material through the year  :smiley:

Here are a few PPTs of quick and easy speaking games: https://www.twinkl.com/resource/30-speaking-challenges-for-online-esl-classes-t-mfl-312 &https://www.twinkl.com/resource/speaking-activities-for-esl-extension-pack-t-e-2551426

I would also pick a theme each week and plan some games and resources around each theme. Perhaps you can pick from the topics you've previously studied in the book and review those and build on them.

If you need games, flashcards etc for the themes you pick; PM me and I can send you some free Twinkl ones :)


  • starryella
  • Adventurer

    • 69

    • November 07, 2019, 04:29:39 pm
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Help! New teacher that outpaced herself.
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2021, 12:19:47 pm »
I 1000% agree with the person who said extra focus on phonics would be helpful.

For the younger students, the basics. Little Fox has a great song series with a song for each letter (available on YT). You most likely have a bunch of grade 3's and maybe some 4's who are not solid with the entire alphabet.

For the older students, I've noticed that the concept of "sounding it out" is not understood by most students. Teaching students to put words together by understanding the sounds each letter makes. If you have the time and it's not a problem with your curriculum, you could try helping the older students better understand this concept. Focus on silent letters or weird combos is also helpful. For example, "ph" sounding like "f." Little things that will help them with their reading.