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  • joybot0
  • Veteran

    • 139

    • May 19, 2010, 02:41:59 pm
    • South Korea
Hello Waygookins

I teach first grade at a private-elementary school. I see 8 classes 3x a week. Some low and some high. I am doing some thinking about my teaching style and realized the most successful classes are the ones that I pump everyone up in the beginning. Not just with my attitude but also with some kind of review activity, song or game.

But I am starting to see the well turn dry and need to think of new ideas.

What are some class-starters that you do to get the class pumped and on board with the lesson?



  • dottie
  • Waygookin

    • 12

    • May 20, 2011, 03:20:52 pm
    • Yesan, South Korea
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 04:04:22 pm »
I noticed that a lot of my students are at different levels of English. Some may be really good while others are not. Seeing these different levels of students in class I start out with the basics by doing the ABCs. Some students find it very annoying, but I make it fun. I say who really know there ABCs. Then I begin by putting on a video to have them sing along. Once the video is over than we start with a game that is familiar to them. This way I introduce them to the new materials. Even I am bored by the books they are using by the end of the class we are playing a game with the new information.

  • foreverJ
  • Featured Contributor

    • 333

    • October 05, 2010, 04:45:22 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 05:24:28 pm »
Genki English Disco warm up:

  • Mads
  • Adventurer

    • 47

    • December 01, 2010, 08:46:03 am
    • South Korea
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 08:16:32 pm »
Okay, so maybe you already do all/some of this or it isn't your style, but here's my ''recipe'' for VERY enthusiastic, involved younger students  :) 

With my Kindergartners, First and Second Graders I try to be high energy from the moment I step into the classroom. My energy = their energy. So even on the days I'm not feeling it, I literally fake it 'till I make it. (Not so great with upholding this philosophy with the older students though ...   ::) )

I then do my standard intro: day and date (I sometimes write it on the board with blanks, Hangman style and they have to ''figure it out''), weather (I usually say something silly here - like ''Is it snowing today? I think it's snowing" when it's 20 degrees out - to let them correct me and do a melodramatic face when they do so - they really get a kick out of it), and then feelings (they get to mimic different feelings or I draw different smileys on the board and we do a vote/poll to see how many of each blah blah)

Then, as I'm handing out their textbooks/worksheets, I play them an ABC video/song ... I like to mix this up, and have several I use, mostly from Youtube [ABC hamster song, The ABC Rock, ABC chick song etc], but some in PPT format... this is amazing, as they all break into song enthusiastically, eyes fixed on the screen, clapping to the beat while I set up/get ready. This then sets the mood for the rest of the lesson. I usually work for 15-20 minutes, before showing them another little short animation clip or whatever, before they have to do activities/worksheets. Oh, when they have to repeat after me when doing vocabulary/phonics, I also try to mix it up by breaking them up into different groups to ''chant battle'', allowing for the element of surprise, as I don't stick to a specific/set order.

*With my Kindergartners I always, always start with TPR - something like a basic Simon Says game that allows them to jump/run/stretch/clap etc, the Hokey Pokey, Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes or When you're happy and you know it ... this not only psyches them up, but also tires them out a bit, so they sit still during the lesson  :laugh:

Edit: Oh yeah, I kinda also do what Dottie does - I sometimes go all old school though and use alphabet magnets. I throw it all in my big, colourful ''surprise'' bag (there's a question mark printed on it), and I get 3 or 4 students to each pick one, stick it up against the board, and then write a word starting with the letter... the other students help them out, so eventually we have 2-4 words for each letter on the board.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 08:38:59 pm by Mads »
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind ~ Rudyard Kipling

Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 09:44:30 pm »
I had a first and second grade class that hated dancing (and they didn't really like to sing, either), so when I taught them, I used to begin class by drawing a numbered volume knob on the board.  We'd then all stand up and sing the ABC song.  When I pointed to the ten, kids sang the song as loud as they could.  When I pointed to the one, kids sang the song as quietly as they could.  That usually worked, but I'd also mix it up sometimes by writing "near" and "far" on the board and circled both.  When I'd "push" the near "button," kids would have to move to the front of the class and sing.  When I'd "push" the far "button," kids would have to move to the back of the class and sing.  Kids like to run around and scream, and you can incorporate this into any warm-up song you do.

The volume knob and near/far buttons obviously take a bit of explaining to do at first.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:50:04 pm by pizza hamburger »

  • kmvictory713
  • Adventurer

    • 48

    • September 10, 2010, 01:30:35 pm
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 01:59:04 pm »
I just played this hangman game with my after-school elementary students.  They loved it!  It's just like normal hangman but I added a few things:

1.  I broke my class up into two teams (boys vs. girls)
2.  I chose a word that was somewhere in the classroom but also a little obscure (it was actually on a student's shirt "varsity")
3.  The teams take turns guessing a letter.
4.  When the word is solved I gave the teams one point for each wrong guess they had and awarded the team who finally solved the word a bonus (negative points)
5.  I told both teams that if they could find the word spelled out somewhere in the classroom they would get an additional bonus (more negative points).

Finally, the team with the lowest number of points wins.   My students really got a kick out of the game.  And, I enjoyed watching them search high and low for a word that was written on the front of one boy's shirt.  It was a fun warm-up/cool-down activity. 

Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 09:03:51 pm »
This is 'action song'. it's funny to children.

  • kteach27
  • Waygookin

    • 12

    • May 21, 2012, 10:53:27 pm
    • Canada
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 06:19:19 pm »
I"m so glad I found this thread!  I'm not very creative when it comes to warm-up activities. Our 'circle time' is normally supposed to last at least 15-20 minutes but I find that whatever I plan ends up only being 10 minutes and then I'm sitting there trying to think of a way to fill the time.  I'm at a small private kindy/pre-school and I'm struggling to come up with ways to get my class of 3 year olds (4 Korean age) to focus on me and what I'm doing.  There are only 3 of them in the class but they distract one another like crazy.   If anyone has experience with kids this young please share what you've done with them!  :)

Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 01:33:37 pm »
That's a very good idea!
I usually start with ABC's first and then sing Phonics 2 song from youtube. A is for apple ~~~
This is the most popular song that my students like.
Thanks. Have a nice vacation.!!

  • majime2
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • January 28, 2012, 08:55:57 am
    • Japan
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 01:30:15 pm »
Thanks for the Action Song Video! My first graders loved doing it so
much! Especially the baby shaking his head! Had to practice with the other
classes sans video before they could see the baby, otherwise they would
crack up too much! LOL

  • ceci03
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • September 03, 2012, 01:14:11 pm
    • Jeju-do, South Korea
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 01:56:48 pm »
For my grade 2's I started every class with a game of "Pass the Ball". I would ask the first student "How are you?" and they'd say "I'm fine" or whatever and pass it to the next kid asking "How are you?". They'd pass it around to the back of the class, and then change directions and pass it back to the front. On the way back they raced against the clock.

I liked it because it was so simple and didn't take long (takes like 2 mins), and because it involved every single student. Each time the ball came back to me I introduced a new response/emotion (I'm fantastic, I'm sick, I'm excited, I'm CRAZY). 

I figured this activity would get old really fast, but the students went nuts over it everytime.  They'd try to outdo each other with silly responses (i'm super super crazy hungry!) and they got really intense when they were racing against the clock. Every now and again I'd switch it up and use a balloon or a new ball, and they'd go mad for it. Kids, eh?

I don't think older kids would appreciate this so much... but my grade 2s loved it. I'm gona keep it up for a bit now that they're in grade 3. Whatever method you do, I think it's good to have a routine and the start of every class.  It's the best way to get them all settled down.

  • rcrossen
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • March 03, 2013, 11:37:08 am
    • Sejong City, South Korea
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 08:03:52 am »
I do this song with the kids and they absolutely love to sing and dance to it. You can make up your own dance with some hip-hop flare. I jump and clap for the "Get ready, Get set" and for the "hip hop to the alphabet" I get low and move my arms back and forth. We do it every Friday now.

  • zminus2
  • Adventurer

    • 53

    • February 21, 2013, 12:29:35 pm
Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2013, 07:48:41 pm »
Does anyone have any more recommendations? My kids go apeshit for the Genki English disco warmup (we call it "stand up, sit down") and the other Genki one we call "eat, drink, dance." Sometimes I cave and play it "one more time, teacher!!!!!" Fantastic time killer when I need it to be.

BUT. I am starting to get really sick of them both and the kids could be learning some more vocabulary anyway. I have not yet come across anything as golden as those two songs. I really love the action-based stuff. Most of the kids like the dancing. Gives them their opportunity to act like idiots and hopefully burn some energy before I start the real lesson.

Anything else? Videos, action-based ... any suggestions welcomed! Thanks!

Re: Class Starters for First Graders---To get the class pumped!
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2022, 02:15:26 pm »
A helpful warmup game is the famous Korean, "Noonchi Game". Noonchi = sense
It works well with the alphabet, days of the week, months, and numbers; can also be turned into a spelling game

1. Students squat in a circle (or just at their desks if there is no space)
2. One student starts the game with whatever topic you choose (let's use alphabet). So student 1 will say "A"
3. One by one the students have to use their "noonchi" and say the corresponding letter.
4. The goal is to avoid saying a letter at the same time as another student and avoid being last.
5. If they do either, they are eliminated.
6. If you reach the end of the alphabet, just start over!
7. The circle should be getting smaller and smaller each round. The remaining two can go until one messes up!