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  • ablnm
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • August 23, 2011, 10:26:26 am
    • seoul
How to teach middle schoolers!
« on: August 31, 2011, 09:28:29 am »
Hi!

So I teach middle school and the teachers want me to basically stick to the activity books that were given to me.  Problem is, the kids barely listen because it is kind of boring material. Any suggestions on how to spice up the classes????

Thanks in advance for the help!


Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 01:48:22 pm »
I would suggest using bomb games at the end of the class. The students learn the material in order to do well at the game. You can put them in teams and for every point scored give them fake money. 100,000 won for every point. Just photo copy some won off the internet (one sided only). The students really like the money even though it is fake.  If you have a tough class you can add a prize for the team with the most money at the end.
You can down load bomb game templates from waygook and just add the questions and answers. There is a Mario Brothers game that is quite good. If you hunt around there is actually a section on waygook that has bomb game templates.

Best of luck!


  • roxzylok
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • September 22, 2011, 12:47:41 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 03:47:21 pm »
I find then very quiet at first. Maybe shyness?


Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 07:59:15 pm »
Get them to participate and do thiings that they enjoy, like entertainment and beauty!


  • jtrounson84
  • Waygookin

    • 17

    • September 27, 2011, 08:48:56 am
    • Jeollabukdo
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 09:04:40 pm »
I would suggest using bomb games at the end of the class. The students learn the material in order to do well at the game. You can put them in teams and for every point scored give them fake money. 100,000 won for every point. Just photo copy some won off the internet (one sided only). The students really like the money even though it is fake.  If you have a tough class you can add a prize for the team with the most money at the end.
You can down load bomb game templates from waygook and just add the questions and answers. There is a Mario Brothers game that is quite good. If you hunt around there is actually a section on waygook that has bomb game templates.

Best of luck!

Fake money is a great idea. I think having rewards like stickers or candy can be overused sometimes and then lose their value. Having set groups in class, saving up the money and cashing them in at the end of a set time could be a good incentive for the children to participate.


  • gookie
  • Super Waygook

    • 333

    • August 31, 2010, 12:03:12 pm
    • Daegu
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 07:53:21 am »
I would avoid frequent use of ppt games as it will get stale and overused. Usually, when I start a new chapter/lesson, I start off the class with a non-ppt game. This will warm them up and get some laughs going. Also, for the lesson, you could use funny pics to help them practice their speaking skills. You, as a teacher, could use some enthusiasm and don't be shy to act like a clown and/or use jokes.

Candy works as well. Games that are competitive works wonders.


  • minamteacher
  • Expert Waygook

    • 728

    • October 05, 2010, 07:55:14 am
    • Incheon
    more
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 07:55:42 am »
A few suggestions:

1) take a look at Games Galore! or Game Templates & Tools for game idea

2) If you look at stickied treads many of the middle school textbooks are listed and people may have posted lessons based on your textbook.

3) you can always try my Lesson Plan Master Index (Middle School)

4) Try Konglish jokes every once and a while. You can find some here corny elementary school level jokes
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 08:13:00 am by minamteacher »


  • karenology
  • Veteran

    • 239

    • October 03, 2010, 06:00:08 pm
    • South Korea
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2011, 08:30:04 am »
So you have to stick to the activities assigned, and can't stray too far, right?  Try and work a competitive element into the activities.  Middle schoolers may not like English, or any of the boring activities they're forced to learn in the textbook, but they always enjoy beating each other.  Even with something as dull as dialogue practice, you can pit students against each other and see who can read the dialogue loudest, fastest, etc.  (Perhaps this defeats the purpose of getting them to pronounce things naturally, but at least it gets them talking as opposed to sitting there all glassy-eyed while you desperately search for volunteers...)

If you can stray a little from the book, by all means do so!  Powerpoint bomb games are good, but too much of them can either 1) bore the students or 2) spoil them into thinking that every lesson you have will be crazy hi-tech.  I find that the games my students enjoy the most tend to be very low-tech things like running dictation or English basketball. 

Running dictation:  paste sentences randomly on the board.  Divide the students into teams (number is dependent on your class size).  Students from each team then go run up to the white board, memorize the sentence, and come back to their teams to repeat  the sentence back to a teammate who then writes it down.   Make sure the runner and writer switches for every sentence, so that everyone on the team is involved.  The fastest team to write the sentences down correctly wins a prize. 

English basketball - get a cheapo basketball hoop from Daiso, or if you don't want to be bothered, use a wastebasket and a balled up paper.  Divide the class into two teams.  Give each team a white board.  Announce a word to be spelled.  Fastest team to spell the word gets to shoot for extra points.


  • Catfish
  • Adventurer

    • 57

    • October 27, 2010, 01:57:52 pm
    • Gunsan, South Korea
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2011, 08:38:23 am »
I agree with what everyone is saying here.  Middle schoolers can be tricky.

 I think one of the biggest things that helps with my classes isn't really about the students.  It's me.  Since my classes are "bonus" classes (only participation scores and that really is kinda a "well, look, we are actually trying to make your class worth something"), the students need to be engaged by the teacher.  If I am boring, the students are bored.  If I'm tired, the students fall asleep. 

But, if I start class off with a big, chipper smile, occasionally act like a goof ball, then randomly have a dance party when a kid gets the answer correct, get their attention by using some Korean words, and then top it all off with Kpop/Konglish joke or riddle I find the kids are so much more involved.  For me, it makes time go by faster if I'm having fun. And, as a result, I have less classroom management problems, virtually none of my students fall asleep, and the students are engaged (I've "tricked" them into speaking English).   

I like games as a class ender (Mario, Monsters Inc, Starcraft, there are a billion). I agree though, that you can't use them every week.  A: games can be tiring for the teacher.  B: it takes out the special-ness of a game to use them all the time.   But there are tons of other kinds of activities you can do to bulk up your lesson. 

Whiteboard races are very successful:
   -spelling games--depending on the students' level),
   --ABC games (split the students into 3-4 teams.  Pick a big category, like animals or countries, and have a student go to the board and write a word beginning with that word.  Ant, Ape, Antelope--each different word gets a point.  If the groups have the same word--Ant, Ape, Ape, Antelope--then the two teams with Ape don't get a point.)
   --depending on how big your classes are, you can do the Fly Swatter game to review vocab.  Print out the different words and tape them to the whiteboard. After making 2 or 3 teams, hand the kids (new/clean) fly swatters.  The team to hit the word first gets a point. 
 
When making powerpoints, I use as many funny pictures as possible. I think it takes me longer to make my powerpoints than most people, but I think the extra prep really helps with lessons going smoothly.

Good luck with all your classes.


  • sleepyham
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • September 21, 2011, 10:08:01 am
    • Korea
Re: How to teach middle schoolers!
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2011, 12:22:55 pm »
I know how difficult the class is.
I always use candies and stamp at every class.
After one activity, I give candies students who get well involved in the class.
At the end of the class, the best group gets stamp and they will get rewards.
Candy is the best way to teach but it works.
Joy