Getting them settled...

What activities can you use to settle the class as soon as they come in?

How can you give them all something to focus on, so that when everybody is there, and you're ready to begin, you can get on with the lesson?

NB. The context for this blog post is a situation where students turn up to the class in drips and drabs, maybe because they've just had PE, or they're coming from different parts of the school, or they've just had lunch, or whatever. (I don't want to get into a discussion about whether or not we should make students line up outside the class until they are all present and silent, as that is not what this post is about.)

The suggestions below are based on using a projector or interactive whiteboard (IWB), and they are examples of things that you can just put up on the screen and leave there, requiring no interaction with the board or your computer until you are ready to move on.

TaskMagic3 Spanish Sample Unit - En la cafetería - Free download

At the bottom of this post you will find a link to download a free standalone TaskMagic program containing a unit of work in Spanish on ordering food and drink in a cafeteria. The level is ideal for older primary school children, but it will also work well with older children working at a fairly low level or in need of revision. There is a fairly wide range of difficulty within the various exercises in the unit.

The download contains 16 TaskMagic3 files, which are accessed via a simple menu screen.

Exploiting short dialogues / situational dialogues

In a previous post (see here), I discussed how it was possible to exploit a source text to generate a whole range of interactive exercises and worksheets based on the text itself, as well as on the lexical items within the text, and how this can be achieved in a matter of minutes using TaskMagic3.

This post will take a quick look at how short transactional or situational dialogues (or any short series of exchanges on any topic) can be exploited in a similar way, using the Dialogues component of TaskMagic3 as the starting point.