My lessons are devided into three parts:
- Warm-up, when young learners get into the mood. That is when I do the same things with them day after day.
- Main part, when new content is introduced and practiced. First as a group activity then individually or in pairs.
- Cool down exercise when we use taught vocabulary with a little game or song.
A little tip to begin with:
When you have your ESL class straight after break-time, it is a good idea to put some relaxing music on and let the children wind down a bit before you start the lesson. If you have very young learners you can even sprinkle some 'magic potion' in the air to calm them down. Levander spray works real wonders. :)
When I have very young learners in my ESL class I always start with a little song like Knock! Knock! Hello! Or if they are a bit older the Hello! Song. Then calling out their names and greeting them one by one. Children have to feel they are unique, so it goes:
Hello/Good morning/Good afternoon Johnny!
Hello! Miss T!
Hello Miss T!
And so on... If you don't have too many children in your class you can also practice the 'How are you?' 'I'm fine thank you.' dialogue with them here. As you have to teach them at one point, anyway.
Then we count up to 10 or 20 (depending on their level) by clapping hands and tapping knees.
Odd numbers clap, even numbers tap. This clapping-tapping exercise has more adventages. First of all, adults have to aware that little kids can't sit still, only a certain, usually very short time. So if they are able to move whilst eg. counting you win some more time to keep their attention later.
Secondly, it is a good foundation and it develops their mathematical knowledge about odd and even numbers and also helps to memorise doubling (every tap) or the 2x table.
With very young learners Fish song can be introduced. Or in the first month you simply count the children and let them count with you. Later they can count each other. Give them a lot of opportunities to practice counting as the part of the routine.
We also have a calendar in our classroom, where children change the date and the weather.
So the next thing, we do, is to sing a song or chant the days of the week. You can do it with clapping or any other movements that your children like doing. After that we change the day on our calendar.
If you have older children you can also ask them:
'What day was it yesterday?'
'What day is it going to be tomorrow?'
So they practice the days of the week.
The last thing of our warm up routine is the weather:
- Sing the Weather song
- Ask someone what the weather is like
- Ask another child to change the weather picture on the calendar
Now you can start your lesson!!!