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Pairwork and odd numbers of students

 
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 1:56 am    Post subject: Pairwork and odd numbers of students Reply with quote

Hey all,

So what do you do when you are using a conversation book and it stresses pairwork, but you have an odd number of students?

I'm mainly just curious and have found ways around it. In the past. I have had one group be a group of three, and one poor person has to read twice, and I have also stepped in to read a dialogue or play a game as necessary.

I'm beginning to think I should not rely on pairowrk so much, because I will only know how many people are in my class right when I get there, so do any of you have any creative or tried-and-true methods for dealing with a book bent on pairwork when you have an odd number of students? I'd be happy to hear your replies!
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's really pressing, I just fill in for the lack of student. It's a million times easier for me to spit out the dialogue than for the kids.

But that's only a last ditch effort.
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ma cherie



Joined: 13 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Pairwork and odd numbers of students Reply with quote

katydid wrote:
Hey all,

So what do you do when you are using a conversation book and it stresses pairwork, but you have an odd number of students?

I'm mainly just curious and have found ways around it. In the past. I have had one group be a group of three, and one poor person has to read twice, and I have also stepped in to read a dialogue or play a game as necessary.

I'm beginning to think I should not rely on pairowrk so much, because I will only know how many people are in my class right when I get there, so do any of you have any creative or tried-and-true methods for dealing with a book bent on pairwork when you have an odd number of students? I'd be happy to hear your replies!


It's actually not too big a deal. I get that situation a lot. I just team up three people to work together. It depends on the situation, but I just have the three of them do their exercise like pairs would do. Just make sure for later exercises that the same three people aren't stuck together. In other words, find new pairs and make another group a set of three.

In any case, I don't always use pair work. I do a lot of small group activities (3-4 students). I think the students like it because it gives them a chance to meet other students.

Hope this helps.
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Sloth



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Here

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try a group of three and rotating the parts. That way, everyone gets a chance to try each part. Everyone will have to take a turn listening, but it isn't bad.
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gajackson1



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Casa Chil, Sungai Besar, Sultanate of Brunei

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In another thread, I had commented on establishing 12 as the 'Magic Classroom Size' number, for that reason. I am lucky that at my current school, the biggest classes are only 6 kids.

The reason is simple math (factors) : 12 kids can individually be managed by a teacher, and it also allows for 6 pairs, 4 triads, 3 quads, or 2 teams of 6 students. It is the same argument used for a 12 vs. 10-based measurement/monetary system.

Anyway, that being said, I guess you are referring to the paired-dialogue style books, correct? Hmmmm . . .

You taking a part IS easier; try to alternate who you buddy up with. Or, have them divy up the dialogue by the amount, instead of by the number of characters.

On any given day, it seems like you are looking at a 50%-50% chance of an odd number of students - you being willing to take a part is, in all probability, the most 'workable' option.

Good luck!

Glen
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MrTESL



Joined: 17 Mar 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In smaller classes, I just fill in the extra spot myself, which gives the student a good opportunity to speak to a "real" wayguk, and me a good opportunity to speak to a student.

In larger classes that I really have to supervise (usually kids), I just make a group of 3 and let them rotate.


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Squaffy



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try using a rotation of the pairs - like every 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the class size - the odd one out then gets to have a quick 1-2-1 tutorial with you, the teacher.
Helps because you can hear how the class is going and each 1-2-1 you have addresses different points about the conversations - then you may find the weak spots and be a good teacher. Rolling Eyes
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