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Motivating my 5 year olds

 
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torie



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 3
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject: Motivating my 5 year olds Reply with quote

I teach at an international nursery school, and my students are between 2-5 years old. I see each group for 20 minutes at a time, three times a week.

My problem is that the group of 5 year olds are not very interested, and I find them very difficult to teach. We are currently talking about farm animals, and they are getting quite good at animal vocabulary. They are interested in this topic as they just returned from a trip to a farm, but I'm not sure where to go with it next. We also do days of the week, the weather and months of the year. There are 9 students in this group, and the girls enjoy singing songs, but the boys do not. Most of them do not enjoy listening to stories, and always ask me to translate (which I don't, but there are two fluent English speakers in the group who often do, despite me asking them not to). I would like to do something a bit more hands on, but with only 20 minutes, I always feel pressed for time.

Any ideas? All the other kids in the school are always excited about their English class, but this group isn't, and it really gets me down!

Thanks in advance!
Torie Smile
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tbmcdnl



Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi...

Are you doing songs that get them up and moving? Choose your songs carefully and make sure there is plenty of space for moving around and gestures. If a song has a simple enough structure and enough repition that gestures can be used, kids will definitely follow along.

With stories, why not try acting them out a bit. Again, same thing, stories with repition and simple themes are great to act out. Even easier if they have a few characters that different students can try. One of the best ones for this is The Farmer and the Beet. (and it goes along with your farm theme). Have each child be an animal and line up gradually next to you as you read the story, holding on to the hips of the person in front of them, and each time with a big "PULL!!!" as they try and pull the beet up.

Simplify the language in stories so that in can be adapted to an on-the-spot mini play. If you have time, make some simple costumes. Headbands from paper with cutouts of animals taped to them work great to get the students into the role of their character. It also helps the other sutdents watching to see whats happening in the story. Can be a lot of fun!

Try chants and circle games such as Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar or The Farmer in the Dell. Five year olds usually love these kinds of games.

Good Luck!

Troy http://www.songstreet.typepad.com
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Shellx



Joined: 13 Jun 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice topic i like it! Smile Smile
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musica5



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 40
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the farm theme try playing the Farmers in the Dell or Den. It depends if you want to use the North American or British version of the game.
You can listen to the songs here
http://www.pamseslclassroom.com/Free_ESL_Music.html
The instructions and lyrics for this game are here
http://www.pamseslclassroom.com/_The_Farmers_In_The_Den.html

This is normally a circle game and you might have to adapt it as you have so few children. Perhaps line them up and have the farmer stand in front and choose the wife from the line, then the wife choose another student as the child etc.

For food there is an action song called High Up In An Apple Tree that is great for expression and action while covering fruit vocabulary.

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush is great for morning routines such as brushing teeth etc .

All these games are on the above site.

Hope these games help you to engage your students.
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martyjones



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is brilliant, so many good ideas. One way I've found to motivate my kids, is the excellent selection of pedagog stickers. The kids love them, and the personal messages on them are so cute. I've had great feedback from parents too. check them out!

www.thepedagogs.com
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Pamlc



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been teaching groups of 5yr olds for the past 4 years and have also experienced the same problem, girls tend to be very enthusiastic and quick learners and the boys just seem to want to fight and annoy one another so its difficult to keep their attention. One thing that I have incorporated into my lessons is to make each game a competition or place more emphasis on scoring. I think developmentally the boys competitive edge kicks in at this age and it seems to be a good motivator in getting them to learn the language in order to win the game or activities that follow. I understand that this strategy has the potential to backfire and leave the losers dissolusioned but that has never been my experience.I always give praise to all the children and never award prizes, just encouragement and so far it has been a big help!
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