Ideas sharing

It’s almost the end of the academic year here in Italy, so at last weeks INSETT session, all the teachers got together and pooled our favourite ideas for routines, stirrers, settlers and classroom management. Here are a few choice ones…


Classroom Assistant – YL – Routine / Settler / Classroom Management

The teacher nominates a student to be their assistant for the duration of the class. The student takes the register, hands out worksheets, collects in homework, cleans the board etc… As a reward they get to line up first to leave. Be sure to make a note of who is the assistant, as it’s important that everyone gets a go! If you’ve got longer classes, then why not have one assistant for the 1st half and a different assistant for the 2nd? Also works particularly well for students with behavioural difficulties as it gives them some responsibility.


Musical Statues – YL – Stirrer / Routine

This has become a much-requested routine at the start and end of my YL and VYL classes. Make sure students know it’s a minimum-contact activity – holding hands or high-fiving is fine, but jumping on each other is not. Play some music. Students freeze when it stops. Show a flashcard when they’re all frozen and nominate a student to tell you what it is.


Hard Talk:Treat teens like adults – Teens – Routine / Classroom Management

If teens are behaving badly or plateauing, board these words: Attendance, Lateness, Behaviour, Homework, Commitment.

Elicit the meaning of the words and why they are important for learning. Have an adult discussion with them about how they honestly rate themselves in each category and also how you rate them. What will be different in future classes? Also, how do they rate you in each of these categories?


Adapted reward system – YLs – Routine / Classroom Management

Instead of rewarding the student who gets the most stars in the class, create a chart with a max of 4/5 stars and reward all students who achieve this, before wiping it and starting again.


Sensory Box – YLs – Settler / Routine

Look at, smell and touch realia in a bag to elicit vocab.


Team name and point system – YLs / Teens – Routine / Classroom Management

Divide the class into two or three groups and get them to choose a name each (in English!). Students are awarded points for using English, good behaviour, completing tasks, working together etc…

At the end of the class points are totalled and the team with the most points lines up to leave first.


Post its – YL / Teen / Adult – Routine

Write a question mark on a number of post-it notes and put them round the room. As students enter the class, they discuss with a partner which vocab items they know and which they don’t. Feedback follows with the teacher

This activity can also be done with pictures, linking to topics studied in class.


What have I got? – YL / Teen / Adult – Routine / Settler 

The teacher has a hidden flashcard and students have three guesses of what it is (within a lexical set (e.g. vegetables). If they guess it, they get a point. If not, the teacher gets a point. Continue until all flashcards in the set are gone. Students can also be invited to play teacher.


Bingo! – YL / Teen / Adult – Settler / Routine

Elicit a lexical set from students (e.g. clothes or times) and write or draw them on the board (or have students do this. Students then draw a 6-square grid on scrap paper and choose 6 items from what is on the board.The tecaher calls them out in random order. Get a line – shout LINE! Get all 6 – shout BINGO! The student who gets bingo can the play the teacher’s role in calling the next round.


Spelling – YL / Teen / Adult – Settler / Routine

Teacher gives a word (familiar to students) and they have to spell it in a circle, or as nominated by the teacher. If anyone makes a mistake, go back to the start.


So there you go. Some new ones and some old favourites.

Please comment and let me know yours! 



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