Community Building Unit: Student Packet

Community Building Activities As the fall semester is getting close to winding down, it’s time to start thinking about curriculum for spring. It’s important that my new classes start off on the right foot, so I usually spend a significant part of the first couple of weeks doing community building activities and talking about strategies that can help my students be more successful throughout the semester. I want them to feel comfortable and ready to fully participate in class. I created this “Getting Started” unit to use the first couple of weeks. It comes in handy because not all students have their book the first week. The unit has everything you’ll need to get an intermediate-level class ready for the semester. Just print a copy for each student and you’re ready to go.  Continue reading

Five Great First Day of Class Activities

Classmate Classroom Sharing International Friend ConceptStephen Krashen once wrote “Motivational and attitudinal considerations are prior to linguistic considerations. If the affective filter is ‘up’, no matter how beautifully the input is sequenced, no matter how meaningful and communicative the exercise is intended to be, little or no acquisition will take place.” As August approaches, and with it the start of school, it’s a great time to look at ways we can lower the affective filter in our language classrooms and create a positive rapport and interconnection where learning can thrive. Check out these five first day community building activities to get your class off on the right foot.  Continue reading

Color Cards Discussion

four-colorsThis is a great activity that can be adapted for many different discussions. Whether it’s a discussion about a book students are reading in class or a first-week community building activity, these cards are great. Students get half of the questions in advance, so they can think about what they will say. As the discussion progresses, a grid of questions forms on the table. Continue reading

Things In Common

IcebreakerThis activity is a staple of my first-week routine. I find that time spent on community building is time well spent. I always try and establish a positive environment where students are not only classmates but are also friends. Asking students to find things that they have in common with their classmates helps them see the places where their lives and interests intersect. Continue reading