**STARTING & FINISHING A LESSON**

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**STARTING A LESSON**

**Question:**

**1. What's the first thing you do in a lesson? **

**2. Is it always the same thing? **

**3. Why do you start your class in this way?**

**4. How important are the first 5 minutes of the lesson?**

**We think that starting your lesson effectively is essential to its subsequent success.**

Your students are coming in from somewhere else - another lesson, home, the playground. They are not quite ready to focus on learning English. You need to prepare them, get their heads in the right space so they will work effectively with you. This will typically take 5 to 10 minutes.

So, you will need a good activity to 'warm your students up'. This will:

- engage & motivate your students
- get them thinking about what they are going to do

- provide an early sense of pace & challenge
- create the expectation that everyone will participate

**Task: Write down 3 activities that you can use to engage and motivate your students at the beginning of your lessons**

**Here are some useful activities you can use to kickstart your lessons: **

**1. Review the Last Lesson**

Simple, but effective. You can test your students' memory and understanding of what they covered in the last lesson (or week/month, etc) in a few ways**:**

a. ask the class - see who says what, try and bring as many students into the conversation as possible (don't let the better students dominate)

b. put students in pairs, ask them to tell each other what they remember, and then report back to the class

c. put 3 questions on the board before the class starts, ask students to sit down and answer them in silence. Give them 5 minutes and then go through the answers in class.

d. pairs/groups solve problems from previous lesson - eg. complete diagrams/sentences/texts testing grammar or vocabulary you covered.** **

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**2. Use a Discussion to Introduce the Day’s Lesson**

This is a good way of getting students thinking about what they are going to cover, and also for you to find out how much they already know.

**a. **write the theme of the lesson on the board, and ask students to write down 5 English words they think of connected with the subject.

**b. **show the class a picture connected with the lesson theme and ask the class some questions about it - what they see, what they think happened before, what might happen next, where the picture came from, etc.

**c**. brainstorm what students know about the lesson theme – put the results on board.

**3. Play Games to Introduce the Day’s Lesson**

a. give your students a problem or puzzle to solve – they can also do this in pairs/groups - the answer will introduce the lesson's topic

b. give out a list of statements connected with the topic – the students must say if they are true or false

c. team quiz - divide your class into teams. Now ask them 5-10 questions about the topic. They write down their answers on a piece of paper. At the end, teams change papers and mark each others. The team with the most points is the winner.

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**FINISHING A LESSON**

**1. What do you do at the end of your lessons? **

**2. Is it always the same thing? **

**3. Why do you finish your class in this way?**

**4. How important are the last 5 minutes of the lesson?**

**The final part of your lesson is crucial, and needs to be planned carefully. **

This is when you have the opportunity...

(1) to check your students have understood the key points of the lesson and

(2) to build a bridge to the next lesson.

Make sure you plan around 5-10 minutes to do this. Please don't just continue with an exercise until the lesson finishes. This is a really flat way to end a class.

**(1) Checking your students have understood the key points of a lesson**

Can you think of some ways of doing this?

Here are some possibilities:

- ask students to summarise the lesson, and write the key points on the board.

- ask students questions to see what they have understood (or not...)
- ask students to say/write some sentences using the key language points
- talk about how the learning connects with what they have done before

You can do this by asking the students directly - though make sure you don't let the stronger students dominate - or by asking them to discuss in pairs and then report back to you.

This will allow you to find out what your students have understood, and what still needs more work. It also shows you which students have understood more/less than others, and therefore what you need to do to bring everyone up to the same level. This may then impact on what you do in the next lesson(s).

It is vital for your students to have all understood the key points in order to move on effectively to the next lesson. If only some have understood, then the others will only get increasingly lost and behind as the course progresses.

**2. Building a bridge to the next lesson**

A great way of preparing students for the next lesson is to tell them what they are going to do in that lesson. In this way, they are already half prepared by the time they come in. Your first 'warmer' question could be, 'So, who remembers what we're going to do today?' If you do this regularly, your students may start to treat this as a game, and will be motivated to listen at the end of the lesson and volunteer answers at the beginning of the next.

And remember, if your end-of-lesson check has shown that some students still need to work on the key language points, then this could also be included in your description of what they're going to do in the next lesson.

By 'bridging' between lessons like this, your students will get a sense of progress and momentum. They will feel that you are leading them on a road of discovery, and they will enjoy their learning much more as a result. If possible you could give them a task to complete before the next class based on what they have just studied. Good examples of this would be interviewing a family member or friend and then reporting what they have learned in the next class, or asking them to bring something with them to the next class which they can talk about- a photo or picture of something associated with the next topic. Unless students have a class every day it's very easy for them to forget language, so encouraging them to use English in their own time will be very helpful to them.

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