This is Halloween


Or so my students thought when I brought in the trick or treat pumpkin.

It’s the easiest thing to dispense and collect card activities/games in so I often use it.

Of course this makes kids excited to see it and say “Teacher Halloween?” No matter how many times I tell them Halloween is in October. Silly kids.

Today was the final day of my two day hell classes-they were about average…most of them really loud. I have a particular set of two that sit in the most back corner.

In our school, the girls sit next to boys-this is to reduce talking.

Well in this particular class there is more boys so two of the most disruptive boys sit together.

There were many times today I wanted to stop and ask them to pay attention, similar to the boy who was throwing his pencil case up in the air and catching, or the girl who looked like she was asleep. Of  course I didn’t as part of my new “not being strict” routine…which of course led to a talkitive class.

I really don’t mind if students want to talk a little here or there, as long as they be quiet when it’s time. But my co teacher seems to think it’s okay that they don’t pay attention/talk when I’m trying to explain something with her translations.

We wind up with kids not knowing the directions, asking the same questions, unable to answer and not doing work.


Ironically enough, my 5-1 class last year was also the lowest level class out of all the classes. It took them a good month or so before they finally overcame their troubles and really started to work WITH me.

I hope this 5-1 class can do the same. But with a co teacher who seems to think it’s okay for the kids to mock what I’m trying to say….I don’t know.


So that will move us into today’s topic: Lesson Plans.

In previous posts I think I’ve done mostly games and the reason for that is I have a book provided for me.  The kids have to learn what’s in the book-as strange and odd as it can be. And it really can be.

“My favorite subject is math. I like to play math games.” I can understand the objective of wanting the kids to use “to play” but it is a weird saying and NES will look at you like your crazy.

Usually if the kids can form some fort of answer that makes sense I let them use it. But they are tested on the words they learned, so they have to learn the other phrase as well as much as I hate them.

So a game that “made up” ( I really didn’t, but I will pretend that I did) is called the “Listen and Hit Game”.

The objective is to get students to think creatively and focus on listening.

The students will put their heads down.

The teacher reads out 4 hints pertaining to whatever the target language is. (EX: this week my students (and I) are leaning subject names and “I like to”-for this activity it was the first lesson on it so I just focused on subject names)

If they students knows the answer they raise their hand, teacher high 5’s them, and they say the answer.

If they are right (in my case) they get one point for their coupon book but you could change it to candy or whatever else.

If they are wrong they get hit with the toy hammer and the guessing continues.

EX: Subject names

Hint 1-pencil

Hint 2-book

Hint 3-white

Hint 4-glass

Answer: science

The teacher can either choose to read out the hints together or hint by hint.

I find that hint by hint is more fun because the students will get more wrong, leading to more hits and more giggles.


-the more obscure the hints are, without being too hard the more fun- I used “coat” for science because of lab coats

-if two things could sound the same, try to use the same hints : I used “book” for English even though the students only learned “book” for Korean. It tricks them while also making them think outside of just what they learned.

-while making the hints be aware of the level of your students. I assumed my students levels were much lower because they prove that time and time again but I wound up having to make the hints harder which then produced more hits.

-its good to show a picture of what your describing after-I first used this last year in my “career” class and one was ballerina-the hints i gave were pink, shoes, stage, light

-make sure you or whomever is choosing the students, chooses different students. there will always be the one student who knows the answers and will have their hand up first. but it’s good to choose different students especially the ones that might not participate or speak much in class.

-If you have students whose English is too good (I had a few students last year, one in particular who was so fluent that it actually sounded strange to me when he spoke Korean) have them help read the hints-that way it eliminates the issue of having them becoming upset or bored about not being chosen for the answer, but gives them something to do as well.

Now last week I didn’t post and I promised 2 lesson plans I think so here is the second one.

It’s actually a warm up idea.

I used warm ups off and on last year but really decided to implement them into my lesson this year.

It gives the kids an opportunity to start thinking in English as well as gets them usually to practice writing. If they kids finish the warm up successfully they get a small reward which is a “funny video” about 1-2 minutes long, nothing more than that. If i can I will make the video slightly relevant to the lesson but it doesn’t always work out like that.

So this particular warm up is something that I actually did back in the 5-8 grade. My middle school science teacher would have us do this as a warm up. Of course I’ve had to alter it majorly but the idea is still the same.

I put a word on the board with a decent amount of letters-it’s best if it’s a word hey learned in the lesson.

For example, I used “favorite”.

The kids have to make a new word using those letters. For my classes last year I could ask them for 3 no problem but this year I’m starting off with 1…which was actually a big problem today because half the students couldn’t even make one word out of it.

I allow “big letters” (T.V.) and double letters (foot-used “o” twice).  Usually a few minutes will do-most students will double check with you to see if they are right.

Then I will ask them to share 1 word a piece and write them on the board so they can see what they did and be proud of it.

For more advanced levels, I would suggest 3-5 words at least, try eliminating double letters, and then having a relay.

The relay I used last year which was a big hit.

Have the students say 1 word as fast as they can-for a class of 30 mid level speaks I gave 2:00 and we eventually worked out way down to 1:15.

Don’t allow them to repeat the same word 2/3 times in a row …but if it’s scattered around occasionally it’s okay.

Have the timer where they can see it. If there is a student you know struggles with English or speaking, it’s a good idea to stand by them and help them when there time comes-I’ve had students get mad at others because of it.

If they complete it successfully they get a small reward.

More than not, I give them 2 chances-the first chance usually works all the kinks out of talking or choosing a word and the second time lets the do it more comfortably.

I do ask that they are loud and clear.

For extremely high levels and a smaller class, I would suggest that the students come up with as many words as they can and the top 2 get a reward. This was how it was done when I was a kid.

A friend of mine uses an alternative way because she has middle schoolers. She has what she calls a word wall. Its an idea she got from waygook . The idea is that you put 7 letters on the board and the students have to make up as many words as they can with them. You can make it into a class competition where the class with the most words at the end of the semester wins a party or something. Another one was the class with the best average  of each warm up would win.


So that’s it for today.

With the weather looking nice, I’ve not used my medium winter coat in a few days. The cherry blossoms in Korea will start within the next week or two so I will plan to head up to Yeouido and see them! As for tomorrow…it’s movies/tv show review day.






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