Tag Archives: ESL

How Do I Teach Whole Group Lessons?

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Hello everyone. I hope your week is going well so far. Mine is as busy as usual, but I don’t mind it. I’m not sure how many of you teach large, whole group instruction, but if you do, here are a couple of articles I’d like to share.

One is from Reading Rockets, and the other is published by the UCD Dublin.

One’s entitled, “Making Whole Class Work More Effective,” by Timothy Shanahan. The other one’s entitled, “Teaching Toolkit: Large and Small Group Teaching,” by Paul Surgenor.

Shanahan’s article gives seven excellent tips for teaching whole group lessons. Here are a few quotes:

“Set up your classroom so that you can move easily among the students and can reach them without a lot of rigmarole. Place students where you want them to be to support high attention (no, Billy cannot sit where he wants).”

“One way of maximizing attention is to ask your questions first, and then call on the student who is to answer. Even put a bit of pause in between the question and the assignment. The point of the question is rarely to get one student thinking, but to get the whole class to reflect on the problem.”

“It can be difficult to manage the calling on students. Certain students always seem to have an answer and are quick to respond. This shuts out others who need to explore their thinking and who would benefit from teacher follow up. Teachers can do what football coaches do, which is plan their plays ahead of time, changing up the routine only if the situation changes.”

And Surgenor’s article discusses both small and large group instruction, and gives some great tips as well.

He gives suggestions such as using silent reflection, speaking in rounds, or short writing activities for large group lessons.

I advise you to check them out if you’re interested in techniques and strategies for teaching large groups of students.

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