Monday, March 6, 2017

Get Your Class Talking

We're all busy getting our classes ready for the oral bagrut, and if you're like me, you are looking for different, fun ways to get your students to practice. I can't remember where I found it, but the Classtools Random Name Picker is a fun way to get a few different things done. It looks like it's been around a while. There are no fancy sleek graphics, but it does the job.   

It was originally designed to choose students (for any reason you want - to choose who answers a question, choose teams, whatever). 

You edit your wheel with the names of your students and spin away! 

But it can also be a fun way to practice answering different types of questions that can come up in the interview for the Oral Bagrut, or the project. Or just when you want to get them talking.  Click on the picture, below, to get to this wheel. 

Share the link with your students in WhatsApp or via a barcode, so they can work in pairs on their phones, practicing in pairs ....

OR .....

....project it on the board and have the students stand in two concentric circles. 

Instructions for Concentric Circles:

  1. Divide the class into two groups. Have the class arrange their chairs so that they are facing each other in two concentric circles: one inside the other.  Tell half of them sit on the inner circle of chairs facing out, and the other half on the chairs in the outer circle, facing in.  (They could also do the whole activity standing.) 
  2. Once the circles have been created, tell the group that they will be having a series of short conversations with a series of partners. The will be given a topic and have to talk about it for 30 seconds (or however much time you decide is appropriate for that topic. You decide which of the pair does the talking, and the other has to ask questions for more information. 
  3. Spin the wheel to set the discussion topic.
  4. When the time is up, tell the inside circle to move one seat to the left so that everyone is facing a new partner.
  5. Spin the wheel again to provide the next question for the new pairs to discuss. (Even if it lands on the same topic twice, it doesn't really matter, since they will be in different constellations.)
 In my class, it looked like this (most of them did it standing):

For more great ideas, check out Rania English!

You could use it for playing other games as well! Any suggestions? Share them here!