Classroom Complaints

I played the Sister Act review game with two classes today, the first grade highest level kids and the first grade second highest level kids.  I don’t know what happened, but it worked really well with the first class but not with the second.  I had prepared a game that asked them comprehension questions on the movie Sister Act, which the kids watched over the past 3 weeks.  The first class did really well.  Even if they didn’t know all the answers, they were paying attentin and participating in the game.  The second class was complete chaos.  It might have been too hard for them, either with the words (the first class, which is a higher level, didn’t know what the word punish meant) or maybe they knew the words individually but not the meaning of the whole question.  I want to give the kids the benefit of the doubt and say that the whole thing was too difficult for them.  But the fact that they were so noisy that I had to shout to be heard (by shouting, I mean talking extremely loudly) made me kind of upset.  There was general chaos in the room.  Kids said they were thirsty, kids were using the white boards to draw random things (including a picture of me), and kids were just talking.  This happened in the first class too, but at least they were playing the game.  I’m disappointed with how it went because it was a GAME.  Games are supposed to be fun.  Games are supposed to be what gets kids actually participating in English.  If they can’t even play a game without getting crazy, what am I supposed to do with them?  Is a movie the only thing that will get them to be quiet?  Should I have promised a prize at the end for the team that wins?  In both classes there was no co-teacher to help with translation (and classroom management), so hopefully in later classes this week there will be more participation. 

Does anyone have any ideas for how I can control the class and increase participation?

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One thought on “Classroom Complaints

  1. Hey Lyz! Just wanted to give you some encouragement and tell you I have gone through this Jekyll and Hyde scenario many times with all different reasons and outcomes. Something that I have found to be a good motivator, as you stated at the end, is to offer a reward for the winning team. At least for my kids, that is just the right push they need to start caring. Also, if students are persistently bad, I will punish the whole team they are on for being disruptive. If the students on the team care about winning, they will usually punish the loud student for me after the second time he/she speaks up. Just some suggestions, but at the end of the day you have to be ready to accept that there are some classes they just won’t work out. Even my best classes have their off days when we play games, so don’t take it personally or get exasperated. You can do it!

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