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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers

Spare Activities for an ESL Classroom
By:Chelsea Baldwin

As in any classroom across the nation, some English as a Second Language (ESL) students will be able to finish their work quicker than others and have time to spare. Instead of letting these students sit around and get bored or drift off to sleep in between lessons, have some spare activities for them to fall back on to keep them from getting bored and to keep their brains working on learning English. These activities don't have to be difficult or demand a lot of brain power, but simply having something for students to do will keep them academically satisfied and increase their English learning ability.

Word Magnets
On a magnetic surface, place lots of different word magnets that cover all parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. When students are done with their work for the day or are waiting around for class to begin, they can play around with the magnets to create sentences. If you also have free time, check their sentences for them and suggest improvements.

Flash Cards
If a student has trouble remembering vocabulary words associated with one or two subject areas, have visual flash cards with both the pictures and words on them to help them jog his memory during free time.

Extra Credit Worksheets
Although students may not want to take on extra school work, offer the option of completing extra credit worksheets in class once all their other work is finished. This gives them extra practice in learning English and encourages more academic study. You may want to limit the amount of extra credit worksheets a student is allowed to turn in per week or per month.

Videos or Music
Watching short videos or listening to music over and over again is a good way to practice English and improve listening skills. You'll need to make sure students have headphones to plug in when they listen to the songs or watch the videos so they don't interrupt other students trying to complete their school work.

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