Classroom coaching activity – Talking about your notes

I tried the following bit of classroom coaching with my upper intermediate class last week. There are 12-14 of them, we don’t use a course book but all of them have a note book. This is a simple idea for recycling and recapping which requires very minimal preparation from the teacher.

Step one (before class)
Prepare some questions to ask about the notebook. These were mine:
What do you write in your book?
How do you organise it?
Do you ever review the notes?
Do you use it only for English class or also at other times? (like homework, practising English at home)
Could you improve the way you use your notebook?

Step two
In class have a conversation with one of the students about her notebook using the questions above and others as appropriate. Other students listen and make notes of the questions you ask? Elicit the questions and write them on the board. Drill them.

Step Three
Students work in pairs and talk about their notebooks in the same way as you have demonstrated. Follow this with some feedback and a correction slot

Step Four
Students test each other on some of the vocab they have noted in their books. What does___mean? Or How do you say___in English?

Step Five
Elicit from students any topics or conversations they have had in class the last 6 lessons or so. Aim to get 6.

Step Six
Assign each topic a number, 1-6. Put students in groups of 3 or 4. Each student in turn throws a dice and talks for one minute about the topic corresponding to the number they have thrown. They can refer to their notebooks of course to help them. Corrections and feedback to round up.

These are very motivated adult students. They told me they found the activity very useful. We spent about 40 minutes on this sequence in total. I think it could be shorter if necessary or with lower levels and step four could be omitted.

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