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Thread: Warmers.

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Warmers.

    I stole this from some different sources (cut and paste job), but have had it on my pc for some time now and thought I'd share it.


    (not bad wording below for a Dave's poster, I thought)
    Sick of having your well planned lessons interrupted by late arrivals? Students seem wordless and unmotivated? Bring back the warmer!

    Many teachers forget that one of the most practical reasons for a warmer is that it allows for late arrivals. We all hate having to have to give instructions over and over again to every student who arrives late.

    Also, if we can get everyone laughing and in a good mood, it helps enormously. It doesn’t have to serve a linguistic purpose like revision of the previous lesson’s work, although of course that’s great if it does. It can just be a mood lightener. My favourite is the good old yes-no game, as most students love the challenge.

    In case you don’t know this old chestnut, the rules are simple. T asks st to answer his barrage of questions without ever saying yes or no. If they say it, they lose. Then the next student gets a chance. Follow up each question with “really?” or just repeat the last word of their answer with interrogative intonation and invariably you get your man! If your students get good at it, simply introduce more rules like:

    No nodding or shaking their head!
    No repeating the same answer twice!
    10 second time limit on an answer!

    If you get a really good student-opponent, try taking him off course with questions for a while which don’t require yes or no answers, and when the time is right, fire in your polar interrogative and you’ll catch your fish!

    Students love to think they can beat the teacher. First time up, you can usually catch them all out in no time. Don’t agree to playing again till the next lesson!

    When you’ve caught them all out, provoke them by comparing them to stupid fish who take the hook without giving the fisherman a fight!!

    The beauty of this warmer is it’s more or less failsafe, exciting, motivating and requires no prep/materials.

    Whatever you do, don’t neglect the warmer. It’s not just a gambit dreamed up by a TEFL guru/author to sound smart and if nothing else it will allow for latecomers and can really get a good atmosphere going. With higher levels, get them to question you and for maximum comedy value, let them catch you out occasionally!

    If you find that the students’ concentration tails off towards the end of the lesson due to clock-watching, pressure to get ready for the next lesson etc, use these activities as warm-downs as well.


    I always find the first ten minutes of a lesson the most difficult - it’s vital to capture students’ interest and involve them from the start. An effective warmer could make the difference between an alert and participating class, and a group of zombies who decide to catch up on the sleep they missed out on.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________


    1. True / False

    For a first lesson with a new group of students I usually use the True or False warmer. First I make sure the class know the difference between true and false, and can give me some examples of true and false statements. I then ask the class to write three interesting sentences about themselves on a new sheet of paper. Two sentences must be true and one must be false.
    When they have finished writing their sentences, I ask the class to stand up and move the desks out the way so that they can mingle. Each student must find a partner, greet them and introduces themselves, say what country they are from, and listen to their partner’s three sentences. They must then guess which is the false statement. Once both students have attempted a guess, they move on to another person in the class and repeat this process.
    This works really well to break the ice in a group of students that don’t know each other. It gives them an opportunity to introduce themselves, say what country they are from, and share some interesting information about themselves. I always participate in this warmer so that the students feel that they know something about the teacher too. You can follow this activity by discussing which sentences were the most original and which was the most interesting topic that was brought up.


    2. Guess the Famous Person

    The following warm up works well to lead into a topic on celebrity or fame and fortune. This exercise will require pictures of famous and recognisable celebrities (one for each student). Make the students stand in a line with their backs to you and stick a picture on their backs with some sticky tape. The aim of this warmer is to ask people questions about their celebrity and help others find out about theirs. The students will need to keep circling round, looking at the pictures on each others backs and helping out until everyone has found out who they’re mystery celebrity is. This works as particularly good practice for forming yes / no questions, or as a follow on from a lesson learning how to describe people.


    3. Where in the world

    This warmer works really well with an international group of students as they will be able to contribute more varied information and will spark discussion amongst themselves. Before students arrive I place a piece of paper with a name of a continent on each table. When the students arrive I let them deliberate and wonder about the continent. I then put the following headings up on the board: food, clothes, famous people, drink, animals (and any others you may want to add) I give them some time to brainstorm items to put under each heading for their continent. This leads into some good discussion about differences between countries, and stereotypes about countries within them.
    These warmers should get the students to participate and lead in nicely from a previous lesson or into the coming one. If they are successful it will set the tone for the lesson and keep the students interest more effectively.
    My Favourite EFL Classroom Warmers


    Anyone have original ideas for warming up classes? I'm sure many could benefit from some new creative ones.

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    Senior Member Array Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warmers.

    Good stuff. Will nick a load of that for this coming Sat and the MA ss.
    We kept waiting
    Still nothing changes
    It's a shame

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Warmers.

    Here's a load:

    An ESL warmer is essentially a fun game that you play at the beginning of your ESL lesson to get your students "warmed-up" and ready to learn.

    A warmer is SO important, for your ESL classroom, because it sets the mood for the rest of the lesson. ESL warmers are essential because they help your students:
    • To relax and feel comfortable in the classroom
    • Have fun
    • Realize that “everyone is in the same boat”
    • Learn a little about you and their classmates
    • Gain confidence
    • Get a feel for how the rest of the class will be like
    Warmers are essential for all ESL lessons, just because they are games doesn't mean that they only apply to kids.

    ESL Warmers

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    Senior Member Array happychappy's Avatar
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    Re: Warmers.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    In case you don’t know this old chestnut, the rules are simple. T asks st to answer his barrage of questions without ever saying yes or no.
    You don't have to stand there with a gong do you, and strike it everytime they are wrong.
    Was that Michael Miles, and "open the box " Not sure.
    My next door neighbours have challenged me to a water fight , so I am just writing this while I am waiting for the kettle to boil .

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    Regular User Array tropic of cancer's Avatar
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    Re: Warmers.

    I have a warmer I do with my EP2 class; I'm sure its not original and it only works if you're lucky enough to have a classroom with lots of space like ours -only 6 in the class).

    I call it Verb Mime. At the start of the year I taught them lots of actions to do at my commands: 'swim', 'take a shower', 'play guitar/drums/violin/tennis', 'laugh', 'cry', 'eat chicken' etc which I have gradually expanded to take in more and more verbs and preopsitions as we've learnt them or as they occurred to me - 'put out the fire', 'chop wood', 'pray under the whiteboard', 'walk along the line', 'hop backwards to the window', and their favourite 'run round the desks!' Nowadays the kids pretend to be teacher and I join in following the actions.It always ends after about five minutes with 'go to sleep' (in a big pile usually.

    The great benefit of this with young kids is it gets rid of that excess energy they have. Kids of that age just want to play and run around but after a blast of Verb mime they can easily be persuaded to look at a worksheet.

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