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Getting to know one another

I like to get to know my students as soon as the school year begins. Every year I plan some fun games for the first day to get them excited about learning English, but also, especially in the 5th grade, to get to know how they feel about several topics including school and especially English. 

So I label the four corners of the classroom “love”, “like”, “don’t like”, “hate” and the centre as “indifferent”. As I say several things or activities students go to the corner of the classroom that corresponds to their preference. I typically say something like: “chocolate”, “basketball”, “dogs”, “maths”, “reading”,… and I always say “school” and “English”. 

An important added lesson is that all opinions are valid and should be respected. I have to model this by reassuring those who say they don’t like or even hate English. But I got lucky, because none of my 5th graders hates English this year.
Still, my goal is to try and change their minds during the school year, from ‘indefferent’ to ‘I like’, at least. It’s only September. There’s plenty of time. 

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