Settler and Settling Activities for Language Lessons COVID-19 Style
I saw this settler idea on @MorganMFL’s Instagram, as well as on slides and Twitter posts from @Mariade53969789 and @campello_mfl. Thank you all for the settling activities inspiration, all of which is going to help me cope better with running around like a headless chicken this academic year!
A bit of background first and the latest language settler activities at the bottom of the post.
What Are Settlers and Settling Activities?
According to TeachingEnglish: Settlers are activities which are designed to calm students down and settle them into a routine. Basic classroom management and routines are essential to establish as a pre-requisite for learning.
Who already uses settling activities in their language lessons? What’s your ‘go to’ task?
Useful Settler Ideas for Language Lessons Before ‘The New Normal’
I usually had a slide on the interactive whiteboard to get students ready for learning before introducing lesson objectives (in loose form). This works well in settling some groups down and getting them into lesson mode. I think these would still work well if you are a language teacher staying in the same room for most of your lessons, as you can project them quickly and easily from a fixed room.
My ‘old’ language lesson settlers took about 5 minutes to complete. If you’re after more inspiration, my 25 Best 5-Minute Settlers Post To Settle Language Students might give you a bit more inspo.
Whilst these projected language settlers work for most groups, they didn’t always work in getting students focused on language learning. In fact, for some groups I actually created special sheets to get them settled.
The activities were on individual sheets and ‘differentiated’ (this was a buzz word in 2016!) I created three individual bronze, silver and gold level challenge sheets for students working at different levels. The aim was to get students revising a topic that they should have known about and to settle them. I had vocab based, reading based, grammar based, as well as translation based.
I’ll be completely honest, it took A LOT of time to prepare them for each lesson. Despite this, I feel that it got students working and focused on learning from the outside. Their heads were down and they couldn’t get as distracted by other students, as they would have done looking at a screen.
If you’d like to download this bronze, silver and gold challenge settler template for ‘new normal’ language lessons. Feel free to and edit the format or content, as the layout is quite basic!
Language Settlers for ‘The New Normal’
Hybrid Teaching Settling Activities for Language Lessons
Some language settlers that I have used recently though when remote teaching follow. You may wish to use them if you are doing some hybrid teaching:
- a question to answer
- a puzzle in the target language
- a meme to read and give an opinion on
- exam themed, i.e. ‘what can you see in the picture?’ or a translation from English to Target Language or Target Language to English
In-School Teaching Settling Activities for Language Lessons
The following settling activities are perfect for teachers who will be moving around a lot.
A settling activity is an excellent way to get students into learning mode and they don’t necessarily require teacher input to get started. I feel that 6 ideas is enough choice for the students and also means you get them to start in one lesson and complete in another lesson if necessary. Especially as these settling activities will most certainly take longer than 5 minutes to complete! If you are organised enough, project a standard set of activities on the screen each lesson. However, that will mean getting yourself organised. Obviously, defeating the point of this COVID-19 friendly settling activity. So, why not print one for each student to stick / paper clip into their own books? I am quite sure that using settlers that students can keep a copy of in their books makes a lot of sense for teachers who will be moving around a lot.
Feel free to use the image above and copy onto a word document. If you’d like an editable copy, you can edit the PowerPoint file below with 6 no-prep and super useful Teacher Friendly Settling Activities for Language Learners To Get Students Started!
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