2004-05 Archived Series – December 15, 2004
Managing Large Classes with Group Work
This is the second lecture in a 10-part professional development series for English as a Foreign Language educators in Thailand. University of Oregon is partnering with the US Embassy in Bangkok, the Royal Thai Distance Learning Foundation, colleagues at Chulalongkorn University, and at ThaiTESOL on this innovative and exciting project.
About the Speakers
Georgeanne Cooper is Director of UO’s Teaching Effective Program (TEP).
Leslie Opp-Beckman is on faculty at the University of Oregon in the Linguistics Department and the American English Institute. She develops e-learning curriculum and and teaches courses on Computer-Assisted Language Learning.
- My syllabus is already really full and I don’t have enough time to do extra activities such group work. What do you suggest?
- What are some other activities that we could do in class, related to this same topic (Holidays around the World)?
- How does classroom management relate to the 5 teaching principles that we discussed in the first videoconference session?
- Where can we find more examples for…
• Group work
• Cooperative Learning
• Classroom management
We used the topic of holidays as an example of content or thematic material combined with group work activities. For more on holidays and classroom management, see the handouts on these topics at OELC.
Images and activities for Christmas and other holidays are readily available through lesson plans and coloring books kinds of websites. See, for example:
- Boggles World, ESL Worksheets and Lesson Plans
- EdHelper, Christmas Theme Unit
- Kidzone, Themed Math Pages
- The Science Spot, Case of the Christmas Cookie Mystery [PDF file]
- Teach-Nology, Holiday Worksheets (scroll down to the “free” section)
Post-lecture Classroom Applications
The following is a suggested follow up activity (or “homework”).
Part A, Develop and Apply to Class
Choose one of the activities from today’s lecture or from the Online Resources section above to try in your own classes.
Part B, Reflect and Plan to Try Again
Afterwards, share your classroom management experiences with a colleague. Ask each other:
- What was your purpose in using group work?
- Did you try one of the activities from this lecture, or another one? If another one, what was the source of your idea? How did it tie in with your lesson or syllabus?
- Did you try the new group work activity with the class in its usual positions, or did you reconfigure (move students around in) the class? Why did you make the choice that you did; and, what did or did not work well?
- What were some examples that you saw of peer teaching and learning?
- What did you do to help the weaker students become involved?
- How did you assess students (as a group, individually, etc.)?
- What might you do differently next time?