Teaching with limited resources

Dice and board games

You can make a board game on the back of a folder and uses bottle caps as markers. You can also draw a board game on your white board and use post its to move players from place to place. Using an interesting shape for your board such as a snake was a suggestion that my TEFL teacher made. I also like to put “go back 2” on my board. In the picture, my board game challenges students to change the verbs on the board to the past tense. In both cases dice are necessary.I like using foam dice because they can’t hurt anyone!

Other uses of the board and your dice

Dice can be used in a comparison game. Students roll the dice twice and have to compare two animals. A 6 and a 4 means that a student has to compare a lion to a cat. Also using your board as a points and reward system is key especially with younger students. If students do something good, I give them another tooth or I move the star up the ladder to the rainbow. Finally, in the version of tic-tac-toe on the board, students have to complete a sentence such as “I (see) the bird” in the present perfect to get a X or an O. I have a mini tic-tac-toe board in the corner to keep track of points. This prevents me from getting the board too messy.

Puppets, bells, timers, alphabet cards, and flash cards

All ages and levels of students generally enjoy puppets. They are funny; they take pressure of you and your students, and they add variety. My ladybug timer picture above helps to keep the class moving. I use the bells occasionally when I want students to race to finish an activity. I let the first group of students to finish ring their bell. I disqualify for false rings. Alphabet cards are great for getting students to practice the alphabet, synthetic phonics, or word and letter associations. Finally, posters can be used to teach a variety of things. Students can write about posters. They can practice the present continuous tense by talking about a poster or the past continuous tense by talking about a poster after it is removed. Most schools around the world will have some kind of poster on the wall, too.

Mini whiteboards

Make a mini whiteboard with a piece of white cardboard and a plastic bag. Put students into groups and give each group a pen. Then say something like I want you to write elephant. My TEFL teacher suggested I use mini whiteboards to teach the time. On the board I drew a clock, and then I had students write the digital time on their boards. I reversed roles for more practice.


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