On the first day of class students learn the vocabulary related to inside classroom actions. Make it easy for them to understand and respond to the commands. The ability to follow directions requires daily practice.
Use the commands in class as often as you can. Using the word and picture flashcard will help students focus with all the directions given in English and help you not to translate. Most of the time students don´t know what to do when you give a command, the visuals guide the students to complete the command. The file contains these flashcards and more.
Get them here.
The commands should be clear, specific, and in a positive manner as in the flashcards starting with a verb.
Teacher: Sit down.
I created a set of commands symbols to represent the imperatives (included in the file). You can also put them on the board when you need them. Give orders by pointing to the symbol card.
Don´t use questions in a command, it can be thought as a request, like whether you can do it or not.
Teacher: Can you please write your name ?
The correct form is: Please, write your name.
Use short phrases in an imperative form, as your lessons continue, add new words to the command verb.
Teacher: Listen to me.
Stand up next to your desk.
Grab student´s attention before each command. I use shakers or any noisy object , that will indicate the class that an instruction will come. Also, vary the volume and pitch of your voice. Use gestures and body language. Establish eye contact with the students when giving an order.
After giving the instruction, take the time to pause, wait, give the students the opportunity to comply, don´t threaten them. Stand close to the students when giving a command. Use some student´s name when giving a command. Be polite and respectful.
Teacher: Roberto, be quiet, please.
Don´t use commands as criticism. Teacher: Mary, didn´t you listen ? say: Mary, please listen .Touch her ear or show her the listen symbol.
Give the commands one at a time. Repeat maybe once, but not a series of 5 times each command. Even more when working with the youngest learners. Always praise the students for complying to all the commands.
Teacher: Please ,sit down. (pause) Thank you, class.
Take out your book. (pause) ( Ok, very good)
Open your book on page 12. (pause) ( Great, we are ready)
Too many and unnecessary commands are annoying . Think if you are giving commands that are not contributing to the lesson.
Don´t use STOP commands, such as:
Teacher: Stop coloring. Don´t color. All commands should be positive.
The stop sign is mainly for games, and used with the Go sign.
Teacher: Look at the board.