A great way to start a class concentrating on the simple past.
I usually engage everyone in a friendly chat, just to get them ready for the start of the lesson, then, when I know they are concentrated on me, I walk out of the classroom.
Seconds later (after the chatter has died down a little – ‘where’s he gone?’) I knock loudly on the door, then open the door, wave to the class, walk into the classroom, take a pen out of my pocket, write my name on the board, put the pen back into my pocket, scratch my head, sit down, cross my legs, cross my arms – and then I say “What did I do?”
From then you are listening for use of the past tense, giving you an idea of how much teaching is needed. The fact that students call out the answers will help the weaker students. If they miss an action out of the sequence, do it again.
I usually emphasise my movements so they remember them all.
This exercise works just as well as “What am I doing?” (call out as do the action) and “What will I do?” (call out before I do the action – can be great fun if you change your routine).What did I do?,
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