Tip One – Gain instant control without raising your voice

Practise this idea on the first day of term and use it whenever you need the class to calm down.  Start any action like a wave, a flying bird, or just hands swaying from side to side, and the class copies you till you reach the last action of the hands placed lightly over the mouth – which has been established as an action for silence. The entire class is then silent, attentive, energised and focused to begin the class on a quiet note.  Vary the actions to keep it interesting for the children.

Tip Two – Split up the troublemakers

If you want to move children around so that naughty children are not sitting next to each other then use this little game to do it and the children will never suspect that you are on to them!  Seat the children in a semi-circle ready for story time or a quiet game.  Tell all the children to cover their eyes with their hands and close their eyes too for good measure.  Then tap two children on the head and those children must silently get up and change places. Then ask the group to open their eyes and name the two children who have moved.

Do this a couple times and include good children as well as the troublemakers. If you just move the naughty children every time your cunning plan will not seem so clever!

Many more tips in this book: 176 English Language Games for Children.

In paperback on Amazon and in PDF on Teaching English Games.