On Monday, I had my first class. The students were attentive and respectful, which I appreciated. I started class by taking attendance followed by giving a presentation about myself. I then asked the students about what they already knew about the U.S., what they would like to learn or cover during my time there, and emphasized that I was only going to speak English with them for the whole year and that I might only consider speaking French on the last day of school.
I then pulled out a giant blue bag and plopped it on my desk. Since the bag was opaque they kept wondering what was in there and I informed them that it was filled with American candy. I explained that everyone would take turns introducing themselves and as each person completed his/her introduction he/she will receive a piece of candy. Excited murmurs immediately fluttered across the classroom and I even heard one student exclaim, “What if it’s not even good candy?” I smiled internally at the comment, proceeded to model the activity for them and provided key words on the board. Once everything was clear, I finally reached into the bag to reveal one piece of each type of candy, describing what it is/tastes like, and then displaying it on the table. They were all of course good candy; I had Milkyway, Musketeers, Snickers, Starburst, Reeses, Gummies and many more.
The planned activity was to state your name, share one thing you like doing, and one thing you would like to learn or a question you have for me. The first volunteer answered all parts and in order to receive the candy he/she had to tell me the exact type of candy he/she wanted. I also let the class know that they could request that I pick randomly for them if they either weren’t sure which candy they’d like to choose or if they were feeling adventurous. The catch was that whatever candy I pulled out of the blue bag, they would have to take- no returns or exchanges allowed.
The class session was fun and relaxed and I enjoyed watching them compare notes, trade their candy, and even share them. All in all I would say that it was a good start.