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Often when you start a lesson there’s a bit of dead time; whether you’re waiting for all the students to arrive, or they’ve arrived but they’re still getting their stuff sorted out. You need something quick and snappy to get them focused. If you were lucky enough to see Eva Buyuksimkesyan at TESOL France you will have got a number of ideas for warmers, but I’d like to share a couple of things I did today using the whiteboard (credit to Jason Renshaw’s whiteboard challenge for inspiring these):

  • Guided whiteboard writing: write a word big in the middle of the board and ask your students to write words or phrases relating to that word. My choice of word? Snow! See what my students came up with:


  • Next up, I must credit my mentor who oversaw my teaching practice during my PGCE, Linda Ruas: get, can, put, set. Divide the board into 4 sections and write one of these words in each corner. Students then write phrases using the words (in any tense form):

Obviously, you could adapt this to use any four words in particular. They could be verbs, nouns, prepositions… there are a few possibilities.

Would be interested to hear if you have any quick fixes regarding boardwork activities =)