Number one for English language teachers

Keith's Corner: Entry 10: Snack time

Type: Article

In his tenth diary entry, Keith discusses Anglia School’s snack-time routine and some useful phrases for when kids want some more …

All the children at Anglia School, regardless of age or the group they attend (i.e. toddlers, afternoon, evening or juniors), react in a very similar way to the words ‘snack time’, usually with a wall-shaking “Yay!”

Indeed, snack time has reached ritualistic proportions at our school and our kids know there are a couple of things they should always do when the time comes to sit down and have a snack.

These can be grouped into the following routines:

#1 Washing hands!

We started our snack-time routine with the toddlers group and found this was a very nice way for them to contextualize words and set phrases in English. It was also very rewarding when they quickly started putting the phrases to use, showing their excitement at the feast to come!

One thing that working with toddlers has taught our teachers is that kids start speaking in English at their own pace. Some feel comfortable doing this at an early stage, whereas others need more time and ice-breaking activities. Snack time can be a great ice breaker!

#2 Setting the table!

Before moving on to grown-up tableware, we started by utilizing a toy tea set: plastic plates, forks, spoons, cups, a tea pot and napkins (not plastic). The kids would then act out a tea-time drama game. They quickly caught up with us on the phrases Can I have some tea?, Thank you! and Yes, please!

#3 Sharing!

As snack time started to become a special time for the kids at Anglia School, they started bringing more snacks and fruit to the table. An important lesson our teachers conveyed was the importance of sharing. As there were now more snacks on the table, using the phrase Can I have another plate, please? soon became a necessity. This additional plate would be placed in the middle for everyone to use. Still, kids always ask each other, ’Can I have an apple / a biscuit / a banana, please?’

#4 Tidying up!

Tidying up is something that is always done after a meal at home, so why not do it at school, or vice versa? Snack time is never over until the tables and surrounding spaces (floor, benches etc) are neat and tidy. At Anglia School we had a theme on recycling, where kids learned about the importance of the three R’s: Reducing, Reusing and Recycling (a big thank you to Jack Johnson and Let’s Go Green Kids!), which led to the creation of two new bins (marked ‘paper’ and ‘plastic’, in red and blue respectively) and an additional organic container (worms included!). After they are done, the kids ask their teachers where to throw what’s left.

#5 Story time!

Normally, story time comes straight after the snack. Kids put their chairs in a semi-circle in front of the teacher or everybody gets comfortable (sometimes under a blanket) in our drama space, which has recently been furnished with roll-back curtains, just like a real theatrical stage.

But story time is a whole different story (pun intended)!

 

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