Oct 6, 2019
Episode 69 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores different ways to start your teaching sessions.
We’re going back to teaching basics today and focussing on starter activities. For the benefit of any new teachers or trainers listening, a starter activity is a short activity at the start of the session which engages your learners as soon as they arrive. It sets the tone of the session.
One of the main benefits of using a starter activity is that done well, it can ensure learners arrive in your training room and settle into work-mode quicky and easily. This applies to learners of all ages, incidentally!
It is also a good way to get learners excited about what is about to happen in the session to come. You can really “hook” learners in with a good starter activity.
Starters can also be used to recap on what you covered in the last session.
In drafting the outline for this show I did wonder if perhaps starter activities were a bit “passé”. I could not find significant evidence to suggest this. Based on my own experience, starter activities can work extremely well, however, there is an art to picking the right type of activity.
It’s essential to know your learners and select something to meet their needs. In most cases, you should also select an activity related to your teaching topic, otherwise, depending on the age of your learners, it might feel childish or like a waste or time. Also, stick to your session plan when timing your starter activity. It is easy to get carried away and use up a quarter or half of your session on a starter!
I’m conscious that this podcast attracts listeners from a wide variety of backgrounds - this means you could be teaching any age group. So coming up with a list of starter activities you can use today is a little challenging! Instead, what I thought I’d do, is share a few starter activity concepts which you can adapt to suit your learners.
I’d love to hear how you use starter activities - please let me know.
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The show notes for this episode include any links I’ve mentioned; you can find them at theteachingspace.com.
Thanks for listening and I hope you’ll join me for the next episode.