If you are a beginning teacher and looking for a way to hook your students' attention at the start of class then this is a "tried-and-true" way that I've used for over 15 years in my middle school Social Studies classroom.
I've taught 13-14 year-olds my entire teaching career. To get my students focused and ready to start class we start each day with "The Phrase of the Day" as a way to get our bodies settled, our volume down, and our minds thinking. I show a slide that has some letters missing of a popular phrase, and if nobody is getting it then I'll point to a blank in the phrase and tell them the letter. Once someone gets it right I'll throw them a mint. They are 13-14, but you can see in their face that they are proud of themselves for getting it right and they all want that mint!
Once the phrase has been identified I'll show the completed phrase and ask students if they have any idea what this phrase means today or if they know where it originated. I'll then go through the slides explaining the origin of the phrase as well if there are debatable theories regarding the phrase origin.
The 20 phrases included are:
1. Saved by the Bell
2. Going to Cost You an Arm and a Leg
3. Getting the Bad End of the Stick
4. Baker's Dozen
5. Any Man Worth His Salt
6. Putting Up a Good Front
7. Put Your Best Foot Forward
8. Skid Row
9. Get Your Ducks in a Row
10. Mind Your P's and Q's
11. On the Deadline
12. Joined at the Hip
13. The Crapper
14. Chew the Fat
15. In the Limelight
16. Barn Red
17. Prom Court
18. Bought the Farm
19. Ring Around the Rosie
20. I Don't Give a Dam*
the "n" at the end of "dam" is absent on purpose due to the meaning behind the phrase, which originally wasn't a swear word at all - totally disappointing your students. However, you will most likely have a student ask if this one is OK for them to say the answer out loud, and I always respond with, "Yes, but now you need to know the true meaning of the phrase. And no, you cannot say this phrase haphazardly and say that your teacher said it was OK. The reason being, the meaning of the phrase has changed, and I don't need to get fired because of you." They usually laugh and understand, however, if you're not comfortable using this phrase then best to leave it out. You know your students and how well they can handle something like that better than I do so please use your own judgment. :)
I plan on continuing "The Phrase of the Day" as a series with new products coming out with 20 new phrases in them until I get 180 days worth of phrases, which is how many days my students are in school each year. Follow my store and you'll get a notification when I upload new products.
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