HELP! Class mix of teens and adults

As teachers, we all have our gifts. Unfortunately classroom management isn’t one of mine. So you can imagine my euphoria when i found a job teaching adults and no longer had to deal with classroom management so much. Those lovely adults tend to manage themselves.
But yes, all good things must come to an end. For some reason, massive amounts of teenagers have enrolled in my class. I love em! I do! They’re adorable! I just stinking hate teaching them!!!
So here’s my situation now, and if someone’s run into something similar and found a good solution, let me know. I’ve got a class of perhaps 70% teenagers and 30% adults. The teens are taking over, both numbers wise and well…they’re just taking over. They’re giggling, interrupting me every 10 seconds, chatting, and otherwise going crazy. I blame myself. I’m sort of like air-born crack for kids. My sister won’t even let me enter her house an hour before her kids bedtime because they never go to sleep.
Anyways, I"m losing the adults. I’m planning activities to help manage the teens and my poor adults (who all sit in the back- the teens are up front with me and follow me around at the break and i have to lock myself in a bathroom stall to relax for five minutes) are suffering.
Any ideas? Does anyone have activities that work for both adults and teens? I’ve used a lot from this site and others but wondering if anyone has one that worked well with a mixed class.
And any…sigh…classroom management ideas that work well that won’t make the adults feel like they’ve re-enrolled in preschool.
Sorta losing my mind here. Again.

That sounds awful :frowning: Good luck. My solution would be “Act totally humorless and mean to the teens” (so they take the class a little more seriously), but that’s not the most helpful advice.

Even with adult classes, you need, and can have, classroom rules and procedures. And a very structured lesson would be good.

I have the same type of class, but the teenagers (and even a few older kids!) won’t really talk, which makes the class incredibly boring. My other classes all love me, but they all have people willing to participate in the class.

My usual solution to this is to put them into groups, but this class just sits and stares at each other when I do that. They requested more time for class discussion at the end, but then proceeded to stare at me or act too embarrassed to answer when I tried to start some discussion. Not good.

Dude that sounds like my intermediate class. I almost prefer the giggling chatting teenagers to ye ol dead fish stare. And I don’t understand why people request more ‘chat’ time when really they just want you to chat at them while they stare at you like you’re a lunatic.
Well, I haven’t gotten many suggestions so I’ll say what I’ve been doing so far:
I start the class with a fairly simple question: What will you do this weekend? Tell me the scariest thing that ever happened to you. What’s the best gift you ever received, and why was it the best?
If the class isn’t too big, we go person by person and they just answer in front of the whole class. To shake it up and get people to pay attention, I usually ask the person to the right of whoever’s answering to ask them a question about what they told us, even if it’s stupid like “What color was the dog that bit you?” but I"m thinking of just putting their names in a hat and I’ll pull out a name and have that person ask the speaker a question. That’ll keep em focused.
Anyways this takes 20 to 30 min and actually goes pretty well. There’s the odd chatting here and there and there’s a couple teens who just love to give me ridiculous answers or make inane comments but mostly it’s good.
The problem comes in more when we go over the article that is required curriculum in the class. The teens just aren’t friggin into it. I’ve tried different ways to get them interested and it will work for a while but then…they drop back into the abyss.
The article consists of about 500 words and about 30 new vocab words.
Because the article is where I lose them I usually only spend 45 min to an hour on that and afterwards do some sort of activity or game. My god. I’ve worked there for a year and let me tell you, I have run through MASSIVE amounts of games and activities- ones that I’ve thought up myself and others that i’ve gotten off the web.

Since I’m asking for help, I’ll give a little- here are some of the games/activities that have worked best for me:
One is a spin off the game balderdash. I call it slangerdash. I come up with 5 or 6 slang words, and give everyone in the class an index card. I instruct them to make up a ‘definition’ for the word. For example, tonight I did “Spazz” “agro” and “space cadet”. For less advanced classes, I give them a clear definition pattern to follow, for example:
(the word) is a (noun, verb or adjective)
It means ______
it describes ______
and then I ask them to write an original sentence with their word in it, that fits with their own definition. For example, here’s one I got from a more advanced student tonight:
Agro is an adjective
It describes a man who acts like a girl- because ‘agro’ sounds like ‘a girl’.
“That guy is so agro, man, he’s always worried about what his hair looks like.”

So I’ll have assign each word to two students, and meanwhile I’ve written the real definition of the word on an index card of my own. I then go around and check the grammar on each of the students “definitions” and collect all of the cards. Then I read a set of the three cards to teh students- one real definition and two fake definitions. Everybody tries to guess which definition is real and the students get a point for every person they fool. Also, students get points for guessing the right definition.
(agro, in case you aren’t a surfer from California, means aggravated- he’s so agro- like he’s such an angry person. My students get a lot of Amerian slang)
The students love this game, and it gives me a chance to correct grammar and sneak in some writing practice. It keeps them really engaged.

I also play a spin off of apples to apples (another board game). This only works when the class is pretty small, 10 people or less. I give each student a piece of paper, tell them to divide it into 8 boxes, and tell them to write the name of a famous person, a famous event, a common everyday object, and a famous place. In the other four boxes, I have them write four adjectives. Then i have them tear the paper so they have 8 cards with the various things written on them. I collect these, keeping the nouns and the adjectives separate. I mix them up and pass everyone four adjectives. Then we get in a circle, one person throws down a noun, and everyone else throws out an adjective. The person who threw down the noun chooses their three favorite adjectives from those that have been thrown down.
Say the noun is Michael Jackson. The noun person chose “talented” “crazy” and “fantastic” as their favorite of the adj.'s. They’ll pick one up, and say “who chose talented?” and whoever chose talented needs to explain why they think Michael Jackson is talented. Same goes for crazy and fantastic. The noun thrower then chooses his favorite of the adj’s and whoever threw down that adj wins.
It keeps them focused and gets them to talk in small, manageable, non-intimidating doses.

I also play two truths and a lie and other talking/guessing games and role play activities (my favorite is where I put the students in groups of three and I tell one person they are drunk and want to drive home from a party, one person that they’re concerned about their drunk friend who wants to drive, and another that they are the host of the party who is sick of the last two guests arguing loudly about whether or not the drunken one can drive. The three have to come up with a solution and arguments to support what they want.— oh another great one I got from the internet somewhere- one person is an old rich aunt who’s going to die soon- the other person is a long-suffering butler who’s been working for said aunt for 30 years, and the third is a long lost niece/nephew who stands to inherit the money. Only problem is aunty has speech/hearing impediments and only butler can understand/make himself understood to her, so butler can decide whether they want to be honest or manipulative while translating for aunty/niece or nephew. this one is great actually.)
So those are my most successful activities. Anyone have other ideas that would work well for a teen/adult mix in 30-45 min?

My take is that you are encouraging the younger group. Don’t do that. If you have a lesson about relationships, fashion, etc, you will get this result. Confine your lesson plan to why they hired you to teach adults. What are “adults” concerned with? How about a class on what happens when your mother is too old to live by herself? How about a death in the family? Be severe. Let the kiddys go to their own class. You seem to be encouraging or they wouldn’t be there. There must be a reason that the actual adults sit in the back of the class and take a passive role. Get them up front where their experiences and knowledge can be expressed. The problem will dissapear. JMHO