Dear colleagues, blogathon runners,
4 February 2013
A Day 1 Ice-Breaker
This is the way I prepare lessons for my 10 year old students: I present, we practise and I'm hoping to hear their production. In my opinion, the plan works even with big classes of 20-25 students that I have in my school, but I'd love to hear from other teachers about their experience and their ways.
- classroom management
- activities that worked in their classrooms
- teaching grammar and language skills
- professional development
- the role of the teacher in the society.
- When working online, students use only first names and don't post any portrait photos.
- I emphasize the importance of keeping the information about their passwords to themselves.
- I carefully choose websites to use, only those safe for kids.
- I teach students to evaluate pages they visit when looking for information.
- I respect copyright and teach about copyright and plagiarism.
- I teach about cyberbullying and what to do if it happens.
- I involve parents. There are parent permission forms to be signed and I encourage them to take interest in their children's work.
I'd love to hear from other YL teachers about their experience and their thoughts about kids using the internet.
7 February 2013
Earlier this evening I participated in a very interesting webinar organised as part of TESOL EVO course, “Becoming a Webhead"“, a great free online course for teachers. The webinar was about Online Testing Tools, with a presentation by Ms Arjana Blazic, a teacher from
8 February 2013
It's not such a big crime if I take it for educational purposes
10 February 2013
13 February 2013 Making plans for Valentine's Day
12 February 2013
Stories are links to make sense of the world. C. Arena
When I got the first stories on paper, I was very happy to see how successful the activity was, but also sad thinking of what to do with them after some time on the classroom wall.
Technology helped: I scanned the stories and uploaded them to voicethread. Next time I offered the students to add audio recordings to their stories.
Who's talking in that photo?
13 February 2013
Making plans for Valentine's Day
16 February 2013
All work and no play
17 February 2013
Little Monsters and Classroom Management
ClassDojo is an online tool which records students' behaviours and accomplishments and I use it in big classes of children, where motivating and keeping all students on task can be hard work. ClassDojo helps motivate children to behave properly all the time, to be on task and help each other instead of making fun of weaker students, to work hard and compete. It reminds them constantly of their green and red score.
18 February 2013
I think the tool could be very well used in small groups of very young students, for tracking progress with learning English, learning the basics of the classroom discipline, participating in the activities in the classroom, doing homework, etc. As every child has a separate list, but everybody can see all the lists, there is also an element of competition.
- Children can see their performance
- they can suggest some tasks they volunteer to do
- they can take part in deciding how successful they were
- it motivates students to work harder knowing the list will be checked at the end of the lesson or a day.
- a tick ( √) - when what they read confirms what they already know ,
- a plus(+) - when they encounter a new piece of information,
- a minus (-) - when they find a piece of information opposite to what they knew or thought was true,
- a question mark(?) - when they get to a part which they don't completely understand or would like to know more.
- can be easily and efficiently used in language lessons
- makes role-play much more acceptable and authentic
- adds a fun note to the lessons.
Moving your avatar through a 3D space: walking, running, flying, dancing, teleporting are specially appealing to kinaesthetic learners.
- there is an online course I'm moderating and a lot of things to do there,
- there is an online course I'm participating in and midnight is the deadline for the task I have to finish,
- there is Blogathon and I have already spotted a few discussions I would like to take part in, plus I'd like to write a post,
- my mum is visiting, she has some health problems and would like to spend some time with me,
- my husband and sons have already made some new plans for our quality time together over the weekend.
- students write a paragraph about the most interesting idea discussed during the lesson
- students write list of instructions on how to do something discussed during the lesson. It can be applied to anything that has a number of steps or stages, with an easier variation to arrange the already prepared but jumbled list into the right order
- students write one question each about the lesson. The questions are collected and distributed around the class and students answer their colleagues' questions
- students describe photos/pictures related to the topic and the content of the lesson
- students write questions about what else they would like to know about the topic of the lesson. The questions are for the teacher to answer during one of the next lessons.
- there are still teachers who resist the change,
- there are school authorities that still tend to save money by avoiding to invest in the education of teachers on how to implement the technology,
- there are a lot of students who use technology for every possible purpose before they start using it to help them with learning.
26 February 2013
Reading again the articles made me remember when I first used the computer and it made me think about how I felt then.
- students pronounce and listen to the same questions three times without being much aware of the drill technique,
- All three students in the group have the same task to summarize the answers and report, so weaker students can hear a model for their speech, they don't have to report in front of the whole class, but in a small group, which is easier.
- all the advantages for learning of the smart phones students have
- the role of the school to help students learn in different ways, not only from books
- the fact that banning mobile phones at school can't possibly solve the problem of cyber bullying
- bans rarely solve any problem at all, let alone the classroom discipline problem.
- learning how to name clothes, shapes, materials and colours was meaningful
- students participated because of their different interests for fashion, drawing, prizes or English, but in the end they all participated and had a lot of fun learning English.
FutureMe seems a nice tool for writing, to use with groups of students we are going to teach for a longer period of time, when we set some objectives at the beginning of the course and want to check them after some time.