My intermediate class were really struggling with spellings, so I decided to play a game to make them a little more fun. I have lots of different word games at home, including Scrabble, which include tiles with different letters on them. I also have cut-up letters making up three complete alphabets.
We put two small tables in the middle of the room with the letters spread out on them, and all of the other tables around the edge of the room. Each pair of students was allocated one table.
I called out a word from pre-prepared list. The pairs had to work together to take letters and spell out the word on their table. When they had finished they stood by their table. There were five pairs, so the first team to finish with a correct spelling got five points, the next four and so on down to one point for the last team to get the spelling correct.
As you can see from this photo, the students were all involved, and the most common words we spelt during the game were much more accurate after the class
I love Edmodo! I discovered it via Twitter the day before my first class of the 2010-2011 academic year, and I can honestly say it has revolutionised the way that I interact with my students both inside and outside class.
If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a quick intro. I describe it as ‘facebook for education’. Here’s a screenshot of my homepage at the moment:
For anyone who has used facebook, the interface should be instantly familiar, and for anyone who hasn’t it is very easy to pick up. Here’s a video to show you how it works:
Their user guide is very comprehensive, but if you get stuck, feel free to ask for help!
As a teacher, it has meant I can easily:
- share materials
- make sure absent students know what they’ve missed
- offer students help
- collect and mark assignments
- provide a varied diet of homework (not just workbook pages)
- share links and videos to make English more fun
- motivate students to find out more about various aspects of English-speaking culture
- chat with my students outside class
- and much much more…
I’ve received a lot more homework from my students, including returned second drafts of writing (almost unheard of before!), felt a difference in rapport with my students, had great fun discussing various youtube clips, and generally seen a much higher level of engagement and motivation both inside and outside the classroom.
But don’t just take my word for it’s usefulness. 27 of the 45 students I used Edmodo with last year responded to a survey I created to find out what they thought of it, and this is what they had to say:
So as you can see, Edmodo has made a real difference to the English-teaching and -learning experience in my classes over the past year, and it’s definitely something I will use again.
I hope this has persuaded you to try it out (and no, I’m not being paid for this!)
lino-it is an online noticeboard which you can make public or private. You can add sticky notes (a bit like Post-It notes), links to videos, images and more. This week I’ve made two boards to collect ideas from my colleagues on Twitter.
The first is to collect ideas for practising listening to be passed on to my students. Some ideas have already been added, but feel free to add more and share it with your own students. I can’t embed it, but you can click on the picture below to go to the canvas:
The second is to collect cultural ‘nuggets’ to explore with my Advanced students for their final two classes. For their homework they had to choose an area of English-speaking culture which they find interesting and present it in class (that will happen on Tuesday). I would then like to introduce them to some new areas of culture which they’ve never thought/heard of before, and this is where you come in. So far, there’s only one idea from me on there, so again I need your help! Click on the picture to add your ideas
Thanks very much for your help, and feel free to use these with your own students.
If you have a few minutes between now and Wednesday 25th May 2011, I’d be really grateful if you could contribute to a collection of book/film reviews I’d like to use with my Advanced level students. I’m looking for your own opinions, rather than links online (as I could find them myself)
I’m trying to encourage them to use a larger range of adjectives than just good/bad/interesting/boring, so anything you could add would be great! They can be as long or as short as you like, and I would really appreciate some negative reviews too, as these are often neglected I think.
How to join in
- Add a review to the comments in this post.
- Post your review by adding a post-it note to this page in this link.
- Record a short review using audioboo
- Send me a review any other way you choose!
Thank you very much for joining in, and watch this space for a lesson plan showing how I used them.
Made using shapecollage.com
All of the pictures in the image above are taken from the #eltpics photos on Flickr. #eltpics was started in October 2010 when three teachers (@VictoriaB52, @vickyloras and @cgoodey) decided to tweet pictures to each other on a given theme each week. As Victoria said in this interview with tefl.net:
The idea blossomed, so we asked ELT folk on Twitter to join in and share our diversity. In 3 weeks [we had] over 200 images from 20 countries on our Flickr site.
As of this week, we’re up to 3000 images in 30 categories including all of the following:
Made using wordle.net
You can see the 10 most recent pictures in the bottom-right hand corner of this page.
So how can you join in?
1. If you are not a member of Twitter, sign up for free.
2. Find out the topic for the week by searching for the #eltpics hashtag or asking @sandymillin, @fionamau or @cgoodey (the current curators of the site). A new topic is announced every Sunday. (By the way, if you have any topic suggestions, feel free to let us know!)
3. Choose the photos you want to share and upload them to a site like flickr, yfrog or twitpic. You can also use a Twitter client like Tweetdeck. Please ensure that the photos are your own and that you have the copyright.
4. Tweet the links to the pictures you want us to upload. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #eltpics so we can find them! If you want to help us out, you could also mention the set you want us to add the photo to.
5. Sit back and wait for us to tell you they have been uploaded. If we don’t reply within a couple of days, please let us know, as we sometimes miss one or two pictures.
Using the pictures
All of the photos are shared under a Creative Commons licence:
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
If you’re not happy with your pictures being shared and used in this way, please don’t send them!
Once they are on the flickr page, all of the images are available for teachers to use in their classrooms, for materials or for teaching-related blogposts. We would love to hear how you use them.