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:
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.
2. Find out the topic for the week by searching for the #eltpicshashtag 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!)
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