Hey all, quick question here, after some ideas. I just wondered – do you have any routines or activities you use to engage learners at the start of class? (more…)
Do you want to bring some drama and creativity into class? Are you looking for new ways to motivate and engage your teen/adult learners? Are you on the lookout for a good value TEFL resource written by real teachers, for real teachers?
My Primary students (aged 11) are studying technology and inventions at the moment. I used this activity to introduce the topic – it worked well. This idea could be used for generating interest, sharing personal responses, developing schematic knowledge, revising comparatives, developing spoken fluency, and much more… It’s amazing what a few images can too – it’s fairly low-prep.
- Students work in pairs or groups. Give each group some images of inventions (like above). Do a ‘name the invention’ mini whiteboard challenge, or some variation. Use word scrambles for support (e.g. theelonep = telephone). Check and drill the invention names
- Instruct students to put the images in order – which was invented first?
Give them process language to help, e.g.
A: I think _______________ was invented before ____________
B: I agree / maybe / hmmm, I’m not sure. I think….
We’ve been doing a module on travel. Last week, students wrote about their most memorable trip. Here’s the latest (sunny) display. I need to mount this on some nice coloured card and frame it a bit better, but I was really impressed by the students’ work!
Actually, it’s not the displays that I was most impressed with. I’ve been working on some of the techniques for highlighting success criteria that I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I’ve also taken on board some of Kirsten Anne’s ideas from last month’s post on writing codes.
One of the displays includes a key which explains various content / language points students had to use in their writing:
Students used the symbols to highlight where they used each language point in their writing:
(note: I still need to correct a few things!)
I know, this isn’t exactly rocket science. I’ve seen Kirsten Anne marking books for her primary classes and these techniques are pretty standard. Still, it’s a great way for learners to show they understand the target language and can use it effectively. It makes my marking a lot easier too!
In this guest post Kirsten Anne shares some great advice on encouraging self-assessment in the primary classroom.
I am a primary school teacher and currently work in a year 3 classroom. My students are between 7 and 8 years of age and attend an international school in Bangkok, Thailand.
I’ve been hearing the term ‘assessment capable learners’ used more and more frequently over recent years. As teachers, we strive for ways in which we can assist students to have a sense of where they are now and where they are going. Giving students the empowerment to do this and self-assess is an extremely effective teaching tool. In our recent conversations between parents, teacher and learner, we asked students the question “why do you like reflecting on your learning?” Unprompted, and about 85% of the time came the reply “because then I know what my next step is and how I can get better.” Powerful stuff!
So, how do you go about helping your learners become assessment capable?
Primarily, they need to know what you are looking for in order for them to be successful. There should be no second-guessing about this – learners need to know WHAT they are aiming to achieve, and HOW to achieve it. This takes on different forms depending on the subject. However, I’ll focus on Literacy here.
The ingredients learners need to include in their writing in order to be successful (the WHAT) depends on the writing focus, and will be defined by the teacher. Guiding the learners to include these ingredients – helping them realise how they can meet our ‘success criteria’, is something we’ve been working on at our school.
Colleagues of mine have discussed moving away from lengthy comments in books. Who is it for? Does it really have an impact on improving the learning experience for the student? Not if the learner can’t read the comment—obviously not good for young learners or learners with only a basic command of English. It’s also no use if the learner doesn’t bother to read the comments because they’ve switched off by the second line of the teacher’s feedback. (more…)
Ball ball ball, footie footie footie! I’m a bit obsessed with the beautiful game, and I’ve taught plenty of students who are too! You may have come across Premier Skills English before, the British Council/Premier League site dedicated to teaching English through football. It’s full of great resources, really well-designed and well worth a visit. Premier Skills would be my first port of call for footie related ELT material, but Languagecaster.com is a new favourite of mine! (more…)