Angela's English classes

Exercises, resources, tips, ideas and a dose of fun


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Crafts for storytelling

Upon completion of Aesop’s fables online course I thought it would be a nice idea to use his fables for storytelling and acting out in children classes.  I have had to teach a theatre class for children once and what took me longer was the part of material development.In addition, when taking their masks home, some parents made completely new masks. I would rather have kids use things created completely on their own.  That is why, I am sharing links that can help you as a teacher to have students develop their own materials quickly and in an affordable way.

Printables

Black and white/color:

color:

Simple DIY crafts for a simple lesson:

More fantastic ideas for storytelling crafts:

Featured image: puppet

cc-zero


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Amazing blog with teacher resources!

I found a great blog with lots of teacher resources.  It’s name is Tecknologic and its author is an English teacher in Japan. It was chosen as Featured Blog of the Month in April this year by British Council. It has  downloadable templates for activities and games, videos and tips and tricks. Everything is explained in detail.

Definitely worth checking out!


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Free Learning technologies MOOC at Canvas.com

MOOC: massive open online course

To my mind, we should never stop learning. Setting our eyes on being life-long learners can keep us motivated even though we can reach frustration at times, but that’s the whole point of it – tackling challenges and growing.

Thanks to a previous MOOC at Canvas Network I resolved I would get more involved with technology and one of the steps was starting my own blog. It was an enriching experience and this one thing has lead to others. I still don’t feel as a digital native, but I am definitely not a lost ball in the high weeds.

However, this time I might be a not so active participant due to all the work load of the month. I’ll still give it a go and get some enrichement. What about you?

Here is the course description:

Introduction to Learning Technologies
Ends March 23, 2015, 69 Days Remaining

This short course will provide an introduction to how learning technologies may support student collaboration, reflection, creation, sharing, and other key elements of learning. It will provide an opportunity for you to consider how learning technologies support your courses as well as your own professional development and research.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Utilize learning technologies in your teaching and for your professional development
  • Evaluate various learning technologies in relation to their potential contribution to student learning
  • Create and publish digital learning resources for use in teaching
  • Discuss issues around the use of learning technologies including digital citizenship, digital literacy and access

+pictures for my post thumbnail retrieved from pixbay.co88x31


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Classroom management E-poster

 

In my quest for betterment I looked for online classroom posters . I was delighted to find there are many teachers creating their own posters by hand and also by computer. I have saved some pictures onto my computer. I’ve already chosen one to use as classroom poster and two to use as E-posters. I’ll show you the first one I have adapted on Thinglink. Feel free to use it whenever you need it.

If your young learners are getting noisy a good strategy to direct their attention to you is by using the suprise factor. In my poster  there are play buttons for sounds, such as someone playing a horn, to get their attention. The idea is to use different sounds as the poster will be used more than once. Then, there’s a button to play someone hushing. Finally, the buttons on the bottom play claps and cheers to compliment the kids.

The first step after drawing their attention to the front is to model the activity. After, have students follow, praise them and continue with your planned tasks.

http://www.thinglink.com/scene/564229132729188353

arrowup

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! Have a fabulous weekend!


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Buffalo software – Apps 2

We had some days off and I took my time to explore some apps. I have a smarthphone not Iphone, so I don’t have the chance to check Istore’s apps :(. Similarly to the majority of  limeños, I am fond of free apps. I was reviewing some to learn and practice idioms, which meant downloading and trying them.

Luckily I run into of the apps of Buffalo software: Idioms and Phrases. Honestly I had tried it before; however, perhaps due to my old and defective smartphone it didn’t work well. On the weekend it didn’t either, but today I tried one more time and it’s working perfectly. There are many more that just offer a dictionary like approach –  read and understand without practice.

I wrote this today but I changed my mind since the app stopped working well! 😦 The quiz doesn’t open unless you choose at least 2 categories and the questions have the answers on them!!!

It’s a shame to have such a superb idea wasted. On the other hand, they do have one that works well: 3350+ English Grammar Practice

EGp

3350335033503350

You can check your answers one by one. Touch the tick on the top corner on the right and it show you how many right, wrong and unanswered questions you have. Therefore, if you check one by one you’ll know if it was right or not.

I’ll keep looking for free apps that are worth it!

Have an awesome day!

The use of the images and logos on this post is intended for noncommercial and educational purposes. The images were taken from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.buffalo.software.studyenglish.grammarpractice&hl=es


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Do collaboration and competition go hand in hand?

competition

Since we start learning at school or kindergarden we are exposed to teamwork and competition. Competition is everywhere but abundance does not mean positive wealth. Currently, the world is changing strenously fast and many people might be left behind. We NEED to become competitive in order to suceed. Are we doing the right thing when asking our students to compete among them?

As a teacher what I have been taught is that competition can be used to motivate students and I agree. However, we might be encouraging negative  concepts. Should we eliminate competition? I’d rather say that we have to be careful about it and also rethink the types of competition we spur but who wouldn’t desire living in a noncompetitive world?

I agree with the comparison Mario Herrera did in his BIG FUN book presentation. He had us think about children parties. Here in Lima many people hire clowns to entertain their kids and “a good clown presents a fun repertoir while a bad one just divides the kids into groups of girls and boys and has them compete during all the party.” Don’t misinterpret my point, it’s not about being a bad teacher. What I want to focus on is that competition can promote sexism or might discourage some students. One solution we discussed at work was rewarding all the students for their participation. While it might work it does not change the fact that some will feel as losers and if the winners are not considerate they may wound them even if not on purpose.

Personal Experiences:

For instance, I recently taught a very nice group of students who were very polite with each other and who helped each other when a lesson was not easy for them. I had them compete several times and at times we didn’t count the points obtained and they didn’t pay attention to it. Yet such proceeding won’t work with the majority of kids.

On the other hand, other groups are fiercer when comepeting and they enjoy themselves even if they lose. Even so there are other people that don’t and act as “sourlosers”. Another case I’ve been witness of is students not saying a word but showing discontent and later not feeling eager to participate.

Final thoughts:

After analyzing the latter and reading about the issue I believe that we have a difficult task to deal with. We could design competitive activities that aim for collaboration in the process and collaborative tasks that engage. We should envision future citizens rather than future professionals as cooperative people looking forward a better world for everyone.

I have written some of my thoughts and I am including some site with ideas for collaborative classroom activites below the links for further reading.

Sarmientos-de-vid-en-Porriño-Pontevedra

Further reading:

Competition vs collaboration

 

http://www.curiousmind.com/Competition

Collaboration AND Competition

http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/8186

Competition Can’t Beat Collaboration

 

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2010/02/competition_cant_beat_collabor.html

Why Teachers Do Not Use Collaborative/Cooperative Learning

 

http://tep.uoregon.edu/resources/librarylinks/articles/nousecooplearn.html

Teacher collaboration, professional communities improve many elementary school students’ math scores:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130219.htm

A Study and a Proposal of a Collaborative and Competitive Learning Methodology:

http://www.ieec.uned.es/Investigacion/Educon2010/SearchTool/EDUCON2010/papers/2010S05D05.pdf

 

Collaborative activities

http://web.utah.edu/taresources/Collaborative.htm

http://teachingcommons.depaul.edu/Classroom_Activities/collaborative/activities.html

http://www.uwlax.edu/catl/studentlearning/presentations/collaborativelearningtechniqueshandout.pdf

http://intranet.umanitoba.ca/academic_support/catl/media/collaborative.pdf

http://www.teachhub.com/6-awesome-cooperative-classroom-games

 


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WHAT A THING!

This week I attended a conference and the presenter, Mario Herrera – a stunning teacher by the way, brought up the issue of introducing 21st century skills in the classroom. Keeping yourself updated is indeed a must to be competent and can help you find ways to encourage independent learning. THINGLINK  is an online service that enables you to make images interactive. Choose images and then insert “hot spots” that  will show multmedia or direct you to a link when the cursor is placed on them. I learned about this about 3 months ago and used it a couple of times. However, for some reason didn’t use it anymore but now I will again. I’ll show you one of my first examples below.

http://www.thinglink.com/scene/533895538597167104

Sin título     After examining several online articles about Thinglink I have decided to start with two activities. 1.Multimedia definitions: Create an image using a vocabulary word. Let students add links with photos, videos, text or even webpages that demonstrate the meaning.  https://www.thinglink.com/scene/562066698694295552 Teachers can create groups if they have a teacher account. You create a group and register students by adding their names.They do not need a Thinglink account! After you register their names, you’ll obtain usernames and passwords  for each one.  Make sure you copy and distribute them since you’ll see them only once! Next students log in and create! 2.Classroom badges: Put pictures of  bagdes for different types of recognition you want to award your young learners with and tag their names plus an encouraging comment 🙂   Get more inspiration: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/06/65-ways-to-use-thinglink-in-your.html#.U_9bvcV5N1Y http://gettingsmart.com/2012/08/5-ways-use-thinglink-teaching-learning/ http://thinglinkblog.com/tag/education/


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READING 1 – practice for all levels

The following sites contain texts and exercises according to different levels. Take some time to do some extra reading at home.




Rong Chang 
Basic and intermediate. Great for Basic level students, it contains audio, vocabulary, exercises, dictation. Lower Basic students try the Super Easy Readings.
*Si eres alumno/a de nivel básico prueba con los (Super) Easy Readings. Puedes leer y escuchar, hay ejercicios para ordenar palabras y formar oraciones además de dictados.

ESL LOUNGE
This webpage contains exercises for all leves, but the elementary ones start with our Basic 2 level.
There are activities for other skills. Take a look!

My English pages
Reading comprehension exercises for intermediate students. 

http://www.agendaweb.org/reading/easy-reading-1.html
comprehension exercises; from Basic 3 and on check easy comprehension exercises 1 – 8.
There are other exercises for upper basic and intermediate students.

For advanced students:
http://www.usingenglish.com/comprehension/advanced.html
http://esl.about.com/od/readingadvanced/
http://www.teachya.com/reading/reading_exercises/advanced.php