I am sorry for the sporadic posts! I've had some internet problems and my new job is sapping a lot of my time.
I wanted to quickly share this video my friend's students made over the summer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfFmBKkHXYo is the link since this YouTube video can only be played from the main YouTube site in some countries.
I know I've discussed making videos with students before, and I've also discussed illustrating them. This is an easy way to have student visualize vocabulary, get used to syntax, and really make them understand a song that they probably have had in their head for ages (instead of using Google translate)!
Plus, the pride they get from knowing that they've made something real that people around the world watch is incredible!
If you have a moment PLEASE check it out and leave a comment. I know students appreciate feedback so much.
If you have a video your students made that you'd like me to comment on just leave a link in the comments and I'll get to it as soon as I can!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
|The picture is from Danny's FaceBook page DannysWarriors|
Like so many other children, his family is trying to do all they can do to keep him happy He doesn't want to go to an amusement park, pet a lion, or be a super hero. He wants to get birthday mail. When someone wants something this small, it seems ridiculous not to help out!
At the start of my class on Wednesday I told the students about Danny and asked if they wanted to take a few minutes to make him some cards. If you have a stricter schedule, and need to keep this relevant to a grammar point you could easily do relative clauses, "I hope that you enjoy dogs. They're the only animal that I can draw." modal verbs, "You should have fun," or superlatives, "You are the strongest person I know!" etc. I let my students write whatever they wanted, and some of them folded origami.
Now, Danny's birthday was July 25th. I am sure belated cards will also be accepted, but there are other alternatives as well!
You can always contact a local hospital and try to find an address that would work best, but here are some addresses I have collected for you:
Write a Letter of Gratitude to a Veteran thanking them for all they did for our country.Thank a Veteran
c/o Penny Alfonso
1970 Rangeview Drive
Glendale, CA 91201
If you would like to send letters specifically for our Wounded Heroes, please send them in a separate envelope marked: Wounded Warriors.
17330 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Girls Love Mail sends letters to women going through breast cancer treatment. All letters must fit in the Girls Love Mail envelope (4.75" x 6.5"). They also have a kit for teachers
They ask that you include your full name and return address on the mailing envelope. They send thank you emails to acknowledge that they received letters.
Girls Love Mail
2330 E. Bidwell Street, Suite 200
Folsom, California 95630
St Judes Hopsital is a research hospital where you can send cards to the children. You may send them to: 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105
Find Pals has you sort through many patients to find a specific one to send letters.
Send Kids the World works well and they have lesson plans
Depending on whom you choose to write to and how old your students are, you may want to go over brief etiquette. For example, "Get better soon!," while a nice sentiment, is not the best thing to say to a child suffering from cancer. Have your students brainstorm phrases that they can use and should avoid before hand.
These aren't always penpal services... in fact usually you won't get messages back. However, that's a good lesson too! After all, only doing something when you expect something in return isn't the best lesson to teach our students.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
|Humor is more than just a funny face!|
My hope is that you go through these blog posts and the descriptions intrigue you enough to click on the blog posts and get inspiration on how to get your students to laugh a little and relax enough to really learn.
1. Nick has an amazing collection of comedic sketches on YouTube. His contribution to the blog carnival is a list of DOs and DON'Ts when using these clips in the classroom. He uses several examples on different occasions these clips fit well in class and I am sure you'll be excited about using some of them in your classroom. Read more: Using "COMEDY FOR ELT" clips
Grammar With Comix
4. Here is a great oldie by Ivan Sokolov! It was originally published by the Bulgarian English Teachers' Association IAFTEL in 2001! It is a really well researched article on how and why humor is effective in the class. Be sure to read it to get a better idea of how and more importantly why to use Humor in the EFL Classroom
How to Handle Calls When You're Busy
6. I am a huge fan of using short videos in class! The Alltac blog has a great lesson using a funny video about students taking a make-up exam. In addition to the video being funny there are two pages of teachers notes. One page gives you ideas of how to incorporate the lesson, and the other page gives you materials for an activity. See the video and read more at the Alltac Blog.
"Laughter is the best medicine." (Be sure you check out the cheer-leading video at the bottom of her post! It makes me smile every time!)
8. Roberta wrote a great post for World Laughter day back in May. She goes through the reasons humor is great in class (I agree with every single one of them!), as well as some sites that you can use to find jokes. Finally she goes through a simple way to use jokes in the class that could be adapted to work with so many different levels. World Laughter Day
Jimmy Fallon's Game
Doodling for Complex Sentences
I hope you enjoyed reading this carnival as much as I enjoyed putting it together. As always I encourage you to share the carnival with other teachers you feel may interested. As a special incentive we have FOUR funny items that the carnival contributors have put up for raffle:
- There are THREE Digital Prizes to be won
- From Emily you have the chance to receive a copy of her Pirate Joke book!
- David's goodie is a PowerPoint with audio filled with Funny Stories, the printables that go with it, worksheets that go with the lesson and a Joke of The Day PowerPoint.
- Vicki has offered the worksheets that go with the amusing video on how to handle phone calls when you're busy.
- In addition to these great digital prizes, to show everyone you appreciate the humor found in English, I will send this, "You've cat to be kitten be right meow" iPhone 4 case you can proudly display. (Note as this will be mailed, only people with U.S. addresses can win. If the winner of the three digital prizes does NOT have a U.S. address, another winner for the phone case will be selected).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, August 4, 2014
In July I posted about my obsession with DexFlex shoes. This post is about my other obsession... one that isn't as sophisticated as my flats.
|Here are some pencil earrings you can buy|
I also buy a lot of a lot of teacher related earrings. For example, I have a pair of earrings that look like little books (complete with the title Dracula!). I also have two pairs of pencil earrings that I wear when my students are doing a lot of writing.
For the record, no. I do not normally wear two rather loud earrings at the same time. I tend to do just one, or one and a small stud, but for the pictures I decided to go all out and show the earrings matched. That way you can see two earrings in just one photo. What a time saver!
|Grab your own dinosaur earrings!|
|Perhaps more subtle than my big red apples!|
Curiosity gets the best of my sometimes I admit. I wonder if I am the only Ms. Frizzle out there? Do you plan your outfits or accessories to match what you are teaching? I know this is a small thing, but I hope it sends a message to my students that I really do plan their lessons and it isn't just, all last minute sporadic ideas.
To make this blog relevant to teaching, here is my favorite pirate joke which mentions earrings! Plus, it is a great example of connected speech!
Friday, August 1, 2014
|Here one of my students is decorating my t-shirt|
In the summer I teach a temporary job where students from all over the world come to San Diego to visit the city and practice their English.
Saturday my Italian students left, so we had a small party at the end of class on Friday to send them off! Students were encouraged to bring an old t-shirt or buy an SDSU t-shirt at the college gift store. Those who did not bring a shirt participated by making, "memory books."
Students were given easy rules, "Write in English only unless you want to add your name or a brief phrase in your native language." I normally keep it to English only, but Italian students like having Japanese and Taiwanese words on their shirts, and I consider it sharing cultures!
|My finished t-shirt!|
For 15-30 minutes students go around class asking, "Will you write on my shirt," and "Teacher, how do you spell enough?" I have never had problems with students writing inappropriate things, but if this did happen I would simply remove the student from the party and give them a worksheet to finish.
Students enjoy this, and I usually keep the radio on for background noise.
|Our beautiful blackboard that doubled as a backdrop|
In this case one of my students created a red, white and blue background which stated the name of the University where the classes took and the year. I think she made it look quite nice given the fact that she was dealing with a chalkboard!
I won't embarrass my students by posting pictures of them online, but here's a corny picture of me posing in front of the blackboard.
If I wanted to make it look better, I could crop out the tables, but I kept them in to let you see we were dealing with your normal crowded classroom!
I know this seems like a pointless activity, but students practiced their English, listened to some English music, took thousands of pictures, and have a memento to make sure they never forget their time at SDSU. Plus, I get a memento of them!
You can see the t-shirt that they made for me (above) is a lot of "thank you" along with some personalized messages that will always make me smile when I wear it.
Do you do anything special the last day of school?