Monthly Archives: September 2020

Stand Up , Please !

Aka my new favourite vocabulary game.  Seriously, this little game is about to be your favourite vocabulary revision game. Why? Because it’s both fun and effective and requires almost no preparation. Your whole class is going to love it! I promise!

How does it work?

  1. In advance, write a list of the vocabulary you want to revise.
  2. Divide the class into two, or maybe three teams, with the same number of students in each team. Well, more or less; it doesn’t have to be the exact same number. To be honest, it is easier with only two teams.
  3. Ask a representative from each team to stand up.
  4. Now, define one of the words on your list. You can also give a synonym or an antonym. Whatever helps them guess the word.
  5. The first person to guess the word remains standing and the person from the other team who couldn’t guess or guessed second sits down. The student sitting down is quickly replaced by another person from this same team.
  6. Call out all the words you want to revise.
  7. The winner will be the team whose members had to sit down less often.

Follow up:  ask students to write a list of all the words they can remember from the game and revise them once again, this time focusing on pronunciation. If you have time, you can ask them to provide a sentence including the target word or chunk.

Enjoy learning, enjoy teaching!!

A Digital Board Game to Use “Would you Rather” in Speaking and Writing

Is there anything better than a little game to break the ice?

This board game I am sharing with you today is meant to be used as a get-to-know-each-other activity for my first class, but I am sure it can be used in other contexts.

Here’s the thing,I like games as much as the next girl;  buut…, although I haven’t started teaching yet, I already feel the pressure of an overwhelming curriculum. Is it the same for you? So, first-day fun speaking activities? Totally. But, and this is a big “but”, adding a grammar structure that needs to be learned.

This year, goodbye normalcy. So long. See you next year. Hopefully.

 

  • Aim: to teach or revise “would rather” in positive, negative and interrogative sentences
  • Skills: speaking and writing
  • Level: B2 and upwards
  • Handout: “would rather” grammar, here

After explaining/revising the grammar and giving and asking for lots of examples both in written and spoken form, it’s time to play with our digital board game. I have used Genial.ly, one of my fave sites to create content for my classes.

The instructions are pretty simple.

  1. Ask students to work in pairs.
  2. Throw the built-in dice and move the counter.
  3. Click on the square and a would you rather question would be displayed.
  4. Ask students to work in pairs expressing their preferences. Encourage them to elaborate on their answers.
  5. Choose a couple of students to express their preferences aloud for the rest of the class. You can always ask someone who has chosen a different option in the would you rather question. Students answers should follow this model:
  •            Question: Would you rather be Donal Trump or Melania Trump for a moth?
  •            Answer: I’d rather be Melania Trump than D. Trump because…

       6. Writing: if they land on a square with the question gif, students will need to write a “would you rather” question for the teacher. Yes. You have to answer. You are allowed some white lies, though.

EXTRA: to spice up this activity a bit more, you might ask random students to guess your preference.

Note: You  might want to c

lick on the arrows to enlarge the board

 

FOLLOW UP: Working with Would you Prefer

Below, you will find the same board; only this time, students will be required to use a Would Prefer structure

  • Would you prefer to be Donal Trump or Melania Trump for a moth?
  • I’d prefer to be Donald Trump rather than Melania Trump because…

This is a perfect example of killing two birds with one stone: same board, two grammar points.

Keeping a Digital Journal to Prevent Students from Falling behind

Hey, dear readers! I am back! Who is up for the 12th season of the blog?

Normally I resume posting when classes start rolling, but this year  I  have decided to start posting earlier before my classes begin. I have missed you!  I will be returning to classes on October 7th and man, what a different class I will be returning to. Will it be teaching in-person, hybrid or online? That’s the one-million question.

I am a notorious hoarder of free edtech tools and it seems that the stress of going hybrid this year only drove this hobby of mine into high gear. I know technology is a sticking point for some teachers but, seriously, this year we need to make a special effort and start flirting with tech.

Anyway,  the pandemic, the possibility of doing hybrid or online teaching and an overwhelming curriculum got me thinking and I came up with the idea of sharing a  digital class journal with my students. The reason?  I might be wrong but I think that we are going to spend the year shifting from in-person classes and online classes. On and off, on and off -repeat. Moreover, even though we manage to teach in the classroom, I  predict our students will be undergoing confinement for one reason or another. Therefore, it is essential that they don’t fall behind and give up. One way to make sure this does not happen and to make things easier for us as teachers is to share our class journal with our students.

When I talk about Class Journal, I don’t mean my real class journal; not the one where I write warm-ups, follow-ups… etc. No. That would be a nightmare. I mean a very simple version; one that tells students in a very simple way what we have covered that day,

Advantages of sharing a Digital Class Journal
  • Information is updated (forget about sending endless emails to students who have missed your class. Yay!!!)
  • You can insert videos from youtube, audios from your Drive and links to anything that is online.

  • Everything is in the same place. No need to share links for extra activities; as long as it is online, it can be shared; they just have to click.
  • You can link to anything that is on your Google Drive: exam calendar, photocopies…etc.

It sounds good, doesn’t it? Right, now…

What do you need?
  1. A virtual class to share your class journal. I use Google Classroom, but you might prefer Teams or Moodle or any other. As I use Google Classroom, I am going to show you how I do it on this platform but I am sure you will find a way to do it in your virtual classroom of preference.
  2. The Class Journal. Don’t worry!!! You don’t have to do anything. SlidesMania.com has you covered. There are many websites that offer free templates for Google slides or PowerPoints but I worship at the altar of Slides Mania. ( btw, this is not a sponsored post) , Click here to get to the free Class Journal, and then find the button that reads  Open in Google Slides. Again, if you are not using Google Classroom, you might want to choose the button Download Powerpoint.
  3. I like to keep my Google Drive organized so once in my Drive, I will move this template to a Folder (previously created called School Year 20-21).
  4. On Google Classroom, on the Classwork Tab, I create a  Topic called Class Journal and then attach the class journal. See how I do it.

Bear in mind that every time you update the class journal on your Google Drive, it will automatically be updated on Google Classroom.

Hope this has been helpful and none of your students gives up this year.