Tag Archives: writing

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.

Giving Students a Fun Challenging Written Assignment

So there’s mediation written assignments, then there’s creative mediation written assignments and then, there’s ANIMATED mediation written assignments.

Naturally I am a huge supporter of anything that involves using digital tools, and this activity is packed with digital tools; not only on my end, to create and present the assignment to my students but also on their end, to animate and share their creative animated task.

Here’s what we’re working with:

  • I have used: Google slides, Genial.ly, the Google chrome extension Bitmoji
  • Students will have to use: Render Forest and then share their animate videos on a Padlet.

The activity is explained in the Genial.ly below.

Note: click on the arrows, on the bottom right corner of the Genial.ly, for a better experience. 🙂

 

Teaching Online? An Engaging Little Tool you and your Students are Gonna Love

Are you teaching remotely? You are gonna love this tool!!!!

Guess what. I have the most incredible job in the world. I love teaching. It might seem boring from the outside. Even some people might say it is repetitive; you know, always teaching the same things … but believe me when I tell you that if you are willing and committed to teaching, you can explore ways to make teaching always new for you. And this is what has kept me hooked to this job all my life. Having fun trying new things. Some work, some don’t. What I am going to share with you today, definitely works.

So, this morning I woke up well-rested and thinking about my next online lesson and racking my brains about how to make my next class memorable and effective for my students. And then, I had an aha moment and pictured a tool I had on my virtual ever-growing shelf named “Things to Try”.

The tool is called Classroom Q and below, you will get a sneak peek of what the tool can do. This is a recording of one of my classes doing different tasks. (00:10)

Why do I like it?

This tool has some ingredients that are my absolute favourites:

  • Simple
  • Free
  • Engaging
  • Interactive
  • and to top it all, students don’t have to register
What is ClassroomQ?

ClassroomQ was designed as a  virtual hand-raising tool that lets students ask questions and wait in a queue for their teacher’s assistance. But, I have not used it for this.

ClassroomQ has an online buzzer which can be used to play games or to turn a boring exercise into a game. However, the great thing about this tool is not its buzzer, it is its Box for Comments. This is where students can write whatever assignment you have given them. It allows a maximum of 200 characters/ about 35 words)

Imagine the possibilities: from very quick answers, like “what is the past of “take?” to more complex written assignments, like writing a small paragraph containing XXX

What gets students really engaged and motivated is the possibility to interact in real-time and the added challenge of being the first to answer correctly.

Instructions for the teacher
  • Go to https://classroomq/ and sign up.
  • You will be given a class code you will need to share with your students.
  • For more detailed instructions, watch these short video tutorials below
How have I used Classroom Q with my students?

Before the class: 

As we are revising Sports,  I created a hangman hiding vocabulary related to, obviously, sports. To get the chance to say a letter and guess the hidden word, I posed a question they needed to answer using ClassroomQ. I asked a mix of very short answers and some sentences to translate using the vocabulary in context. Classroom Q displays the answers of the first 5 fastest students. You can make room for another student to move up the queue by clicking on the name of one student and deleting them from the queue. They can also remove themselves from the queue by clicking their Cancel Button.

For more details, I have recorded these short video tutorials where I explain in detail how the tool works.

Part 1: The Teacher’s interface1:45)

Part 2: The student’s interface. (1:50)

Part 3: Viewing the students’ interactions (1:149

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Using Google Slides to Create a Set of Interactive Whiteboards for my Students

Hello!!!Hiya!!! Still in confinement in Spain. What about you, guys?

I have to say that I am pretty busy (thank God for this) with all the projects I am involved in. One of the things that has kept me very busy is looking into ways of making my online classes more interactive, more like they used to be when I was teaching face to face and having fun with my students.

To be honest. My classes are not the same. They cannot be. I miss that.

 

Just a couple of posts ago, I wrote about a very nice little tool you could use to create a set of interactive whiteboards with just a click. Here.  It was useful but …. when I used it, it realized I needed much more. I wanted to have the possibility of:

  • Assigning a slide to each student in case I needed to give them different assignments.
  • Choosing the layout of the interactive board.
  • Inserting images
  • Changing the size of the board in case they needed to write more than a sentence or more than a paragraph.
  • Correcting their assignment synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Being 100% in control of the interactive boards

And then, I had like an epiphany moment and realized that I had been working for a long time with a tool that did that and … much more:  Google Slides.

Just below, you will see a 10-second video of my students working on Google slides on a translation activity I designed for my online class this week.  Prior to the class I had, of course, decided what kind of assignment I was going to give them and done a number of things: I had chosen the layout for the first slide (size, font, font size) and  inserted an image. Then, I had duplicated it and assigned a slide to each student. So, this is basically the idea.

Note: notice how Student 4 is writing. The highlighted words in yellow indicate where students have made a mistake that needs to be corrected.

If you get the gist of  how this works, you can stop reading right now. But, if you need some guidance, I have prepared some video tutorials.  I will give you a heads up of the content in each one so that you can skip the ones that do not interest you. The videos are in Spanish but there are some guidelines in English and they are easy to follow. I also help Spanish teachers introduce technology in their classes so I don’t feel like recording tutorials in two languages and, to be honest, Spanish is easier for me.

Before you jump right into the tutorials, let me share with you some ideas of written work using Google Slides for small written assignments.

  • translating sentences
  • revising vocabulary and asking students to come up with a sentence.
  • Assigning three words and some connectors to each student and asking them to write a small paragraph
  • Chain stories
  • Minisagas: 50 words
  • Picture description
  • Assigning  each student a word and ask them to write a small quiz with three options for the definition of the word: two incorrect and one correct

For bigger written assignments like book reports, you will need to change the size of the slide.

Part 1: Introduction.  1:45  (only in Spanish, so skip this part if you  don't know my mother tongue)

 

Part 2: How to create our first slide, how to delete a slide and how to duplicate it. (1:26)

Part 3:  Our first slide and how to assign each student a different slide (4:05)

Part 4: How to change the size of our slide (0:41)

Part 5: How to share the presentation with our students (o:44)

Part 6: How to see all the slides at the same time and how I correct students' written work (0:48)

Remote Teaching: Set up a Class and Give Every Student an Online Interactive WhiteBoard

Looking for a way to spice up your online lessons?  What if you could give every one of your students a whiteboard and have them interact with you from their homes?  What if you could create a class, have them join the class, ask a question and have them answer at the same time, each on their own whiteboard?

What if I told you that neither you nor your students need to sign up, give an email or any other information and that it is super simple to set up?

Have I managed to persuade you? Then, keep on reading!

How to do it
  • Go to whiteboard.fi and click on New Class
  • Give your class a name and click Create new Class
  • Give your students the link to your class or the code
  • Ask students to write their real names. They will appear in your class as they join in
  • Have students answer your questions on their whiteboards and you will be able to see their answers in real time.
  • Clear all whiteboards and ask your next question
  • Don’t forget to close your room when you have finished your lesson

Some quick ideas to use it:

  • dependent prepositions
  • irregular verbs
  • spelling
  • words related to a given topic
  • sentences using vocabulary or a grammar structure
  • pub quiz

I have created this video tutorial to help you set up a room. It is really very easy and it could help spark your next online lesson.

Enjoy teaching!!! Even from home!!!!