For my kiddies class, we did some basic printables, but one thing we did was an advent calendar.
We put animal stickers below each door since our course theme was animals for that lesson. The advent calendar is also a great way to review numbers. Since my class is so short (a strict one hour), I had to rush them and pre-cut the doors and windows. I brought cotton balls for smoke from the chimney or clouds in the sky and we almost ran out of time.
For another lesson, we cut paper snowflakes and I was delighted to hear that one of the students went home and made two more after school. There are so many tutorials for this on the web but the one I am including was the most basic and well-suited for 4-6 year olds and my EFL environment.
If I had a longer class and a budget, I would have made this lovely ornament with my class.
Several weeks ago, I was gifted a collection of plastic bûche de No
Ted is one of those websites that makes you exclaim (like Homer possessed in the Shinnin’ Halloween episode), “teacher, mother, secret lover…” No, really, it’s that good. you will just get lost in all the amazing talks listed there. It’s like shopping at your favorite store, but without the painful hole-in-pocket burning. I especially love using this for my advanced students. The subtitles feature and interactive transcript is unparalleled. I have yet to see anything that can compare in variety of original language content (as far as free English language learning tools are concerned). The downside is that the format of lectures may not interest some and it isn’t meant for all levels. I suggest to intermediate students to watch a talk that interests them subtitled in their native language, and then to watch it again in English with English subtitles. It’s less intimidating that way.
Interestingly named and oddly spelled, elllo.com is a wonderful place to find a quick splash of audio with a variety of accents. I tend to just use the views or mixer sections. Both sections focus on a theme but views depicts a conversation whereas mixers are just short commentaries by 6 people about the same issue. Each section also includes comprehension questions, key vocabulary, a transcript and downloadable audio.
What I really like about elllo is that the speakers are varied and there are many non-native speaker samples. This enables students to really hear the gamut of accents, which, in my opinion, is more realistic of general English usage outside of Anglophone countries.
You can easily accomplish the same thing with Mozilla add-ons but sometimes you just need to use a youtube video for a class (with inaccessible wifi) and you don’t have much time to prepare and you are using someone else’s computer. Keepvid is great for downloading youtube-type videos onto your hard drive. It’s so simple to use, and all you have to do is type in the url of the video (easily accessible through the “share” button in youtube). Once you type in the video’s address, Keepvid will ask you what type of formats are available and then, voila, it’s on your desktop. Very snazzy.
Ok, it’s the day-after humpday but not too of topic… I spent quite some time preparing a Thanksgiving-themed lesson plan for upper-intermediate/ advanced adult students this week. As hokey as that may sound (from an American perspective), it really worked quite fabulously here in southwest France. Never mind the fact that I greased the wheels with pumpkin pie tartelettes…
Here are some links I found useful and interesting, a suggested reading (and listening and watching) list, if you will. Of course, I couldn’t get to all of these in one lesson. But it’s a good place to start.
Thanksgiving: a day of mourning
History of Thanksgiving (for kids, abbreviated)
Traditions (for kids, abbreviated)
How much do you know about Thanksgiving? (easy quiz)
Talking turkey (good for expressions)
I’ve been teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language) for six years now. First, in Asia (more specifically, Taipei, Taiwan) and now in France. At the same time, I have been a (not so successful) language learner of Mandarin (if you ask my mother, that is) and French (you’ll get the same disappointing shaking of the head and rolling of the eyes from my hubby for that one). Along the way, I’ve learned so much from my students and discovered a lot about myself.
So, what better way to mark the middle of the work week with a little help, a teacher’s aid, if you will (Wednesday is hump day, after all). Ok, so here’s the plan: I will inaugurate every official** hump day with a Teacher’s Aid post - my recommendation for useful, classroom-worthy learning and teaching aids.
(**thus, vacations would entail unofficial hump days. I have yet to figure that part out and since the next vacay isn’t until December, I have some time to muster up something.)
So, without further ado…
Teacher’s Aid #1: Armored Penguin
Armored Penguin is one of those websites that really is too good to be true. A nameless and extremely generous coder has offered up his/her expertise to the benefit of everyone. You can create your own word search or crossword puzzle to cater to specific vocabulary for a unit you’re teaching or studying. Or, if you are feeling uninspired and short on time, just use a recently posted puzzle (searchable by theme, chronology or google). It only takes a few minutes to fill in the word search form.
After, you can choose to solve the puzzle online, print or save in PDF or HTML format. I would highly recommend that you save a copy for yourself as the version on the Armored Penguin website does not stay up for long.
These types of puzzles are perfect for review and I have used them for kids, teens and adults. I tend to only use the word search and crossword, but there are other puzzles that you can peruse. A teacher’s dream tool. Trust me, once you use it, you will exclaim, “Where have you been all my life?!”