181 Prompts to Inspire Writing and Discussion Every day of the school year, we publish a fresh Student Opinion question. Below are all the 181 questions we asked during the 2018-19 school year (available here as a PDF), divided into two categories — those that easily lend themselves to classroom debate and persuasive writing, and those that are more suitable for creative, personal or reflective writing. Each question is based on content from The New York Times, and all are still open to comment by students 13 and older.
Worksheet-free Vocab Revision Activities – Clare's ELT Compendium What do you do in those last 5 minutes of class when you’ve finished everything that was planned? Or when energy levels hit a low during a lesson? Or in that lull while the next student gets ready to present, or whatever? We all know about the need to revise and recycle new vocabulary in language lessons, and in this post I want to share a few vocabulary revision activities that teachers can slot into any downtime that might occur in a lesson! I’ve built up my repertoire of this kind of quick review activity over the years, so many are borrowed or adapted from colleagues, and others are based on popular board games. 11 best online whiteboards for team collaboration There's something valuable about physically writing something down—or drawing it on a whiteboard. In fact, a study from Indiana University indicates that writing things down can help our brains function better in a whole host of ways, including "idea composition and expression." It's one reason why you might find you think best when you're writing something out, why writing seems to improve memory, and why the best collaboration often happens around a whiteboard.
101 things to do with a coursebook page (all of which take less than 5 minutes to prepare!) – Sandy Millin I created this list a couple of years ago for a workshop to help early career teachers see how they can exploit the materials available in a coursebook without needing to spend hours reinventing the wheel or cutting things up. The list is designed to: help teachers add variety to lessonsgo beyond their materialsthink about skills lessons in a different way, not just testing but teachingadd bits of learner training to lessonsbe a bank of ideas for activities teachers can pull out in the lesson if they need to change somethinggive teachers tasters of bits of methodology they might not be aware of (like metacognition or ways of improving
Low-prep icebreaker: time travel This icebreaker requires virtually no preparation from the teacher but is guaranteed to involve all the students and help them discover the things they have in common. A great option for groups at all levels, especially B1 and higher. The Task Here is how this ice-breaker works. Prepare three strips of paper: THE PRESENT, THE FUTURE, THE PAST. Using Grass Skirts to Revise Topics This is a very quick post to share with you an idea I had this very same morning to “ask” my students to start revising for oral exams. Where I teach, the B2 level is divided into two courses: B2.1 and B2.2. To be perfectly honest, sometimes I wish there was a B2.3 course. I always feel like I need more time to prepare them to take the dreaded standardized exams they need to sit at the end of each level.
35 ways to introduce your lesson topic – ELT Planning Are you fed up with using the same old methods to introduce your lesson topic? Look no further! Here are 35 ways to kick off your lesson. How many have you tried? Bringing closure to a lesson Bringing closure to a lesson connects what has just been learnt with both previous and future learning experiences, encourages student reflection on their work and progress, and provides invaluable information for formative assessment. The amount of time spent on lesson lead-ins and the variety of activities and strategies used to this end has often little to do with the time devoted to wrapping up a lesson, missing a meaningful learning opportunity altogether – and one that is notably crucial. At its very simplest, asking the students a variety of questions on different aspects of the lesson or project, having them predict what the following lesson might be about, or just eliciting one-word responses from them, are all quick effective ways of closing a lesson.
TED TALKS: “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” You are a good teacher. You work tirelessly to inspire creativity and motivation in your students. The list of bookmarked TED-videos in your computer is longer than the Great Wall of China. But you won’t have the time to design lesson plans with worksheets and handouts around these videos. If it is so, this post will come in handy. Blog de Cristina Written and Oral Interlinguistic Mediation for B2 Video explaining what mediation is. It is in Spanish, be warned! Topic-Based Oral and Written Mediation Activities First day activities: my favourite icebreakers – Klara@eoi Every year I try to look for new activities to start off my first lessons and consequently spend an indecent amount of time trawling the net for original ideas. Fortunately, there are always plenty that catch my eye and I’d like to share some of my favourites. Lesson Plans Digger has some excellent compilations of icebreakers and last year I tried out this great activity called Two Kinds of People , which uses fantastic visuals and gets students both moving and speaking. Teach This, also has some great resources and ideas for first day introductions.