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Writing prompts

Writing prompts

How Wordless Picture Books Empower Children Wordless picture book creators Bob Staake, Raul Colon, Aaron Becker, and Molly Idle. Wordless picture books allow children to project their own imaginations upon a story and “own it,” as author/illustrator Bob Staake, along with Aaron Becker, Raúl Colón, and Molly Idle discussed during a lively panel at School Library Journal’s 2014 Day of Dialog. Bob Staake Passion Projects and Student Blogging My school’s homework policy is designed to ensure students only complete tasks that are meaningful, for the purposes of reinforcing classroom learning and building connections with home. This term Year 6 are once again completing Passion Projects. These projects are designed to be completed during the term, thus introducing them to tasks that take time. They are also designed to encourage reflection and to build their literacy skills.

5 ways we can apply Socratic Questioning to teaching language skills Welcome back to my third and, probably, last post examining the benefits of adopting the Socratic Method in our classes. Over my last two posts we’ve seen that, even though the Socratic Method is typically used in the teaching of law and philosophy, it can also prove to be a valuable tool in teaching English. Our learners can benefit from continual questions that force them to deepen their vocabularies, sentence structures and develops their confidence in using English. When we as teachers use the Socratic Method, our learners are placed in a position where they have to find new methods of expressing themselves, rather than simply relying on the same words and constructions over and over again. Basically, the Socratic Method is an excellent way to promote the practice of asking and answering questions among our learners, as they get to grips with the fact that there are different ways of responding to different types of questions.

4 steps to applying the Socratic Method in the language classroom In my last post we looked at the way that Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates used the a technique of questioning learners to facilitate learning and examined 6 ways that we can do the same in our English classrooms today. Through the Socratic Method, we as teachers constantly aim to elicit responses from our learners to lead them to logical conclusions: this is a technique we can actively exploit in language teaching. Learners are actively engaged and motivated to learn with this method. 6 Great ways to use Socratic questions in language classes It’s a silly question to ask if you’re all familiar with Socrates, the Greek philosopher credited with being one of the founders of Western philosophy. Nevertheless, we might not necessarily be aware of how useful Socrates’ pedagogy can be to us in our language teaching. The Socratic technique includes using a series of questions that ‘guide’ learners towards the answers to questions.

Infographic: adverbs of frequency Today’s infographic focuses on the popular grammar point of adverbs of frequency. It is split into two parts. Firstly, it focuses on the common teaching point of ‘indefinite time’ adverbs such as often, always and rarely. The second focus is on the much less taught, but equally important ‘definite time’ adverbs like annually, daily and monthly. You can access and download the full size infographic here (800×2600).

Why has it taken me so many years to use songs in my teaching? Today, 28th October, 2011, I taught grammar through the medium of song for the first time. I have no idea whatsoever why it has taken me more than a decade to do this, especially now that I am able to reflect on how well it went. The grammar that I uncovered was that of the present perfect continuous tense and the song I chose was ‘In the air tonight’ by Phil Collins.

I need to teach vocab but I don't even know how to begin! This post's for you I hope there’s a little bit for everyone in today’s post. For teachers just starting out on their career, this whole post might serve as a useful guide in how to go about teaching vocabulary in the language classroom, while the experienced among us may wish to fast forward to the third section and explore the tools I suggest. Whoever you are, please drop me a line in the comments section and let me know if you found this post useful! Learning vocabulary is as important a step in developing future reading, listening, writing and speaking skills as any other aspect of language learning. Consequently, in this post I’ll reflect on what we teachers need to do in terms of dealing with what learners need to know about the words we want to teach, and how we can effectively teach them. In part one I’ll cater specifically to newbie teachers and briefly consider some of the most effective ways of presenting vocabulary.

5 great ice-breakers in 5 days: #1 Where in the World… Welcome back to my blog! Sorry that I appear to have been absent for most of this month, but believe me, I’ve been very busy elsewhere. As well as presenting at the upcoming ISTEK International ELT Conference, I’m delighted to also be part of the social media team, promoting and sharing the whole conference experience with the wider world. This has meant me dealing with almost thirty pre-event interviews with speakers for the conference blog, which has obviously taken up a lot of my blogging time over the past week or so (please have a look at the fruit of my labors here). 5 great writing warm up activities... and what they lead to I think you might want to download these activities so you can use them later… so here’s a handy PDF file of this blog post! Warm up activities that get learners writing can be fantastic for getting the creative juices flowing while also giving a focused start to your lesson. A writing task at the start of class can be an effective way of leading into explicit grammar teaching or can just as easily be followed up with speaking activities. What’s more, many such activities are easy to adapt to be suitable for any type of learners, both adults and kids. Indeed, adding an entertaining element to writing activities will make them fun for everyone, as well as making them low pressure tasks which enable learners’ writing to flow freely. Here are five of my favourites.

3 creative activities for practicing prepositions of place I had to teach prepositions of place the other day and suddenly remembered something that I hadn’t done for years. This can actually be a great grammar point which can be done in class in a really fun way… if you’re willing to get creative. Ok, here we go then with a short description of three fun but easy classroom activities. What do you need? 1. The ‘What’s in the room?’ Six Alternatives to Book Reports When I was a kid, I hated book reports. I hated filling out a form describing what I read. I wasn't a fan of artsy crafty alternatives, like cereal box projects or dioramas. What I did love, though, was geeking out on what I read. I loved arguing about who was better, what they should have done, etc.

8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language "Change your language and you change your thoughts." -- Karl Albrecht Understanding Academic Language Academic language is a meta-language that helps learners acquire the 50,000 words that they are expected to have internalized by the end of high school and includes everything from illustration and chart literacy to speaking, grammar and genres within fields.

This site has excellent prompts which can be used for writing or for discussion. by mheydt Jan 12