Cuisenaire Rods A few weeks ago, I was reading a post on Ceri’s blog and stumbled across a picture of some Cuisenaire rods. I made a quick comment on the post, and Ceri asked me if I would like to write a joint post on how we use them. Ceri is a respected ELT writer and inspirational teacher and it’s an honour to be able to blog with her for a newbie like me. It’s the first attempt at cross-posting and blogging together for either of us: hope you like the results! Ceri’s story I bought my box of cuisenaire rods in 1989 when I was doing my induction to the Dip TEFLA (as it was known then) at IH Hastings. Recently I dusted them off and used them in class. Inspired by her enthusiastic response , I took them into my adult class the next day. In the second lesson I introduced them to the rods for language practice using an activity I’d seen modelled back in that lesson in Hastings. After this, everyone of us made a figure and we explained how to make it and the other classmates tried to find out .” Hi Ceri!
Useful links for CELTA Anyone following my blog will know that CELTA took over my life in August last year (2014), and will continue to dominate until the same time this year (2015). I’ve been building this list in my head for a while, and it’s finally time to get it onto the blog. It’s arranged into categories, with subtitles and topics in bold to help you navigate. There’s a lot here, so just use the bits you need as you need them rather than trying to look at all of them – if not, you’ll end up being overwhelmed! A quick way to find what you need it to press CTRL + F (CMD + F on a Mac) and type a key word connected to what you’re struggling with, like ‘TTT’, ‘instructions’ or ‘writing’ – this will take you straight to the relevant section. Please let me know if any of the links are broken so I can update them, and feel free to add suggestions to the comments. Before the course CELTA is a very intensive experience, and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Is the CELTA worth it? Top Reading
Classroom Activities for 1:1 & BYOT | Talk Tech With Me In February, our district will begin state testing. Once testing begins, there will be at least one grade level in at least one school in our district testing every single school day until May. This big span of time marks the third round of testing this year. We are not alone. Toss that around in your head for a minute or two. I’ll spare you my soap box about too much testing and where the focus has gone in education; you likely feel the same way (if you’ve got some time, or you’re just as passionate as I am about these issues, I do suggest you head on over to Nancy Chewning’s blog response to TIME Magazine’s Rotten Apples article that was featured in the Washington Post). Teachers are working so hard not to teach to the test, while at the same time making sure students are as prepared as possible for the tests- the scores of which will directly impact their own livelihoods. Take the following example. We learn through experience. So what do you think? Tech To You Later! Like this:
Myths in Education, or How Bad Teaching Is Encouraged | Moments, Snippets, Spirals “Opinions don’t affect facts. But facts should affect opinions, and do, if you are rational.” (Ricky Gervais) I thought I would not have to blog about these fads again but it seems they have the strange ability to be reborn every single year and surface in professional development courses as well as in tweets, blog posts, and conversations within the education community. The reasons are different, ranging from ignorance to vested interests, but the effect is the same: poorer teaching. And no, you are not a bad teacher because you used them but you are a less effective one. Let’s see these monsters in their entire splendor: The Cone of Learning / The Learning PyramidLearning StylesRight-Left BrainBrain GymBrain-Based LearningMultiple Intelligences The Learning Pyramid – a complete bogus Where does it originate? Where did the percentages come from? References: The Learning Pyramid Deception, Institute for Learning Professionals Will Talheimer, PhD – People Remember 10%, 20%…Oh, Really? I know.
Difficult students It means that in every class of 25, we have 3-4 problem students. Children are their parents’ mirrors, as well as our own; students often copy their teachers’ behaviour. J.K. Rowling brilliantly showed it with Harry Potter and Dumbledore on the one hand, and Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape on the other hand. What can be done if we encounter an adult student who is clearly disruptive, or maybe even psychotic? Control Alt Achieve: What Netflix Taught me about Professional Development Professional Development is my thing. As a Technology Integrationist, I provide training to about 30 school districts in northeast Ohio. As a Google for Education Certified Trainer, I conduct Google professional development sessions all around Ohio and across the country. So it is safe to say I think quite a lot about training and what makes it good, what makes it bad, and what can make it better. In addition to being a Google trainer, I am also a “Cord Cutter”. Recently I was considering this and began to see a connection between my changing viewing habits and professional development. Netflix has a unique way of releasing television shows. When Netflix is ready to release a new season of a show they simply release the entire season all at one time. This has lead to what many people call “binge watching”. (search frequency for “binge” in the United States “Arts and Entertainment” category) And I love the binge option. However, sometimes I feel like something is missing. Conclusion
What I Know For Sure About Learning Thanks to Jackie at Room 213 for organizing this blog hop! It's so true, right? When I think about my own experiences as a learner, the times that I made the most profound instructional gains were when I felt that my teacher truly knew me and believed in me as a student. That's why I believe that the best learning always occurs when students feel a connection with their teacher...when they know that their teacher cares about them as a person. If you're reading this, then you already know that students don't care a bit about what they are being taught until they know that their teacher cares a bit about them. We love learning. We love students. And showing them both each day is what matters. How often do you hand back a piece of student work to see them quickly scan for the grade and then toss it into a folder...or worse the garbage? I'm a huge fan of making positive phone calls home. When the bell rings at the start of each class, I'm at the door to greet my students.
Language Teacher Toolkit: Second language learning and acquisition This is a long, referenced blog which combines all the posts in my earlier series entitled Conscious and Unconscious Language Learning. If you have already read those posts, you should look away now. Part 1 Throughout the history of the study of language learning and teaching reference has been made to two distinct types of language learning. The first could be characterised as "picking up" a language and normally involves the apparently unconscious acquisition of a language in an informal or natural setting. The second type of language learning involves the practice of a language in a formal, systematic way, often in a classroom setting. Such a clear distinction may be controversial and you may already be thinking, quite reasonably, that both types of learning have a role. Eric Hawkins (1981) traces the distinction between formal and naturalistic language learning back to John Amos Comenius and John Locke. H.E. He says, moreover, with regard to older learners: The Scotsman J.S. J.S. And:
Infographic - A Brief History of Online Learning | Straighterline Posted on July 11, 2014 by Beth Dumbauld Thinking about earning your degree online? Want to know more about the history of online education? This infographic provides a brief visual history of online learning. It shows the different roles that technology has played in the evolution of higher ed, provides the cultural context for advances made in distance learning, and highlights the rapid adoption of online courses. Ready to get started? Want to try an online class? Add the A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONLINE LEARNING [INFOGRAPHIC] to your Site or Blog If you'd like to share this infographic, please click the button below to copy and paste the embed code on to your site! Click to Select Embed Code
About Me “A non-native English teacher and a very fast-talker! Hi! Welcome to my blog! I am a 30+ year old English teacher, ELT author, freelance teacher trainer and educational consultant in teaching young/very young learners, teaching with web based technologies; for international organizations, schools and institutes. Currently, I am working as the foreign languages department technology integration specialist at a private school in Istanbul, Turkey. For the last eight years, I have involved in several projects with pioneer publishers and educational institutions. I have worked as the content and the project developer of the ‘Smurfs ELT Series’ which features the Smurfs characters to teach English to young learners. I am the writer of ‘Minigon’ ELT book series which include ten stories, two activity books for the two different volumes and the parents’ guide. I am the writer of the ‘My First Digital Journey’ e-book which is published by the Round.
100 Teaching Tips - An interview with Penny Ur, Part 1 This week we are excited to announce the publication of Penny Ur’s new title 100 Teaching Tips, the latest in our Cambridge Handbook for Language Teachers series. This practical book provides a set of 100 hands-on tips across 19 different areas of classroom teaching, based on Penny’s comprehensive teaching experience in ELT over the past 40 years. To celebrate its launch we sat down with Penny to find out more about the book, and her personal experiences related to teaching. “I got excited about ideas that I wanted to convey to other teachers…the same sort of motive that made me want to become a teacher; I know something, I’m excited about it, I want other people to know” (Penny Ur, 2016). In Part 1 of our interview below, Penny explains why she decided to write ’100 Teaching Tips’. About the author: Jess Hytner+ Jessica Hytner is an ELT Marketing Executive at Cambridge University Press