Tag Archives: teacher

Students’ Greeting cards

14 Feb

19/3/1433

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

End of 1st Term Parties

3 Feb

I forgot to upload the pictures from the parties we had at the end of the1st term. My students did a custom party and a talent show. It was a great stress reliever before starting their finals .

New Term

3 Feb

We started the 2nd term on Saturday the 28th of January 5/3/1433AH. I’m still teaching grade 1 but level 2.

I sat with my students and drafted the pros ,cons of the 1st semester and what are they looking forward to this term. We also agreed on a strategy to organize and benefit from portfolios. I’m optimistic this term will be easier and more organized than the 1st one. Let’s Rock and Roll 🙂

Just when You Think It Is Getting Worse …..This happens:

30 Nov

This week I’ve learnt that one of our teachers took her maternity leave and we had to take her classes. The term is almost over and there is so much work to be done. To top it off I got sick too. So there was not much to smile about untill I was asked today by 3 of  2/2 s students whom I’ve taught last year to go down stairs with them. At first I thought something had happened to one of the students or there was a problem . When we got to their class , I was totally surprised. They have arranged a party for me because I’m going to teach them again. I was stunned,speechless and shed a couple of tears. They have no idea what this means to me. I was so happy and I told them that they have actually made my whole WEEK that moment. I’m blessed to have them as my students. Thank you Allah for all your blessings.

 

 

Role Play As A Teaching Strategy

30 Nov

What is role-play?
Role-play is any speaking activity when you either put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, or when you stay in your own shoes but put yourself into an imaginary situation!

Imaginary people – The joy of role-play is that students can ‘become’ anyone they like for a short time! The President, the Queen, a millionaire, a pop star …….. the choice is endless! Students can also take on the opinions of someone else. ‘For and Against’ debates can be used and the class can be split into those who are expressing views in favour and those who are against the theme.

Imaginary situations – Functional language for a multitude of scenarios can be activated and practised through role-play. ‘At the restaurant’, ‘Checking in at the airport’, ‘Looking for lost property’ are all possible role-plays.

Why use role-play?
It is widely agreed that learning takes place when activities are engaging and memorable. Jeremy Harmer advocates the use of role-play for the following reasons:

  • It’s fun and motivating
  • Quieter students get the chance to express themselves in a more forthright way
  • The world of the classroom is broadened to include the outside world – thus offering a much wider range of language opportunities

 

In addition to these reasons, students who will at some point travel to an English-speaking country are given a chance to rehearse their English in a safe environment. Real situations can be created and students can benefit from the practice. Mistakes can be made with no drastic consequences.

Tips on successful classroom role-play


Prepare for success
Role-play is possible at elementary levels providing the students have been thoroughly prepared. Try to think through the language the students will need and make sure this language has been presented. Students may need the extra support of having the language on the board. I recently did a ‘lost property office’ role-play with elementary adults and we spent time beforehand drilling the structures the students would need to use. When the role-play began the students felt ‘armed’ with the appropriate language. At higher levels the students will not need so much support with the language but they will need time to ‘get into’ the role.

The role of the teacher
Some of the possible teacher roles are:

  • Facilitator – students may need new language to be ‘fed’ in by the teacher. If rehearsal time is appropriate the feeding in of new language should take place at this stage.
  • Spectator – The teacher watches the role-play and offers comments and advice at the end.
  • Participant – It is sometimes appropriate to get involved and take part in the role-play yourself.

Bring situations to life
Realia and props can really bring a role-play to life. A group of my young learners recently played the roles of pizza chef and customer. A simple cone of white card with CHEF written on it took a minute to make and I believe it made the whole process more fun and memorable for the class. As soon as it was placed on their heads they ‘became’ the pizza chef and acted accordingly.

Rearranging the furniture can also help. If you are imagining you are at the tourist information office or at the doctor’s surgery try to make it as real as you can. Students can even leave the room and make an entrance by knocking on the door.

Keep it real and relevant
Try to keep the roles you ask students to play as real to life as possible. It may be hard for students who have little opportunity to travel to imagine they are in ‘Ye Olde Tea Shop’ in the heart of the English countryside. However, it may be within their schema to imagine they have been asked to help an English speaker who is visiting their own country. This may involve using some L1 to explain about the local culture or to translate local menus into English for the guest to their country.

Students working in the business world may find it easy to role-play a business meeting with colleagues visiting from abroad. If you are working with young children, try to exploit their natural ability to ‘play’. They are used to acting out a visit to the shops or preparing food, as that is how they play with their friends.

Feed-in language
As students practise the role-play they might find that they are stuck for words and phrases. In the practice stage the teacher has a chance to ‘feed-in’ the appropriate language. This may need the teacher to act as a sort of ‘walking dictionary’, monitoring the class and offering assistance as and when necessary. If you are not happy doing this and you feel that the process of finding the new language should offer more student autonomy, you could have ‘time-out’ after the practice stage for students to use dictionaries to look up what they need.

As mentioned in the role of the teacher section, feeding-in the language students need is fundamental. By doing so, they will learn new vocabulary and structure in a natural and memorable environment. It is a chance to use real and natural language.

Error Correction
There are many ways to correct mistakes when using role-play. It is rarely appropriate for the teacher to jump in and correct every mistake. This could be incredibly demotivating! Some students do like to be corrected straight after a role-play activity, while the language is still fresh in their minds. Sentences with errors can be written on the board for the group to correct together.

  • Self-correction – If you have the equipment to record the role-plays either on audiocassette or on video, students can be given the opportunity to listen to the dialogue again and reflect on the language used. They may find it easy to spot their own mistakes.
  • Peer-correction – Fellow students may be able to correct some mistakes made by their peers. Students could be asked to listen out for both great bits of language they’d like to use themselves, and some mistakes they hear. Be careful to keep peer-correction a positive and profitable experience for all involved.
  • Making a note of common mistakes yourself and dealing with them in future classes ensures that the students don’t lose motivation by being corrected on the spot or straight after the role-play. Negotiate with students and ask them how they would like to be corrected.

 

Use your imagination and have fun
The most successful role-play I did last year was with a group of teenagers and was used as a spring board activity after listening to a song. The song was Avril Lavigne´s Skater Boy. The class worked in pairs to act out the scene of Skater Boy finally getting to meet his ex-girlfriend after the concert. The results were humorous and I was surprised that they all really got into the roles they played.

Role-play can be a lot of fun. If you still feel reluctant to use it in the class I suggest you begin to integrate it slowly. Why not extend an appropriate reading or a listening from a course book and turn it into a role-play? You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!

 

Small Notes…..

17 Nov

Story Mapping

5 Nov

 

Story mapping is a way of visually representing the major parts of a story. The focus is typically on the three main elements of a story: the beginning, middle, and end. The students are directed to concentrate on the most important events of the three main elements, and not get hung up with minor details.

1. The teacher reads the story to the class, or has them read it silently. The more familiar they are with the story, the more successful they will be.

2. The teacher draws an outline of the story map onto the board. The middle circle will contain the title of the story. From that circle, the teacher draws three lines to connect to three other circles containing the terms; beginning, middle, and end.

3. The students recall and list the most important events connected to each of the three story element parts. This is done by drawing lines from the story element (beginning, middle, end) to another circle with the event written inside.

After the story map is complete, the students use it to orally retell the story, illustrate main events, write a summary, or act it out.

I’m going to use this graphic organizer with my students in prewriting activities. The organizer focuses on the key elements of character, setting and plot development.

 

Story Writing Map