A Happy New Year with Sites to Share!

After somewhat of a hiatus from blogging, I’ll begin this year by recommending a few good sites to get us off to a good start this semester with some new and proven ideas. On the ESL Resources page of this blog, you’ll find listed 2010 Year in Review from CNN. What a great way to start off our some conversation with our intermediate/advanced ELLs this semester. Before watching the video, ask the students to brainstorm what they remember as newsworthy events from the past year. (You may need to help them get started…)  Then, after watching the video, get their reactions to what they had not mentioned and why they think those events were or were not critical to our country or world.  (This could also be done online using a Google Doc Form!)  

The Year in Rap: 2010 is another site to review the year with your high intermediate/advanced students.  Reviewing some critical vocabulary before watching the videos will be helpful with their understanding of the rap.  The first viewing is usually a blur, the second one, less foggy, the third is amazingly intelligible!

50 Brain Facts Every Educator Should Know by Pamela Brown will give you a lot of brain trivia, but it also offers you ideas for teaching to different parts of your students’ brains.  I’m sure you’ll say, “hmm…I didn’t know that,” several times, and, “well, I thought so” a few times as well.

You say you want to add more technology to your teaching?  These next few sites will help you with that.

44 Interesting Ways to Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom by @tombarrett (no, not our current mayor) was a great find for me because I just recently purchased a flip cam and have already started having fun using it and my students.  This site offers great suggestions for use with all levels of ELL students such as producing a video of a school tour with language appropriate explanations to beginning students.  Field trips can be video taped and narrated or captioned by intermediate students.   I like the idea of Digital Chicken Soup for absent students which could include classmates simply saying “We miss you.”  These student videos could go so far as to having students present explanations of missed lessons.  Of course, speech presentations can be videotaped.   I particularly like the idea of videotaping students’ demonstration speeches and posting the videos to a class blog.   What fun!

Our college is really pinching pennies these days as are most schools, so one way we’re trying to economize is by thinking green (ecology and economy) and minimizing our use of paper.  57 Interesting Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom also put together by Tom Barrett  doesn’t only help us cut our spending, it gives us creative ideas for working with our students, working within our faculty, working on bookkeeping and record keeping chores.   It even includes sample forms and blog articles with expanded explanations on how ideas are carried out, and more!   I plan to try to incorporate the Exit Ticket into my classes.  This was just a thought I had prior to finding this link, but seeing how another teacher has set it up already online will be very helpful to me in expediting this task.  The ideas presented here also give us plenty of reasons for continuing to blog and/or set up a class blog for our students.

The Best Reference Websites for English Language Learners compiled by @Larryferlazzo will help your students learn to develop their English language skills through the use of free online tools to improve their pronunciation, spelling, and understanding of meaning. There are sites that will help them discover and learn world facts, facts about our 50 states and about our cities and states.  Some ELL appropriate online encyclopedias and encyclopedia-like website are listed as well to satisfy and pique your students’ curiosity for learning.

Have a happy 2011 and a happy and productive year exploring new ideas and resources for your students.  If you like these resources,

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Edublogger’s Winners of the Share Your Tips and Win Big Competition

If you are interested in blogging with your students or as a means of your own expression, you’ll want to read this article and its many links for successful blogging hints from teachers around the world.  Examples of posts from students of different ages abound.  This is a must read if you are at all interested in using blogging as a learning tool in your classes.  Enjoy!


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Thirteenth Edition ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnivals

This posting from ELL Classroom is rich with links to some of the best ESL blogs out there.  These blogs are must reads for ESL teachers of all levels and ages.

My Upcoming Wiki for ESL

I’ve decided that my next “creation” will be a wiki for Advanced ESL. Rather than putting everything on Blackboard, I will keep my resources in a wiki similar to the edtec4matc wiki. I will ask other instructors if they’d like to collaborate on it with me, adding to it resources for grammar, reading, writing, pronunciation, and whatever else is necessary. It will include videos, links to exercises, links to lessons using web 2.0 applications, ESL blogs, and whatever else that would seem appropriate and worthwhile. Actually, I’m excited about developing this idea. Perhaps it could evolve into becoming an online course, or perhaps it will be a legacy. We have to leave something worthwhile behind when we leave.  We’ll see.

Teaching Sites about Halloween

Resources for teaching about Halloween from Larry Ferlazzo   http://is.gd/3LsnY

Contribute A Post To The Next ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival!

This is taken from Larry Ferlazzo

Posted at 12:01 am under blogs

The next ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival will be hosted by the ELL Classroom , and the deadline for submissions will be September 30th, with October 1st the publication date. You can contribute posts by using this easy submission form.

Any posts related to teaching or learning English are welcome, including examples of student work.

Candace Wlliams posted the Twelfth Edition of the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival earlier this month.  She called it “Summer Break Time” and definitely did some great creative things with it. Check-out what bloggers from throughout the world contributed!

Let me know if you’d like to host future editions.

You can see all the previous twelve  editions of the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival here.

A Variety of Resources for Teaching ESL

The Internet for ESL Teachers includes an amazing amount of resources for teachers and students in a wide variety of areas.