The Benefits of Keeping a Teaching Journal

The Benefits of Keeping a Teaching Journal

I have been keeping a journal off and on since I was kid because, as everyone knows, sometimes you just need to talk to someone who isn’t going to talk back. You can find famous examples and samples here and here.

Classroom Management, Google Drive, Monitoring, PLN, Writing, Evernote, Teaching Journal, Teaching Diary
I wish my handwriting were that nice.

Nowadays, I keep a very specific type of journal. In it, I write about how what happens inside and outside the classroom affects my students and how I and my students interact with the activities, materials, and technology I/we select. The effects of keeping this journal have been profound which is in line with research: Continue reading “The Benefits of Keeping a Teaching Journal”

Learning to Write Like a Reader: Teaching Students How to Edit and Do Peer-Review

Learning to Write Like a Reader: Teaching Students How to Edit and Do Peer-Review

Peer review is an important an beneficial step in the writing process if done effectively. The question then becomes how can you do it effectively? Today I’ll provide three examples: Checklists, Write Like a Reader and Paramedic Editing.

Checklists

Why should you provide students with a checklist? First, checklists identify the key ideas/components/aspects that should be in a students writing. Second, providing students with explicit instruction increases the likelihood of them remaining on task. Basically, if you want students to be on task, make sure they know what the task is and how to do it (For a more complete discussion of using checklists, please see “Check It Out! Using Checklists to Support Student Learning” by Kathleen Dudden Rowlands) Continue reading “Learning to Write Like a Reader: Teaching Students How to Edit and Do Peer-Review”

Teaching Speaking for the TOEFL iBT with Technology

How do you prepare people to speak to a computer? Sure, our students are used to talking through a machine

CALL, EAP, Edtech, M-Learning, Monitoring, Speaking Skills, TOEFL iBT, Vocaroo, Google Drive,
Seriously, do any of your students not have a cell phone?

but how many of them are used to talking to a machine?

CALL, EAP, Edtech, M-Learning, Monitoring, Speaking Skills, TOEFL iBT, Vocaroo, Google Drive,
Hello? Is anyone listening?

Well, needless to say, the only way to get students used to speaking to a machine is to have them speak to a machine. But how? Continue reading “Teaching Speaking for the TOEFL iBT with Technology”

Videonot.es and Youtube: Watching videos with a purpose

Videonot.es and Youtube: Watching videos with a purpose

I love using videos in the classroom: they are engaging, multi-sensory and provide quasi-authentic language. The question of course is what do you have students do while they’re watching the videos? Well, one tool I’ve come across recently is videonot.es.

Videonot.es is a web app that allows users to take notes of online videos (YoutubeKhan AcademyCourseraUdacity) and then store and share their notes using either Evernote or  Google Drive. Why would you want to use this site?

  • Ease of collection – Instead of carrying paper copies, you just have students “share” their work with you (more on that later).
  • Tracking the process – If you are having students write essays on videos, it is a lot harder for them to plagiarize if you are tracking their work from the very beginning.
  • Collaboration – Students can share their notes and ideas with each other nearly instantly.
  • Safe Keeping – Students “misplace” their paper notes all the time. Unless a student consciously deletes the file from their Google Drive account, their video notes aren’t going anywhere.

So how do you use Videonot.es? Continue reading “Videonot.es and Youtube: Watching videos with a purpose”

Google Drive and Quizlet.com: A match made in the clouds

Google Drive and Quizlet.com: A match made in the clouds

It seems that no matter how hard you try students just don’t ever seem to put in as much work outside of class as you would like them to; or, and this can be even more frustrating, students practice their language skills in highly ineffective ways (more on that in a future post). This fact leads to the following conundrum, how can you, as a language teacher, get students to work outside of class?

The answer is you can’t – people are going to do what they are going to do. However, what teachers can do is try to make the work they assign as relevant and (gasp!) fun as possible.

It is in this spirit that I suggest the following activity given to me by Anthony Teacher. I haven’t tried it yet but I have a good feeling about it. Continue reading “Google Drive and Quizlet.com: A match made in the clouds”