Active learning really works!

Yesterday with my KET students I tried a different activity. I wanted to review the weather and teach them the “going to” tense so I decided to do something more entertaining with them.

First I reviewed the weather vocabulary with some flashcards, then I put them on the table and we played a game. They had to put their hands on their heads and when I called out a flashcard they had to touch it. The first one in touching it gets the flashcard. They are around 13 years old so they like a lot competition.

Then I arranged them into groups and gave them different roles (so I make sure everyone’s doing something in the group). I told them they were going to present the weather forecast. One member was the secretary (who had to write down the script), another was the language moderator (the one who checked that the script was well written) and then the other was the tv presenter.

I told them that the best group would get candy (they are still kids and this motivates them a lot!). As soon as I said that they started working.

I put a map on the whiteboard (one group chose Europe and the other one Comunitat Valenciana) and the presenter had to stick the flashcard in the area and report the weather. (On Tuesday it’s going to be sunny in Valencia… It’s going to rain in London…etc.).

They loved a lot the activity, all of them were working and we reached the goal: to learn the weather, to learn the going to and obviously speak in English and… more important… they had fun!

In the end I gave candy to all of them because they did it perfect! One of the group even created adverts and some jingles for the news! ūüôā

I was only there to help, they were the ones in charge and used their creativity to do this exercise. It took me 15 minutes and it really changed the atmosphere in the classroom!2d33dde

Reflections of a teacher

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Today I want to share with the world how happy I am.

I’ve been teaching only for four years but I have to say I wouldn’t do any other job as I really feel teaching is my thing! ūüôā

Every year is different, kids change and so do I! I feel every year I get better as I learn from my mistakes and I like asking my students how do they feel after a lesson from time to time. This blog also helps me to reflect on how I could do things and how I would like to do them.

I get loads of love from my students , I think teaching is the most rewarding job. Sometimes I get angry with¬†them¬†(they don’t listen, or they are just tired) but then they show me they understand and learn so fast and that they are actually getting good grades. I love working with kids but this year I’m also teaching a group of adults and I also enjoy it¬†a lot.

I feel grateful and full of joy today…¬†I got a phone¬†calle¬†from the mum of one of my¬†students¬†today to tell me how happy she is. Her daughter didn’t like English at all… and now she got the highest grade and she is always asking when is Sara going to come home.

I have a passion for English, I always liked this language… I really want to transmit my students this passion. Teaching should go beyond getting a mark, it should go beyond the conception that it’s a subject. It goes beyond that… it is a code, a powerful way in which people of different cultures and places in the world can communicate. It can be fun and interesting.

I know for some people English is just hard and they don’t get it and they are bored… we need more enthusiastic teachers that can actually¬†change this… impossible is nothing!

 

 

 

Introducing new content through music…

With this song by Nada Surf we can introduce our students wh- questions as well as teaching them some new vocabulary.

Here are the lyrics:

Oh my my
Who’s that child?
Where is he going to?
Why is he so wild?
What is he staring at?
Why is he so taken?

Seems like he’s choosing to believe
Even when he’s faking
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
Elusive energy
Hard to hold
I’m looking for it now and will be when I’m old
Whoever put that fist in the square must have been a good friend to the mayor
Driving by Spanish roundabout art it’s gotta be who you know
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
Have I known you for ten thousand days?
Is there no other way to go?
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
This new piece I can feel it now
Well once in awhile now
It better grow
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting for something
It always feels like I’m waiting
It always feels like I’m waiting for something

Nada Surf – Waiting For Something Lyrics

We can always show the video of the song on YouTube to our students and ask them questions like:

What do you think this song is about?
Do you think the song tries to reflect upon something? Has it got a message?

We can create activities, start some debates…etc.

As I mentioned in other post, songs are really good for teaching pronunciation and to introduce new grammar or vocabulary points in a more appealing way to our students. What we have to do is create good activities and be careful with the songs we choose and the vocabulary they contain as it might not be appropriate for them. We have to take into account the pace of the song, the words…etc. We can use songs for teaching English but use them with a purpose, not just because it’s cool.
I do love music, I think one can learn a lot through a song as songs talk about everything.
I usually carry a notebook with me and I try to write down titles of songs I think I can use in class. It is a nice training for teachers who want to go beyond and want to be creative.