Monday, November 17, 2014

Create Your Own Comic!

For this lesson I used a comic strip generator called Strip Generator. You see a lot of popular graphic novels are now used in ESL classrooms so I thought this website was pretty neat. The comic strip I generated was of a girl walking into her classroom in the morning. This is a situation students encounter daily and it encourages them to practice greetings, making requests, and so on. 
Students are acting as the character Wenchun when creating dialog. They must read the question or response from the teacher in order to ask an an appropriate question or give a relevant response. For example, below I have the teacher saying "Good morning, Wenchun. I'm great, thank you". The student would have to figure out what they would say to the teacher in order to get that response, such as "Good morning Miss Brown, how are you today?". An incorrect answer would be if the student does not at all acknowledge the teachers response and says something like "It's raining outside". This would help the student practice greetings.
Secondly, you see the teacher saying "Your hair looks very nice today". Students would have to come up with an appropriate comment back such as "Thank you, I got a hair cut this weekend" or "That is very nice of you to say. I like your hair as well".
By students doing this they would fulfill performance indicator ESL4.I.1I: Students use appropriate vocabulary, expressions, language, routines, and interaction styles for various audiences and formal and informal social or school situations, noticing how intention is realized through language.
Students would access the whole comic here and complete all of the dialog for Wenchun in the box or on a separate sheet of paper if needed. This would be gone over as a class and collected by the teacher.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Today I explored a photo series website called Animoto. I chose to put a series of photos together that are all common idioms in English. Students would watch this video where the would see a picture along with text. Students will look at the photo along with the text and guess the meaning of the idiom. This fulfills performance indicator ESL5.I.1A: Students demonstrate an understanding of cultural and language patterns and norms in American English, including regional and social varieties of English.

At home, students will label a sheet of paper 1 - 7 skipping lines between each number. Due to the fact that the video could only be 30 seconds, the images and words go by quickly. Since the students are doing this on their own, they have the ability to stop the video when needed. Doing this gives them the chance to stop on each word, write the word and look at the picture. On the first line the student will write the idiom and below the student will make a guess as to what the idiom means. The following day when students come in, we will watch the video as a whole. For each word the teacher will pause the video and the students will share their answers. At the end, the students will hand in their papers for me to assess their original guesses along with any modifications they made.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Change of Languages

I created a TedEd lesson titled: The Evolution of Language where students would watch the 4 minute video then answer a few questions on comprehension then relate the information they have learned to their life. By doing this activity students would address 1 standard and 2 performance indicators:

Standard: ESL 1 Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for information and understanding.
Performance Indicator ESL.1.C.1A: Students identify and use reading and listening strategies to make text comprehensible and meaningful.
Performance Indicator ESL1.C.1C: Students select information appropriate to the purpose of the investigation with suitable supporting material.

Students language objectives will be to compare and contrast features from their native language and English in a piece of writing.
I would assess this by reading their discussion posts and determining if they have wrote similarities and differences between their native language and English. For example, "Chinese and English are different because in Chinese I do not use plurals.In English I am talking about more than one of something I put an  -s on the end". 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Let's Get Flipped

I just read two interesting pieces on flipped classrooms: Why It's Time To Rethink Homework and Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms. Although flipping a classroom seems interesting I can't say I'm completely convinced!

A flipped classroom is basically where the students learn the content outside of the classroom and then when they come to class they ask questions and then partake in activities to reinforce what was learned outside of class. 
I'm still weary for a few reasons, one being that I think it makes it difficult to differentiate instruction for students. Depending on the language level of your students flipping could be very difficult if you're not there to help them with vocabulary. You are also not there to guide those students who may need a bit more assistance when learning something new. I also am a bit concerned about what happens when students DO NOT go home and watch the required video or complete the required readings. This would cause students to fall behind very quickly.If students did attempt to look at new content and had difficulty understanding, I think it could be very discouraging when coming to class and trying to partake in the activity.
I think in order to flip a classroom you would need dedication from your students. I could see myself flipping my classroom occasionally. For example, in my previous post I used a clip about immediate family which introduces the terms: mother, father, siblings, brother, and sister. I think going over this in class to make sure students know what family is, then going home and watching other parts of the video which go over terms: grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc would be beneficial. I think it would be important to give your students a strong background before sending them home to learn more.

Tube Chop

Have you ever wanted to show just a piece of a video to your class? As a teacher I always run into the problem that I'd like to show my class a clip from a whole video but clicking through to figure out where it starts is very time consuming. Well, I'm here to save the day and tell you about Tube Chop. Tube chop gives you the chance to put in your YouTube link and shorten the video to only the content you want to be seem.

I played around with Tube Chop and decided to use a video for ESL students on Immediate Family. For this lesson I would have students watch this video and then create their own family tree of just their immediate family. I know in some cultures it is inappropriate to ask questions about someones mother. Therefore if you have a student in your class who is not able to discuss information about their mother, have this student talk more in detail about their siblings. Students should be able to state who is in their immediate family and refer to their brothers and sisters as siblings. They should also be able to share a sentence about each member of their family. When referring to their siblings they should also use the terms we heard in the video "elder" and "younger" when giving information about them. First this will be done orally in class as a whole, then each student will write it in a sentence with assistance from the teacher if needed. The teacher would be able to assess the students use of the immediate family vocabulary by the sentences they provide. For example, if the student says "My younger sibling works as a nurse in a hospital". If the student young you can assume that this information is incorrect. The teacher should look for an answer along the lines of "My younger sibling is in 3rd grade".