Ixperium Leviosa

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please. Thanks you. I would like to share my last TELL-assignment blog with you, and it is about a the wonderful Ixperium Ixperience. With a name like that it has to be interesting right?!

To the point, the Ixperience is a workshop about all the great advantages of technology in teaching. We were able to discover some of the greatest tools, from Virtual Reality to a program called Prowise Presenter (https://www.prowise.com/nl/).

First, what is Prowise? Prowise could be used as a smartboard program, but it could also be used to do assessments and for homework. The teacher has multiple options when teaching with Prowise. I have to be honest and mention that I still have to do a lot of discovering to fully understand Prowise presenter vb.pngeverything you are able to do with Prowise.

In the iXperium we designed a small lesson about the States of the United States of America. We started with a clip that the students could watch on their own device. Then we moved on to a wordweb. We asked the students to fill in as many states as they could remember. The great thing about Prowise is that the student only sees his own input. As a teacher you can always pause a student, or show on the big screen what a certain student is filling in at that moment. Moving on with the lesson we wanted the students to practice with the states. As you see in the picture above. A student has to come up to the smartboard and pick the corresponding state. This activity can’t be done on the tablets or phones of the students. Prowise is still developing and improving its capabilities.

In my opinion Prowise is a tool that supports and enhances the way a teacher could give his lessons. It still needs a lot of expanding, but according to the website they’re doing the best they can.

Tip to my fellow teachers: Visit the Ixperium!

FlyingTeachman out.

Exam training.

As the most of you will know, we have these things called exams. Guess what, our students also have these things. And if  you want to pass an exam, you have to practice. My students have a listening exam at the end of the year and I wanted to do an exam with them.

Since we don’t really use a method and my WPB’er the use of outside sources stimulates. I had to find a website or tool of my own. After some research I found this wonderful website: http://eclexam.eu/sample-tests/ . This website, which is certified, contains an exam on different levels and on the different skills. It comes with an exercise sheet, a key and ofcourse the exam itself. Sidenote: dont do the B1 listening exam more than 3 times in a week because it contains really annoying catchy music.

I think you should use this website in two ways. To stimulate or challenge your students. Stimulate them by boosting their confidence in an easier exam or by stopping the fragment when you hear an answer and challenge them by doing an exam on a higher level. 

It could also be a test to see on which level your student are.

So, this website is great tool to support you to become the most awesomemest teacher in the whole universe. 

FlyingTeachman out.

Reading and Meme-ing.

We have this interesting course at our school called YAFIC, short for Young Adult Fiction. As you would guess from the name it is about young adult fiction. In other words, books for teenagers. The assessment attached to this course is teach a lesson or some lessons about a book.

Well, problem 1 occurred. Who reads books nowadays? Certainly not the majority of the MBO students I teach at my internship. We, my internship partner, who prefered to remain anonymous, and I, came up with the idea of teaching Short Stories with a sinister plot. We chose the following short stories: The Lottery, The Lottery Ticket, The Winepress, The Angel of the Odd and The Sniper (If you want to know what the stories are about, read them).

At first the lesson we build was very straight forward. Read the text, pay attention to context and comprehension and afterwards discuss. I was not really feeling this, I dislike teaching short stories without the students doing something active afterwards. For the next lesson I came up with a different post-reading activity. That is where the meme-ing kicked in. After reading the text the students had to design a meme that summarized the short story. They had to the exercise with fellow students who had read the same text. Some results:

The meme’s were generated on: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator. The website is very useful to summarize a certain text by doing something fun. A meme is like a tweet. You can only use so many words for it loses its power. To summarize a short story in a meme is quite a challenge. Luckily the students and I enjoyed the lesson and we learned that they quite like reading short stories.

For more info contact my secretary.

FlyingTeachman out.

 

THE Youtube.

Everyone knows it. It needs no introduction. But still, let me tell you something about the wonderful world of THE Youtube. It contains a lot of videos, as you know. These videos are divided in certain categories. You’ve got vlogs, songs, sketches, whole tv-shows and a serious amount of videos that explain certain items.

I decided to do something with songs. I myself am a enormous fan of Hip-Hop. And as I was looking for something that made Hip-Hop useful I found this article: https://pudding.cool/2017/02/vocabulary/ . This article is about the vocabulary of rappers compared to the vocabulary of Shakespeare and Moby Dick. Surprisingly, a lot of artist scored higher than Shakespeare and three even scored higher than Moby Dick.

So I wondered, why do we teach an ancient writer if we could teach about the wordsmiths of this era. What would motivate the students more??? Ah, you guessed it.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. So I kept this lesson very simple. I introduced THE lesson with a song of my one. This was kinda hard to find because rappers curse quite a lot in their songs. I chose “Like toy soldiers – Eminem” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lexLAjh8fPA) because of the story Eminem tells and because he doesn’t curse that much in this song. The main aim was to practise listening and to write down as many words or sentences as you could while-listening. The students had to do the following steps:

Step 1. Choose an English song you want to understand. The song has to contain lyrics that inspire you or touched you like Toy Soldiers from Eminem.

Step 2. Listen to the song twice, as you listen write down some of the words or phrases you hear (or think to hear).

Step 3. Find the lyrics of the song.

Step 4. Listen to the song again and follow the lyrics. Check to see if what you wrote down is correct.

Step 5. Read carefully through the lyrics and use an online dictionary or Google translator to understand the words you don’t know. Write down the words that you didn’t know and add their translations.

Step 6. Write a short comment about the song you chose. Explain why you picked this song and what is means to you in at least 50 words.

After the 6 steps some students had to present their song and explain why they picked this particular song. As a rounding-up I asked them what they thought of this lesson and how much they enjoyed it.

Well, after reading this you probably guessed that THE students enjoyed this lessons and I encourage you to try it out sometime. Always fun to do.

FlyingTeachman out.

*insert Trump voice when reading “THE”*

Listening, reading and the British Council.

If you are in desperate need of an extremly handy dandy website to practise listening, reading or any of the others skills please continue reading this blog because I will TELL you all about it.

The website is called http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/ . I used this website to practise reading and listening on B1 level. What I really like about this website is that you can let the students decide what they want to read. They can pick a variety of texts on a certain level and every text has the same build-up.

Step 1: The students start with a preparation exercise, to filter out some key words.           Step 2: The students read the text.                                                                                                 Step 3: The students do the check your understanding exercises.

With listening the build-up is the same.

The students also liked the website. The fact that they are able to pick their own text or listening fragment motivates them.

The website is a good alternative for Newsela.

 

FlyingTeachman out.

1090L or 1230L?

My WPB works a lot with technology. He showed me this website called newsela.com. He showed me that the students can read articles on a various level. Afterwards the students can check comprehension by doing a small quiz on the website.

I decided that I wanted to use this in class. But how was I going to introduce this website and was I able to check the work of the students? I had to discover ins-and-outs of the website first. I found out that you are able to mark words, and that could be used to filter out key words or to look for specific parts of the text.

At the time of the lesson I read a few texts myself to get familiar with the reading the students would do. I read a text about an arsonist and one about the history of Carnival. I picked the latter because I taught this lesson the week after Carnival. The students would see the purpose of this text and would be able to relate to it. alexstevejobs

As an introduction I showed my students a picture of me dressed as Steve Jobs. I told them that I had also celebrated carnival and wanted to know why we celebrate
this rather strange festivity.

Post reading I discussed whether they like carnival or not, and if they think that the festivity still has something to do with the religious background of it.

I really recommend this website to all my fellow teachers.

 

Lazy teacher life

Cruisin’ down the street in my ’64 I was thinking about what to teach my pupils this week. The cruisin’ wasn’t really helping and as usual my stomach started to make a lot
of noise. So, I went to my favorite restaeazyurant. While fine dining I thought of a concept for the lesson. I was going to use this recording device called Screencast-O-Matic. If you don’t know Screencast-O-Matic, look it up!

I wanted the students to use Screencast-O-Matic because I am a lazy teacher , and I mean lazy in a positive way. Students learn the most if they look up their own information and explain it to their peers. As a teacher, especially in the MBO, you have to be a guide instead of a teacher teacher. The students had to explain a grammar item of their own choosing using Screencast-O-Matic. They became their own teachers. The biggest advantage of Screencast-O-Matic is that you are able to film your own screen instead of yourself, your computer also records your voice so you are able to film your screen and explain at the same time.

The assignment was a lot of fun as the students worked rather hard. On the other hand I also found out that my students like to be lazy teachers. Most of them did not really challenge themselves but some did exceed my expectations. I got some useful presentations that I am able to use when explaining certain grammar topics. So basically they also prepared some lessons for me. How wonderful.

Flying Teachman out.