Back to school Tips for Teachers

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It’s back to school period when almost every teacher wants to kick that remaining little time relaxing, looking for that last-minute sacred vacation place, or even thinking about how to give it a good start for the upcoming school year.

In this bite-sized blog post, we’re going to wrap it up for you with a couple of handy tools that will ease the job for you and give you the peace of mind you want for the last couple of weeks of this summer holiday.

  • Get to Know Your Technology.

One of the most frequent things that we, teachers, tend to do whenever we start with a new group of learners, regardless of their age, is a get-to-know-you activity. That can be a student-student or a student-teacher activity. Yes, there are plenty of ideas about such kind of ice breakers and warm-ups, but have you thought about the increasing use of edtech, educational technology, in our classrooms today? It’s the Get-To-Know-Your-Technology time. It does make sense to familiarize yourself and your students with whatever technology you’re going to be using throughout the school year.

Check out some blogs to help you find new ideas or make a plan of what you’re going to do with the tools you already know about.

  • Equity Maps.

Participation, Turn-taking, boy vs. girl speaking time, seating charts, contribution to conversations, and a detailed report of all of that. Equity maps is an iPad tool for your classroom that can help you figure out which students participate in the class and how often they do that.

Doing all that by yourself could be a really big challenge for you and so comes this tool to help you do that. You may want to watch this introductory video from Equity Maps and get a hunch of what it really is about.

  • Reading and Reading Lists.

As the summer holiday is folding up now, parents have started to get their children to get back to school’s habits or maybe invest in some new ones. The importance of reading can’t be emphasized enough in young children, and we as teachers have to make every day reading a high priority and an aim which we and parents alike believe it is. Sharing reading lists with your students whether directly at school or on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram not only aims to show off how hard you work to improve you students’ English, but also can be a great resource for other children and parents, too.

EPIC!, StoryLineOnline, and ReadingIQ have a huge library of books and can be of great assistance for you and your students. By using these tools, you’re able to create your own class and direct your students to join in, take part, and also provide them with an end-of-month reading report as well as badges and certificates. These websites are free for teachers, too. Did I Say FREE?? Yes, They are. Get there and check for yourself.

  • Adobe Spark.

An intuitive creation tool for students, professionals, teachers, and any one in any industry. If you haven’t tried the Spark tool, then it’s the time you get to meet Adobe Spark, a moviemaking tool students can use to combine voice, text and more. They can create All About Me videos, capture stories, share stories from their communities, and even more. They can show off highlights from their school year, or you may even show off student work. Adobe Spark is a graphic design tool that puts the trendiest creation opportunities in the hands of your students and you.

Another amm-azing tool that we want to talk about is a tool which transformed teaching into being interactive and engaging while providing teachers with actionable and reliable formative assessment. It is an absolute favorite and it needs to be taken into consideration. What’s even more amazing than all of that? The following video sums it up for you.

Best of luck for all of you and stay tuned for my next blog post soon.

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VOCABOX

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Here’s an activity picked up for you REALLY HOT from the oven to help you recycle vocabulary and bring up the heat of spring to your classroom.

VOCABOX

Focus: To recycle vocabulary taught in previous lessons.

Level: Elementary and upwards.

Key Language: Any vocabulary taught in class.

Aims: to improve memory of lexical items taught in class, to practice using these lexical items in different ways and contexts, and to practice question forms.

Procedures:

  1. Take a box to your class.
  2. Whenever you teach a new word or phrase write it on a slip of paper and add it to the box. Keep this vocabulary bank in the classroom for learners to use it or refer to.

A variety of activities to use it in:

Hotseat : A learner sits with their back to the board, the teacher writes a word or phrase from the box on the board, other learners give oral clues to help him or her guess what it is. This can be done in groups with larger classes as well.

Gapped sentences: Write a gapped sentence on the board using an item from the Vocabox. For example, if the item is ‘take a nap’, you could write, ‘Do you mind if I ____ __ ______, because I’m so tired?’ Elicit the answer. Give each pair of learners three items from the Vocabox. They write a gapped sentence for each. They then give their sentences to another pair to fill in.

Grab the word: Spread out all the Vocabox items on the floor or a big table (It’s worth it making copies if you have a larger class so that you can put them in groups). The teacher gives an oral definition of an item and learners try to grab the appropriate item before anyone else. The teacher tries to be clear about instructions and words or phrases given to learners to search for.

Grouping: Give small groups of learners a small pile of items from the box. They group them either according to your categories or they choose their own categories.

Training That Matters

I understand how ghastly and intimidating it might be when one first begins a teaching career. For example, new teachers need to know how important it is for them to maintain order in the classroom and how implementing a steady routine can help. In addition to that, teachers need to be familiar with several essential tools for a successful teaching experience which involves a variety of techniques for giving feedback and correction, planning and managing of receptive and productive skills lessons, working with learners on tasks and activities that involve authentic material, and the list goes on.

In this blog, we will go through a series of posts that will help lay the light on important issues that every teacher needs to learn about, get their hands on some research, and probably do some, and help pass the information to another teacher they know.