These days developing the basic competences (also known as the key skills) is the order of the day in schools and here are a few fun ideas to work on that most difficult of competences (well, for the average English teacher, that is!), the mathematical competence:
Fraction dominoes Prepare sets of fraction dominoes and give out to each group. Each student takes 7 dominoes. Then they play, laying down dominoes and trying to match, eg. one has twenty percent, the other has 0.5. that is, the quantities have equal value.The matching faces must be placed next to each other. If the second player does not have a domino which matches the first, they miss a turn.
Free Time Pies Ask each student to list their hobbies and to order them in terms of frequency. Ask them to draw a pie chart, in which the different sectors represent hobbies, and the size of the sector represents frequency. The ss label the sections of the diagram with the names of the activities. Then they write on another piece of paper a few sentences to describe their routines, eg. I sometimes go to the cinema; I always watch Peking Express on Sunday night, etc. Collect the pieces of paper and put them in a box or on the table. Display the pie diagrams around the room. Each student takes a piece of paper and reads it. They then have to find the matching pie chart and find the student who wrote the information. To do this, they have to circulate and look at the pie charts and then ask classmates about their hobbies, eg. When do you go to the cinema?
Quantifier Survey Prepare a set of Quantifier Survey statements, which are a series of sentences with most, some of us, none of us, we all, etc… Give out the statements to each student or group of students. They read the statements. They have to find out if the statement is true, so they need to prepare questions to ask other students, eg. Do you live near here? They mingle and collect responses. They count the responses and decide if their statement is true. If not, they must write a new statement which is true for the class. Then each student or group reports their findings, eg. “19 out of 20 of us live within one kilometre of the school so it´s true to say most of us live near here”.
A favourite activity of mine is called Act 3, and I must say I have used it so many times I have lost count! It is based on the popular children´s game: Kim´s Game, and really is very good for students who have a good level of English...and also a fair amount of creativity.
What you do is this:
Stage 1: Place various objects (around 15) on a table, and students have to look at them for about 3 minutes and try to memorize them. They are then covered with a scarf, and in groups they try to remember them. Teacher then reveals the objects after enough time has elapsed to check students have remembered all.
Stage 2: Take away half the objects. Tell the class these objects are all closely linked in a three act play. Two acts of the play have already been performed, and act three is about to begin. They have to work out what the play is about and what has happened already, then decide on the last act. Next, they prepare a sketch of part of the last act to be acted out.
Here's a YouTube video which I came across recently in which a Bulgarian contestant in Music Idol attempts to sing Mariah Carey´s song : Without You and which will no doubt send you into floods of laughter!
However, after you have enjoyed the hilarity, think about how you could use this in class (or any other YouTube video from Pop Idol). Teenage and young adult students tend to enjoy watching Pop Idol type shows (Operación Triunfo, Britain´s Got Talent, etc) and it might be interesting to use this video to get their reactions to the appalling pronunciation. You can give the students the lyrics to study after they view the song with the subtitles. Another possibility is to look at the comments sent in on the posts and have students send in their own post.
Ho, ho, ho! Yes, it´s almost Christmas and I know many of you will be looking for something a little different for your last class before Christmas. I hope you enjoy this webquest for Upper Intermediate students I found recently- the students research Christmas traditions and write up their findings as a class magazine.
In this blog I will be publishing fun, creative and educational ideas for teaching, and providing links to websites for more ideas. I hope both you and your students enjoy the activities.
Have you heard about the great MacMillan webinars? These are web seminars- live, once a month which you can view as they take place and even chat with the author!Interesting topics and big names. You can also search the archive for talks which have taken place. Click on the icon and find out more!
Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
This is a great new (free!) e-book written by Nick Peachey, Learning Technology Consultant, Writer and Trainer.
Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
Have a look at it and find out about some free Web 2.0 type tools that can be used by teachers who are interested in using technology in language teaching.
According to Nik, the tools presented here are just the tip of the iceberg - new tools are emerging all the time, many not originally intended for education, but which can be put to good use by students and teachers alike to extend opportunities, enhance learning potential and develop the level of digital literacy that students will need for the 21st century.
Well, what are you waiting for?!
I´ve been teaching English to adults for many years now and have worked in Asia, Europe and North Africa. This is my first year at the EOI Guía and I´m very excited to have Intermediate 1 and 2 this year. My special interest is reading and I hope we can work together on some interesting projects.