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Messages - semorro2

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Cause & Effect / Learning Cause and Effect Through Games!
« on: May 06, 2020, 01:35:38 AM »

A fun way to introduce students to the ideas of cause and effect is to play a game in which students have to make choices to determine  sequence of events and the outcome of a story.

The first option for gamifying cause and effect is creating your own generated game using by using the "gaming" creation template and linking slides to different interactive features that link the choice to the next event.

Or there are plenty of other online stories at The downfall of this website is that the stories have not been rated so an instructor should definitely go through the one they desire to use in their class ahead of time to avoid any awkward or explicit materials.

Another option would be to play Choose Your Own Adventure which is a board game that encompasses the same kind of approach that the other two games have with a few more challenges tacked on for even more fun.

As far as levels go, I consider to be the best option if working with beginner to intermediate learners, and then Infinite Story and Choose your Own Adventure are better choices for more advanced learners.

These activities create a gateway for teachers to discuss the importances of the characters' choices in a piece of literature and how those choices may be affected by the characters' personality traits or even other choices that were made in the past. I consider this a fun way to start the conversation about cause and effect.


During the time of COVID-19, online coursework is more prevalent that ever. For someone who never taken an online class this could be a good read to help comprehend the effectiveness of online peer feedback. What are the pros, cons, and challenges to overcome.

The article discusses different ways peer feedback can be conducted through an online medium. One can use synchronous forms with chat systems, or use asynchronous feedback with emails, and bulletin board postings. Much research points to the fact that e- feedback retains a lot of the same benefits that a student would get in a physical classroom or meeting and get the additional benefit of anonmynity

The present study in this article observes 22 college ESL students. The student's corrections in correlation to the peer feedback received displayed that the students wrote more critically about their peer's papers due to the advantage of anonymity. Students from a Japanese cultural background in particular displayed little confidence in assessing a peer's writing. May students found this kind of exchange of a text for text feedback much more difficult  that face- to face feedback causing receivers of the feedback to have reluctancy in asking for any clarification. Because of this, there were a good number of identified fallacies or suggested changes in the peer feedback that went unchanged.

The Guardado and Shi suggest that though anonymity helped students voice their options it actually may hinder interaction between the students. To avoid any problems they suggest to discuss the feedback as a class after it has been received by each student, and perhaps before even starting the peer evaluation to give explicit training and clear guidelines for what the feedback itself and the experience should entail.

Going forward with online classes and peer assessment become more prevalent, I consider this article to be of great value to teachers undergoing the change from physical classrooms to online classes and assessments.

General Writing Resources / Re: Trauma-Informed Literacy Teaching
« on: May 05, 2020, 02:11:41 PM »

This is such a helpful resource for teachers working with students who have experienced trauma. As many adult ESL learners may have experienced some kind of trauma due to relocation, cultural pressure, political unrest in their home country, or even traumatic experiences with language learning, it is important for teachers to continue to stay aware of the additional thought that should go into conducting a class that can assist students in overcoming or separating themselves from their traumatic experiences.

I found this article to be quite interesting and related to this topic. It provides information about how trauma affects learning as well as gives some practices that teachers can implement into their teacher style in order to better service students who have undergone trauma.

The article mentions that teachers need to remember not all students have undergone trauma and it is not necessary for a teacher to know exactly which students have. A teacher should attempt to treat students rather equally but be aware that it is highly likely that some students have undergone such.

The suggests practices can be divided as an acronym:
Listen to learners and allow their concerns.
Offer activities that can allow students to share as little or as much as they want.
Allow learners to choose their own level of participation.
Find out about community resources
Do not assume that all immigrant learners have experienced trauma.

I have always benefited from teachers who took parts of a book and implemented them into reality into a class. Whether it be the well-known colony games and projects that history teachers do to talk about the American 13 colonies in elementary school. The students have to write about creating sustainable living conditions, they can die or lose a life too. Many students benefit from this kind of  way to turn the book or history into something more tangible for them.

I had the chance to work with advanced ESL middle schoolers. We were reading the book Breaking Stalin's Nose and we followed some of the themes from the book in class such as giving them "official issued" pencils, erasers, yarn necklaces/ "scarves", and we even made them call their teachers similar titles as the leaders in the books. The students were also given incentive to tattle on their classmates' misbehavior whether it be true or not to get ahead in class. All of this relates to the main character's perception of the society they live in. The students had to bring all of their "official issued" items to class every day, and if they did not or they were tattled on they would die for the day. They also could die from not doing homework or disobeying other basic classroom rules. If all students had at least one life by the end of the book, we promised them a pizza party.

This group of students was particularly hard to motivate, but through this more immersive approach to the book they were able to really grasp more of the main character's perspective of the society and setting of the book.

When reading The Hobbit, and learning about hobbit manners, customs and levels of politeness, I am inspired to try to  think of a a similar way to create an immersive class experience for students. This immersive experience could be based on hobbit norms, and perhaps a teacher could tweak the class rules a little to fit these expectations. If a student disobeys maybe they would become "goblin food" for the day.

Getting to Know You Activities / Padlet Comments of Description
« on: March 12, 2020, 08:48:33 PM »
Working with short intensive English programs, its sometimes fun to quickly get to know students who know each other very well in their L1 prior to the beginning of the class by getting students to describe each other. This would obviously be best with adult learners, and there should be some guidelines such as only positive statements, or compliments within appropriate reason.

I created a padlet and had each students post a kind of avatar like image or an image that they think defines them or something they really like. They title it with their name, and then their classmates comment personality traits, adjectives, or adjectival phrases that describe the person.

The students may be more likely to give more details about their friend, and too shy to give details about themselves. This aspect can make this a beneficial activity for getting to know students quickly for short intensive English programs.

Also, this is an easy way to introduce them to padlets if you will be using them throughout the semester. It also reinforces them to use their descriptive skills which are crucial for character analysis for books.

Recently I have been using a lot lately. It is a terrific online tool that allows a lot of similar collaborative features as google slides. You can make various different media there, but one I am most excited about using the interactive images for character profiles. I think this is a terrific way for students to get excited about characters, their traits, and the evolution of the character though out the book.

A teacher can create their own account and even introduce the students into making one. Then the teacher can start each template for the character image and assign a group of students to collaborate on the image by just having their e-mails. As mentioned, the students will need toe eventually create their own account, but it is quite simple and FREE!

Teachers could allow students to choose their own image of the character, draw one, and then attach invisible or button elements to the picture that the mouse can hover over or click to reveal information bubbles about the characters. You can even attach videos or audio files. This way the students are allow to have some creativity in how they would like to portray the key characteristics or facts about a character.

I would encourage having each group of students do a different character, and then sharing the links to the interactive images with everyone in the class. The students could do this as an introduction to the characters at the beginning of the book or they could do this as a final project to show character development. If you really like the idea of using interactive images you could do one in the beginning and another in the end and compare and contrast for a final paper.

I have attached a link to a character interactive image I made to give a better idea of what they are like:

In a hole in the English classroom, there lived a hobbit: Archetypal criticism and ways to use The Hobbit for EFL learning[/size][/size]by[/size] [/size] Arvid Granström of [/size]Linnaeus University discusses why it is beneficial to study a book like The Hobbit in an EFL classroom. He discusses that Biblo is not a [/color][/size]typical hero, and his article discusses the events that lead to Biblo's growth as a hero. He even states that the Hobbit could be used as a version of bibliotherapy for students who have experiences with refugees. The book can lead the readers to discuss how archetypal literature can help[/color][/size] deal with trauma. [/size]

The Hobbit stuff / The Hobbit Semantic Web
« on: February 06, 2020, 08:55:42 AM »
I found some resources that show a semantic web worksheet for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. I thought this would be a great idea to implement into The Hobbit as well. It paves way for classroom discussions bout the author's influences and the relationships between the types of creatures that are in the book. It also allows the students to draw comparisons between similar genres or books that have similar characters.

The Hobbit stuff / Theme guide for the Hobbit
« on: February 06, 2020, 08:06:26 AM »

The website above has summaries of different parts of the chapter, and they use icons to indicate what the themes are. For the Themes that are shown there is a small summary for when the theme appears in the reading. I think this is a great guide for teachers to use. A teacher can simply view the page and choose a few key themes to discuss for each chapter and the description of when the theme appears in the writing is already shown, so it is a great resource to create less work for the teacher. A teacher could also use this a basis to create a fill in the blank worksheet or a worksheet for the students to keep track of events in each chapter or section of assigned reading. It is a terrific way to introduce themes, and also help the students see the bigger picture of the story so they don't get overwhelmed with any unfamiliarities of the mythical world while reading. This allows them to remember that this book has a similar slew of events and themes as other stories they already know.

While teaching a few books form the children's mythical series, The Secrets of Droon, I had my students (primarily 3rd-5th graders) keep a character reference sheet. This sheet not only had character personality traits, but also descriptions of what the character looked like and even drawings. I implemented this because I find that sometimes it is difficult for ESL learners to really be able to visualize mythical creatures if they do not have all of the descriptive features memorized. Also, many times in this genre after the initial description the author will continue to just refer to the creatures by their name and not really continue to describe them as much in detail, and there may be references to certain  features again.  For instance, if the book describes a creature as a teliobot and it is a creature with eyes like a cobra, hooves like a horse, a torso as wide a buffalo and a tail that rattles like a rattle snake, it is difficult for ESL readers to be able to really visualize this character considering a lot of these descriptive words or animals may not be in the forefront of their daily L2 lexicon. Thus the reference sheet will help them understand what the creature looks like, and remember what the creature is as they continue to read and come across the name in further reading.

I recommend this series to get children interested in the mythical genre, and having a reference sheet for the mythical creatures' appearances can be very helpful in the student's understanding of the mythical world. Also they are more likely to become more invested in the readings. Not to mention, their vocabulary skills will certainly expand by using the reference sheet and completing the readings. 

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