Friday, 2 October 2015

Maths in EFL

When I revise vocabulary with very young students, I often use basic arithmetic operations (such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers). I pre-teach words like: plus, minus, times and divided by. I put 6 flashcards on the board and I number them 1-6. Then I ask, e.g. "What is 2 + 2?". My students calculate it quietly and instead of saying the right number they have to tell me what is in the picture. So their answer is "crayons" not "4".

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Stars and stripes in my classroom

Thanks to my cousin Andrew who lives in the USA, I've got a US flag in my classroom! It came via mail at the beginning of September, but our janitor has just hung it today.
My students were very excited about the parcel from the USA. They were surprised that the flag was made in the USA not in China. The flag is huge and made from very good material.

Thank you, Andrew! You've made our day!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Running dictation

Sitting at the desk for 45 minutes can be really tedious for students. My teacher in secondary school had this saying: "Move your 'bottom' and your mind will follow". Last Thrusday I decided to try running dictation with my 5th-graders. Most of them were very enthusiastic about this exercise. 
I have to admit that I was enthusiastic, too. Running dictation combines: reading, speaking, listening and writing. It also develops vocabulary and grammar skills.

How did I do it?
  1. I divided my students into two groups. I asked them to stand in two lines.
  2. The first person in each group was the runner and the second person was the writer.
  3.  I put two copies of a short text on the wall opposite two desks.
  4. The runners in each group had to run to the wall, read the first sentence of the text, run back to the writers and quietly dictate what they remembered. Then they went to the end of the line.
  5. When the writer wrote down the sentence, they became the runner and the next person in the line became the writer. 
  6. When both teams were ready with the text, I swap their worksheets. They had to check them for mistakes.

We had so much fun with this activity. Next time we will try to do it in smaller groups or we will do it in the hall, so they will have to run.