Posts tagged ‘classroom ideas’

iPads: student explorations 2

Feeling inspired from last week’s lesson, I was glad that I had a week to think about how to follow up. The biggest challenge I found in thinking of something was the level of my students and what language they would need to review their apps. It took me a while to think about how I could simplify this enough & give them the language they would need.

Another chance corridor encounter meant that I was peer observed during this lesson too, & I know following this that this tutor has now used the iPads with her students too so I’m looking forward to chatting more about this & seeing what we can learn together.

Here’s an outline of the class: Read more ►

iPads apps: student explorations

I was (am) still feeling a little overawed with the class set of iPads. I am still taking the eight iPads into class every Monday, and most weeks they get used. But I have really focused on letting the students self-direct with using Google translate or images to check any new words or I have continued to experiment with using the app Ask3. Beyond this I was feeling a little stuck for inspiration and a Bit Daunted by the huge amount of apps available.

A chance corridor conversation gave me the nudge I needed I needed. My colleague has been using the iPads with her maths students. She told me she had initially introduced the iPads and spent some time letting the students explore the wide variety of maths-specific apps available. Now in class, she plans a 15-20 slot where students can self-direct their studies and she’s getting an informal idea of which apps they like by which ones they return to. (She also told me she had an evening student that was considering moving to the daytime class, but when she found out the iPads were not available in the daytime she decided to stay in the evening!!) Read more ►

a dash of differentiation & a huge helping of peer support

I had a thoroughly enjoyable 16-18 class this week. Gasp, shock, horror I hear you cry. It’s been such a long time since I posted about my bemusement of the younger age group it’s hard to figure out where the time has gone.

So what exactly have I been grappling with? Moody teenagers – check. An unknown curriculum – check. Trialling some new technologies – check. No wonder I’ve had No Brain to write!

I think I finally have a grasp of the (dreadful) PSD portfolio-building assessment & the iPads have taken on a routine-usage. As for the moods – just gotta swing with those. Read more ►

iPads and Course Books

At the last regional NATECLA conference I spent some time with the lovely Julia, who was staffing the OUP stand. She demo-ed the wonders of iHeadway and talked a good talk about the benefits of a course book.

On the whole, as an ESOL teacher in the UK, course books have played a pretty minor part of my repertoire, they always seemed to take so much adapting it was hardly worth it. Read more ►

crime, criminals & keeping your online presence private



I have reflected previously that I would embed the topic from PSD into developing the students ICT & digital literacy skills, however as the end of 1/2 term approached I felt that it was becoming increasingly challenging to keep the students engaged for 4 hours on a single topic. So today I have changed tack and had two distinct sessions: 2 hours of PSD and 2 hours of ICT.

Over the past couple of weeks I have also been increasingly aware that the iPad project has been dominating my thoughts and my planning with this group so I was keen to have a more balanced lesson this week. Read more ►

search, crop, insert

I actually enjoyed class today. I know – only 4 weeks in, and 4 weeks of stressing and nerves and over planning – but today I felt relaxed and ready to take on the 16-18 tech challenge. I could grow attached to this group.

I had a colleague, from my Teaching Triangle, come to class today and I few things stood out for me from our discussion. Read more ►

The fog lifts

Attribution: Image: ‘White sunset’ Found on

I may actually be starting to get my head around my new 16-18 ESOL group. I definitely spent the first two weeks in a kind of fog where I felt every thought I had led down the dark alley  of cluelessness.

The first week was a pretty traditional ESOL-y first lesson, with getting to know you activities and a college induction and class rules. So far so predictable. Except it wasn’t predictable. I wasn’t at all sure how the lesson would go at all – as it turns out the much over planned college tour using QR Codes and iPods was a Big Flop while the ‘draw a good student/a bad students/a good teacher’ went fairly well. Read more ►

ESOL staff training day

Fortune Teller
Attribution: Image: ‘Fortune_Teller_ 004′ Found on

Firstly, completely gorgeous to spend a whole day with my lovely ESOL colleagues. It has been many years since I have had the opportunity to attend this annual ESOL event – a tradition that I was involved in starting in my role as Senior Tutor many moons ago.

To be completely honest it has been a mixed day of eager, stomach-churning, start-of-term-new-class-to-come anticipation and heavy-hearted dispondancy. Read more ►

On your marks …..

It has been six weeks since the high #learnpod13, my discovery of Edcanvas & all my excitement about having a long summer to think and reflect. Plans of blogging these thoughts have clearly not materialised as I have fully embraced  non-workness and thoroughly indulged in  experiencing the beautiful sunshine in the company of my Boisterous Boy.

Although my dreams have been dominated by showing up to my first 16-18 ESOL class with no plan, when my waking thoughts have turned to work I’ve found myself pondering the CELTA. I feel that the course was a little neglected last year as I was so focused on the new Tech for Learning Delivery course. Read more ►

Edcanvas, online quizzes & sunshine

The Teacher Ed department at college have agreed to trial running parts of the induction next year as blended learning, particularly around the use of the social media sites Twitter and Yammer.

Starting with the Twitter Induction, I started looking last week at using the Lesson function within Moodle. On my love-hate relationship spectrum with Moodle I was certainly very very close to the ‘hate’ end. I spent what felt like a good chunk of the afternoon structuring the resources and activities within the Lesson but it didn’t fit right and I was really struggling to get it to work. Granted, I have only ever made two Lessons in Moodle before, and that was over a year ago so it was really back to basics. But it was hard. Read more ►