Sunday, February 26, 2012

7th week reflections

7th week reflections (A Key to Motivating Students) 
This week had to : 
Discussion 1: Read about learner autonomy (Thanasoulas, Sheu, Interconnections). Effective self-directed learning starts with learner autonomy. What could you do to encourage greater autonomy in students, with and without technology? 
 Nowadays teacher's role is to guide and assist students as they take on more responsibility for their learning moving the focus from teaching to learning. The time and content we as teachers can give to our students can be limited. Following a curriculum or (learning system) also affect the learning process and may not meet the students' needs and abilities. What about learners studying entirely on their own?

Learning autonomy can be the answer for this question. Autonomy is the ability to take charge of one's own learning' by (Henri Holec). It means making use of self/peer assessment. And the role of the teacher as supporting scaffolding and creating room for the development of autonomy is very demanding and very important.

I remember when I was a student 6 years ago; I started learning English at school and had some difficulties with the English book. So I decided to learn English at home using other materials (newspaper, magazines, movies and books) I like and match my interests. It works and I like the idea of learning by myself. Now I tell my students about my story of learning autonomy trying to help them do so.

Nowadays students around the world are offered with so many materials and ways to be more independent in their learning they personalize language learned. Technology can serve learning autonomy a lot in many different ways. It potentially facilitates learner autonomy more efficiently as students make more of the decisions about how to use the tool. Students still need to be helped to understand how a tool might benefit their overall learning. Teachers can encourage learners to think about the choices they are making and reflect on how the program is beneficial.

Students can you blogs for example as we do now in the course. They can write reflections of their learning on their blogs and their peer's comments. The internet provides huge recourses for learning and being autonomy. Many educational websites, networks, free courses and even learning chat box. 
 "I have been browsing through different websites trying to find a link between teaching and autonomous reading. As discussed in the article "What is Autonomous Learning?" (, autonomous learning is not teachless learning, but it is a habit of mind expressed through a range of activities and skills, acquired and developed through practice and teachers have a great role in teaching this habit of mind" .
This text is shared by Mr.Hilal

Creating a sample lesson for a one-computer classroom


Most people don't have a computer lab all to themselves, and many do not have a lab in their school at all. A one-computer classroom is a way to start. Read about activities for the one-computer classroom and some strategies and applications. Create a sample activity for a one-computer classroom to share. Make sure you include who the students are, when in the lesson you're using the activity, the behavioral objective (ABCD format), and why technology will make the activity more effective.

i posted in this :

Sample Lesson Plan with one computer classroom

Title: TV Programmes
Learners: A group of students in basic education in grade 4 learning English as foreign language (9-10 years)
Duration: 40 min.

•Power Point Presentation (Microsoft office software )
•Colored flash cards.

Aims/Objectives :
1.Teach the students different kinds of TV Programmes.
2.Teach the students some questions and answers.
(What kind of TV Programmes do you like?) and e.g (I like sport Programmes because they are interesting ).
3. Ask for giving opinions about TV Programmes. Teach the students some adjectives (funny ,boring ,exciting ,scary, interesting)

warming up:
Ask students what programmes they watch in TV ? , Can you name them?
Show them some pictures and ask. What you can see?

Presentation: ( 15 minutes)
1.the teacher present the Power Point to the students for different types of TV Programmes with sample of each one.
2.the teacher show the students some pictures of TV Programmes with the written form .
3.the teacher show the students some pictures of TV Programmes and how to pronounce them correctly .

Practice: (10 minutes)
1.the teacher asks student to recall the name of TV Programmes.
2.give the students an exercise. ( matching)
3.ask the students to work in pairs to practice how to ask and answer about TV Programmes.
4.the teacher asks student to mime some adjective in front of the class.

Production: (5 minutes)
1.The teacher asks the students to recall the names of the TV Programmes.
2.The teacher asks two students to come in front of the class to match the picture with the correct kind of TV Programmes.
3.students work in pairs asking what is your favorite TV programme? why ?

Expected problems:
1.Some students may mime the adjective wrongly.
2.The overhead projector or computer broke down.
•T will try to ask another student or the T will mime himself.
•Use the flash cards of each TV Programmes

ABCD objectives will be :
the grade 4 students in this lesson will be able to identify at least 4 different kinds of TV Programmes and give opinion about them .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

6th week reflections

6th week reflections

This is to be the first week in semester two at our school. Feel happy to continue what I have started this year and trying to make a good use of the things I learned in the course. 

Back to the course in this week we had to: 

Post at least once addressing ONE of the two the following questions: 

1. You can use many of the same techniques to do a better job of teaching small classes as well as large classes. Look at "Teaching Large Classes" and "Using Technology in Teaching Large Classes." Think about project-based learning, WebQuests, and some of the ideas in "Enhancing Learning by Engaging Students" to help in your response. What techniques and technology could you use to make your classes more interactive, and especially if you teach large classes? 

2. PowerPoint is very commonly used in teaching, but it is rarely used interactively. Watching the screen is not interactivity. Read "Best Practices in Presenting with PowerPoint" from the UO's Teaching Effectiveness Program to find ways to turn a lecture into an interactive experience for students. The sample PowerPoint may also help you in your response. 

I posted about teaching large classes as I experience it 

In this week discussion one important topic for me is introduced, it's about teaching large classes. It's a challenge. I know that because this year I'm facing it. This year I teach 3 classes (35, 31, 26 students). This is seen to be normal in my school. We usually have this number of students in every class. Most of the English teachers in my school look positively and find it a chance for them to improve their interpersonal skills as they try different ways to get to know each student as an individual through their work in class or their lives outside of it.

I believe teaching large classes is a challenge, but it can also offer many opportunities for you to improve your teaching and to make it more enjoyable and rewarding for you and your students.

Your students can also benefit from being in large classes. When there are many students in a class, they can share many different ideas and interesting life experiences. This stimulates the students and enlivens those parts of your lessons where students can discuss and learn from each other. During project work, students can learn to share responsibility and help each other, as well as to listen, to have patience, and to express themselves within a diverse group of people – skills that will be valuable for them throughout their lives. This also brings variety and speeds up the work.

But what is the best way to teach such classes?. There is no “best way” to teach large classes. You must as a teacher develop the approach that works best for you based on your teaching style, the characteristics of your students, and the goals and objectives of your lessons and curriculum.

Making technology work. In the article (Teaching Large Classes) at it shows some examples of time-saving, effort-saving technologies proven to be effective in teaching, especially in assessment.

 For me using technology makes me more relax, few effort is done while students enjoy learning. I used to show my students some clips in English about related to their learning. I noticed that the large number class watch with interest to track their understanding I asked them some questions and then they discussed them in groups. By this you make a large class feel small. 

then i posted about 
In teaching in general the teacher's role is to guide and assist students as they take on more responsibility for their learning. This is totally true in large classes. Moving responsibility for learning from the teacher to the student is needed. One way to do this is give the students an explicit list of "learning objectives" so they know and keep on truck learning. In my classes which I consider large I do such thing when teaching. Important thing to put in mind is that students need to learn to self-assess their understanding. But how I can help my students to do so?

Are they potentially able to do the learning?
There are many factors effecting here: 

Self-affimation – the learner’s view themselves as effective learners and the teachers provide them with feedback to that effect;
Personal meaning – the learners are able to find personal meaning in the learning. That is, the learning is relevant to them;
Active learning - the learners are active in the learning, whether that activity is physically doing something (as for concrete learners) or intellectually doing something (as for abstract reflective learners).
Collaborative – the learners are able to collaborate with others in the learning process and not to view learning as an isolating experience;
  The teacher needs to give attention to the part of the planning to see that the classroom processes conducive to optimal learning. The classroom and general school climate needs to encourage students to take risk and try out new approaches. This will interact with the student’s willingness to participate or engage in the learning. Among other things, this means that the learners:
  • need to feel safe;
  • attempts to solve problems need to be respected;
  • unconventional approaches will be rewarded;
  • will feel confident that the lecturer knows where to pitch the challenge for them – that is not too hard or too easy or too repetitive;
  • will work on real problems with personal relevance to them and is therefore relevant; and
  • work on challenging problems that provide opportunities for creative thinking.

 Second create interactive PowerPoint :  

Using PowerPoint in teaching as I experience helps the students to be more:
·   attentive
·   add more enjoyment
·   add variation
·   save time
·   get students' interest & add  fun to lessons

I usually use Microsoft PowerPoint in teaching and find it very helpful.  In the show I have created I introduced the story ''The talkative Turtle'' with 9 slides. At first slide, I introduced the picture of turtle then pause (time for students to guess the name) after that the name comes written. At second slide introduced the birds the same as the first slide. After introducing the characters of the story the story begins with the use of pausing and letting students to guess the missing words in the story.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

5th week reflections

5th week reflections
It was hard this week, i was out my country in Thailand try to work in the course!. In this week we have the chance to get extra marks which is really good , i like the idea although i couldn't do any.
In this week we had to : 

  • Read about rubrics, project-based learning and WebQuests. The web offers new kinds of learning opportunities and new tools for assessment. How can rubrics, alternative assessment and project based learning encourage your students to become more autonomous learners? 
        i post in the discussion the following : 
How long we are going to stand in the class teaching our students? Is our teaching motivating them and suit the interest? In this week other interesting topic about alternative assessment which is well effective way in letting our students more responsible of what they are doing (there learning) and improving   their language level. 

First, alternative assessment ( this article explains   how alternative assessments are used to encourage student involvement in their assessment, their interaction with other students, teachers, parents and the larger community. 

In my teaching last semester I used such assessment in presentation (speaking) with my grade 11 students. I found it motivating them as long they are doing what they like and responsible for how to present the topic .First I introduce them (how) they do in steps (come out introduce yourself then your topic . Speak and feel free (at first it's ok to do mistake's) . Then I move to self and peer evaluation later where students tells what want good or not. Asking some to come out speaks and other's listen carefully to the speaker, so I can create suitable classroom environment in which students feel comfortable with one another. While I am having checklist for student's speaking performance. In which there is extra marks for the use of technology for presentation (some show video and power point).  

my second post was about the importance of creating rubrics for both teacher and students
creating a rubric is a style i use to focus in the point of my students out comes define what quality work is. It helps the teacher to easily explain to the student why they got the grade that they received.

It also help us as a teacher to monitor a student's learning process and develop and revise a lesson plan.They provide a way for a student and a teacher to measure the quality of a body of work. When a student's assessment of his or her work and a teacher's assessment don't agree, they can schedule a conference to let the student explain his or her understanding of the content and justify the method of presentation.

On the other hand, rubrics are great for students: they let students know what is expected of them, and demystify grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for a project. They also help students see that learning is about gaining specific skills (both in academic subjects and in problem-solving and life skills), and they give students the opportunity to do self-assessment to reflect on the learning process.

A project rubric lists the requirements for the completion of a project-based-learning lesson. It is usually some sort of presentation: a word-processed document, a poster, a model, a multimedia presentation, or a combination of presentations.

  • second ,Task: Create a rubric 
I did reading about rubric of speaking and i have found many insetting things in my rubric which i believe to fit with the level of my grade 11 students will be like :

Speaking Rubric:

•Task Completion :
(0): No attempt to complete the task.
(1): Minimal attempt to complete the task, responses frequently inappropriate.
(2): Partial completion of the task, responses mostly appropriate yet undeveloped.
(3): Completion of the task, responses appropriate and adequately developed.
(4): Superior completion of the task, responses appropriate and with elaboration.

•Communication of Message:
(0): No attempt to convey message
(1): Responses barely comprehensible and frequently inappropriate.
(2): Responses mostly comprehensible, requiring some interpretation on the part of the listener.
(3): Responses comprehensible, requiring minimal interpretation on the part of the listener.
(4): Responses readily comprehensible, requiring no interpretation on the part of the listener.

(0): No attempt to speak in the target language.
(1): Major pronunciation errors, may prevent comprehension.
(2): Frequent pronunciation errors, may impede comprehension.
(3): Occasional pronunciation errors which do not impede comprehension.
(4): No or almost no pronunciation errors.

(0): No attempt to speak in the target language.
(1): Speech halting and uneven with long pauses or incomplete thoughts.
(2): Speech choppy and/or slow with frequent pauses; little attempt to keep conversation or presentation flowing.
(3): Some hesitation but manages to continue and complete thoughts.
(4): Speech continuous with few pauses or stumbling.

(0): No attempt to speak in the target language.
(1): Almost no correct grammatical structures, impeding comprehension.
(2): Frequent grammatical errors.
(3): Some minor grammatical errors.
(4): No or almost no grammatical errors.

  • third ,describe a potential change: 

    In this week we are moving to the tools and the how of apply the change of technology used. AS I mentioned before I want my students to improve their fluency in speaking English many of them know many useful vocabulary and turned to be less confident in their ability. I believe they can change this issue. They need motivation, and do extra work outside the classroom, play language games and hopefully, gain extra exposure to the language and improve their progress in the language. Most of them are interested in sport, technology, films....etc.

    I want to use what they like and feel free to talk about to English classroom. So in my project I am going to divide the students to group of interests and purplish some materials related in project blog (there will be one). Every week there will be a reading topic for each group and at the end of the week learners need to summarize the reading in a written form and later come out speak in the class.

    Most students have internet access at their home and one week lesson will take place in computer lab which has enough computers with internet. In this lesson we are going to:
    •Go through the week topics for each group (of interest).
    •Students read and comment on the blog about their topics, what have they learned?
    •I monitor the process and how we are doing in the project (learner's attitudes towards the using technology tools, if students link classroom learning to outside experience by sharing ideas and comment).
    •Move around to provide help when needed.

    I think such idea will be useful to my students for this reasons:
    •Using what interest them, will raise their motivation toward learning and linking learning to their world.
    •Letting them realized that English is not classroom subject; it can be carried and used outside too.