Homophones vs. Homographs

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Teaching Ideas | Posted on 05/05/2013

[Infographic provided by Grammar.net]

Piclits: Lesson Idea

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Teaching Ideas, Writing | Posted on 03/19/2013

PicLit from PicLits.com
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
PicLit from PicLits.com
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com

As soon as I discovered Piclits, I knew I had to try it in my classroom! Piclits is a free online application that allows you to use beautiful images to inspire all sorts of writing. Under each picture, there’s a carefully selected word bank of nouns, adjectives, adverbs and punctuation marks to drag and drop in your picture. In addition, each word, after it is dropped on the image, provides you with a drop-down menu with more options.You can make your nouns plural and/or capitalize them in the same way you can select different verb tenses. If you want to use your own words, you can do it by just clicking on “free-style”.

There are numerous advantages to using this application in your classroom. One of them is that Piclits is ipad and smartboard friendly . The other is that you don’t need to open an account to use it. If you open an account though, you can save your piclits, edit them and share them in social media.
Piclits could be use to teach punctuation, capitalization, noun-verb structure, elements of poetry, write full stories and whatever your creative mind can think of! If you haven’t tried yet, you should definitely check it out.

Reviewing Comparative and Superlative adjectives

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Teaching Ideas | Posted on 11/30/2012

Adjectives: degrees of comparison

by IgorS. Browse more data visualization.

One iPod classroom

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Teaching Ideas | Posted on 08/20/2012

In today’s digital world, books on tape sound like something from the past right? But …have you ever wondered what can you do with just 1 iPod in your class? Depending on the model, you can use it for different purposes in the ESL classroom. One of the uses I found very practical is for recording my students’ oral reading fluency by using the voice memo built in app. I started using it last year for several reasons. One of them being, I can re-play the recording for the students to listen themselves read. When you are learning English as a Second Language, it is very hard to listen to yourself read and a have deep understanding of what needs to be improved as the same time. So,  by listening to their recordings, students get instant feedback and realize -right away- the way they sound when they read. Otherwise, it is very hard for them to decode and listen to themselves read in a one minute time frame. Also, for me as a teacher it is very helpful to re-play the recording in case I missed something the first time.

Another use also involves recording, but instead of fluency passages you can record books for students  on the iPod using the same Voice Memo app. Sometimes it is difficult to find books that are interesting and age appropriate for their reading levels. This is particularly difficult with newcomers who are literate in their first language. There a lot of books that they would read in their 1st language because the topic is appealing to them, but they have not mastered their English reading skills yet to be able to do that. So,  having the books recorded on the iPod is a great solution for this issue. In addition, you could also get a “splitter” and connect up to 5 headphones and use the iPod  as a listening center. 

 

 

Colorful Words

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Teaching Ideas | Posted on 07/25/2012

Have you ever worked with paint chips in your classroom? Yes, paint chips! The ones you get at your home improvement store. They come in different sizes and can be used for as many purposes as you can imagine. With my students, we used them to learn about contractions, past tense, synonyms, comparatives,  superlatives, prefixes , with the Frayer model and also as graphic organizers. The possibilities are endless!! Below are some of the examples.

 

20120923-175806.jpg

 

 

School Garden

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Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Teaching Ideas | Posted on 07/17/2012

One of the most fun activities during our summer school time is going to the school garden. We go once a week to check how our vegetables are growing and pick what is ready to take home. But before students take the vegetables home, we learn a few things about our vegetables. One of the first activities we did was arranging them from greatest to least.

Then, everyone selected one squash or zucchini to estimate its weight and length. After everyone had their estimations, we went around the school asking different people about their own estimations for each of the student’s vegetables. They asked the librarian, the principal, other teachers, the cafeteria manager, the secretary and the treasurer. All data was being recorded on their journals. The following step was to draw a group table that would include all their estimations plus the actual weight and length of their vegetables that they were about to find out.

The moment of truth was when every student had to weigh and measure their squash or zucchini. This was -by far- the most exciting part  of the whole project.We used two different scales due to the size of some mega zucchinis.

Finally, when everyone had their weights and measurements taken, we came back as a group to complete our chart with the actual weight and length of their vegetables. In some cases, convertion from grams to pounds was needed because the type of scale that we used. To convert grams to pounds, we quickly did it by using iPads.

So now that our project is complete, you have a few questions to answer:

1) Before going to the garden for the first time, did you know anything about squash and zucchinis?

2)How close were you on your estimations? Were you close, very close or not close at all?

3) What did your family do with the vegetables that you took home?

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