Developing writing skills is one of the most essential things in EFL classes. We do writing in classes and everyday at home as a homework. But today I gave a writing homework on Scholastic-Story Starters web site. The site is perhaps one of the most enjoyable sites I've ever introduced to my students. They liked the idea and started to e-mail me their writing projects. Here is the link http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/ and here is one of my students' sample. (I didn't correct anything for the sake of its originality.)
"Topic: Write a short blog about a wily detective who solves a crime- by Sena Gültekin
Robert was a detective in a small town . One morning , Robbert read a newspaper and hesaw news about a theft . He was interested in this event . A thief stole the diamond from amuseum . Robert decided to solve this crime . He went to the museum and he talked staffsand polices who work in museum . He learnt something . The theft became at midnight andthis event sometimes repeated at same time . Robert moved opposite the museum. Hecontinious watched museum.At midnight, Robbert saw a thief in front of the museum . He went out home and he followeda thief . The thief noticed Robbert and the thief ran . Robbert caught the thief at the beachand they went to the police station."
Last week I gave a mini-project to my students. They are studying at the prep school and what they need is not grammar. They say that they had been taught grammar in detail for many years however they could not USE the language (which is the basic aim) to COMMUNICATE.
I waited for enough input since they were "real" Elementary level students, after for nearly three months I asked them to interview with the English speaking people outside in the "real world". Here is one of their recordings. They seem very happy to express themselves in a foreign language for the first time. This made me quite happy, too. We watched their recordings at the class and we designed an activity out of it. This must be a teacher's ultimate happiness, I think.
Yesterday, I bumped into one of the most enjoyable sites on reading. It is called "Teach Your Monster to Read" it is a great site for the teachers as well as for the parents. With the help of "monsters" (these are the most enjoyable figures for the YLs, VYLs.) the kids can learn how to read in an enjoyable way. Also, this site was evaluated as beneficial by Roehampton University reading authorities.I can't wait suggesting this site to my new students for the upcoming education year! Here is the link for this lovely site:
Since the holiday period started, I am aiming at revising my to-do-as well as not-to-do list during the summer. There happens new opprtunities for TD and PD courses what's more most of them are well grounded for any teacher who wishes to "upgrade" themselves in their areas. In my case, I'll be calming down for two weeks, then I will continue my PD. Summer starts but a teacher's hectic life never ends. This is my 6th year in my profession so there are lots of things I should develop with my teaching. That's the reason why a teacher should never cease learning more. Collaboration and contribution should be prolonged amongst the teachers so that we can all "upgrade" to the next levels of teaching for the sake of a better education for the kids. I wish a very fabulous summer for all hard-working teachers!
Today is May 19th. We are coming towards the end of year and this somehow creates the holiday atmosphere for the kids at school. I am observing their behaviour in and out of the classroom, they all behave the way they want to behave. This is a fact that the kids are losing their motivation. In order to keep them back at the class, I am preparing some resources directing their attention to the lesson. This is not really easy, there are some vacational exercises which are fun for them however the concentration span of the pupils for these exercises is not much. Maybe I should just use TPR activities to keep them at their seats:) Any ideas?