My New Year’s Resolutions

Wordle: New Year

As I mentioned many times before, it’s been a very fruitful year for me. I learned so many great things and luckily I managed to apply most of them.

  • I started blogging
  • I’m on twitter
  • joined some Ning groups
  • I started using web 2.0 tools
  • I started a wiki project
  • We had our first classroom skype call
  • We started a voicethread
  • I have my own PLN

I believe I’m on a learning spree now and I hope it will continue next year too and this is my New Year’s resolutions. (I’m not going to mention the private life stuff here)

  1. I’ll attend a teacher trainer course.
  2. I’ll write more.
  3. I’ll add more lesson plans and share ideas.
  4. I’ll start or join a Comenius project.
  5. I’ll read more.
  6. I’ll deal with the Ning groups as I couldn’t follow them properly.

PLN, this is 4 U…

This year was different.

Now I feel much better.

I know I’m a  good teacher. (that’s what my husband calls me)


I thought I was stuck somewhere trying to motivate myself.

I was thinking I was tired. (may be needed a break)

I was thinking I needed praise. (my students often wrote thank you notes or letters while graduating or call me and come to see me after the graduation… No, that was not what I wanted. I’ve already had them.)

Who am I?

Just an ordinary EFL teacher trying to do her best.

I was alone.

I felt like an alien sometimes.

Then suddenly I found out there are others…

They think they used to be  alone too.

Complete strangers thinking just like me.

They are called PLN, just learned…

They try hard to keep up with the changes.

They try to help if one of them needs help

They try to motivate, support, enthuse …

They are there to collaborate……

Thank you PLN for making a difference for all of us this year…

The simplest tool of all

I’m sure we sometimes finish the lesson before the planned time or we see that our students are lost and aren’t following us then we tend to find something to motivate them.

It’s always a good idea to have something ready for these moments. Fillers are great. They are short, energising and motivating.

Whenever I feel we are stuck in the middle of the lesson and have nothing to continue, I use one of the simplest tools that I have, the letters… I love them. They are easy to use and adaptable, they also enhance creativity.

I want to share some of my favourite activities .

1. Tell your students to choose a letter and list as many words as they can beginning with that letter.

Don’t forget to set time limits.

You can have follow up activities, if you like.

2. Tell your students to choose a letter and write a word beginning with that letter. Then tell them to write words that associate with the first word. Ask them to write a paragraph, a short story or a poem using all the words they’ve come up with.

You can even ask them to find a tune for their poems and perform it to the class if they like.

They really enjoy doing the song activity and I feel amazed to see how they manage to blend rap and blues together.

3. Play a game

Divide the class into 2 teams.

A student from each team comes to the board and lists the words beginning with that letter.

A piece of advice: prohibit numbers

4. Choose a letter and ask questions

If ‘S’ was a colour which colour would it be? Why?

If ‘S’ had a texture, what would it be? Why?

5. Choose a letter and tell them to write 5 word- meaningful- sentences. The challenge is each word in the sentence should begin with the same letterCreate your own Animation

Goear in the class

Goear is a great site which allows you to listen to music while you are surfing on the net or cooking or checking homework. It can also be used in the classroom. You don’t have to download every song that you want to use in the class. It also works well on the class blogs. Instead of assigning students with drilling, using songs as activities will be more effective.

I love using songs very much. They are wonderful for listening activities. They are great as pre-writing activities. They can be used as starters for class discussions.

And here is one for Dido’s Thank You


When do you thank people?

Why do you thank them?

How do you thank them?


missed    home        clouds      reminds     cold      door      clue

My tea’s gone —————, I’m wondering why
I got out of bed at all
The morning rain —————– up my window
and I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’d all be grey,
but your picture on my wall
It —————- me that it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay,
my head just feels in pain
I——————-the bus and there’ll be hell today,
I’m late for work again
And even if I’m there, they’ll all imply
that I might not last the day
And then you call me and it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Push the door, I’m —————- at last
and I’m soaking through and through
Then you hand me a towel
and all I see is you
And even if my house falls down,
I wouldn’t have a ———————-

Because you’re near me and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life.

1. How is her mood?

2. What went wrong?

3. Why is she grateful?

After listening:

Write a thank you song for somebody whom you’ve hurt.

Write a thank you note to somebody who is a great support for you.



My turning points



Reading blogs is a wonderful activity. It just doesn’t help us learn new things but it also gives inspirations and also a wish or a reason to write.When I read  the confessions of a less than a perfect teacher, I thought about my evolution. And now I have a reason to write.

When I first stepped into the classroom, full of six graders. I thought I hadn’t learned anything about teaching. Although I had trained as a teacher, that was the only feeling I had at that very moment. I’m not going to confess here but I must admit I have too many about my first year.

And I don’t remember how but suddenly I discovered the Teachers’ Centre, a great meeting and sharing place for ELT teachers run by British Council. I started the training courses. Teacher Development, Professional Development, Academic Development, DipElt and so on… I attended the workshops there. I had the privilege to be trained by three extraordinary ladies, Ann Haznedar, Lesley Tahtalılıç and Denise Ozdeniz. Thanks to their enthusiasm and the things I discovered about teaching English, I realised teaching was just for me.

However, I must confess that I’ve became a different teacher (more humane may be) since my kids were born. Becoming a mother taught me and enabled me t o see their weakest points, struggles, problems at home, hearbreaks, need of somebody to rely on. I realised It’s not teaching only, it’s helping them to become independent individuals ready to share and work together, helping them to feel confident when they come across with a difficult situation, helping them to become problem solvers,It’s praising them when they do well and encouraging them to imagine and create.

Finally, my discovery of this virtual world (a bit late though. Yet,better late than never) via a very young and enthusiastic teacher. I’ve been learning loads from everybody. New tools, new techniques, new attitudes. It’s amazing and invaluable. An experience similar to the one I had at The Teachers’ Centre but not with 3 extraordinary ladies, hundreds of great educators.

I hope every teacher will have a PLN one day, to work together, to share and to collaborate without thinking about the borders…