Baamboozle

Baamboozle is a tool that allows you to create games for your classes. The tool is very easy to use. It is free so just sign up and start creating your game for your class. You can also use the games existed on Baamboozle. Browse the library and choose the most suitable game to play. You can assign different point values for each question depending on the difficulty of the question. You can edit later. You can make your game public or private.
You can use the games to warm up, energize your classes. You can review or introduce a new topic. It can be used as an assessment tool. You can create games for vocabulary and grammar revision or reading comprehension.

What I liked most?
The players don’t choose from the options provided by the teacher. They must produce their own answers. Study mode permits the students to revise before the game.

Once you are ready to play you can divide your class into teams and then choose the game option and play.

If my kids become bloggers

Here is a really cool writing activity you can try with your students.

Today we started with some questions written on cards about reading, watching movies, book characters, new trends on social media, etc. Then we read a paragraph about JK Rowling and Harry Potter, why it was a huge success, why we love it, the similarities between the real world and Hogwarts. Then we talked about YouTubers, BookTubers, bloggers, Vlogs, microblogging, Instagram and some hashtags. Some of the terms were new for them but they managed to define the ones they know very well. I introduced them the hashtag #bookstagram and we checked some accounts on Instagram. We found some accounts who share books and beautiful photos of what they are reading.

We also read the bios, checked the user names and then I told them to write their Instagram bios as a book blogger. After that, I told them to choose a book from the bookshelf to read later on so they spent some time to choose their books. When they were ready, I gave them a handout with an Instagram template on and told them to write about the book they chose, why they chose, etc. Once they finished they passed their paper to the person sitting next to them for writing comments. Once they received their own papers, they replied the comments. Then we took the photos of their books with some cool decorations.

Below you can see the photos we took to be posted on Instagram with the hashtag #bookstagram. They carefully arranged the tables, windowsill, the coffee cup and we enjoyed the whole session a lot and I hope they’ll read the books they chose from the shelves today.

Roll The Dice

You feel tired and have no energy to plan a lesson for tomorrow,
Your students have been too fast to finish the tasks you planned for this lesson,
You see they sulk, they feel bored or tired and can’t understand the lesson,
then why not roll a dice and let the fun begin.
What can you do with a dice?
There are wonderful no-prep activities to liven up your class, to motivate your students to speak or even to write. Here are some activities you may want to use whenever you feel the need:
1. The student rolls the dice and tells things aboult herself according to the number on the dice. If the number is three, for instance, she must say three interesting facts about herself.
2. Write what each number is for (from 1 to 6) on the board. Such as, 1 something you’ve done so far today; 2 something you want to buy this year, etc and the students roll the dice in turns and talk about themselves.
3. Dictate them an opening sentence for a story. Tell them you’ll throw the dice and they have to continue to write the story. The dice will decide the number of sentences they’ll write. If the number on the dice is 4, they will write four sentences. Then dictate them another sentence, tell them they can change the subject but they have to fit the sentence into their story. Then roll the dice again and students continue to write. Roll the dice for the last time and tell students to finish their stories.
4. Ask students to write questions on cards. Put the pile of the cards in the middle of the desk. Roll the dice. The students must answer questions according to the number on the dice in turns.
5. Divide students into 6. Give each team a number from 1-6 and a topic such as travel, school, celebrations and then tell them to write questions on their topics on small slips of papers or cards. When the questions are ready, ask them to roll the dice and answer the questions in turns. If 1 is travel and they’ve rolled 1, then they will choose a question from that pile.
6. Assign a task for each number 1: draw the word, 2: use the word in a sentence, 3: define the word, 4: spell the word, 5: give a synonym, antonym or a derivative of the word, 6: ask a question using the word.

And the list goes on….
Hope these will help.

5 Ways to Sharpen Your Memory

 

A few years ago I was able to recall phone numbers, important dates and names easily. I never felt the need to jot down dates, shopping items on my agenda. However, things are not the same anymore. Perhaps I can easily put the blame on my smart phone which does all the job for me but deep down it makes me uncomfortable. Not knowing my own kids’ phone numbers by heart is a real pain  so I started doing some exercise. Here are a few tips for the ones who want to sharpen their memories.

1 If you can’t learn a phone number, break it up into chunks of two or three digits. Instead of searching the name on your contact list, press the numbers to call people you often call.

2 Make shopping lists before you go to the market. Put them somewhere visible. Try to keep the items in your mind while shopping.

3 Start a new hobby such as Sudoku, knitting, crafts, writing a blog…. The experts say this way your brain will build new connections between neurons. Grandma kept knitting until she was 90 and everything she knitted had patterns and she used to say it was good for her because she was counting while she was knitting.

4 Learn something new every day for the neuron thing.

5 Read, read, read.. If possible start a reading club with your friends and come together to discuss the books. The discussion usually leads to friendly chats 🙂

Bonus: Stephen Krashen always says be bilingual and drink 3 cups of coffee everyday to keep dementia away from you.

Draw a Door

Rue Cremieux, Paris

My door is on the roof. I climb with a rope. I have stairs from moon. (Maral, age 11)

One of the most favourite activities we do in class is creative writing. It is great for revising grammar and vocabulary. It is also great for unleashing their hidden talents. Although they sometimes complain about drawing, they end up with wonders.
Here is one we’ve recently done:

Creative Writing Task:

Imagine it is 2040. Draw the door of your house an describe your life there.

  • Aim: Talking about daily routines.
  • Describing people and and places
  • Using present simple tense

In the end I was happy with a bunch of creative minds who managed to think outside the box.