Motivating Myself for the Next School Year

As you’ll remember, I attended #SLTEP, a train the trainer program run by Sabanci University in June and while getting prepared for the next term, I decided to change some of the motivating, inspiring quotes into posters. Once again, I’m so happy that I had the decision to attend this course. I’ll start the year with lots of food for thought.









New Year, New Beginnings


On Tuesday this week, I had my first lesson of the new year after the Christmas break. I wanted to do a session where the students would reflect and make resolutions.

I had some wordles(I prepared them for another lesson but hadn’t used) with quotes and proverbs on learning, motivation and acieving goals. I put the students in pairs and asked them to unjumble the sentences. I also gave  a post-it note for each pair and told them to write the unjumbled sentences.

While students working I walked and monitored them and help them to work out. Once they finished, I gave them another post-it note to write an explanation of their proverb or quote and finally I gave them another post-it note and told them to find a motto.

When they finished, they read all they’d done to their classmates and we put the wordles with post-it notes on them on the walls. one of the students said how different and colourful a language classroom is fromthe other ones.



Then in the second phase of the lesson I told them to create their ‘New Year, New Beginnings‘ posters.

I told them to include the followings on their poster:

  • best year in their life (explaining what made that year special)
  • important events/moments of 2011 (for them)
  • lessons learned in 2011
  • regrets (if there are any)
  • New Year’s resolutions
  • expectations


Using Quotations to Revise Grammar

Last week we revised modals with my year 12 students and after doing a lot of exercises, tests, etc ( they are studying for the university entrancre exam and they will take the language exam so they need to master the grammar and the skills as well) I realised they still got confused as most of the modals would be translated into Turkish as the same way. To make them focus on the meaning, I prepared some paraphrasing exercises and at the bottom of the page I decided to add a quotation to motivate studying and I started to search for a good one but found too many. Then I decided to prepare a gap fill exercise with these quotations omitting the modal verbs.

Finally in the class after doing the exercise we talked about some of the quotes, the ones they liked, etc. As a follow up I wanted them to choose one of them and reflect on it writing a 120-140 word article. I still didn’t get their articles and don’t know what I will recieve but the activity can be fun if your students like talking  and discussing together.


Another  activity I preparedwith quotes but haven’t used yet is

Find some quotes about any topic you want to discuss

Create a wordle

In groups ask your students to put the words into correct order to find out the quote.

Discuss them together

Ask them to write something on them

Tell them to create a poster using bighugelabs or another tool.

Can you guess the wordle?


Wordle: learning

Food for thought


If you are also about to finish the school year and need something else other than your course material, quotes are always good  for wonderful activities.

What can you do with them?

1. Write some of them on pieces of paper and stick to the walls and do wall dictation.

2. Jumble some of them and ask them to unjumble.

3. Play hang man or charades.

4. Ask them to choose one and illustrate it and prepare a poster.

5. Ask them to create a slideshow, using moviemaker, animoto, photopeach, bookr.

6. Tell them to create word clouds.

7. Brainstorm ideas and ask them to write stories in groups.

8. Let them create glogsters.

9. Don’t forget to discuss them.

10. Ask them to choose a favourite and give reasons.

Some quotes to begin with

We become ourselves through others. Lev Vygotsky

Hope is good breakfast but it is bad supper. Francis Bacon

Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand but we must build as if the sand were stone. Jorge Luis Borges

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. Confucius

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein

Some people should start up ideas and other ones should carry them out. Jimmy Hendrix

A teacher can but lead you to the door, Learning is up to you. Chinese Proverb