Now that the nice weather is slowly but surely leaving us, students are more likely to join activities. They really look forward to getting to know us a bit better out of the classroom.
If anyone is inclined, Harbourfront offers a skating rink starting November 14. Skating itself is free but rental for skates goes for $8.
There are a couple of Marlies games if you are interested. That's always fun. Students need someone who can kind of explain what is going on as they have NO IDEA. It's pretty funny.
Restaurant nights are pretty cool. Christmas Markets are popping up. Please check the website for particulars (including compensation) and submit your preferences, please and thank you.
It's that time. Please make your nominations and I'll set up a poll online. Thanks.
Most of you will have an app available to you on your iPads called Comic Book. It is a paid app though and students may not want to go for that. There are a couple of alternatives out now. Feel free to try out Caption Distraction. It seems pretty user friendly. Are there any other suggestions?
A comic book can be a great way for lower level groups to have some fun and get creative. Why not a comic book about a grammar point?
As teachers we are always looking for ways to spice up our lessons and keep ourselves at the top of our own game. One of the things we do is turn to the Internet for new twists on what we are already doing.
Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with this practice. It can help to reduce the feeling of fossilization that creeps in after a lesson has been done several times, for example. We all know that feeling. The other side of the coin is also something worth considering though, and that is consistency.
Branding, like it or not, is here to stay. The Connect brand is distinct. To remain so, teachers should entice students to explore other options from the Internet. No one is stopping them from finding sources on their own time to study as they wish. We should, in fact, encourage students to do so as it helps develop search skills, which is something we take for granted, but shouldn't because students often find it difficult and daunting.
Activities carried out in class should always stem from our own materials. The idea being that group work and sharing is paramount. This is how our materials have been set up. Taking an activity from the Internet forces the teacher/TV to be centre stage, centralizing the classroom once again in an old fashioned way instead of making the students themselves the centre of attention.
How relieved are we when a student arrives on our class and gives us his/her "English name"? Sometimes their real names are just so challenging for us.
Please use whichever name you feel most comfortable with when addressing these students, but legally, we need to keep records using the names their parents gave them. Therefore, on all feedback forms, warning letters and other written communication/records, please make sure to use the real name of each and every student.
There are major updates for Numbers, Keynote and Pages. This goes for your iPads and your Mac, if you have one. make sure to update this weekend and urge your students to do the same. They are REALLY bad with that kind of stuff. Many student iPads I've come across still haven't updated to the new IOS.
It has come to my attention that there is a conflict with 2 lessons in this book. Namely that the Warm Up section for "Deciding the Punishment" in Unit 2 and "Capital Punishment" in Unit 3 are identical.
Make a list of crimes. Which ones are serious?
Should you go to jail for buying drugs?
What is the most common crime in your country? What is the punishment?
I would like to offer some alternative questions for the Capital Punishment lesson.
Is it ever ok to kill a person?
What are some circumstances that would make it acceptable?
Should convicted killers be given any rights when in prison? If so, make a list.
What do you think the best punishment for murder is?
What punishments do you know about from different countries in the world?
These are merely suggestions. If you have your own favourite questions, please comment below and share!
I've been searching for alternatives to the apps we already use in class. The following two are similar to things we already know and can be used to break up the monotony of always using the same one.
The first is Chatterbox Pix. It is really simple to use and would be great for lower levels. It's basically a talking picture. You can take a picture, choose one from the internet, or even use one of the images provided (realistic and cartoon-like), then draw a 'mouth' on the image, record what you want to be said, and voilà!
I think it would be great at other levels too if it were used together with, say, iMovie. The idea is to have a celebrity participate somehow - use a picture of your fave celebrity, get them to say what you want to say, and make it part of your video. Cool, n'est-ce pas?
There are also lots of apps for book creation. One, called Book Creator Free is already on the cloud. It seems pretty simple and is used to tell a story. There is no audio feature with this but the finished books are saved in ibooks, which is pretty cool. I can see it being used instead of Keynote, for example, when presenting written work. AP? Higher level grammar classes?
It's that time again... Project of the Month is this Friday at lunch time. Please get your projects in as early as you can and don't forget stuff from previous weeks too!
There is an update to the teacher's schedule. Sorry for the errors.
Alos, because of the short week. Please remind your students that LEVEL UPS can be done TODAY (Tuesday) and WEEKLY TESTS are to be done tomorrow, or before class on Thursday.
If students do not have their tests completed before Thursday's lesson, then invite them to the lounge where they can sit and do the test then and there.
A few things about marks and timing of said marks. There will be a refresher on Friday regarding but for now, understand that marks need to get in and to be sent in the correct format. If you need a little more time, for whatever reason, that's fine. Just let Dianne know. It is a painstaking task and we are not making it easy on her at all.
Remember to send ONLY the first page to her (not the whole document- it takes forever and takes up space), and to put the date both in the email subject line, and as the name of the document when you save it to your iPad.
These records are for us, for the students AND for the government. They need to be precise. If there are no special circumstances, marks should be in BEFORE you leave on Friday.
When allowing your students to go and use the Green Screen Room, please remind them before they set off that they are to leave this room ready for the next group. Remind them, and remind them again. Then go in and check. If they haven't done so, then send them back to take care of business.
This means putting costumes back in the boxes, not leaving anything on the floor, replacing the screen to its original position (along the window-wall), turning off, unplugging, and setting aside the lights, and putting the table back.
Speaking of such things, I have also noticed more and more coffee cups, water bottles and food wrappers left behind in classrooms after everyone leaves. No one is asking you to be cleaners, but a daily reminder to everyone to gather their things and to get rid of what they no longer need is in order. It is a constant battle. Help fight the good fight.
IOS 9.02 was released this morning. Please make sure your iPad software is up to date.
Here's a step by step How To regarding Warning Letters for your reference.
1. Go to your dropbox.
2. Under "files", click "Important Sheets" and then "Forms" and finally "Letter of Warning"
3. When you see the Letter of Warning, click the symbol in the upper right hand part of the screen that looks like a box with an arrow going upward. This will give you options. If NOTABILITY is offered, please click on this. Your original will now be opened in that app and you can take it from there. If it is not offered, click on the funky looking A (Applications) and then NOTABILITY will pop up. Bob's your uncle.
4. Once your document is open in NOTABILITY, you can fill in the name of the student and all other requested information, tick off any and all infractions and even add a personal note, or hi-light part of the information in the letter itself.
5. Send a copy to the student, and please cc me as well. I will place a hard copy in their student file.
I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any issues or if the steps outlined are not clear.
This blog is managed by Diana as per YOUR suggestions and input.