Writing Game

Writing games provide skills practice with authentic texts …
Simple games can provide opportunities for language experience, explicit teaching, coaching and collaboration. Here’s a simple one I was playing recently. You need 45 minutes for crafting, reviewing, revising, sharing and feedback.

Start with two sentences:

Jack went up the hill. He found Jill.

What to do
Organise students into pairs or groups of three and explain:

Your task is to work with others to enhance the sentences by improving vocabulary, working on the sequence of words or groups of words and providing detail about your ideas which enable readers to imagine what is happening.

Your improved sentence should be interesting and grammatically correct. It must also make sense. Take care if trying to be funny … your ideas must make sense.

Walk students through the task, one step at a time and allowing time for small group discussion. You may wish to follow the sequence below. As students share their ideas, move around the room offering feedback, encouragement and coaching.


Instructions
1- Copy the sentences.

2- Cross out the word ‘went’ and substitute another word. Read your sentences to make sure they make sense.
3-Add one word to describe the hill. Read your sentences to make sure they make sense.
4-Add a word to describe either Jack or Jill. Read your sentences to make sure they make sense.
5-Make one sentence. (Note: most groups substituted the word, ‘and’ for the full stop.) Read your sentence to make sure it makes sense.
6-Remove ‘and’. Add one or more words to make your sentence sound right. Read your sentence to make sure it makes sense.
7-Add words to describe what is happening on the hill. Read your sentence to make sure it makes sense.
8-Think about how your sentence sounds. You may swap the order of words to improve how the sentence sounds. Read your sentence to make sure it makes sense.
9-Reflection: Do all the words you’ve added connect with other ideas in the sentence? Read the sentence carefully. Check that all the words and ideas make sense together.

Sharing, reflection and feedback

Each group reads their sentence innovation aloud and receives feedback from the group and the teacher. Scoring aspects of the sentence is a fun way to support students to improve. For example, Tier 1, or everyday words score nothing, but Tier 2 and 3 words, which are more sophisticated or specialised, score one point each. That is, ‘pretty’ scores no points, but ’stunning’ scores one point; ‘walked’ scores nothing, but ‘ambled’ scores one point.

Other examples may include:


-an original idea scores one point,
-swapping a phrase from one part of the sentence to another scores a point,
-correct tense throughout scores one point.

It is great to focus the point system on the mini-lessons you’ve been providing. This provides opportunities for students to apply their learning and for you to monitor progress.

Here’s an innovation from a Year 5 trio below:

As Jack staggered up the incinerated hill, he found sweat-covered Jill, pouring pails of water on the raging fire.
This is loads of fun, so have a great time!

Do you have a fun lesson to share? What’s working well in your classroom?



Top 5 Reading Crimes Against Children

Would you agree that a love of reading is developed, not innate? If so, you are likely to actively nurture a love and appreciation of literature, knowing that it is advantageous to the learner and an integral part of successful literacy instruction.

Have you ever observed students as they listen to a practiced author or storyteller read aloud, ever engaging the audience, beckoning active engagement by baiting and hooking the listener as the story progresses and builds? ‘This is perhaps the reaction you get when you read aloud to your students.

If we do agree that we can build a love of reading by selecting great texts and reading these with passion and genuine interest, what are the practices that fail to foster positive attitudes to reading?

Reading Crime #1: Failure to inspire
If we lack passion, so do our lessons and our learners. Our most effective teachers of reading, inspire students to (want to) read. They set a purpose for reading, drive enthusiasm and encourage new ideas and big picture thinking.’ They teach students to love reading and the gains are significant:
The desire to read increases if reading experiences foster enjoyment.
It’s easier to teach reading when reading is valued.
Good readers like to read! Developing an intrinsic desire to read must be a reading goal.

Reading Crime #2: Failure to consider the audience
Selecting texts based solely on what we like, may backfire. How many students have read volume after volume of an author or series, due to teacher preference? The importance of text selection is critical. Factors to consider may include:
Will students engage with this text? How will I engage students with this text?
What will this text offer students?
How will the reading of this text be of benefit to students?
What will students know or understand better as a result of this experience?
What am I hoping or expecting to see as an outcome of reading this text?

Reading Crime #3: Failure to discuss

Reading is about understanding or interpreting the message. Interaction is critical to developing deeper understandings and therefore discussion is paramount. What are your thoughts about the following?
Why should interaction occur?
How frequently should we prompt for discussion?
At what points is discussion most beneficial and sometimes critical?
How do we encourage active participation?
When is paired/small group/whole group interaction most effective?
What factors do I consider when guiding the discussion?
What supports do I provide to guide students to success?

Reading Crime #4: Failure to listen
What students might be thinking may be different to what they are able to articulate. Probe more deeply, explore reasons for thinking and be genuinely interested. Encourage reflection and be innovative in providing varied opportunities for reflection to occur.

Avoid sarcasm and discourage students from being sarcastic. Active participation is important; nothing shuts it down quicker than sarcasm.

Reading Crime #5: Failure to read to students
Reading aloud to students builds knowledge and increases understandings of different ways language is used to shape meaning. As students listen, they bear witness to new words, phrases and ideas, new ways to assemble words to make sentences and new ways to think about things, all within an authentic meaning-making context. Students hear how quality reading sounds, how the expert reader adapts the voice to enhance meaning and how the expert reader thinks about things in different ways, as the new information is synthesised.

And … reading to students sells reading. It builds a community of readers, creates shared experiences and unifies a group. It enables us to de-contextualise the world to those less experienced and provides an unending supply of hypotheticals for developing minds to ponder. And it’s fun!

I Am Your English Teacher - Teacher Nurul

Hello everyone.
Just a quick introduce about myself. :)

.: I have been teaching for ten years.
.: I have a diploma in TESL and arts but please do not ask me to draw anything as I strongly believe you all can  draw better than me.
.: I'm married and I have a 5 years old son.
.: Now I am teaching in SK Sungai Batu, Pantai Remis.

I will stop here as this is only a quick intro from me. If you have anything to ask, do not hesitate to contact me.
Drop me an email :) rafida040560@siswa.upsi.edu.my

Likes/Dislikes

Okay children, look at the video below.



Practice the sentence patterns below with your friends :


1) He likes _____________.
2) He doesn't like ____________________.
3) She likes ____________________.
4) She doesn't like ___________________.


Now, let's try out this exercise.

1) Who likes mangoes?
_______________ likes mangoes.

2) Who likes strawberries?
_______________ likes strawberries.

3) Who doesn't like pineapples?
_______________________________________

4) Who doesn't like watermelons?
_______________________________________

The Tabs

Hello everyone :)
I noticed that blogspot has made a small change and came out with a very useful pages that we all can use (or just ignore it if we don't want to use them) and it is easier now to create those horizontal tabs on the top of our blogs. So, I make use this new thing to help me to divide my posts on a few categories. There are five hot themes or categories so far; Home, Reading, Grammar, Worksheets and About Me. These tabs can be found on the top of this blog under the blog's name.
Now, you don't have to go through all my posts one by one. If you want to find grammar materials like notes, exercises, etc. you can just click on the Grammar tab. Easy right? As easy as A,B,C! So, that's all about the pages tabs. Anything you want to ask, just leave me a comment. Thank you for reading and feel free to come again soon!

"What's in the bag...?"

Simple yet practical exercise. 
I use it for my students through 7-8 year olds. Any plastic bag will do. Collect various objects- a coin, watch, ring, scissors, a battery, medicine, etc.... I simply say
"Whats in the bag?" The kids usually parrot this back to me. Take the objects out of the bag, One at a time, identifying each one. When the bag is empty, give the students the opportunity to identify each object. I pick a student and say " I want the (item)" You'll be surprised how enthusiatic the kids are about the game, and how willing the are to compete with each other in identifying the objects. After all the objects are identifyied, I say "Now, I'm going to put the (object) in the bag" and toss the object back into the bag.
A simple yet effective vocabulary builder. All practical words to know. And the "What's in the bag?" provides a basic grammar exerciese as well. 

The Fox and The Crow (Aesop Fable)

THE FOX AND THE CROW (FABLE)

A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree.

"That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree.

"Good day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds."

The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox.


"That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future: "Do not trust flatterers."