Classroom Management

When we talk about discipline, we refer to rules, behavior, believes and more. When we are in a classroom, we need to have some discipline, in order to work better with the students and input the knowledge in them. There’s a quote that says “Discipline of others isn’t punishment. You discipline to help, to improve, to correct, to prevent, not to punish or humiliate”.

As teachers we can engage our students so that they can be really motivated with the class and with the discipline will be good. We should be monitoring the students, and create a good environment so that students can feel comfortable with the space and be happy.

A few months ago, I was teaching English in a class where I have 32 students, it is a difficult group because they always have a negative behavior, they don’t want to learn English and because they are 32 students they talk too much. So one day in my class they were working in teams with some activities, I was in the desk correcting some exercises from the students that have finished the work. Then I listened some noise so I said to them to please put away their cellphones or the music. The noise continue so I got up and started walking around the classroom, while I was walking I saw the kid that had the music with the cellphone. Obviously when I told him to stop the noise, he told me he wasn’t doing anything. I got really angry so I took his cellphone and there he had a video with the noise, the student told me that I was asking to stop the music and what he had wasn’t music, he was reproducing some noise. I took the cellphone with the principal and then they gave it to him.

What I learnt about this situation is that sometimes we don’t need to spend our time in this kind of situations, where the student wants to win the “battle”, so I learnt not to waste my time in that kind of situations. We should take everything with calm, relax and talk clear, because in those kind of fights there are needed two people, the teacher and the student.

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Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, it provides a useful structure of six levels where you can teach the topic step by step, in order that our students understand it much better. Last June I took a Teaching French Course and there we saw Bloom’s Taxonomy, but before that I’ve never heard about it, I think it is really important to know it and use it. Bloom’s Taxonomy help both parts, the teacher and the students, because you can achieve the main aim or the lesson objective. Even though it is not in the TKT book, we should get to know it to improve our English Classes.

bloom-new

Also we can fin the HOTS (High Order Thinking Skills) and LOTS (Lower Order Thinking Skills), some of the levels are HOTS and the others are LOTS, it is better to teach with the HOTS, because the students get more involved in the classes.

bloom_s_taxonomy

This is the activity that I chose to categorize the thinking skills involved at the 6 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. My coursebook is Four Corners level 2 for high school students, in unit 6, we have Present continuous for future plans, so here is what I did.

1. Remembering: Students were given a text with the present continuous form, they read the text in pairs and have to discover  and highlight the new grammatical structure.

2. Understanding: They listed the new grammatical structures in a piece of paper.

3. Applying: The students were given some pictures and they have to make sentences for each one.

4. Analyzing: Now they have to change the sentences to questions and ask to their classmates.

5. Evaluating: They have to discuss the answers.

6. Creating: Students have to create their own daily planner with a partner, a whole week spending their time with their partner.

And remember, there’s always time for everything that we want to do.

Learning Styles

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”. As human beings, we all have different ways of acquiring knowledge, thinking and learning, and now we have incredible tests to know which is our learning style or our multiple intelligences.

I just have taken a test to know my learning style, here is the result I got.

Captura de pantalla 2014-10-09 a la(s) 19.06.09

And my multiple intelligences test result is the next.

Results

I already knew that I was Linguistic and Interpersonal, I just love having conversations with people and listening to them. I think is really important to know which learning style we are, with this information, as teachers we can use better techniques, improve our classes, think more how our students are going to learn and have better results from our students.

There are different types of activities that we can implement in our classes related to the multiple intelligences or the learning styles. And I heard once that we use our learning style to teach, and I think that’s true. I always like to teach my students giving them active learning activities, where they can communicate with others, look at pictures or visual material, listening to songs and watching videos, moving around the classroom, playing games and presentations or projects where they can speak and be themselves. You should try to take the learning style test and the multiple intelligences test, you will be really amazed.

I think the most important thing is to love what we do, yesterday I heard a teacher saying that he was going to leave the students a project, but he didn’t like the project topic, he was just leaving it because he was going to do the same as the other teachers and because is his job, he was going to do it.

Just remember  that we should choose a job we love and we will never have to work a day in our lives.

Let’s learn being motivated

Hello everybody.

As someone said, “If it is important to you, you will  find a way. If not you will find an excuse”. As we know, motivation is the thoughts and feelings which make us want to and continue to want to do something and which turn our wishes into action. Our TKT Course teacher, Ellen Graber, said to us that is not motivating the students, the important thing is to engage them.

There’s a really interesting quote that we should share with our students, “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going”. I watched an EFL video class, where the teacher motivate their students. Here is the link so that you can watch the video if you want. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wam5PscoSjU

And with that video, I did a Venn Diagram to show you the motivational strategies that the teacher used and the motivational strategies that I would use.

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And remember never give up.

The most important skill

As an anonymous said, “Learning how to learn, is one of the most important skills in life”. In my experience, teaching the four skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) has it secret. It is necessary to motivate our students, make activities that capture their immediate interest and I think the most important part of teaching the skills is the teacher. The teacher needs to be animated, lively, and enthusiastic, because the teacher’s energy will be infectious to others and a sense of humor will go a long way to keep students laughing and learning.

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While we are making activities with the listening, reading, writing and speaking skill, students should be learning something. And it would be better if we make some games, so that students can learn it or practice it in a different context, as we know play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.
Sometimes it is a little bit complicated to evaluate these skills, so that’s why we can use the famous rubrics or checklists, to make it easier for us.

If you check this link http://tefltecher.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/tesol-spain-thingy/ we can see lots of links referred to on-line activities that we can use with our students. I decided to use Voki.
This is the Website page of Voki http://www.voki.com/pricing.php. This is an incredible application to use with our students. Unit 5 in my course book “Four Corners Level 4” is about travel and tourism, where we can find comparatives and superlatives as the grammar topic. I will use this application with my students, so that they can create a voki speaking avatar and they will have to tell a short story related to their avatar, using comparatives and superlatives, and then share them with all of their classmates. It is a fun and different way of working a grammar topic.

Now, how am I going to evaluate this? It’s too easy, I’m going to use a rubric to evaluate my students and you can watch it out.

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And remember we learn something every day if we pay attention.

Learning Should Be Fun :)

When we are learning a foreign language it is really important to acquire new vocabulary, learn how and when to use it, and practice it so that we can improve our new knowledge and the old one too. As we know, practice makes progress, we should practice everytime we get a chance. A friend once told me “The more I practice, the luckier I get”, and this is something true.
As we know, the TKT Course has a glossary for candidates to practice the vocabulary that is needed, when we know that we have to learn something new, sometimes we feel some kind of fear, but it is amazing all the ways that we can acquire knowledge. When we refer about vocabulary we can create games so that we can learn it better.

In Module 1 we have unit 2 “Lexis” and unit 3 “Phonology”, I made a funny game so that we can review the glossary vocabulary that is in these units. This game is called Jeopardy, have you ever played it? No? Let me explain you a little bit how we can play this game.
We have five categories, each one has a name and in each category there are five questions that we should know how to answer them. Each questions value some points, the game is played in teams and the participants of each team can help each other, so that they can win the points. We can learn a lot with Jeopardy, it is easy, funny and quickly.
Here are the links so that you can check the games if you want. I hope you enjoy it, as I did it!

http://www.superteachertools.net/jeopardyx/jeopardy-review-game.php?gamefile=1410401611

https://www.superteachertools.net/jeopardyx/jeopardy-review-game.php?gamefile=1410396842#.VBI0o0sTFow

And remember every person has a different learning style and pace. Each person is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.

Grammar, grammar and more grammar

Hello everybody.

As teachers we should teach the way we would like to be taught. Nowadays students get bored when we teach them grammar, but we can implement lots of activities, games and make active learning classes. There are plenty website pages where we can find games and activities, and as we know, when we are having fun it is easier to learn. In my opinion, learning grammar is important, necessary, useful and good. It is our structure and we really need it to know how to speak with people and to be comfortable with ourselves. An excellent website page where you can find information, activities and games is http://www.onestopenglish.com.

And remember nothing is impossible to learn.

Hello, Hola, Bonjour

Welcome to my TKT Course Blog, here you will find all my thoughts, knowledge, quotes and more. It is amazing how we can learn from other people, but it is more incredible how we can learn from ourselves. Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow”. I really hope that all you people enjoy this journey with me, because this is just the beginning of something new, and as you know the journey is the reward. I love teaching and learning, because when you teach what you love and share what you know, you open eyes, minds, hearts and souls to unexplored worlds. Someone anonymous said, “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart”. Nowadays the TKT it is not just an exam to take, is a way to learn more and increase our knowledge, as we know we live in a world where perfection doesn’t exist but we are always looking for it, and by learning and improving our teaching methods, we are going to reach our goals, expectations and dreams.

And remember if “Plan A” doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters, so stay cool.