Monday, May 31, 2010


I set up 11 accounts with MSN messenger. and linked them all too each other (, for example). This is easy to do, but messenger won't let you set up more than 3 a day, so watch out for that. I just came back from a class in which the students had conversations with each other using these accounts. It worked well, I had to keep them from surfing the net too much, and writing in Spanish, but they can be monitored easily. The computer room at my school only has 11 functioning computers, otherwise I wold have set up more. The benefit of having a class like this is that all the students can chat at the same time and be monitored while doing it (and also, some enjoyed it quite a lot, and kept asking me how to say different things.

The argument sketch

Transcript and video
I did this with a good secundo class and it was pretty good. Each pair took a section and then we acted out end to end. It has a very limited vocabulary and a good rhythm to it, so is enjoyable to say.

Monday, May 24, 2010

8th Basico - Past Simple

We were going over Past Simple in my 8th grade class. This was the last period of a long school day that ends at 5:40pm, and this class is generally too cool for school anyways. At least with this activity they were listening to English, even if most of them were less than interested in participating.

I found a song by the French singer Yodelice called Sunday With A Flu. It has a lot of examples of Past Simple, so I would play the song ( and have the students fill in the missing Past Simple verb. We would go over new vocab. words and I would try and point out the irregular verbs. It's a nice, simple, repetitive song that a few kids started singing along with. I played the song all the way through the first time, then we went verse by verse filling in the verbs, then we listened to the whole song again.

Yodelice - Sunday With A Flu

___________ my door, __________ my key
__________ my bus in the pouring rain
It's been the usual Sunday with a flu
And I just can't get over you

________ my toast and __________ your number
_________ my finger, __________ my beer
It's been the usual Sunday with a flu
And I just can't get over you

I ________ your stockings in my purple boots
What if I don't get over you ?

________ a chat and _______ my hat
________ my dog and __________ my cat
It's been the usual Sunday with a flu
And I just can't get over you

I ________ your stockings in my purple boots
What if I don't get over you ?

I ________ your stockings in my purple boots
What if I don't get over you ?

__________ a cabbage, _________ the garbage
____________ for help and ________ some kelp
It's been the usual Sunday with a flu
And I just can't get over you

I ________ your stockings in my purple boots
What if I don't get over you ?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Debating lesson

I wasn't sure how to teach debating, as my kids don't have a high level of English at all. I've started to have the lessons in the computer room, where they can use google translate. What I've done is create a document in googledocs, which I've then shared with everyone, meaning that anyone can access and edit it. You can see below that we spent the class picking a topic, and then thinking of arguments for and against it. They could come up with the arguments in Spanish and then use google translate to find the right words in English, which they would yell out and I'd write on the board. When we had enough, they'd come to the front of the class and read out, for example, "There should be less school because..." The arguments were then written into the shared document by one of the students. The point of the shared document is to became the arguments intoa project we're all working on together. For directions on how to do the technological stuff, just ask.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Past Continuous and Past Simple? 4 medio

Hello everyone. My first share. I dont know if anyone else is teaching 4 Medio but I made this reading (i know, we are supposed to be doing speaking and listening.. but my guide teacher sometimes has other plans and is persuasive AHH!) and of it I thought I would share.

Warm Up with this youtube video: (its of the performance the article is about)

okay and the text

Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Sting, Deborah Harry Sing Journey Song ‘Don’t Stop Believing’

It appears strange, but the people who went to the Rainforest Fund concert in Carnegie Hall said that it really happened.
On Thursday May 13th, 2010 Bruce Springsteen, Lady GaGa, Elton John, Sting, Deborah Harry, and Shirley Bassey, sang "Don't Stop Believin'." They were singing the song to finish the Rainforest Fund benefit . Afterwards, the audience was clapping for a very long time.
Reporters from the New York Times and the New York Daily News went to the concert. The New York Times reporter Jon Pareles reported that Bruce Springsteen chose the song “Don’t Stop Believing.” Strangely, Sting was learning the song for the first time. “Everyone in the country knows this song except for Sting.” Lady Gaga said. The New York Daily News reporter Jim Farber enjoyed the show very much. “Elton John was entertaining because when the dancers entered and he was dancing with them.”
Trudie Styler and Sting started the Rainforest Fund. It is an organization that teaches people about rainforest conservation. The benefit collected money to help this organization.

BENEFIT noun: show that gathers money

ADAPTED from Orentzi, TJ. The Huffington Post. “Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Sting, Deborah Harry Sing Journey Song ‘Don’t Stop Believing.” May 15th, 2010. Accessed May 19th,2010. (

the verbs mostly come from the first page of their regular and irregular verb lists (long sheets of paper they are supposed to but often times dont study). As a follow up i am planning on gap fill excersizes on the white board (they like using the pens), and next week students will used past continuous and pased simple to "report" aka say 3 sentences about their own concert (ideally).

Sunday, May 16, 2010



software for creating crosswords, cloze exercises, quizzes and matching exersises:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Likes/Dislikes game

Printed these out, stuck them to cardboard and cut them out. A Student would pick a card, then have to find the student who matches the description, ask them what they liked, and then write it down.
This went a lot slower than I thought, as we had to do it one by one, with people getting to the front of the class, and asking everyone. Some of the cards didn't work (noone's birthday in January, for example), and the cards asking about the holder's likes/dislikes were boring, and I'd scrap them. This would be better if students were comfortable and responsible to roam around the class, asking questions. As it was, it was a bit slow. Maybe later in the year it will be better.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Numbers game for Basico students

I teach 5th - 8th grade Basico students, and many of my students, especially the 5th graders, have trouble with the numbers past 1-10, so I played this numbers game with one section of my 5th grade students last week and will be playing the game with more sections next week because they enjoyed the game and it helped with their pronunciation and learning numbers 1-100.

Write down numbers on the board:

1 10 11 6 17 80
2 20 12 7 18 90
3 30 13 8 19 100
4 40 14 9 60 25
5 50 15 16 70 33

Go through the pronunciation of the numbers with the class. Emphasize numbers that might sound confusing, like 16 and 60. Then make two teams and explain that the teacher will say a number out loud and they will have to race to the board and find the number and cross it off using a marker. (Here I had the student with the marker from each team raise their hand first from their seat after I called out the number, because if they ran to the board there was chaos and sometimes fighting). The student who gets it right scores a point for his/her team. Take turns until all students or most get a chance. The winning team might could get a small reward, but I just played the game for fun.

I brought up the ordinal numbers 1st-5th before playing the game because there is a similar game with ordinal numbers that I will be playing with my students after they master they cardinal numbers 1-100.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Presentation on debating

Hi. This is the slideshow for a talk to introduce debating. It may be useful.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

debating video

Video, chilean kids debating here

transcript here

Monday, May 3, 2010

Advice lesson - tercero

I printed out these 'problems' and 'answers' - , stuck them to cardboard, and cut them out. (there's a few syntax errors, sorry). Groups had to match the problems with the answers. They liked this a lot, even though it was the last period of the day, and were asking lots of questions. It's quite tricky, I think, but doable, especially in groups and with help.

Instructions Lesson - for cuatro

I printed out these instructions, stuck them to card, and cut them into squares. Groups would choose one of the instructions (a cake, kicking a ball, doing the moonwalk, plaiting a braid, making a paper areoplane) and had to put them in order. They enjoyed it, but it was difficult, and I probably would let them get away with a few wrong ones. Next lesson I will get them to demonstrate their instructions, with actions.