Monthly Archives: April 2014

An idea to help question formation and an interesting site

I know grammar is a dirty word, but in the Swiss secondary school system it’s difficult to avoid, so after the bare minimum I encourage my students to talk to each other as much as possible. It seems that most … Continue reading

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Downhill from now on and a ridiculously simple “back to class” activity

So it’s the Sunday before school starts again and I’m tackling my marking pile, but I don’t care because I had a great holiday, took a trip with my family and bought a new coffee machine – can life get … Continue reading

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The classroom is not the matrix

I read all these articles and posts about how the classroom is not an authentic place and I can’t help thinking that my students, as secondary school pupils spend about seven hours a day in a classroom, you can’t get … Continue reading

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49 ways to Teach like a Champion – a book review

I’m a sucker for motivational teaching books, such as the brilliant Teaching Like a Champion by Doug Lemov and Norman Atkins. This may have something to do with the not-so motivational atmosphere in our staffroom. After spending break-time avoiding the mood hoovers … Continue reading

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What is the point of this?

Just last week I was showing off to my maths and history colleagues about how I have I have never, ever been asked this question in class, when yesterday, you’ve guessed it… You may remember the oral fluency lesson I … Continue reading

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What to do with spaghetti and marshmallows in class

Following an #IATEFL session by Deborah Bullock on self-assessment with teens, I decided to do something similar with our regular “no French Friday”. Earlier in the week the class decided on marking criteria for this speaking lesson; After writing up … Continue reading

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Fun & easy vocab revision

Easy peasy and great fun! “Pick” a volunteer (once the class sees what the idea is they are usually begging to come forward!) and get them to stand with their back to the board. Write a word on the board … Continue reading

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Differentiation – What to do with fast finishers and slow starters: My harrogate workshop

This is the write up of my session at Harrogate. It went very well, although I’d originally suggested a maximum of 20 participants, we ended up shutting the door at 35; mainly because there were no more chairs in the … Continue reading

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Something different to do with animals

When we were tired of miming them, guessing what they are from the noise they make (there are some good apps for this, and for household objects, musical instruments, etc.) we decided to do something different :   Not only … Continue reading

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Four ways to make revision buzz!

Often students find revision tedious, many don’t know how to revise effectively, and for some of my pupils it’s more a case of “vision” than “RE-vision”! Here are some ways to make revision fun, I especially enjoy the one where … Continue reading

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