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So far NHAdultEd has created 138 blog entries.

Homework Check and Tutors

It is important that students learn to use their new skills outside of the classroom. After all, isn’t that why they are in class, to learn how to better communicate in the real world? This is where homework comes in. As adult ESL teachers we also know that students have very busy lives outside of class and may not get to do their homework each time it is assigned, but that it is important that they learn to use outside of class what they are learning in class.

As you take the time to review the homework in a following class you find not all have done it, or maybe there are lots of questions from some and none from others (multilevel class enters here!). We also know that having the right answers doesn’t always mean there is comprehension.

This is one way to check homework comprehension and tie it to the real world.

Prepare an answer key or have a TE with answers available for the students as soon as they come to class. The early students get to check first, and check in with each other, on those they didn’t get right. Many times students can explain answers to each other and as more students come in they all become homework tutors! During this time the teacher can work with students who may need teacher time or sit and listen as students explain things to each other. For the teacher, this can be an evaluation of how much the students learned and what needs to be re-taught or reviewed.

If some groups finish a bit earlier there can be a topic of the day to be discussed that will lead to more community building within the class. […]

By |November 1st, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Homework Check and Tutors

Reading for specific information

This idea was thought of for ESL students learning to read in English but certainly can be used in any discipline, ABE, HiSET or AHS.

Many ESL students feel they need to know every word on the page in order to understand what they are reading. Learning to skim or scan is hard as they want to learn as much as they can and as many words as they can. It is important for them to learn that reading is for ideas and concepts and if they stop with each word that is new, they will learn words, but not comprehend what they are reading.

In small groups or pairs have student talk about the topic of what they will read. This could be the headlines of a newspaper story or the story title for example. On the board write a True/False statement from the story that you feel will give the students a good idea of the reading. Students will read the statement and then know what they need to focus on as they read. They can highlight, underline or write in a notebook the line(s) that support their answer.

Follow-up with class discussions and/or writing supporting the line they chose. It is important to have students know that they can be “right” as long as they support their answer. This can lead to a lot of conversation and discussion. In an ESL class if using a newspaper, it will also touch upon American Culture.

Tip from Christine Powers

By |October 25th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Reading for specific information

Build Class Community

Think of the beginning of the school year or semester as a gathering of people you might know but don’t know each other. If you invited a mixed group of friends to your home what do you do to insure they meet each other, chat and feel comfortable? If you think of your class in this light you will start to build a community of learners! Students will be more comfortable with each other and ready to take on a challenge or give things a try and not fear making errors. Errors are how we all learn!

It is important that learners see the value of each activity. In a typical ESL class, students are asked their names, country, language, career/job and perhaps a bit about their family. If this is not their first ESL class try to imagine how many times they have been asked these questions! Here are a few suggestions for getting this information without directly asking.

Start with names as we all like our names to be used when spoken to or about, and it will lead to answering many of the other questions without asking!

Who were you named for or do you know why you were given your name?
What do you think of when you hear your name – is there a memory of a friend or family member calling your name?
Write your name and then draw something or cut a picture of something you like for each letter. C-Carrot H-hydrangea R-running I-ice cream E-eight
Cut out the letters of your name from a magazine and paste them on a name tent at your seat for all to see.
Have you changed your name? Why?

Students can then talk more […]

By |October 18th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Build Class Community

Free Printable Math Worksheets

There are many websites that offer free printable worksheets or worksheet generators. I have found the following particularly useful in my very multi-level math It’s simple and quick to choose a specific skill and then print out longer or shorter worksheets on different levels. I often turn these worksheets into lessons or activities that get students working together and enrich the class. These sites are also useful to generate homework for students.

www.worksheetworks.com

Customize worksheets using a worksheet generator and create PDF worksheets with answers

Some topics include good problem solving worksheets

www.math-drills.com

Generate hundreds of worksheets on different topics including algebra, geometry, order of operations and integers with answers included

Because the difficulty of each worksheet can be controlled, this site would be especially useful for multilevel classrooms

www.math-aids.com

This site contains 90+ different math topics

The math worksheets are randomly generated. This allows you to make and customize an unlimited number of printable math worksheets to your specifications instantly

www.CommonCoreSheets.com  

Printable multi-level worksheets aligned with common core standards

Tip from Denise Reddington

By |May 19th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Free Printable Math Worksheets

Project Based Learning

There are many things that we want our ESL students to know about their community, the United States, and the culture that they now live in. So many new “How do I…?” “Where can I find…?” “What is the best..?” If we think of the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

What do the students want and need to know about their community? If they have lived there for a while, when they first arrived what did they want/need to know right away?

This activity can incorporate all levels and talents. Have the class work on a Community Guide for ESL students in (name of your program or class) 20xx-20xx.

Students can include local hospitals, clinics, physicians, dentists, schools, parks, libraries, bus schedules, grocery stores, restaurants (with reviews) and much more. The list of what would be included should be developed by the class. Pictures can be found on the internet, in old books or magazines or drawn by students. Students with computer skills could gather the information and put it into a Word document to be copied and shared by the class. If new things are found throughout the year they could be added to the list. Each year going forward the guide could be updated with changes in the community.

Tip from Chris Powers

By |May 12th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Project Based Learning

Game-Based Learning

Looking to create some fun and engagement in your classroom? Try one of these game-based learning websites:

FlipQuiz – http://flipquiz.me/ Free tool to create Jeopardy-style quiz games to use with your class. Try out this FlipQuiz on the topic of President’s Day – http://flipquiz.me/u/mnussbaum/presidents-day-quiz Browse the page to see the questions, and click “Presentation View” to run the game.

Kahoot https://getkahoot.com- Create game-show type quizzes that students can play with their mobile phones/tablets. Sign up for a free account and check out the Public Kahoots link at the top for Kahoot games created by others. Try this ESOL Kahoot – https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/a0db155a-a426-4a70-8a27-fa0e96be3c31

These websites are great to use with students in teams sharing a mobile device or laptop with the game projected for the class to see.

Tip from Tiffany Brand

By |May 5th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Game-Based Learning

MyScript MathPad Equation Editor

Equation editors to create typed math equations can sometimes be cumbersome to use, but with the free MyScript MathPad app for the iPad, it’s as easy as handwriting! Just use your finger or a stylus, draw your math expression or equation in the app, and it will render it as text. Then copy and paste it into a word processing or note taking app (I like Notability) to create worksheets that can be projected or printed.

Watch a video demonstration of the app here: https://youtu.be/g49BGbxViu0

Find a link to the app in the iOS app store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myscript-mathpad-handwriting/id674996719?mt=8

Tip from Tiffany Brand

By |April 27th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on MyScript MathPad Equation Editor

A fast track to language learning?

We all wish we knew the fastest track to help our learners become competent in English. In Scott Thornbury’s How to Teach Vocabulary, he uses an example of the incredible language acquisition of nineteen-century explorer Sir Richard Burton who claimed to have mastered 30 languages and also asserted that he could learn a language in two months!

Here is an excerpt from Burton’s account of his method of language learning:

I got a simple grammar and vocabulary, marked out the forms and words which I knew were absolutely necessary, and learnt them by heart by carrying them in my pocket and looking over them at spare moments during the day. I never worked for more than a quarter of an hour at a time, for after that the brain lost its freshness. After learning some three hundred words, easily done in a week. I stumbled through some easy book-work (one of the Gospels is the most come-atable), and I underlined every word that I wished to recollect, in order to read over my pencillings at least once a day…If I came across a new sound like the Arabic “Ghayn”, I trained my tongue to it by repeating it so many thousand times a day. When I read, I invariably read out loud, so that the ear might aid memory…whenever I conversed with anybody in a language I was learning, I took the trouble to repeat their words inaudibly after them, and so to learn the trick of pronunciation and emphasis.

Burton had stumbled upon many principles that research validates in vocabulary acquisition such as concentrating on what is necessary at first; using memorization at early stages rather than learning rules; reviewing frequently but only in short intervals; acquiring […]

By |April 20th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on A fast track to language learning?

Math Videos – TV 411

After a lot of trial and error, I have finally found math videos, interactives, and handouts to use in class that students really enjoy, and I like because they are designed for adult education students. This is a nonprofit and ad free site that also includes videos, interactives, and resources for reading, writing, vocabulary, science, and finance.

www.tv411.org

TV 411 is an excellent website designed for adult education students. Short and interesting videos as well as interactive web lessons and worksheets on a variety of math topics are available for free. The videos really help students see how math is applied to real life in a fun way. Highly recommended!

Tip from Denise Reddington

By |April 13th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Math Videos – TV 411

Person of Interest

This is a fun activity to work on describing people. In a beginning level class picture dictionaries are helpful in finding the vocabulary. In higher levels, or a multilevel class, have students build vocabulary by finding synonyms for basic words such as short (petite) fat (heavy, robust) etc.

Draw or cut out a picture of a person.

Describe the person in words.

Give the person a name, age, family, job, favorite book, TV show, food, hobby (endless list depending on level of student/class).

Students can share their Person of Interest with each other or give a class presentation (oral speaking before a group with something they created).

Randomly put 2 or 3 of these Persons in a group and have the students decide how these Persons know each other. What is there connection?

Have students save these in a folder and date them. You could have them add a new person each month, or quarter throughout the year. This is one way in which they can see their progress in vocabulary choice, writing skills and comfort in “public speaking.” As the class changes during the year, this activity can easily be taken over by the students to bring new students into the activity. It will build their confidence in using English and describing people is something we may not realize but do often when talking with others.

Tip from Chris Powers

By |April 6th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Person of Interest