Thursday, January 22, 2009

ESOL Blogs

At last I've done my long promised review of ESOL Blogs. I've added a few new entries on the Blogs page of the Skills for Life Website. I decided not add a lot of links for a number of reasons including:
  • There are a lot of ESOL (or EFL/ESL) blogs out there, and it's not at all easy to choose between them. So I have only included ones I follow (in Pageflakes) or ones that made a special impact.
  • Blogs come and go a lot. Class blogs are likely only to run for a year. People move city or job. People lose interest. I followed one promising set of links without realising the list was a couple of years old and very few of the links led to an active blog.
  • It would be more useful for anyone to follow links from the rolls on the blogs I've listed or from suggestions within the text.
The ubiquity and variety and strength of the ESOL blogs makes a striking contrast to the paucity of literacy and numeracy blogs. However, I think these ESOL blogs can give any literacy or numeracy tutor lots of ideas:
  • how to use blogs in a class
  • how to use technology in classes
  • how to use Web 2.0 in classes
  • how to reflect on your teaching
  • about teaching generally
I also came across 2 Pageflakes samples, one where Pageflakes is used as a class homepage and one which links a whole lot of ESF/ESL blogs.

Friday, January 9, 2009

7 times 13 is 28

I guess many people may have seen this. I'm sure it could have a place in a numeracy class, and I'm quite enjoying thinking of the ways that might work: Why can't it work? Why is the answer not sensible? Estimate what a sensible answer might be. Let's compare it with the ways we have discussed doing these things. Is it right to check the answer? How does place value fit in? There's a lot you can do with it.

I used to hate Abbott and Costello when I was a teenager and they were all over TV and film shows. However I find this convincing and their timing is great.

You can find the video here at Teacher Tube, and you may find the comments helpful. There's another similar clip here.