Thursday, 25 February 2010

Wordle - a summary of current postings on my blog

Wordle: mistermikelcc.blogspot.com gives students a random picture with a word list (divided into categories) that, do a certain degree forces the creative writing process.

Here's my first creation:

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at is a digital music and multimedia project with a group of 16-26 year olds who study ESOL.

The aim of the course is to build on the skills gained during a workshop held in November 2009. You can view a short video here:

Monday, 15 February 2010

Pancake day

The 16th of February is Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday. This is the day that Christian families use up eggs, milk and sugar before the beginning of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 days when Christians fast. This type of fasting is different to Ramadan when Muslim don't eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset. During Lent people eat simple meals and don't eat dairy products and meat.

It seems like a good opportunity to lose some of the weight gained during the Christmas period of indulgence! Most British people I know don't fast during Lent but some 'give up' something; e.g. chocolate, smoking, sugar in tea.

This evening I'm going to make pancakes for my class which I can microwave tomorrow.

Here are some links to sites with materials that I will use in the class tomorrow -

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


We did a matching exercise with broken imperative sentences and the students had try to match them together. Click here to see and download the matching activity. I made it in PowerPoint  by drawing a table (6x5) the same size as a slide.
Then I made sure that each row and column were the same size so the students would have to read the cards to know which part was the imperative form. You can see the results below:
I underlined the verbs to help my students but you could choose not to, you could also remove the capital letter at the start. If you download the file in Scribd you can also adapt this to suit your classes vocabulary or topic.
I printed this out on green, A4 card (5 times) and then cut it up using a guillotine.

I gave these cards to mymEntry 2 ESOL class - I had a class of 16 so I split then 5 groups.

They matched the pairs in about 10 minutes. I then decided to get them to play pelmanism with the cards.

The students placed all the cards face down and then, taking turns tried to identify a pair by relying on their memories. If a student identified the correct pair the student kept the pair and scored 1 point. They also got another turn. This introduced an element of competitiveness. I overheard students discussing with each other what the missing part of the pair might be, students recalling the initial matching activity. I also noticed that it was an opportunity for the quiet, able, reserved students were able to shine.

The students really enjoyed the activity.

I think the main reason they enjoyed it is because of the fact that I had introduced the class to pelmanism through a number of PowerPoint activities that I have developed where the teacher has control of the cards via a projector and keyboard. (click here to view an example)

First download the document by clicking at the top left of this document.
Split your class into 2.
Open the file.
Ask a student for 2 numbers
Click on the first, then press Ctrl and X simultaneously (cut) A picture will appear, under the number.
Cut the second number and another picture will appear.
If they match the students team gets one point and the student get another turn.
If they get it wrong, press Ctrl + Z simultaneously. (undo)
If you make a mistake you can press Ctrl + Y (redo)

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