Spicy Tooth

ESOL – Literacy – Numeracy

Teaching Reading Skills

Here is an infographic I created to accompany a session I gave on teaching reading skills to a group of trainee teachers. Additional resources English is a piece of cake has a detailed explanation of the stages of a reading lesson. Here is a link to online versions of newspapers that are presented in traditional…

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Word clouds – Wordle, WordArt or Tagxedo?

Word clouds are a method of displaying words on a screen. It is particularly useful for showing the frequency of words in a text, with words that occur more frequently in the text appearing in a larger font than words that occur less frequently. An example of their use could be to get learners to…

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Austin’s Butterfly – Using peer feedback to improve

In this video, Ron Berger demonstrates how 1st grade students in the US (aged 6-7) helped 1st grader Austin to improve his drawing of a tiger swallowtail butterfly. Through a series of critiques and revisions from his classmates, Austin went from producing a fairly generic drawing of a butterfly to a scientifically accurate drawing of…

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Plickers – real time assessment without the need for student devices

Plickers is an app that lets you carry out real time assessment in the classroom without the need for student devices. It is an alternative to clickers such as Qwizdom and students’ own devices, which are commonly referred to as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). There has been a range of BYOD apps that put…

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Real Time Assessment – Kahoot! or Socrative?

I think I am somewhat fortunate to work for an organisation that is well-equipped technology-wise, with many classrooms having enough computers for every student. This enabled me to start experimenting with real-time assessment apps a few years ago, initially with Qwizdom and then InfuseLearning, which was a particular favourite of mine. Sadly, InfuseLearning was a…

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Wordshapes for practising spelling

In some cases, visualising the shape of a word may be useful for helping the student to remember its spelling. For example, the following wordshape can be useful for some students who want to remember how to spell ‘Wednesday’: ESOL learners often omit the letter ‘d’ in Wednesday, so visualising the outline above could help…

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Word scramble maker

Word scramble maker allows you to make customised worksheets with jumbled up letters. This is particularly useful for practising vocabulary and spelling. To make a worksheet, just enter the words you want included, add a title for the worksheet and press the button to scramble the words. There are a number of customisation options that…

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Wordsearch maker (busyteacher.org)

*Updated 7th November 2018* After a period of appearing to be no longer available, it appears that the wordsearch maker at www.teachers-direct.co.uk appears to be working again. An alternative wordsearch maker can be found at busyteacher.org. While it does not offer as many customisation options, it is still better than the average puzzle maker. Choose…

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3 interactive websites for practising English grammar and vocabulary

There are countless websites for practising English grammar and vocabulary. My favourites are englishgrammarsecrets, better-english and englishpage. These sites complement each other very well, offering interactive exercises covering grammar, vocabulary, prepositions, phrasal verbs and collocations. There is something here for every level of learner! englishgrammarsecrets This old favourite, englishgrammarsecrets.com, is an excellent website for practising…

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Triptico – an overview

I would describe Triptico as a suite of applications that are designed to be used in the classroom, on an electronic whiteboard, for making interactive activities. At last count, there were about 30 applications. Some of my favourites include: Word Magnets – for creating draggable words and images Student Group – for grouping students in…

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