Month: September 2017

Passion for CPD: Gamified Sharing Board for Developing Teachers

The idea of a sharing board first came to me when I saw the bulletin board at my school, and thought we could use it for sharing stuff. However, the idea as it is, came from reading the informative book, The Developing Teacher by Duncan Foord, where he talks about creating a sharing board, its benefits for teachers, and how it can be used effectively.
The board is a very effective way to share and develop with teachers at your institution. It costs nothing other than 2 sheets. It doesn’t take time to maintain since many teachers will be working on it.

Sharing Board

The Sharing Board that I’ve created is two A3 sheets with spaces for websites, YouTube channels,  webinars, seminars, books, articles, blogs, activities, games, materials and worksheets, rules, and thanks. You can download the sheets and print them on A3 or A4. However, A3 is recommended to have some space for what is going to be written.
If you don’t like the layout, or some of the sections, you can use some labels to cover  the sections’ titles, and write above them the section you want. Or you can design or draw your own, it is practically some squares/rectangles, but I thought a colorful one would make it a bit attractive. If you have suggestions for other sections, please write them in the comments so I can add them to the current design.

 

The Rules

These are the rules that I’ve written on the board. You can add/remove as appropriate:
• Post one idea at a time.
• Leave space for others.
• Put your name on the material, or near it so that people will know who posted it.
• If you post something, make sure it is clear how to use it.
• If you use something, thank the person who posted it.
•use a pencil to write so we can erase the old posts to make place for new ones.

Gamification

To make the experience fun, and to add an element of competition to it, I’ve created a point chart. The teachers can be in team a (Awesome) or team b (Brilliant). For each thing shared by a team member, the team get a point.They can circle a star. Every 25th star is golden to make it easier to keep track of points. The team that reaches 200 points (the big star) is the winner. If you like, you can make a small party for the winning team where the team that lost gets a cake and some juice, or something else! Then you can reprint/erase the point chart, and start over.
This is my first attempt to gamify a learning experience. If you have a suggestion to enhance the experience, please let me know so I can add it to the point chart, or change the design altogether. Having said that, I tried to keep the gamification experience to minimum so it won’t take time to track since we’re already busy teaching.

Extra Stuff

I have added two plastic sleeves next to the board. The first is going to be used for ‘Article of the Week’. Each week I will print out (or one of my colleagues will) an interesting ELT article that I’ve read to share with my coworkers. The other is for the materials and worksheets, so teachers can provide a sample copy for other teachers to photocopy.

Download

These ones are the same as the first, but I’ve added ‘online courses‘ with seminars and webinars. The second has ‘YouTube Channels‘, and the third one has ‘Games and Activities‘ in the same box. Pick the ones that you like most.

Photos

The board one day after sticking it on a wall in our teachers’ room:

10 Minor Mistakes to Avoid when Writing in Delta Module 2

image credit
Going back and forth between writing, rewriting, reading, citing, and making a final draft in a limited time would probably be the reason to forget doing the following little things. Some of them are crucial and you will get a ‘not met’ or ‘partially met’ because of them.

this is one of many memes that I created during my Delta module 2 course

I categorized the mistakes into 2 sections, background essay, and lesson plan.

Background Essay

Cover Page

The cover page of your Background Essay, should contain the following: the title, the number of the assignment, whether it’s a system or a skill, your name, your center, your candidate number, the date of submission, and last but not least the word count.

Word Count

not stating the word count on the cover page. There is one criterion related to word count: respects the word limit (2,000-2,500 words) and states the number of words used. The key words are underlined. So, respecting the word count is half of the criterion, stating the word count on the cover page is the other half. So, respecting without stating will get you a ‘partially met’ for the criterion. And take my word for it, it may happen because there’s a lot to take care of.

Footer

Not adding a footer with your name, LSA number, and its title, and the page number. I have no idea if there is a criterion related to the footer (probably there is), however, it is important to do it since my tutors told us to include a footer containing: Name, LSA number, LSA title, and page number.

Bibliography

Misspelling the authors’ names or confusing them. I got a ‘partially met’ for the criterion related to citing and referencing in on of my BEs because I’ve used the first name of the author when using in-text citation, and because I didn’t use italics in the bibliography. I used MLA as a citing system, and MLA italicizes the titles in the bibliography.

Appendices

Not adding the appendices in the same document. If you use any activity in the Suggestion section, you need to add a copy of that worksheet/slide/document an an appendix. You need to name them, something like Appendix A, Appendix B … etc. You also need to source them.

 

Lesson Plan

Learners’ Strengths and Weaknesses

When writing the learners’ profile, you need to write their strengths and weaknesses. However, a common mistake is that candidates usually write about those in general, while you should write only those which are related to the focus of your lesson. So, if your focus is Phonology, writing “this learner can’t use conditionals correctly” is not valid.

Links with other Lessons

Another common mistake is that writing all/any lesson that was prior to THIS LSA. The criteria 5d dictates that the lessons listed/mentioned should be related to the focus of the LSA. In other words, ‘relevance’ is a key word here. For instance, your LSA focus is past perfect, you need to to mention a lesson when the learners learned how to use the simple past. And as a subsequent lesson, you might be able to mention using the same structure with another context, or using the structure in a skill-based lesson like  writing or speaking.

Stating Assumptions

When stating assumptions related to your lesson focus, you need to include assumptions related to learners knowledge, abilities, and interests. If you exclude one of those, you’ll get a ‘partially met.’ For example, you can write:
Interests: I assume that the learners will be engaged in the theme of the lesson because … .
Abilities: I assume they will have a difficulty when applying reading subskills since … .
Knowledge: I assume they will know the key vocabulary related to … because … .

 

Copying the Analysis from the Background Essay

The analysis in the lesson plan is going to be narrower when compared with the analysis of the skill/system area in your background essay. In the background essay, you’re analyzing the area in general. On the other hand, in the lesson plan you’re analyzing what is going to be presented in the lesson. Let’s say your focus in the background essay is noun + verb collocations, you will analyzed the collocations in general. In the lesson plan, you will need to write the list of collocations you are going to present, and analyze them.
I made this mistake in one of my LSAs, and got a ‘not met’, and the tutor was not happy at all when he saw it.

I REALLY love memes

 

ًWriting a Detailed Procedure Form

This is just my personal opinion: writing a procedure form that is way too much detailed can, and probably will backfire. For my LSA1, the procedure form was 4 complete pages! When I reviewed it, I found out that I will absolutely forget something, or do something in a way different from what I’ve written. One of the things that I’ve written in details and changed later on, the ICQs. I wrote the exact ICQs that I should ask, however, I removed the questions and wrote “T checks the instructions using ICQs.” I figured writing that is better than writing the exact questions, because if I forget to ask one of the questions, the tutor is going to highlight it. I tried to write enough details to understand how the lesson will flow, but not too much details that something here or there might be forgotten.
For some, a detailed procedure form might seem better, and that might be true. It’s just I found out that writing too much details will make it hard to stay on the exact track in the lesson. The rationale behind that is although you’re an experienced teacher, but there will be a bit of room for stress, for an obvious reason, you’re being assessed. If you disagree, please let me know in the comments 🙂
So there it is, 10 minor mistakes to avoid in your Delta Module Two. If you can add other, please do in the comments.