October and November 2006, Volume 6, Issue 8

You have a class of students at different levels. What to do? Use technology and get them online.

http://international.ouc.bc.ca/pronunciation/ - What ESL student does not want to improve pronunciation? Here's a site with many links that students can move through on their own, with pronunciation, dictation, minimal pairs and tongue twisters. It includes Quick Time movies that encourage those visual learners to get better. Scroll down the page and check it out!

http://www.englishlistening.com/flmenu.php?level=1 -This page has a link to several free clips with clear spoken passages (Click on the "play" arrow) . After the student listens to the reading, she may click to get the transcript and also click on questions and other study materials for each passage. As a teacher, you can print and develop activities from there, such a cloze exercises and dictations.

How often do you get your ESL students to work independently or in a small group on math word problems? This is a great activity for multi-level classes. Go to http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.classic.problems.html and decide which are written at the correct level. Rewrite those that are difficult and pass them out for an engaging activity.

Another group or paired independent activity for multi-level classes is game playing, which also engages them in problem-solving. To access some free resources, go to http://www.manythings.org/ and let your students play while they learn English and you get one-to-one time with each one. People learn more when they are having fun. The page also has links to many other resources, so explore and let your students enjoy.

OK. None of us wants to give adults information written for kids. Having said that, check out Ben's Guide to US Government for kids. The same topics are covered at different reading levels. I checked out the K-2, and found lots of information for lower level ESL students. The language is simple, but the content is not childish. Go to http://bensguide.gpo.gov/k-2/nation/index.html to check out the lowest level on the Our Nation link. Use the red arrow to move forward. Have students read the information and explain what they have learned to a partner or group. The home site is http://bensguide.gpo.gov/.

Sites for Sore Eyes (and tired teachers)

So often, students fail math test, not because of the math, but because of the reading. Word problem engage students in language and math along with teaching them valuable workplace skills, like collaboration and teamwork.

http://www.edhelper.com/WordStories.htm?gclid=CP_H0dit8YcCFQvlYAod-nk2jA -You may access some K-12 resources free. I joined (between US$19.99 and US$39.98/yr) to access a wide variety of resources. Scroll down the page and create your own problems by selecting level and operations. The answers are also there. If you don't like the wording, copy/paste into Word and modify the problem to suit your needs.

If you are creating problems and want a fast check for answers, enter the info at http://www.quickmath.com/ - I used the equations section, entered fractions with different numerators and got quick answers. If you don't want to check your students' answers, there's where you can send them. There are other sites that do problem solving as well. Just Google your interest.

Sometimes, students have special interests. Why not let them explore?

http://www.leeric.lsu.edu/bgbb/toc.html - Black Gold Beneath the Bayous has a number of fun science links about the earth. The Louisiana link shows a short movie on how the ocean has changed around Louisiana and Mississippi over the ages. Fun and readable. The site also says, "Material may be copied and distributed for formal educational purposes only."

Holland's career personality types is one of my favorite tools for self-exploration and occupational interests. My ESL students loved comparing and writing about different types, developing dialogues that fit each one. I may have included a link before, but it's worth doing it again: http://hrnt.jhu.edu/cmp/RIASECtypes.cfm

Virtual tours can also provide wonderful experiences online.

http://www.denvergov.org/virtual.asp - Check out a few Denver virtual tours.

http://2k.si.edu/ - This is a virtual Smithsonian site that is beautifully done. It takes a bit to download the technology needed, but after that, you are free to wander. Click on the sound button, and a clear voice reads the text that accompanies each image. In fact, just go to http://www.si.edu/ and browse the possibilities there for students to enrich their cultural perspectives and lives.

http://www.vthawaii.com/ - Get to know Hawaii!

http://www.bahamasfilm.com/virtualtour.htm - or the Bahamas!

http://www.virtualfreesites.com/tours.html - List of several tours, some better than others.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/whtour/ - Historical tour of the White House.

http://www.medtropolis.com/VBody.asp - I love this tour of the body. You will need to click around to get used to how to access information, but it's worth it for anyone interested in anatomy. In English and in Spanish!

http://www.egyptvoyager.com/virtualtours.htm - If Egypt is of interest, these tours are fun. Once the 3600 images load, click on them and control the speed and direction of the tour.

http://tdc-www.harvard.edu/mthopkins/obstours.html - These are tours of observatories. I clicked on Gemini Observatory. Once the image loads you can zoom in and out and enjoy the 3600 view.

More in the December issue coming to you soon and giving you Webquests to have students explore on their own. Fun!

Distance Learning Resources

I'm here. Distance-learning technology has advanced so much that you can acquire skills with mentoring on a weekly basis without leaving your home or workplace. For example, in less than an hour, I can show you how to create graphic organizers in Power Point! It's your call or email: leecy@swadulted.com or 970-562-4418. And it's free!

CONTACT ME: leecy@swadulted.com