November 2007, Volume 8, Issue 5

EDU 132 Gifts from CCCOnline

Teachers currently enrolled in EDU 132 online, which I am presently teaching, create many useful activities that the field can use with or without modification.

Instructors recently developed short, life-skills activities that integrate basic academic skills among different student populations. Following are a few from a longer list, published with permission from the authors. I'll add more activities in following issues, which will also include lesson plans and retention plans that will be submitted in coming weeks. The format changes slightly from one instructor to another, but the purpose remains the same, to focus on student interests.


1. Objective- Students will successfully plan, prepare and entertain a dinner party for nine guests.

Students will need to create invitations for their guests (writing), follow a recipe (reading) and gather ingredients. They will double a recipe to feed more people at the party (math), properly measure ingredients (math) and cook for the appropriate amount of time. Students must greet and entertain party goers utilizing communication and conversation skills (listening and speaking). Optional Technology: Create and print invitations using a MS Office template.

2. Objective- To help students find confidence and success in interviewing for a job.

Students will discuss fears surrounding the interview process with their peers (listening and speaking) and together, compile a list of the most common fears associated with interviews (writing). Students will practice asking and answering interview questions with partners (listening, speaking and reading). Optional Technology: Record interviews on recorder or computer.

3. Objective- To help students write business emails that are clear, concise and professional.

Students will create email accounts (using technology, reading and filling-out forms) and ask for each otherís email addresses (speaking and listening) in order to send a peer a properly punctuated and grammatically correct email stating that they will be absent the following day (writing). Students will proof-read their letters before sending them off (reading).


Student profile: ABE or upper level ESL who either have no car, or only recently started driving.

I. Instructional Goals: Students will be able to.. read an RTD bus schedule on line, select routes, identify departure and arrival and times, and compare ticket prices.
Competencies: Students will demonstrate.. how to use the RTD website (technology) to find round trip information on different starting and ending points, including location of bus stops, scheduled departure and arrival times, first and last scheduled buses in a day, schedule differences between weekdays and weekends.
Academic Skills: Reading, specialized vocabulary, basic computer skills for basic search, web calculators, and web purchases.

II. Instructional Goals Students will be able to read a road map to find routes between points and estimate travel time.
Competencies: Students will find streets using the map index, calculate distances, estimate speed limits using the map key, identify features such as freeway exits, one-way streets, and toll roads, and propose different routes between points and estimate travel time.
Academic Skills: Reading, specialized vocabulary for local place names and map-specific vocabulary, index reading, basic math, logic. Optional Technology: open and modify maps on Websites.


I. Life Skill: Making a Doctorís Appointment - Beginning ESL
Objective: Students will use different scripts to practice making a doctorís appointment. A performance -based assessment will be used.
Academic skills:
Speaking: talking clearly and being able to give a brief description of the health problem. Listening: applying the information the doctorís office provides. Writing: writing information down to remember appointment. Basic concepts of time: entering information on  calendars and setting time frames. Human Anatomy: identifying names of basic body parts and describing basic symptoms. Optional Technology: create calendars using MS templates; download images that identify body parts.

II. Life Skill: Getting A Library Card - Beginning ESL
Objective: Students will fill an application to receive a library card and tour the library. Students will complete a short objective quiz on basic library lending policies.
Academic Skills: Reading: gathering information on the application and what information is needed and interpreting questions on quiz. Writing: printing personal information on application and completing the quiz. Listening: interpreting basic concepts during the tour and during the review of the tour in class. Speaking: forming and asking questions about the information given. Optional Technology: take quiz online; visit different library sites on the Web and order a book online.

Windows XP Shortcuts

You probably already use the Ctrl + C (Copy), Ctrl + V (Paste), Ctrl + Z (Undo),  Ctrl + Y (Redo), Ctrl + I (Italics), and Ctrl + B (Bold). Here are a few added Shortcuts that may provide additional speed to your productivity. The word on Vista is still "wait," so we might as well make the best of XP! The following table is brought to you from Tech Republic, to which I subscribe.

Keystroke Function
Alt + Tab Switches between open programs
Alt + F4 (in a program) Closes the program
Alt + F4 (from the desktop) Opens the Windows Shutdown/Restart dialog box
Alt + Enter Opens the Properties page of a selected item
Alt + Esc Cycles between open programs in the order they were opened
Alt + Spacebar In the active window, this brings up the corner dialog box for Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize, or Close
Shift + Insert a CD/DVD Inserts a CD/DVD without triggering Autoplay or Autorun
Shift + Delete Permanently deletes an item (rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin)
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Opens the Windows Task Manager (Also Ctrl + Alt + Del)
Ctrl + drag an icon Copies that item
Ctrl + Shift + drag an icon Creates a shortcut for the item
Right-click + drag an icon Brings up a menu to copy, move, or create a shortcut for the item
F1 Opens Windows XP Help
F2 Highlights the label of a selected item for renaming
F3 Opens Windows search for files and folders
F5 (or Ctrl + R) Refreshes an Internet Explorer page or other window
F6 Cycles through the elements that can be selected in a screen or window
F10 Selects the menu bar in the active program (usually the File menu) so that you can use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus and the Enter key to display one
Shift + F10 Displays a shortcut menu for an item (like right-clicking with the mouse)
Ctrl + Esc Opens the Start menu

Tech Republic also tells us that you can create custom Windows XP shortcuts. Just right-click on the icon of a program or program shortcut, choose Properties, click the Shortcut tab, and enter a keystroke combination in the Shortcut Key field. Windows will let you assign only key combos that arenít already taken. What a deal!

Think Twice

A.  What word, expression, or name is depicted in the box below? I know you'll get it without peeking!

    (If you absolutely give up, click in each box for the answer.)

B. Thanksgiving Sudoku from Ed Helper

  • CLICK HERE to open a PDF file with four Sudoku Thanksgiving puzzles
  • CLICK HERE for a PDF file 2 with the solutions.

Lots for which to be grateful on this end. May you find many reasons to celebrate on Thanksgiving day and every day!