Monday, November 25, 2013

Develop Your Vocabulary

With my beginner ESL students, vocabulary development and pronunciation practice is very important. So I try to come up with ways for them to practice the vocabulary words of the day over and over for about 90 minutes without wanting to poke out my eyes.

So here are some of my tricks:
(I don't usually use all of them in one lesson plan.)

1. Flashcards: I like to put them in a brown paper bag and have the students pull them out. And yes, I get eye rolls from my students when they see the bag out, but they always go along with it. I make them read the cards, spell the words and sometimes even draw a picture.
Print free custom flashcards at Lakeshore Learning.

2. Bingo Cards: Three lessons equals enough vocabulary words for a bingo game!
Print free custom bingo cards at

3. Word Search: Forwards, diagonal, even backwards, students must search for the vocabulary words of the day!
Print free custom word searches at Lakeshore Learning.

4. Hangman: Whether on the whiteboard or using an app, such as Doodle Hangman HD (in 2 player mode, you can enter custom words one at a time), hangman never fails to be fun.

If you have any easy but unique ways to practice vocabulary, please let me know, I'm always looking for more tricks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Savor The Inspiration

Ah, food. Some of it is fussy, but most of it is delicious. And although I am often content to eat the same thing day after day, sometimes I need something new to fall in love with.

Enter ...

1. Beating The Lunch Box Blues

(Both the book and the blog.) I'm finding the myriad of choices a little overwhelming and lots of the ideas involve buying pre-made stuff, but I look forward to finding some inspiration.

2. Naturally Ella

I literally found this blog about 15 minutes ago, but I've already seen three sweet potato recipes I must make. I look forward to reading more of her posts, when my current dinner isn't about to be ready.

OK, time for ricotta, broccoli, and mushroom quiche!