It is always fun for a DOS to get back into the classroom and give a lesson to a class of young learners. Once a year I go into my son’s class and give them a lesson that aims to engage the students, use all four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) encourage group work and integrate technology.
Today’s lesson did all of the above in only 45 minutes. Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ song was the inspiration. The students loved the Muzzy ‘Word Play’ website and were excited to see their class poem come alive literally on the screen in from of them.
I have included here the powerpoint, the lesson plan, the worksheet and the video clips for you to use.
When I asked the students why I am happy in the fourth slide, one of the students said “Because you finished the marathon.” Another student said: “Because of your man.”
Quizlet – for learning vocabulary items, lexical chunks, collocations and so much more.You can create a class, and sets of items (no more than 20 items is optimal), you can use synonyms, definitions or translate the terms ( supports most languages including Arabic), add images and even use it for comprehension tasks. It is easy to share with your students, and you can encourage them to make and share their sets. No need for students to sign up. See Sandy Millin‘s detailed guide here .
WhatsApp for creating class groups to share images, texts and recordings – this is the most important App of them all as all the URL addresses can be shared with your students via your class group.
Answergarden for brainstorming, checking students prior knowledge and getting short (20 characters) answers. No need for students to sign up.
Mentimeter for brainstorming, mind mapping, allows for longer answers. I like the visual features. No need for students to sign up.
Linoit – Collaborative board for sharing ideas, images and videos via sticky notes. Easy for students to use. IPhone users now need to download the app in advance to see the canvas (collaborative board), which is a recent and less convenient change. No need for Android students to sign up.
Photofuniafor creating fun posters, billboards and other images on Smarphones, using photos from the Smartphone gallery.
All of the apps in this post are free and have websites where you may feel more comfortable creating your language task than on your mobile device. You can then copy the URL address and make it tiny with goo.gl which generates a QR code, your students can then scan the code with a QR Code Reader app, which takes them straight to the task you have created for them.
When using Smartphones in the class always ensure that the use of the app meets the learning aims of the class, and that you have tried it yourself on a mobile device, and preferably get somebody else to try it too.
For those of you who attended my presentation Mobile learning – empowering teachers and engaging students here is the promised powerpoint presentation.