Friday, March 18, 2011

Poetry Pairing

Japanese Defense Ministry, via Associated Press There was one bright moment the Sunday after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan as Japanese naval forces rescued a 60-year-old man who had been riding the roof of his house for two days. The man, Hiromitsu Shinkawa, was found nine miles south of his hometown and nine miles out to sea.
Go to related slide show » 
In our weekly “Poetry Pairing” series, we collaborate with the Poetry Foundation to feature a work from its American Life in Poetry project alongside content from The Times that somehow echoes, extends or challenges the poem’s themes. Each poem is introduced briefly by Ted Kooser, a former United States poet laureate. 
This week we put three pieces together: the poem “The Word That Is a Prayer,” a photograph, above, from a Times slide show of over 100 images of the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and a March 11 blog post by the Op-Ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, “Sympathy for Japan, and Admiration.”

Annotating Text

At our school, we really push students to get comfortable and familiar with the idea of annotating academic text that they’re reading. That’s just one of several reasons why we don’t use standard textbooks much in our English classes, and instead use copied units from Pebble Creek Labs, the Write Institute, or ones developed by local universities. And we always have a lot of post-it notes on hand for when we aren’t using consumables. We encourage students to read text with a pen or highlighter in their hands.

This is why I’m really big on web apps that let you annotate webpages (see Best Applications For Annotating Websites).

This kind of annotation habit is a reminder and strategy for students to interact more meaningfully with the text, and makes follow-up work so much easier (unit projects, studying for tests, etc.). It’s a habit that they’ll find useful for years to come.

Annotation “prompts” include using the typical reading strategies (ask a question, make a connection, visualize by drawing a picture and writing what it is, summarizing, predicting, and agreeing/disagreeing) and highlighting a specifically limited number of words (to help students develop the discipline of not highlighting tons of them)

Not just for research, note-taking and studying but also helps reading in general by focusing attention on the text.

Posted via email from Academentia

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are you safe? Please check in!

It's been a worrying time for anyone with friends, family or acquaintances in Japan - but not as hard as being there! I was very relieved to hear from Sadamu and learn that he and his family are OK. I hope to hear from Youngim and Junai soon too. After all the excitement in Egypt, we'd like to hear from Sayid Salem too. Now that the group is open, I can't tell for sure who any one is or where you are from.  

Please post a short note letting us know how you are. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

ESL on YouTube

YouTube is an excellent ESL learning resource. In addition to many ESL and English learning channels, you can also practice your listening skills with videos on topics that interest you. 
StudyCom has it's own YouTube Channel. Check it out. Do you have a favorite YouTube channel for studying English? Please share it with us.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Internet pick of the day: ESL blogs

I posted this on StudyCom's Question Board last week. Each week or more often (when I remember), I post a mini-lesson or online resource. You can post your grammar and usage questions there ~ don't ask me to do your homework for your or edit your papers. If you want to work on your writing, come here. 

While looking for study resources on the web, don't overlook the many ESL blogs created and maintained by ESL teachers all over the world. Some are learning blogs for their students. Others are for other ESL teachers and about teaching ~ ideas, teaching tips, lesson plans, technology, etc. 

Most if not all have resources you can use. You can also subscribe to blogs you like. My first pick is Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day at Edublogs. In addition to English, you will learn a lot about the world, current events, important issues and many other topics. 

More to look at:'s list of Best ESL EFL Teacher blogs. Do you have a favorite ESL blog? Please share it with us?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

GeoTrio: another tool for your PLN

GeoTrio lets you create a virtual tour of just about anyplace on a map. You type in addresses or locations and easily create multiple “stops” that show the Google Street View snapshots of the area. You can also upload your own images.

But that’s not all.

What really makes GeoTrio stand out is the ability to easily make an audio recording for each stop on the map.

In many ways its similar to Tripline, which you can read about on The Best Sites Where Students Can Plan Virtual Trips (I’m adding GeoTrio to that list, too). Tripline is “slicker” and lets you grab images off the Web. However, it does not have the ability to provide audio narration.

Assignment for students:

Use this to plan a trip to someplace you've always wanted to visit or create a presentation to show your online friends about your home town or some place special to you.

Other: teaching, presentation, marketing, even site development tool

Posted via email from Meanderings

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