Tekhnologic has recently invited readers to take a look behind the scenes and see what goes into writing his blog and challenged other bloggers to do the same.
If I were to describe my blogging in literary terms, I’d say it is most definitely a stream of consciousness. It is rather sporadic and not really strategically focused (or rather – strategically unfocused). I don’t do writing for the sake of aesthetic experience. If I have nothing to write about, I don’t write. I don’t sell, offer, promote or advertise anything (unless it is free for teachers and I trust it might help them). This blog is about sharing practical ideas for the classroom. Sometimes I see something interesting and try to turn it into a teaching/learning tool. If it works in the classroom, I make a post about it. Here’s how it works.
Day 1. Wow!
Different people unwind in different ways. I like to watch DIY and crafts videos. Here’s the video I spotted a couple of weeks ago.
The idea is superb, yet not really useful for teaching languages. In words we trust. It could be used as a word game, the question is how.
Day 2. 32!
Today is a conference day. We’re presenting the results of our project to school head teachers. I’m going through my speech while playing around with a sheet of paper folding and unfolding it. That’s how one gets oneself the reputation of an eccentric expert. The main challenge is to strike the right balance between the number of squares and words/letters. Complex is easy, simple is hard.
The folding procedure should be as simple as possible, or else kids’ brains will focus on folding the game field instead of playing the game. Or worse, after trying several times to fold the field, teachers will bin the game. Literally. (Now the Grammarly girl will probably write another blog on the misuse of ‘literally’. Well, yes, I know, but I’m loving it)
The game should be long enough to allow for sufficient vocabulary practice and short enough to maintain kids’ interest. I’m a huge fan of Monopoly till the point when all the properties have been bought out and a few houses have been built. Then the game loses its charm and becomes redundant. But I digress.
Fold both sides to the middle, fold them again, and again. 32 squares seem like a perfect solution.
Day 3. Try it.
I remember one conversation over dinner with Adrian Underhill (I’m not trying to impress the reader, or am I?). We were discussing teaching in the age of chaos. With more experience and knowledge, we may reach the point of sheer virtuosity when we are able to improvise. A clear pointer that you’ve reached this stage is when you know what will work in your classroom without trying it with your students. You just know it.
I know it, but I ask a friend of mine to try it with her kids anyway.
Day 4. It works.
It went well with the kids. They kept playing the game after the class. Fantastic.
Oh my, can’t be busier.
Day 8. Photo shoot.
More to do than can ever be done.