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End of week review

Review of Week 3 by Claire

Hello everyone. Thank you for your participation this week. There are some great conversations developing. If you haven’t been back recently to Weeks 1 and 2, do go back and take a look at some of the steps that interested you most to see new comments and conversations there.

This week has been all about how we manage our lessons. First of all we looked at factors that influence learning, and many of you agreed that the teacher has a vital role in this. I liked Renchelle’s short but sweet comment about the importance of a positive learning environment, and of course as teachers we have a lot of power over the environment that we create in our classrooms.

We discussed various roles that we take as teachers. I saw actor, entertainer, manager, cheerleader all mentioned! Marilou mentioned the ‘parent’ role that we often take with young children, and how we can communicate and involve parents. I’d love to see this conversation developing so that we can learn from each other how best to communicate with parents of the kids in our classes.

There was a lot of discussion about the use of L1 in a foreign language class. I liked this conversation started by Shahram about not using too much L1, but finding a balance. I’ve posted an article in that discussion that I think has some helpful suggestions of how to find that balance. It includes signs of when there might be too much L1 in your lessons, or ways that you might usefully integrate a little L1 (either you or your learners) to support learning. What’s your view?

In the same vein, Jorgelina shared a link to an interesting TED talk about how language shapes the way we think - worth a watch!

Another topic this week was engaging and involving learners. I liked Imay’s description of the creative ways she employs to get the attention of learners, particularly younger children. Kheder shared how he finds that telling a personal story, and revealing some things about ourselves can be effective, like the male teacher did when he spoke Spanish at the beginning of one of the videos. Does anyone else do this? What do you share? What do you not share with your students? Let us know by adding to that conversation.

The activity on planning variety provoked some great responses, and lots of you suggested including pairwork or group work in this lesson about family members - well-spotted! Other ideas included songs, poems and games. Here’s a creative suggestion about using a famous family to introduce the topic. Which family would you use in your context?

I enjoyed seeing photos of your classrooms (password is ‘teaching’), somewhere that we sadly can’t be right now. I hope that you can all be safely back there with your learners soon. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing the final week of the course with you :)

Enjoy Week 4 and keep up the good work.

Coming up in Week 4 — In the final week of the course, the focus is on taking responsibility for your professional development. You’ll be looking at your own needs and interests and how you can collaborate with other professionals to keep developing. You’ll take part in a virtual observation and consider how reflecting on your work as a teacher can help you to improve. If you want to get started straight away, go to the To do list for Week 4.

You can always use the To do icon at the top of the page to see what’s coming up or go back to previous weeks and catch up.

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Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching

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