First freebie: Weekly Distance Education Tasks Planner

A common complaint from parents is that it is very hard to keep track of the work their children need to do. Students forget to do tasks or can’t find the exercises. This way you can have all the English work ready and prepared in an easy overview. If you send this file to the parents the kids can keep track of the work themselves. For kindergarten and grade 1 and maybe even grade 2 depending on the level of your students I might put a picture of the assignment instead of text and in location either a link or a picture of the book that they need to use. The file is made in Word so you could still adjust it to your own needs.

As promised I’m going to share also freebies on this site.   I made a straight forward weekly distance education task planner.   You put the task or assignment in the first column, second column is where to find the resource (book, page, website etc)  after that you put the due date.  The next column is for your student to tell you if he thought it was hard or easy and the last column he can note down extra questions.  Those questions you can address in a online 1-1 session or in a general lesson if more students have the same question.   This is a very easy way to get the students to be prepared for an online session which will safe time.

You can find the file in my teachers pay teacher shop as a freebie

STEM/STEAM in ESL language learning – part 1

In this series of articles I want to go deeper into stem/steam teaching. The first articles is as always an article on the technique itself and after that I will offer worked out STEM/STEAM lessons.

Why is it important in TEFL / ESL lessons? Well a lot of students lack STEM instructions. They never get a change to thoroughly learn or practice these terms in classic language lessons.

What is it? Well STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, while STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. There is a bit of a discussion for the moment whether or not Arts should be a part of STEM. For me in language learning it could indeed enhance the whole process depending on how you implement it of course.

A very important part of STEM/STEAM is that it is lead by EDP or Engineering Design Process. This means there are fixed steps to follow, because it is still a language lesson I always monitor the groups to see that English is used sufficiently and I always have a presentation at the end.

EDP – Engineering Design Process

Another important part of a STEM or STEAM lesson is that it needs to evolve around a real world problem. I can hear you think how do you do this in kindergarten or first grade. Well you of course need to lead your group a bit more. In a follow up articles I will work out complete lessons for you.

What are other concepts are important in a STEM or STEAM lesson:

  • Teamwork: getting students involved in productive teamwork.
  • Apply math and science content: why is this interesting in a language learning environment? Well with the content comes subject related language which will give your students an advantage in their future academical or professional career.
  • Multiple right answers: by experimenting students can come to different solutions or conclusions and as long as the solution works that is absolutely fine.
  • Open ended exploration: within limits the learning path is open ended. Most limitations are time and available materials. Although I had students ask if they could work through their break time.

What are the advantages?

  • Develop inventiveness and creativity
  • Encourages to experiment
  • Encourages teamwork
  • Build confidence and flexibility in a safe environment
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Stimulates independent an collaborative

In the next lesson I will give a STEM/STEAM lesson suitable for preschool.