Friday, November 23, 2012

The wonders of using a Q-chart

I think that the Q-Chart (question matrix chart) is by far the most powerful tool we can use in the classroom. How often do we give students reams of questions to answer which they can generally complete quite easily and without thought?  I know many of my former students even bragged about the fact that they were able to answer all of my questions without actually reading a book!

With a q-chart, students create their own questions and thus spur their own curiosity. They need some help getting started of course, but the beauty of a q-chart is that ANY student can use it. Q-Tasks by Carol Koechlin & Sandi Zwaan provides a comprehensive perspective on student questioning.

The q-chart can help students refine their research and set a purpose and path for web searching. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teaching Applied English

In recent months, I have really been reflecting on my teaching English. I think of all the good things I did to be flexible and to support my students, but then I really face the fact that in many ways, I enabled non-reading in my class.
I knew that there were various levels in my class, and yet I taught everyone the same novel at the same time for sometimes WEEKS on end. Did I really support my students' reading? When the expectations are so very open in Ontario for English courses, why do we insist on teaching the same old things in the same old ways? When we do integrate technology, do we ask students to connect with others in the world? Create authentic products for authentic audiences? Or are we doing the same things with a computer? These are the things that make me go hmmm.

Inspirational Video

Saw this video on Twitter and think it's awesome! What do you think?