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I recently read an absolutely fantastic book called "Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School," by Dr. John Medina. So much of the information in this book is relevant to teachers--and in many cases, confirms what savvy practitioners have seen for years in their classrooms--that I have been inspired to (re)share it with the world.
"Reading Rockets" is a series from PBS that focuses on issues of children's literacy, including brain research into reading difficulties, teaching strategies that work, and ways to empower parents. Although the series does not deal directly with adult literacy issues, much of the information is valuable to the adult literacy community.
Here's something new that might catch the eye of teachers, program coordinators, volunteer coordinators, trainers and others: a site specifically dedicated to ABE/GED and Adult ESL teacher professional development videos. It's at http://mlots.org and is definitely worth a peek.
CLEAR (the Center for Language Education and Research, based at Michigan State Univ.) has a number of sleek, easy-to-use online language teaching tools. Most allow you to build speaking and listening activities for your students - a real rarity among teacher-friendly tools for building online activities. There is also a nice process-writing service for writing teachers called "Revisions".
This is an excellent retention activity and way to give students well deserved recognition. Honoring learners in front of their peers reinforces the fact that good attendance is crucial to learning English.
Here in the United States, it seems that children learn about the five senses at quite a young age. Many of the adult learners in my class had not learned them like they are taught here.
We explained the word “route” and had the students list all of the cities they traveled to before finally arriving in Minnesota. No student had journeyed through less than three cities prior to reaching Minneapolis. Faizah had gone to nine.
Would adult educators and volunteers be interested in a social networking site created specifically for them? A kind of Facebook for people interested in adult literacy?
Today my students seemed to have a case of spring fever. The staff teacher in my classroom had to ask students repeatedly to put their pencils down while she was talking. She firmly explained that when the teacher is talking, it is time to listen.
Geography was woven into the grid activity again this week. We talked about caves, a new vocabulary word for all of the students.

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