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Man with red chair
Most of us can only sit for a limited period of time before our capacity to learn decreases. Plan at least one activity in every lesson where learners get out of their seats. All students will return to their seats more alert and energized. Here are two examples of activities that require little or no preparation.
Brain
Barbara Strauch posits that our brains become more distracted as we age (surely we can all attest to this!) and asks if this aging brain can still benefit from education. The answer is a resounding yes as she argues that scientists have found that brain development continues into middle age and that adult brains can find big picture solutions better than younger brains.
Word wall
To reinforce phonics (and vocabulary), keep cumulative lists of words your students have learned. Use a flip chart, or create lists on a word wall, with a separate page or column for each beginning letter. Review them frequently with students.
Video Ant is a free flash-based tool for annotating videos with markers set on a timeline matched to text comments. The comments appear in a panel next to the video, and the viewer can jump to different portions of the video by clicking on the text comments.
Attendees of my Social Media presentation at the Volunteer Management Conference (VMC) last November had the pleasure of helping me build – live! – a social networking site for ABE volunteers. It's the first step towards launching a new resource for Minnesota’s incredible volunteer tutors and teachers.
Typing on a laptop
Computer literacy is crucial in today's world. Whether you're developing a basic computer skills class or looking for tutoring tips, our Web site offers an array of information to support you as you plan activities tailored to the needs of your learners.
Yesterday I made a quick stop at Holy Land on my way home from work for some groceries. While in the checkout line, I realized that a learner that had previously been in my class was checking out in front of me. It was wonderful to see a familiar face from class in the rhythm of my everyday life.
I use this handy-dandy little website every once in a while, and it's nice to see that an old stand-by gets more useful with time by adding new applications and goodies.
Christmas bulb

The first years I worked in ABE, I taught in an evening computer lab with students of all levels and backgrounds. Each class in the program had one time slot a week for computer time, rotating through for 45-60 minutes each. Most of the classes were English language classes, but there was also one basic skills class and one GED class. For whatever reason, most of the ABE and GED students (and their teachers) weren't really interested in learning computer skills, and made very little use of the computer time allotted to them.

Confused look
We all know what most learners will say if we ask, “Do you understand?” Here are some alternative ways to check for comprehension.

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