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Bell's 2013

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Being creative with students

A curled up piece of paper to help the students understand reading sub skills - and they enjoyed it!


Teacher's pet

Get great and creative ideas - visit teacher's pet on Facebook


More Apps

Apps for teaching english - way down the page you will find sounds: pronunciation!

Object of the day

This exercise gives the students opportunity to tell a little bit about themselfes.
I start with a theme about identity, and I ask the students to bring an object to share with their classmates - the object can be anything with a story, that tells us a bit about their identity. You can give them about 5 minutes to tell their story/ share, and then the other students can ask questions.

Sharing my experience

Yesterday I shared my experience at Bell's with my collegues!
I think I forgot to mention a great book called "Being Creative" by Chaz Pugliese (one of the teachers of creativity in the classroom) This book contains 3 parts:
Part A - an introduction to being creative
Part B - about 120 creative exercises on 3 levels (fantastic to have in your school bag!)
Part C - ways to evaluate your students and yourself in a creative way
This book is a must have!



ABC 123 writing practise

Don't hesitate you share your experiences with apps

Day 10 - Sharing creative activities (13 July)

On the last day of the course we all shared our creative ideas - it is always great to share, if you don't do it at your school, you should surgest that you do..
So please share your ideas here!

Creating and adapting materials

We get inspiration all the time - but you need creativity to adapt/ create your materials
- Books/ course books
- Ads
- People you meet
- Other people's materials
- Blogs
- Media

When you create materials you must think of:
  • level
  • topic
  • Students backgrounds
  • intrests
  • your own language
  • appropriate/ relevant
  • Skills/ language purpose
  • time
Take a look at the ad: "People who do" Blackberry

Day 9 - Listening and story telling (12 July)

* Heads up: We only listen to 60 percent of what we hear!

Live listening: We all know a person that speaks english (it does not have to be a native speaker, but it would be great - the important thing is that it is a person the students does not know) Set a time with the person and let them tell your students about a topic - it can be a person comming to the classroom or on skype.

Before you start: Make sure your students know the words (paper, fold, crease, unfold, turn, corner, long edge, short edge, overlap, tuck, tear, left, right, top bottom - maybe more) + Shapes (triangle, square, rectangle, circle) And bring coloured paper
The exercise: You fold and a student tells the others what to do! (find origami online - it can be other things)

Field trips

It is always great to get out of the classroom - but where to go and what to do?
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • A graveyard
  • Teach outside
  • Take pictures - describe them
Where do you like to go? And what do you do there?

Day 8 - Drama and role play (11 July)

Warm up:
Walk around and say hello to the people you meet
Now you meet someone you...
  • don't trust
  • secretly love
  • havent seen for 10 years (an old friend)
  • don't like
  • an old enemy
  • don't care for
  • like
The hotel:
Make a list of people who work in a 5star hotel
Create a name for the hotel
Now: devide the class into two (staff and guests)
The guests goes outside and decide what type of charactor they want to be
The staff stays in the hotel, create the setting, and devide the jobs
- The guests arrive - act it!
Build on: say "freeze" from time to time and talk about the situation, make complaints/ questions for the staff - mime it, act it out etc.
Put a lot of pictures (with people on them) on the table, the students choose a picture in groups, let them prepare "what takes place on the picture".
Put the pictures on the board, and let the students guess which picture they act
* Make a folder of lots of pictures - you can use them in so many ways!

Day 7 - Dictation and writing (10 July)

Running dictation:
Place the students and tables in a line in the middle of the classroom! Put the dictation on a wall behind one of the lines, the students have to dictate the text - running back and forth. (practise the punctuation marks before the exercise)

Shouting dictation:
Pair up the students, give them the same text (with different gaps) - let them stand at opposite walls and dictate together. (before you start: tell them what to do when they have finished: check it together, think about what you did, listen to the other groups.
Class dictation:

Cut the text into sentences, number them, and hand them out to the students. Now dictate! You can stop the exercise after a couple of lines, and ask the students what they think will happen.

Writing ideas:
  • Free writing with music
  • Writing a letter - act it out! Before you write a letter, give the students roles: address to/from, dear..., date etc. Let them stand on the floor - the floor is the letter, where are you?
  • Tip: find mistakes easier - read the text backwards!
  • A detective story:
    • Think of a charactor
    • write four adjectives about your charactor
    • tell your group about him/her
    • choose one in the group
    • give him/her a name + age
    • The person is missing and you want to help find him. You go to his house and find some texts in a drawer (letters, tickets, a postcard etc.)
    • Choose one of them and create it
    • Make a poster with the texts
    • Make profiles of another group's texts
    • and so on and so on - see where you go!
         "How will I know what I think until I write it down?"


An A - Z of being English

A - Ale
B - Bovvered
C - Crumpets
D - Diversity
E - Empire/ Eddie Izzard
F - Football
G - Grumble
H - Houses of Parliament
I - Irony
J - Jobsworth
K - Knights who say "Ni!"
L - Lurgy/i
M - Manners
N - Nanny
O - Oi!
P - Pub
Q - Queue
R - Royalty
S - Sorry
T - Tea
U - Understated (Ablisa's apearence on the x-factor)
V - Victory
W - Wimbledon
X - Xenophobia
Y - Yeoman
Z - Zucchini no! - it's called courchet!!!

Let your students make an A - Z of being ...

Day 6 - Pronunciation, speaking and problem solving (9 July)

Pronunciation: (and problem solving)
Interactive Phonemic Chart: or (this one does not have word examples underneath the symbol)

Exercise 1: Write different words in phonemics (use words you practise or related to your topic) Make a competition - Alex help! I can't remember your great game around the table - I'll get back with this!
What you have to do is make it into a competition - who gets the most wrong, for advanced students: let them spell the word, too.

Exercise 2: Make a list of problem-sounds (you can make, or your students can du it) Let them secretly choose a problem-sound, and have them draw a picture with the sound in it! Let the others guess. Make up your own tounge twisters and practise them. (maybe record them on your mobile, or their own)

Exercise 3: Word bingo!
Write 10 words "false friends" (three, tree, tin, thin, tick, thick etc. - whatever you are working on)
Make a bingo-card and let the students choose eg. 6 of the words - you dictate (remember to cover your mouth) Classic bingo from here.

Exercise 4: How many ways can you say YES? (no, hello, sorry etc) Make a competition!

1: Monday morning questions (using the senses - what is the nicest thing you have smelt this weekend)

2: Surviaval - in groups: Make a list of 5 things you would bring to a desserted island

3: Statements (Put a statement on the board - "Football players earn too much money!" or whatever, descuss it in groups)

4: Talkathon! With your students: Make a list of 5 - 10 of their favourite topics, when they have agreed put them on each their piece of paper. Make two lines of students - pair them with the classmate across from them. Now one line gets on of the topics each, and speak until they can't speak about the topic anymore. The student that speaks the longest wins! (you can give them grammar exercises when they finish! - "motivation")


Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching, bibliography

The mind's eye - Marley, Duff, Grellet
Working with images - Ben Golsteain
The magazine Picture Library - Janet McAlpin
Pictures in action - Gunter Gerngross & Herbert Puchta
Visual impact - David A Hill
Pictures for language learning - Andrew Wright


Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 10

News quest
  1. Have different pictures around the room - with a blank piece of paper under them
  2. Let the students walk around and write questions for the pictures (things they would like to know about the picture)
  3. Devide the students into pairs and let them choose a picture
  4. The students now have to write a news article (make sure they answer all the questions in the article)

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 9

Where would you put yourself in the picture?
Students look at a picture of people/ a scene etc. and decide where they would put themself in the picture. Let them explain why and give reasons for their decision.

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 8

What are they saying?
Find many different pivtures of people showing a storng emotion! Put the pictures around the room, and let the students walk around and decide what the people are saying - maybe there is a story connected to the pictures, let the students use their imagination..

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 7

My snap!
Let the students find a picture on their phone (or tell them to bring a photo). Tell the class or a partner about the photo, then the other(s) can ask questions.

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 6

Who are you in the picture?
You need a picture with more than one person on it! (could be: Nighthawks by Edward Hopper)
The students have to decide who they want to be in the picture - but not tell anyone!
Now ask them these questions, and let them write it down
  1. How old are you?
  2. What is your name?
  3. What happened to you yesterday?
  4. How are you feeling?
  5. What is going to happen next?
  6. What do you look forward to?
  7. What do you regret?
Let them tell the other students what they wrote down, and see if they can guess who they are... (you can use different questions - it depends on the picture)



Place a table in the middle of the classroom (you can use props as well) Let the students make "a statue", and write correct sentences.

           In this case: Alex is under the table - can you come up with more?

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 5

Four corners!
Hang a picture in each corner of the classroom (you can do this with different topics og themes: Holidays, seasons, destinations, sports, food, people, music/ band, transport, people you would like to get stuck in a lift with/ sit next to at a dinner party etc. etc.)
Let the students go to the picture they prefer, and ask them why they chose this picture, or let them try to persuade the other students to come to their picture..

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 4

My film scene
Show a picture on the screen (any picture - you deside) - the students have to imagine this is a picture from a movie
- the students write down the following:
1: What type of movie is this?
2: The Setting - Where does the movie take place?
3: Time - When does the movie take place?
4: How many characters are there in the movie? Who are they?
5: What is the plot of the movie?
6: How does the movie end?
Then talk about it, and if you have a lot of time, write a summary of the movie, act a scene from the movie etc.

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 3

½ a picture :-)
Find pictures of people, cut them in halfs, vertically! Give one to each student, and ask them to pair up (rules: don'r show the picture - describe it)
Assignment for pictures of famous people:
When the students have paired up, one has to be the person, and one has to be a reporter - make an interview (present it to the rest of the class)
Assignment for pictures of non-famous people:
When the students have paired up, they must decide who this person is, write it down, and tell the person's story to the rest of the class..

Day 5 - songs and poetry (6 July)

Four ideas...
1: Frank Sinatra - I like New York in June
Give the students this:
I like ____ in ___, how about you?
I like a ______ tune, how about you?
I love a _____ when a ______ is due
I like ________, ________, ________ - how about you?
-> let them fill in the gaps with their own words, and compare to the song
2: Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner
Make some slips with words from the song, work in groups and tell the students to grap the words when they hear them. Then: put them in the right order and check.
3: Johnny Cash - A boy named Sue
Cut the song into pieces, let the students guess the right order, listen to the song and put them in the right order (don't give them the very last bit of the song!)
Who gave hin his name?
Does he like his name?
What does he think of his name in the end of the song?
What is he going to name his son?
4: The Beatles - She is leaving home
Sentences are copied in different colours (one colour pr group!) Listen to the song and have each group put their sentences in the right order. Then put all the sentences in the right order on the board - while you listen to the song (choose a runner pr group - and have blue tag ready!)

And... a coupla of great music videos:
Coldplay - the Scientist (recreate the story!)
Carly Rae Jepsen - Call me maybe (Irony)

Pub quiz :-)

A great idea for teaching is to make a traditional English pub quiz! Make the questions to fit your students - you could end a topic this way and see what your students have learned about the topic.

Little Miss...

Check this out:
Link: To buy Little Miss - and to get information!

Day 4 - Technology and E-projects (5 July)

This is a list of usable web sites: (different subjects and topics) (to create your own poll) (About culture and being global) (You can make movies - but dvolver is better for secundary school!) (student - student, and you can also share teacher experiences) (create your own movie) (you and your students can make a survey) (A travel agency - If you want your students to pretend to go somewhere - Armchair travelling) (to create comic strips)
Teacher's extra: (explains how to use different teacher-sites, very easy!)

Feel free to comment - you may have other great sites :-)

A great app

I found these great dice in England - I can recommend them for your classroom, and I also found out you can get them as an app.. Enjoy
Link: Story cubes - app
Link: Story cubes - buy online


The Egg Drop

A fun activity - Give your students the following:
2 x paperclips
2 x rubber bands
2 x pieces of string
2 x pieces of newspaper
1 x jiffy cloth
(and they can use scissors and tape)
+ of course: An egg!
"You have to throw the egg out the window, and it can't break!"
(and don't show your students these pictures!)

The Globe on Tour - Hamlet

A great evening in the beautiful Queens Garden


I am in England so sorry seems to be the perfect word! We are so busy here in Cambridge, I will try to write more, but I might not be able to write it all now! I have my notes and will write it all - at the latest when I get home.. Enjoy your summer, and remember to comment on the blogs :-)


Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching 2

What is it?
Create random pictures (lines, shapes, waves...) They shouldn't look like anything in particular..
Divide the students into groups, give them a picture, and ask: "What is on this picture?". Give them 5 minutes to discuss it, and have them present it to the rest of the class...

Critical thinking!

We had an interesting plenary talk, by Lindsay Clandfield (author of Fifty-two - also an E-book!)
Visit his blog: or check out the book!

Day 3 - Unusual resources and mobile phones (4 July)

Today we learned how you can use anything for creative teaching!
Main objects: Post-its, paperclips, rubber bands, and string! But you can use ANYthing...
I will give you an idea using post-its:
Let the students write questions on post-its (answer on the back) - or you can make questions for a text! Put the questions on the board, and write a number by each one. Divide the class into groups, they take turns trying to answer questions - the group that gets the most post-its win.-- this is really fun!
Mobile phones:
It is important that you know your students' phones - which one they have, and more importantly what they can do!
- have them switch the language into English
- switch the time to 12 hours
- let them make a presentation of their phone
- create a story on the voice recorder (one sentence per group, and the one with the phone walks around to the other groups)
- Use QR codes! Link to website: QR codes (here you can create your own codes)


Ambassador of Bell

I have now signed up as an ambassador of Bell, so don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested in a course, if I get 5 people to take a course, I get one for free :-)
Bell's homepage

Picture this - 10 ways to use pictures in teaching

This was a really inspiring workshop with Anna Young - the 10 ways will be here, but today you get the first one:
Sound/ spelling - pictures
1: You find a great picture, with lots of different things on, make groups, and see which group can find the most things with the letter S or whatever is suited for the picture!

Day 2 - grammar and feedback (3 July)

Another great day in Cambridge, today our course started being really creative...
Do you ever feel that grammar gets a bit boring, and you (the teacher) are explaining the grammar rules over and over again? Well I do, so I was happy to discuss deductive vs. inductive approaches today... Obviously we all agreed they go together, but the students might remember inductive approaches better!
Following is at quick list of two grammar games:
- Yoga with students: give them pictures whit different poses - have them make instructions, so they can explain the exercise to the other classmates - without using the picture..
- Make the students write adjectives on post-its, make them into a board game, and let them play (when they land on a post-it, they have to make a sentence with the adjective) Let the students make up the rules. Remember dice and counters!
Next up is creative feedback on written assignments!
- True or false quiz
- Put sentences, from the assignments, on the board. Make groups of 3 or 4 (Roles: 1: Runner - gets a sentence from the board 2: Expert - corrects the sentence 3: Writer - writes it down 4: checker - checks the sentence)
Enjoy :-)

Day 1 - the first day of the course (2 July)

The first day of the course was an introduction to "Creativity in the classroom"! I met my great classmates - we are nine in this course, so that's just perfect! Keywords: Getting to know the classmates, what is creativity, the ideal student/ teacher.
Exercise of the day (I will try to put in a great exercise every day!):
"Speed dating"
Aim: To get to know eachother
How to: the students have to sit on two lines, across from one another. They get 1 minute to talk about who they are etc., and then one line move. After everyone have spoken the lines get together in groups and discuss who they are... Enjoy :-)


Bye bye Denmark...

Today is the day, in about seven hours I'm off to Cambridge



Finally... I now know I'm going to Cambridge this summer..