Saturday, 22 May 2010

Week 7

This week was great fun working with PPT presentations. This is not new to me, since I’ve used interactive PPT presentations for quite some time, but I still learned a lot with the materials available for consultation.

I think PPT presentations can be a powerful tool for us teachers to use with all sorts of classes and for all types of subjects/topics, unfortunately most teachers still tend to use it just like they used the overhead projector some years ago: to present what they are saying and to ask students to write down what they have written on the slides. Essential it would be to make it interactive and insert videos, songs, hyperlinks, games, pictures so we can make our classes more interesting and motivate the students while involving them in the presentation as participants as well.

Of everything great I read this week I found the article by Garr Reynolds “Top Ten Slide Tips” most useful since it sums up all the important aspects to take into consideration when preparing a PPT presentation, besides we could also use it to give our students some information on how to build a good presentation, since most of them today are already making their own PPT presentations to present schoolwork. I guess I`m going to use it to give this information to my 10th graders to help them in their final project presentation!

(By the way, in the project, this week my students have already started building their individual pages with an initial presentation in the website I created, they are really enjoying the possibility of commenting on each other pages… this means more production, great! Meanwhile I’m correcting the written papers.)

This week I also prepared an interactive PPT which I shared with the group, to revise the Present Continuous with my 7th grade students, I inserted a song a video, sounds, animated gifs, an hyperlink to a website where I have some English exercises for further practice, and created a multiple choice exercise in it. I`ve already used it in class and I can say the students enjoyed it a lot and even asked me to work with it on their own!

As for technology aids in large classes, I must start by saying that I have no experience with large classes, but it`s been quite interesting reading and learning about this. My classes normally have no more than 30 students, but for me no language class should have more than 10 students, so, I can say I have never had my ideal class… Even though the size of the class is important I guess the most important will be the strategies and techniques used to teach English effectively.

For that purpose I discovered some new strategies in the article about interactive lectures,(summary of 36 formats), I enjoyed that idea of a bingo game by identifying answers on the cards, while the teacher gives the lecture, I think it can work with large classes and be quite motivating for the students.

Then an article really caught my attention “Teaching Naked: Why Removing Technology from Your Classroom Will Improve Student Learning” by Rick Reis, It was most interesting reading it since it alerts us to the fact that we should use more technology outside of the classroom to promote students’ learning before and after the lessons so we can interact more during lessons! Maybe this way we can have more time to play language games and to do some role-playing or some podcast recording or video creation with our students during class time. The idea of “teaching naked” is really interesting and I agree that giving students the means and incentives to learn the materials in advance, can improve students’ learning, and in fact that`s what we should aim at: improve our students’ learning!


  1. Dear Susana,

    I agree with you that the less students you have in the class the more effective your teaching will be. But if you manage to successfully teach a large class, you will be more joyful, because you will feel that you've achieved something big.



  2. Dear Susana,

    congratulations for the power-point presentation: it's really great, I'd love to be one of your students. You are right to say that most teachers, and even teacher trainers use the presentations just as lecture notes: nothing interesting, nothing interactive. I hate attending a conference or a seminar, look at the scree, hearing the trainer reading the lines on thr screen.. and what scares me most is the number of slides: 5 / 87. I am totally hopeless, I feel like running away, but politeness is stronger.

    I wish you all the best,