Padlet (which used to be called “wallwisher”) is an extremely easy website to use and set up with your students. You create a free account with your email and a password and then create a page where video, pictures, audio, text, webpage links can all be uploaded. You invite your students by email to the wall you create (or they can create their own) and it is kept private.
- Problem page:
- In class, ask your students to write down typical problems they have had at home or school. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, “create” two teenagers and get your class to imagine all sorts of problems they might have. Write the problems on pieces of paper in the first person and check the grammar (and suitability of content).
- For homework, invite your students to the “Agony Aunt” padlet page and get them to upload the problems they wrote in class. This can also be done in class if you access to computers.
- Show the padlet on the screen in your classroom with all of the problems. Get students to write a piece of advice to some or all of the problems (using functional language for giving advice) on post-its and come up to the board and stick the advice next to the problem.
- When your students have finished, they can vote for the best piece of advice given. Here are some sample problems in the lefthand column, with the students’ advice on the right.
- Writing reviews
- Create a padlet wall based on films you know your students like. You can add video clips of the film trailers, publicity posters, photos of the stars, audio of the sound tracks and reviews from the Internet.
- Invite your students via email to the padlet wall and they can either add to it with their own film preferences or just read what you have put there.
- Ask your students to choose one film and write a review (in pairs in class or for homework) after having looked at the material on the padlet wall.
- Correct and check the reviews. For homework get students to upload their reviews to padlet.
- Encourage students to read each others’ reviews and upload positive comments about them. Follow-up work could include students creating their own walls about films they like and sharing them with others.
This tool is free and there is also an app which can be downloaded for use outside the classroom (or for homework). It is therefore useful for both classwork and self-study. Your students can share tests via dropbox or email.
- Get your students to write a list of grammar points they have studied and log onto quizlet. Search quizlet together for the grammar eg present perfect simple and past simple, and do the test as a class competition.
- You can choose to do a race to fill in words as they fly past the computer screen – get students to write the words on mini whiteboards in pairs or work on their computers.
- You can build your own sets of flashcards to test/teach vocabulary.
- Students can make their own tests on the apps on their phones and share them with each other to do at home.
Voicethread is particularly useful for practising speaking with your students. After you have created a free account, you can upload video, pictures and audio and invite your students. It can also be embedded into a class blog if you have one.
- Speaking practice
- Upload photos to voicethread and invite your students to the page. Show your students the page in class and explain what you want them to do.
- Record yourself giving the task eg Describe what you can see in each photo for about 30 seconds / OR Compare the 2 photos for about 1 minute. Add an example of you doing the task if you want to show your students what you expect.
- Students upload their spoken descriptions and you can listen to them in class OR as a homework task.
- Follow up with some self-analysis questions which students can discuss in class, for example, Do I sound fluent? Is it easy to understand me when I speak? What words do I have problems with?
- Opinion writing
- Upload an interesting / controversial video eg Michael Jackson changing face, 40 seconds long with no talking.
- Show your students the video in class and get them to discuss it in pairs to brainstorm and share opinions. Students then write a short paragraph about the video in pairs which you can correct using language of giving opinions.
- For homework or in class if you have computers, students upload their written comments which can then be used for follow-up discussion in the next lesson.