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Important Issues in ESL
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Groundhog Day ESL Lesson
February 2, 2014
Groundhog Phil saw his shadow, so we can expect six more weeks of winter. Here is a simple Groundhog Day lesson that has photos and can be shown in ESL classrooms that have interactive whiteboards. There are also links to picture puzzles to help students celebrate this fun holiday.
President JFK's Assassination
November 11, 2013
PBS.org has a three-part series on the life of President Kennedy. The fifty year anniversary of his assassination is coming up on November 22. I watched all three parts and was mesmerized, especially by the first part. I learned a lot about his early life that I didn't know. We, the public, now know that he had Addison's disease and was in pain, but I didn't realize how bad it was. The third part by NOVA shows that the one gunman theory was probably correct. I was eight years old and was at school when his death was announced. I remember my teacher going in the hallway and coming back with swollen eyes. Our principal announced it on the PA system and played a snippet of the newscast announcing Kennedy's assassination (or death). We drew a scene of his burial place. I place his grave under a tree with a small standing tombstone that was rounded at the top. Where were you when Kennedy was shot? It's a day we all remember.
College Grads Lack Civics Knowledge
November 15, 2013
This is a quote from TIME magazine regarding new college graduates per information from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni: "half know that the U.S. Constitution establishes the separation of powers. Forty-three percent failed to identify John Roberts as Chief Justice; 62% didn't know the correct length of congressional terms of office." I think they need to use my website to review their civics knowledge.
November 11, 2013
Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all the past and current soldiers of our armed forces. TIME magazine has an article this week about Bobby Henline, a young man who was burned over 40% of his body while serving in Iraq on his fourth tour of duty in 2007. He works as a stand-up comic now. His routine includes jokes about his burns. He enjoys confronting his injuries head on and believes that sharing jokes with fellow wounded soldiers keeps their spirits up. God bless you, Bobby. You can find our Veterans Day lesson here. It is designed to be shown on classroom interactive white boards and it includes free downloadable ESL worksheets.
Chris Christie Won Re-election
November 6, 2013
New Jersey governor Chris Christie won re-election yesterday. He is a moderate Republican who is able to work with Democrats to get things done. Do you think he will run for president in 2016? I think he is leaning toward doing so. I'd like to see him and Hillary Clinton on the same ticket! Dream team: a Republican and a Democrat working together? Okay, that's not going to happen, but they might run against each other.
Daylight Savings Time Lesson
November 2, 2013
Halloween is over and ESL teachers are moving on to the next holiday. Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 3. I have an easy ESL Daylight Savings Time Lesson on this site. It has nine photos and some free downloadable worksheets. The lesson shows well on interactive whiteboard. The photos can be seen from the back of the classroom.
Affordable Care Act for ESL Students
October 21, 2013
The government's ACA website is http://www.healthcare.gov. You might want to write this website address on the board and let your ESL students know that they might qualify for free or low cost health insurance. I created an account and applied online a few days ago and the site was working, but it is a complicated process with lots and lots of questions. It took me about 12 minutes to complete the process. I don't see how ESL students who are intermediate or lower could handle this process on their own. There is also a link on the main page where you can call an operator instead of applying online. This is probably a better option for English as a Second Language students.
ESL Lessons for the First Week of Class
August 8, 2013
It's important to review basic ESL vocabulary words the first week of a new school year. Here are some easy ESL lessons for the first week of class. They include: items in the classroom, days of the week, counting by tens, the alphabet, telling time, months of the year and more. I hope ESL teachers find the lessons helpful. Be sure to check out the free downloadable worksheets at the bottom of the lesson pages. Good luck to you and your students.
ESL Teachers Prepare for the New School Year
August 14, 2013
If you're teaching ESL this semester, remember to relax before the start of the new school year. You'll want to feel refreshed and ready to give your students your best. I find that the better prepared I am the more I can relax. It really pays to have one week's worth of lesson plans written and all materials selected, gathered, and copied.
Presidential Medals of Freedom - Oprah and Clinton
August 10, 2013
The Obama administration announced the Presidential Medal of Freedom award winners Thursday. Media star Oprah Winfrey, President Bill Clinton, feminist Gloria Steinem, astronaut Sally Ride, musician Arturo Sandoval, and coach Dean Smith are this year's winners. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was started by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. About 500 people have received the medal.
Hidden Picture Worksheets - Printable and Free
June 20, 2013
Summer school should be FUN for K12 and ESL students. Here are some free hidden picture worksheets that I posted to this website. I usually have my students describe the picture and practice saying the vocabulary words after they have found the hidden items in the picture. These worksheets are perfect for classrooms because they have the English vocabulary words listed on the bottom of the downloadable pages. The pdf files may take a little longer than usual to download because of the images. Enjoy and have a fun game day.
Who Was President When Your Parents Were Born
June 4, 2013
Don't know why, but today I started wondering who was president when my parents were born. My dad was born in 1922, so Warren G. Harding was president. My mom was born in 1930, so Herbert Hoover was president. Calvin Coolidge was president between these two. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president when I was born in 1955. Fun trivia. You might want to look up who was president when YOUR parents were born.
Google Invited Me...!
April 12, 2011
Google has invited me to an AdSense conference in Irvine. I'm thrilled. It's from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They discuss how website owners can improve traffic and ad income. The neatest thing is that they also give one-on-one customized SEO recommendations for one of your sites. I imagine they will have some great suggestions about ad placements and colors. I think they are also interested in signing people up for their Double Click program. The notice they sent said that 400 people in Southern California attended last year's event. It's invitation only, so I'm glad I made the list. Can't wait to hear what they have to say.
ESL Teachers Applying for Unemployment
June 25, 2010
Like many other ESL teachers, I'm off for the whole summer this year. Bummer! I usually work summer school, so I'm going to miss the income. I filed for Unemployment and had my phone interview on Tuesday. I filed using the online form on California's official website. You can go to www.ca.gov and click on the link near the top that says "Jobs" and then select "Unemployment and Disability".
If UI denies your case, be sure to appeal. I was denied benefits last year, but I won on appeal. I cited a California legal case called Cervisi et al. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. You can look up this case online and learn more about it. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't want to mislead anyone.
Here's a quote: "The Superior Court concluded that "under the statute, an assignment that is contingent on enrollment, funding, or program changes is not a 'reasonable assurance' of "employment." The Court of Appeal adopted the Superior Court's findings and held that a contingent assignment is not a "reasonable assurance" of continued employment within the meaning of Section 1253.3."
Hope this helps. I'm glad we live in a country where the courts protect our rights. (I'm going to leave this blog post up so that you can find it next summer.)