Friday, October 26, 2012

Giveaway Winners

Dear all,

thank you once again so much for reading my blog and a special thanks to those who entered the giveaway. So here are the winners:


Martina Valenčak
Bryce Maximus
Stana Pavić

Congratulations to all! I would like you to send your addresses to my e-mail so that we can ship the prizes. 

I apologize for not being very active this past few weeks, I had some things to take care of, but I'll be back full time from my following post on.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My First Giveaway

Dear all, 

In order to say thank you for visiting my blog, I decided to do my first giveaway. I’m really grateful for each and every one of you from all over the world, and I hope that this blog does help you and give you at least a bit of inspiration to be the most creative teachers you can be.

The first part of the grand prize for this giveaway is a GRADED READERS book. For those of you who are new to this you can get more information about what graded readers are here.

These are great for your classes because you can use them as obligatory readings, do different projects with them, use just parts of them in your classes or just make your students aware of the fact that there are many books they can read in English, even if they have just started learning it. 

There are many different publishers of graded readers, but the one I’m giving to you this time is from Oxford Bookworms Club – Silver Edition (Stages 2 and 3) 

 It includes the following stories:

The Christmas Presents, by O. Henry
Netty Sargent and the House, by Thomas Hardy
Too Old to Rock and Roll, by Jan Mark
Walk in Amnesia, by O. Henry
The Five Orange Pips, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe

After every story, there are some tasks to check your students’ reading comprehension on different levels. You can get more information about this book here
But, that’s not all. I’m so happy to announce that there will be 4 runners up prizes as well, and these are pretty amazing too. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you could have seen that I recently discovered this amazing magazine for learning English, which is called View. It’s a relatively new magazine, since its current issue is only the 3rd one. The publishers of View decided to donate 5 issues of the 1st edition of View for this giveaway (1 for the grand prize winner and 4 more), so a big thanks to them! 

 This is what they say about View (taken from their website):

View is a magazine for learning English. It was born out of the idea of learning English through reading interesting and educational articles. Travels, movies, music, learning methods, English grammar, are only some of the regular themes through which we try to entertain, educate and inform our readers. At the end of the articles there is a glossary containing useful words, English definitions and translations to native language.

Editor-in-chief is Conrad Ian Kellett, an experienced professor of English. Our correspondents are a blend of native and non-native speakers with a background in education and with experience in writing graded texts. 

The magazine is intended for everyone who wants to learn, improve or maintain their knowledge of English. Subscribers are students and teachers alike, schools of foreign languages, libraries, high schools....

The magazine is published bimonthly.

To sum up, the prizes will be as follows:
  1. Oxford Bookworms Club – Silver Edition (Stages 2 and 3) + View magazine (1st edition)
  2. View magazine (1st edition)
  3. View magazine (1st edition)
  4. View magazine (1st edition)
  5. View magazine (1st edition)
What you need to do to enter the giveaway is the following:
  1. You have to leave a comment on this post saying what you would like to read about on my blog and any other suggestions or comments you might have about it.
  2. You have to LIKE my FB page: Creative Teacherette
  3. You have to share the information about this giveaway on your Facebook (just share the link on this post I posted on my FB page and make sure it is public, so that I can see it)
  4. You have to LIKE the FB page of View magazine.
And that’s all! You have until October 25th 6 p.m. CET to enter the giveaway. Once the deadline is met, I’ll use to generate the winner and I’ll announce the winners in the post following that date. They will also be contacted per e-mail or via FB. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll pick new winners.

Good luck to everyone and thank you so much for reading my blog!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Free Writing

I’m not really a good writer, especially when it comes to creative writing, so it’s no surprise that I hated the lessons in which we had to come up with and write a story or something similar. Free writing is a method that can help your students deal with similar feelings and practice creative writing. 

Students are asked to write about something for 5 minutes without break, without thinking about the process, no grammar awareness is needed and it is not graded. They choose whether they are ready to share the written with the others after the 5 minutes have passed. 

So the rules are:
  1. you continue your writing before the time is up
  2. you do not evaluate the quality of the text itself, but just the ideas
  3. you ignore the spelling rules
  4. after 5 minutes give them one more minute to finish, because good ideas come under pressure
At first it might be difficult to write about anything, so you could give them a topic, as simple as “a chair” or “a window”. But avoid doing it if you can because the purpose of free writing is to write about the first thing that comes to your mind, even if it’s: “I have no idea what to write about. What a stupid activity, I wish I could be in my bed now, sleeping...”

Try doing this activity as often as possible, so that your students get into routine of writing. And have fun, of course!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Types of People

A few days ago I found this handout with words for different types of people that can be great for vocabulary enriching. Your students should use a dictionary to find what the unfamiliar words mean and then use the words in sentences. Best thing would be if they could connect the words to themselves, which is one of the most common affective strategies. 

Tell them to use a word that begins with the capital letter of their names as follows: “I’m Anna and I’m an assessor.” The rest of the class should describe what an assessor is using a sentence: “Anna is a person, who…” It could also be done the other way around – a student describes him-/herself and then the rest of the class has to guess the word. This can be done in groups and in pairs. 

You can find the key to the handout here.

Do you use affective strategies when teaching? Does it work?

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I’ve always wondered how it is possible to teach someone something from scratch, especially when it comes to grammar and learners who are just starting with a new foreign language. It can be really difficult to explain certain grammar structures without using meta-language, but that’s exactly what can happen if you are teaching young learners or someone who has no idea what an infinitive is, let alone tense or aspect. It’s even more difficult when there are some language structures that do not appear in their mother tongue and then you really have to give your best to make it understandable and as concrete as possible. 

Imperative can be tricky, but if you introduce some culture and make it fun, your students might just come around eventually. There is a beautiful poem written by W. H. Auden called “Funeral Blues”, which you can use to introduce the imperative. Tell your students to read the poem and circle all the verbs. Afterwards ask the students to whom the author is speaking, what he wants the reader to do and how the author does that. Together you can name the forms of the verbs that are used to instruct someone to do something and conclude that imperative form is used for commands.

Another great thing for practicing imperative are recipes. For this activity your students should work in pairs. Prepare the envelopes with recipes in advance and distribute the envelopes to each pair. Each envelope contains two recipes and “ingredients” for the meals, which are written on pieces of paper. Instruct them to do the activity as follows: “One member of the pair should take the “Tortilla recipe” and the other “Cheese Omelet recipe”. Also take the ingredients you need. Now each student should fill in the blanks on their own recipe and then instruct the other student to make their meal with the ingredients. Those who receive instructions should do exactly what they are told.” This way your students will practice giving instructions and commands.

I’m feeling extremely generous this week, so here’s my lesson plan for this class on imperative. All the other materials can be downloaded from the links in the post.

Hope this helps!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

To apologize for being inactive for the last 4 days, today I decided to give you the whole lesson plan on one of my favorite books of all time - Jonathan Livingston Seagull. This is a lesson plan for 90 minutes, which is a double class in Croatia. It deals with literature and uses different methods and activities to work this story by Richard Bach.

"Dicing" was the first method I presented, and you can read all about it here

I also used "Literary Circles", which was presented here

Then there is a method called "Save the Last Word for Me", which is very useful for shy and silent students. While reading a paragraph, students are asked to find one or more quotations they consider quite interesting and comment worthy, each student writes their own quotation on a piece of paper (they should not forget the page number) and send it to the others to comment. On the other side of the paper the other students (in a row) write their comments about the quotation. During the next class the students bring their own quotation with the comments of the others and the teacher asks someone to read theirs out loud. After certain quotation has been read, the teacher asks for comments and reactions from other students. To end a discussion about the quote the teacher asks the student who chose it to read his/her comment aloud (there is no discussion afterwards). Teacher can now call out another student to read their quote and start a new discussion.

 The concept of the whole lesson is "Reading with Anticipation", which is another great method for literature classes. You basically cut out the pieces of a story and your students read it piece by piece, anticipating what could happen next. This way it all gets more interesting.

You can download all the materials for this class if you click on the following links or in my older posts from the introduction:

 What do you think about this lesson? Would you use it or some parts of it in your classes?