Speaker: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Kristi Reyes: Welcome. So, so great to have you here, ESL teachers. This is really about ESL, but if you teach ABE, this will pertain to you as well. This is about writing and how we can integrate tech with writing, and how students collaborate, and all of those things combined create community and help with your student persistence as well.
So my name is Kristi Reyes. I'm an OTAN subject matter expert, and I also teach ESL at MiraCosta College Continuing Ed. It's an adult program just like yours. So it's non-credit.
And so this is an overview of what we're going to be doing today. I have found that collaborative writing really helps those students who say, I can't write. Because when they see that their classmates can fuel them on and help them, then they can become more independent.
So through images and videos, we can integrate technology, and we can have students do the vocabulary and grammar that we're teaching. Instead of the boring old worksheets, they can be creative, working together, and have fun, and use language that we're teaching them in new and interesting ways.
So I'm going to show you lots of different activities. Slides that you're going to see are available. I'll share this, the [audio out] So our agenda, I feel that anything we do needs to be research based, grounded in evidence.
So sorry if that's a little boring for you. I won't spend too much time on that. But I want to go over a little bit of the research and standards basis for collaborative writing. Because there is strong research behind this. And then I'm going to go over a ton of different writing activities. I always overplan for my classes and my presentation, so I may not get to everything. But when you visit the slides, you can see a wealth of different activities that I may not have to cover, but you can go back and visit, and feel free to email me if you have questions at any time.
So some of these activities are to practice and just reinforce the language structures and vocabulary, and to help students connect the spoken grammar, or the speaking aspect of the vocabulary that they're learning to written production. But also, to kind of check in and get a diagnostic, maybe the formative assessment to see if what we're teaching is really sinking in.
And then I love to have students do error correction collaboratively. So for the grammar that, I'm sure you've seen this when you're teaching grammar, they know how to correct their own grammar mistakes. So how can we do that?
And then about the writing process. I find that students, give them a little bit of a long time for the introverts, but then, together, they can generate so many ideas for a writing prompt. So it's really great for pre-writing activities.
And then I like to have students in the beginning parts of my classes, before they start writing more independently, collaboratively work on summaries, descriptions, and narratives. So all of these activities that I'm going to show you, I've done face to face, in the classroom, remotely in Zoom, and even sometimes I've had them do on the learning management system at a distance, not even in sync. So people contributing at different times to something, maybe in Canvas.
So my goal is that you'll walk away with at least one new activity that you can try in your class to have students work collaboratively on their writing. So the research says that we really need to teach writing as a process. One time many years ago, I saw a teacher in my program. She has long retired, but she had students sitting at the computer typing the first draft of their paragraph.
They had not done any pre-writing, any idea generation, and then we're just sitting there staring at a blank screen. Well, we need to teach and build in those scaffolds. Because our students, if they walk away from our classes with anything, they need to walk away with how to approach a writing task, how to think of their ideas, list their ideas, all of those strategies, OK?
So no one, not you, not me, not experienced writers sits down at a computer and just starts typing away, right? So we probably might do that. But then we arrange and we walk away, and we talk to someone. So that will serve our students better.
Also, the research shows that, yes, grammar is important. It is important to help our students be accurate. But we should focus first on the content, the expression, the meaning, and later on that accuracy. Because if we go in with red pens and start marking every error, that is very demotivating.
So the lower order concerns, as they're called, come later. And then finally, when we are teaching grammar, make sure that we teach it within a context. So when I'm teaching a certain unit, if I'm teaching this coming week, I'm going to be teaching about favorite places, and students are going to be writing a paragraph about their favorite place.
And with that, they're going to be using passive. So you have to draw it out of the context. I'm not going to teach grammar in isolation. It has to come along with the reading, the theme, the writing that they will be producing.
So there are benefits also of having students write together, because as I said in the beginning, they can help each other generate better ideas. So can you answer in the chat, you saw back there the stages of the writing process, pre-writing, or generating ideas, writing the first draft, getting feedback from you or their peers on first on the content, then revising the content, then getting feedback on mechanics, those lower order concerns like grammar, or punctuation, all of that. Then editing, so fixing the mistakes. And then finally, publishing.
So can you answer in the chat, of those stages of the writing process, do you have your students write together, collaboratively, at any of those stages? And if so what stage? Can you please share in the chat?
Yes. Brainstorming. So what-- it just fits together. As I tell my students, two brains are better than one in discussing the topic, coming up with the topic. Yes, two brains are better than one. And in isolation, they may not have many ideas, and when they come together, wow, the number of ideas they can generate. And sometimes they come up with ideas I had never even thought of.
Outlining. That's very interesting. Thank you for that. But it seems like a lot of us are talking about brainstorming. But I want you to even think beyond brainstorming, even in the drafting stages. And the editing. So when you do have students do the brainstorming, for example, or the outlining, how do you do that collaboratively?
So maybe some of you are teaching remotely still. If you're using Zoom, or some other sort of video conferencing, do you have them go into breakout rooms? And how do you do that with the technology? And then, do you have them report back? Or how is it that you're doing that?
Or if you're doing outlining, or coming up with a topic, how exactly do you do that? Or if you're back in the classroom-- I remember when I was in the classroom, I would have those very large flip poster boards that we could rip off and tape around the classroom, right? How do you do all this?
Jamboard. Awesome. Google Doc, shared Google Doc. Breakout. Yes. The breakout rooms of three or four is kind of the magic number, in case someone walks away, right? Students draft first, and then share their work in a breakout room, and partner, peer review. Seeing how someone else approach the same writing assignment is so valuable, isn't it?
Reenactment of the discussion, wonderful. And finally, you mentioned a couple of tech tools. Google Docs. Oh, Promethean. Is that kind of like a learning management system? So you mentioned Google Docs. You mentioned Jamboard. Any other tech tools that you use for collaborative writing assignments that you can think of?
Pilot. Thank you, Polina. Yes. Just sharing in the chat. Yes, exactly. That works very well, doesn't it? Google Slides. Jodi, yes. OK, so you may not learn a whole lot of new tech tools, but you're hopefully going to see some new activities.
So you've probably heard of by now, but if not, at least you're going to walk away with learning this. The standards, in a moment. The CCRS are more for ABE and adult secondary. And there are the common, they're from the Common Core. College and career readiness anchor standards for writing.
As you can see, we need to have students develop and strengthen their writing by planning doing the writing process approach, writing narratives, and using technology. So here we are, standards based, right? And for English language proficiency standards for ESL, you can see Standard 3 at each of the levels. So if you're working with very beginning levels, that they should be able to write communicate in writing about familiar topics, their feelings, and experiences.
Up to our highest level of ESL students. They should be able to develop something more fully, and integrate graphics for multimedia when useful. And for English language proficiency standard number 6, for the ELPS. You see at the lowest level, our students should be able to understand and be able to point out what an author or speaker makes. And at the highest level, they're analyzing and pointing to specific text evidence in their writing.
So what do you think? Can you answer in the chat? As far as the benefits of having students write together. I've mentioned what I feel is. But can you think of any other benefits of having students write together? Comfort. Lower their fear, exactly. Model.
OK, we say multi-level. But isn't every single class we ever teach multi-level? The collaboration, the support, exactly. Speaking practice, discussion. You can talk it over. I don't know about you, when I'm trying to write something important, I want to talk to someone about it and get their idea.
It helps them fill gaps. It helps them feel relaxed, not alone. Exactly. Discovering the fragile nature of communication. Yes, exactly. So this is a lot to read on one slide. So I've just highlighted some of the important research, that planning strategies can really help the lower level students. In particular, when they're working with the higher level students, they can-- the modeling that you mentioned. They can see how the other higher level students approach it, and it kind of helps bring them up.
So it takes some of the teaching responsibility-- I won't call it responsibility, but some of the work off of you. And then it results in higher quality products. And there is a positive correlation when students are working together in collaborative writing, not only to their writing skills, but it transfers over into their reading, and their fluency.
You mentioned comfort, deeper thinking, construction of new knowledge. All of that. And its active learning. I don't know, when my students are just sitting, writing individually, I get really bored. I kind of prefer that they don't do that during class time when we were in person. There's nothing for me to do.
So I love this quote from Ann Raimes. She writes a lot about, and does research in the field of teaching of writing. And this I just love. This just made me really think about how I should do more collaborative writing activities with my students.
Writing does not need to be heads down like that in silent classroom, because why not have students talk more about their writing? So it's something that I've been working on, having students read each other's writing, talk about what they're going to write about, talk about what they wrote about, and throw ideas off of each other, and see how they can improve on their writing.
So we're going to look at some different activities. The first types of activities are for just practicing and reinforcing the grammar, vocabulary that we're teaching them into their writing.
So this first activity, some of Jamboard. If you do not know Jamboard, can you type no in the chat. It's become-- it's part of Google Suite. So if you have Gmail, if you use Google Slides, if you use Google Docs, you have Jamboard. You already have it. You just didn't know you have it.
It's really simple. It's kind of like Padlet, but a bit different. So what it looks like is it looks like this. And you can put images. And what you will see on this side-- it's kind of small in this image, so I blew it up-- is a toolbar like this. And there are different tools.
You can draw with a pen. You can erase if you've drawn with a pen. You can select to make something larger. And most of the time, what I have students use is the sticky note. And that's what you're going to use in a moment. This is where you can add images. You can draw shapes. You can add a text box.
And this is just for highlighting. Look at this, wow. That's it. So when you get these slides and you want to just practice a bit, you can try it with this link. We're going to try it together in a moment in groups.
So I teach ESL. And how many of you use civics EL Civics in your classes? You assess, and you're teaching ESL. And you use the EL Civics assessments. A lot of you? OK, so most of the WIOA ESL programs do use EL Civics, are little more dinero.
It's a little bit hard to do with remote instruction, but I'm sure you found your way. Well, there's one unit that our program uses, and I've been using it quite a bit recently, because this is a really big topic. Discrimination and harassment is the topic of this, in workplace environment.
And so it's about-- it's got a few different tasks. The tasks are that students report orally an invented act of discrimination and harassment. They fill out a report. And there's another task that totally slips my mind.
But I wanted to build it out into a bigger lesson with grammar included. And you probably-- this show has been around since I think the early 2000s. I don't know if it's on TV anymore, but the YouTube channel is there. Have you heard of this one before, What Would You Do? It's a show by this man, Quinones. I forgot his first name, of course.
And it's really got a lot of different situations ripped from the headlines. And so I wanted to show my students some different scenarios. But of course, before all of this, we had some really honest discussions about how our world is these days, and how there's tense-- it looks like there's a lot of racism, discrimination, and ugly acts. Let's just face it.
And so I wanted to give them some grammar. And they're there, and they want the grammar. So the grammar that really seemed to fit with this is unreal conditional. Because what would you do? So I found some different videos from What Would You Do that fit with this workplace environment rights unit. And I'm going to show you one of the videos.
And hopefully, our streaming will be fine. So this is one of the videos. I'm not going to show the whole entire video. So if you're unfamiliar with this TV show, it is based on real situations, but the people are actors. The people are re-enacting a situation, and there's a hidden camera.
And they are filming the reactions of people watching the situations. And here, it should be coming. It was all queued up nicely. But here it comes in just a moment.
We'll have to this ad in just a second here. Here we go.
- You guys can have a seat right here.
- Thank you.
- Yeah. And we'll be able to get you started shortly.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm. Enjoy.
- I can't wait to order. I'm so hungry.
- Yeah, this place has really good food.
- Hey, how are you folks doing today? My name is Miguel.
- Manuel, agua, por favor.
- Excuse me, it's Miguel, and I'll be your waiter today. And today's specials are--
- Is this a Mexican restaurant or something?
- Look, Manuel, nothing personal, just grab our waters and send over that nice lady to take our orders.
- Sorry, she's the hostess. Is there something wrong?
- Honestly, yeah. You in this country. Lord knows how many real Americans you've taken this job from.
Kristi Reyes: OK, so of course, well, some emotions came out. But my students really wanted to talk to each other about this. Let me tell you. So what we did then is yeah, really painful, right? And so what we did then is I created this Jamboard. And I'm going to have you do what my students did.
So this is the What Would You Do Jamboard. So I took a screenshot of that video, just one on part of the video. And this is the first video. So with Jamboard, you can have many slides. This is the first video. You see up here at the top, I have the second video.
And I forgot to take off -- I forgot to take off with my students had written. I repurposed theirs. And here's the third video. And here's the fourth video, I'm going to have you practice what my students did with their videos.
So what I did is I put sort of a sentence starter. If I were the food server, I would. And if I were a customer in the restaurant, I would. So we're going to try this out. We're going to go to breakout rooms, and what you're going to do is you're going to have one person in your group share your screen, OK?
I'm going to copy this right now into the chat. And before I send you to your breakout rooms, I'm going to make sure that someone in your breakout room can share their screen. So this is going in the chat right now.
This link to this. This is the Jamboard. And whoever decides to share their screen, you're going to go to the right side over here. I'm sorry, left side. And you're going to go to the sticky note. And when you click on it, it's going to appear like that.
You can change the color, and you're going to listen to your teammates, and you're going to work together to write what you would do if you were the food server, and what you would do if you were another customer in the restaurant and you overheard this. What would you do? So I'm going to send you to the breakout rooms.
All right. Well, thank you, everybody. So you see how that works? Now, not all of our students are really good with technology. So the one who kind of feels more comfortable can do this the first time you use Jamboard, and the next time, they can kind of coach the other student, right?
But you see how they're kind of working together, and it really helps if you have that multi-level. But I teach a class as one level, but some students don't really-- they maybe they didn't get my explanation of the grammar the first time.
So they're kind of peer teaching. And they say, no, it's not. If I were, it's, remember what the teacher said? So they kind of do that. And this could be for many different things. So what you notice here is I have this image that I just put that's movable.
If something like your image ever disappears, there is a history, just like in Google Docs that you can go back to a previous version. But also, in Jamboard, you probably know that you could set a background. So let's say you're having students do descriptive writing together.
You could set a background that it's not mobile. It's the entire slide. And then students could be writing, or even at lower levels of ESL, labeling the vocabulary with sticky notes on a picture. So of course, very versatile Jamboard. But this is how I've been using it, one, different ways for generating ideas, but also for the productive practice of grammar.
So going back to how that went with this particular EL Civics unit, the students then met with me in Zoom one to one to do this oral assessment, where they report a made up situation. It really broke my heart, because at the end of making this oral report, of reporting a situation where they had experienced discrimination or harassment, at the end of each made up situation, they all told me that that situation that they were telling me about had really happened to them. So it's an interesting time we're living in. We need to give our students a voice.
So moving on. Another thing we can do, I just, I'm starting to feel my age a bit. In my daughter's class she has at the community college, she has a millennial instructor, and he uses memes. He says, OK, students. Get on your phone and text me a meme of how you're feeling about the class right now. And I thought, I need to I need to get with the 21st century, I guess.
So we can have students do things with memes. There is something called-- it's down here in the bottom right, imgflip.com. So let's say you're teaching some vocabulary. In this case, it my situation was I was teaching vocabulary. But it could be grammar.
And you want them to work together, maybe in Zoom, or in a computer lab, or on their phone in the classroom together and come up with a meme, a sentence, and a definition to show that they understand, in this case, the vocabulary, or to use the grammar structure in the novel way. So memes are now. So maybe we should do more with that. And that's how we could do that.
This is something that I do a lot. This could be any vocabulary, any vocabulary at all. But for my students, besides the vocabulary that we were working on from the readings that we did in class, I wanted them to learn some idioms. So every week, they would watch some YouTube videos from a channel-- and I have the playlist here if you want to see what that channel is-- and they would take notes on what that idiom meant, with an example, and the etymology where this idiom came from.
And then they would have conversation in Zoom breakout rooms, with questions I gave them to use the idioms. And they would do the discussion board on Canvas using some writing using the idioms. So this could be any, any vocabulary. But then they also would then take a quiz.
Well, when we got to the end of the term, we had all these new idioms that they have learned. And instead of giving them a traditional test, I decided to have students make the test. So in the last evening of class, we were in Zoom in breakout rooms, and I created a shared Google slideshow.
I won't read you the instructions. You can return to this later. And I said, OK, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to share you this blank Google shared slideshow to your breakout rooms. You're going to go there, and you're going to wait for me. You're going to just have some small talk, and you're going to wait for me to come to your room.
And everybody's going to have your group number, and you're going to type in your name. I'm going to visit your room and I'm going to tell your group three idioms. Do not write the idioms on your slide. You write a clue, a dialogue, a picture.
So you can see, it could be for any vocabulary. And then when everybody's finished, we're going to come back together and have our test. So this was our test. This is, first of all, my sample. So what do you think is this idiom is?
I can't believe this storm. Yes, it's raining cats and dogs. Yes, very good. It's raining cats and dogs. So that was my sample. So see if you can get these other ones. It's not hard. It's a piece of cake. Yes. So you see, idioms are hard, but they were able to think of an image. They had really learned these idioms.
How about this one? Please, don't give up. This one's a little harder. Has to do with boxing. We don't have boxing fans here?
Student: You'll learn the ropes. Learn the ro--
Kristi Reyes: Don't give up. When the coach wants you to stop the match.
Student: Never heard of that one.
Student: Don't throw in the towel?
Kristi Reyes: Don't throw the towel in the ring?
Kristi Reyes: Don't throw in the towel. Yes. This one's easier. I haven't seen you for a long time but we meet each other again. What a?
Student: Small world.
Kristi Reyes: Yes. So you see, they came with some really great examples. And that one even threw you all off, right? I mean, this is really advanced. I was so proud of them, that they really remembered.
Because sometimes we teach vocabulary, or in this case an idiom, and we just go too fast. But I kept repeating every week, and here was the test. And they all got all of them so fast, we finished the test like in a matter of minutes. But it was really fun. And so you can do this with any vocabulary.
Low ESL, it could be a picture. Higher level, you know, ABE higher level ESL, you could even, with very abstract words. That would be a challenge. But a good challenge for them, right? To try to think of an image, or try to think of some sort of dialogue or a sentence. Not the exact definition, but some context where someone may use that word for the others to try to understand what that word is.
Student: Kristi, a question, you made up the test, they didn't, right?
Kristi Reyes: They wrote all of this.
Student: They wrote they wrote the A and B and got the picture?
Kristi Reyes: Yep. So this was one group. All I did was make a blank slideshow, Google slideshow. And then they put in their names. And so I said, OK, Oleg, Ofelia, and Judith. You're group three. Put in your names. And then I went to their Zoom room and said, your idiom is what a small world, and then to others. I can't remember.
So everybody had three idioms, every group. Yep. And they created this together. One person was sharing this screen in their breakout room, and the others were giving ideas. So the one person who felt a little more tech savvy with Google Slides was doing the work. But they were all sharing the language. Yep.
So this, Adverbs of Agreement-- so, too, either, neither. That's really spoken grammar. And when you have a large class, to have everybody in Zoom or in the classroom give their oral presentation takes up a lot of class time. [laughs] Although I love it, I just want to see really quick that they can use this.
And it's really hard, when even if I'm going from Zoom room to Zoom room, or walking around the classroom, to hear everyone. So what I wanted to do for this spoken grammar is to see that students could do it, and for them to help each other and correct each other as well.
So it's not really written grammar. But I wanted them to use it by interviewing each other, and coming up with how they could construct that. So what students did? They were paired up, and they had a set of questions, which you can get from this link right here.
And they tried to find their similarities and differences, and made a Google slideshow, or PowerPoint. And so these two young ladies, they created this. They put in their images. And these were their sentences. I won't read them. But they put in the images. And after they created their sentences, they showed me that they could use the words so, too, either, and neither.
And so how-- and I'm still teaching remotely. So I have-- one class I have 25 students still. And so I feel a little bit bad. I do have students make presentations, Google slideshows, PowerPoints, and so forth. But it's just there's not enough time to hear everyone.
So I don't know how you've been handling it. But what I've been doing is dividing the whole class into two Zoom breakout rooms. And they kind of half and half do their presentations, because it's such a valuable important thing, especially for ESL students, to find their voice, and to speak in front of an audience, even if it's not an audience that's face to face. But it does take up a lot of class time.
So moving on to activities that we can use at the pre-writing stage. You said that you all do this really fantastically. So I don't think that I'm teaching you probably anything really new here. But Padlet is really useful. You said that you use Google Docs, and I think there was one other tool, Jamboard, for that. And I like to really use Padlet Shelf, because I teach an advanced class.
And I'm trying to get a little bit away, although I still love the personal narrative for writing, to more of the academic writing, the opinion piece. Because that's what they're going to do in high-- and I'm sorry-- some of the high school classes, but definitely in college. They need to take I out of the picture, out of the writing, and give an opinion with evidence.
So we did a whole unit about fast food and nutrition, and we talked about how many things that are bad for us have warning labels. And we learned how fast food, it's even causing depression for teenagers who eat fast food too much. It's like an addiction.
So the topic was-- the prompt was does fast food need to have warning labels? So in Padlet, there's something called the Shelf. And it lines up posts in rows going down. Columns, I guess, instead of rows. And so this is what we did. I divided them into groups.
In group one, they were putting reasons why yes, and reasons why no. So even if they have formed their opinion to this question, their answer, they had to think of both sides. So this is what we're going to do.
We're going to go back to your same breakout rooms, because now I know that someone in your breakout room can share their screen. And we're going to answer this question. What you're going to see is a Padlet that looks like this. And this is your question-- how have the past two years affected your teaching and your students in positive and negative ways?
So let me get this open. So let me go back to the breakout rooms, and I'm going to share this in the chat. And let me explain how you do this. So this is going to be in the chat, this new link. And we'll have the same people. Is everybody still here who was sharing originally, and in the breakout room?
So I'm going to send you to the same breakout room. So group one, you are Elizabeth, Jan, Lewis, and Mary. Whoever is sharing your screen, we're going to do this really fast. I want you to think of maybe just one positive. So you click right here, and on the plus under positive.
And what's going to pop up, it will probably be in the bottom right. And you can type right here in the subject line is fine. So you just take something like that, and publish. And you know also that with Padlet, you have all these options for linking to things on the web, to putting in an image and a GIF. So that's what these icons are for.
But we'll just do it text based, unless you're really you want to answer just with an image. That would be acceptable for me. So let's try for one positive and one negative for each. So group one, that's Elizabeth, Jan, Louis, and Mary. This is your positive, this is your negative.
Group two, Christina, Karen, Lisa, Paulina, and Sophia. This is your positive and negative, OK? Group three, Linda, Archana, Christina, Elaine, and Lars, you are group three, positive and negative. And group four, Adriana, Ellen, Jodi, Kayvaye, and Lane, group four. And group five.
Group five, if your screen is big like mine, you might have to go to the bottom and scroll over like that. And here is your positive and your negative. So we're going to do this super fast. After you type in, you click on Publish like that. You can also delete like that.
So I think a lot of you use Padlet. The link is in the chat. If you are your screen share for your group, please click on the link in the chat now. If you want to, Karen, if you want to type for your group, you're welcome to. But I do want you to join your group and we're working on collaborative. So talk together with your group and share your ideas.
Here we go. Please join your room. We're going to do this really fast. In about three minutes. I'm sorry, but I have a lot to share. So let's go ahead and join your room now.
All right, everybody. So sorry to cut you off. I want to save time for my favorite activity. But you know what you could do then, is where, let's say that this is your class, and whatever topic-- I can just do a quick visual, I'm seeing-- I'm seeing a lot of positives. But you could go over this.
And as with Padlet, or anything that's online, students are seeing live what other students are putting, and getting other ideas from other groups. While the positives are the tech skills. I mean, compared to two years ago, we and they, the students, have really gained a lot. Zoom fatigue, not so fun.
No more parties, but no commute and less stress. So many positives and negatives. So students could then, you know, yeah. So yes. Use this for an in-person class as well. Our students have phones. The last time that-- I mean, you could go to your administrator, if you do not yourself have access. New students do this text survey.
And the last time that I saw the data, when it was part of the OTAN tech plan, was I think in 2017, '18, and 90% of the students who were taking that had cell phones. So I think it's saturated. I think all of our students have phones.
So in person, they can be huddled around. Or if you have Chromebooks or something like that. But when they're talking together, kind of like you, we've got multi levels of language. We've got multi levels of technology. So they can be teaching each other both the language and the technology at the same time. That's the benefit, I really think.
So here's their pre-writing. And it's all in one place. So now, you assign them to go and write their first draft, right? It's all in one place. It's not on the board in the classroom. It's online. They can take it home and look at it.
So moving on. I just love Padlet. It's one of my favorites. You know, though, however, with a free account, you only get three Padlets. Well, I just use different accounts, or I delete-- I will delete that one probably in a couple of months and reuse it, repurpose it. But I have many different Gmails that I use for having different accounts.
So I've also used, of course, Google Docs for brainstorming. I won't show this one, but you're welcome to look at this. This was more about the topic of social networking, and whether or not that's a positive in society. So students listed pros and cons of that. And that was-- they came up with things I had never thought of.
And so again, all of the idea generation was in one spot for them. And so they can see what other students had thought of in other groups, when they went to write their own paragraph or essay. So I love summary writing is so important. For students to take something that they've read or heard and encapsulate it in their own words.
And so for ESL, I like to have students listen to me tell a story, and then have them write it in their own words. It's a great diagnostic for me to see how their grammar is. And so I'd like to do this early. But then I like to have them work on it together, because they can really help each other clear up a lot of doubts about past tense, for example.
So what I do is, it can be any short narrative. And you create a slideshow with some images. And you have them listen. I like to include a printout of the slides, like maybe about eight slides per page, where they're listening and they take notes.
I don't have a lot of words. They have to listen. It's a listening exercise first. And then so this is a whole lesson that you can go to these slides and replicate with your class. So we have some conversation first to think about this story. And then they listen to the story, and I ask them some questions after they listened and taken notes.
And then they do a story retell. So I share the slides that I used. And they have taken notes on a piece of paper that looks like this. But now they have to retell the story, so it's connecting the oral to the written. And then they get together in a breakout room, or in a computer lab around one computer.
And I give them a frame. So this is really good for intermediate level. But I even use it with my and students as a first writing assignment sometimes. So I give them the frame. They need to fill in all the missing things. And this helps them understand how we construct a narrative.
So this is a whole lesson that you can take right here from these slides, and try with your class, if you would like to. So it's worked out really well. I mean, what they end up with is so much better than the original story, usually. Do you do error correction with your class? Can you type yes or no in the chat.
Student: I'm sorry, Kristi, when you say we can use it, where do we get all this from?
Kristi Reyes: I'm going to share these slides in the chat. And when you, at the end, I'm going to share a link in the chat.
Student: OK. Thank you, thank you.
Kristi Reyes: But I've made a video of these slides. So you could have students watch this video and listen.
Student: Oh, OK.
Kristi Reyes: And then here is the summary frame. So you could have students click on this. And then they click, Make A Copy. And it's going to look just like this. Of course, they're going to take out my name and put your name, right? But you're their teacher.
Student: Thank you. Thank you.
Kristi Reyes: Sure. So with beginners, you do dictation lane. And for error correction, yeah, dictation can be very useful. Making sure that they're training their ear.
For error correction, I like to take students' own writing. Like for example, if they were doing that summary writing, I take some of the errors, and before I go and start marking up what I think they need to correct, I take the errors, and I distribute it back to the class, and they work together to find the errors.
And 99% of the time, they locate even their own errors. I don't know if you've ever noticed that. So what I've been doing in Zoom, have you heard of The New York Times, What's Happening In This Picture? Type yes or no in the chat.
The New York Times has this website with different pictures from the past and recent. You have? Some of you have. And they're really interesting, like this one. And so I model the activity. OK, look at this picture. What? And I maybe type a question that I would have about this picture in the chat.
Is this a human? Is this like homo sapiens museum? Is this a museum of human beings? So I type some question in the chat to model. And then I elicit some more questions. So I kind of model it like that.
Then I have a series of different pictures from The New York Times What's Happening In The Picture. And this explains the process. I won't go over that. But here's one. Can you type one question about this picture in the chat right now? Yes, how did they train the sheep?
Of course, Elizabeth is an English teacher. So her English is perfect. Her question is perfect. A catwalk. Why are the people there? How much does the model get? Where is this? So all of your questions are perfect.
But you know they're selling the sheep or the wool. Is the sheep for sale? So as you know, question formation, though, for our non-native English speakers is a bit harder. Their questions are not perfect like yours. So then what I do is I-- this was in Zoom, but this could be on a Google Doc, I suppose, or just students around one computer.
The reason I don't do it on Google Docs, why do you think? If they type something wrong, it's going to have that underlined.
Kristi Reyes: It's going to get AutoCorrect. I don't want AutoCorrect. I want authentic, how they would really write. If they have Grammarly installed, it's going to correct them. And I don't want that. I want to know how they really are using question formation, for real.
So then I have them type, just like you did, questions in the chat. And then I could download the chat before I close out the Zoom room. And then, so then these are some of the questions that my students wrote, honestly, and they're advanced. What they do? Is it a ships context?
Little things like punctuation, you know? It's in chat. I'm not going to be harping on starting with a capital letter. You know, who knows. Maybe they were typing on a phone and it was hard. But what kind of event is. That's a common error for a lot of our tend to be romance language speakers. Is a animal contest, right?
So I type it out like this on a slide, or better to maybe put it on a photo. Like to hand write it. Or to put it like this-- and I did the spellcheck, and I said, everything is fine. And then I projected it to their breakout rooms, and they had to talk and discuss what the error was.
So that's a way. You ship sheep. Got to love it. This, these. And then the pictures-- because then they're really curious, what really is this picture about? The New York Times then does have the captions. So this is really what the picture is about. I won't read it to you right now. We don't have time.
But you can see what the real picture is about. So we go over that. It's so amazing. We come all back together. They found all the mistakes that they made. Of course they did. But for some of them, they didn't. We had a little mini lesson on that. Yes.
Yes. So let me go back. Where did-- the link is right here in these slides that I'm going to share with you. What's going on in this picture? This is the hyperlink. When you click on it, it will take you to that website.
So you could do the same with verb tenses. So this could be present continuous. Or what do you think is going to happen? So I have just a whole bunch of different pictures that I've collected over the years. My computer is getting so full of stuff.
OK, descriptive writing. So for descriptive writing, same. Different pictures I've collected, but again, from The New York Times What's Going On In This Picture. And I wanted to have you do this activity, but there's not going to be time. So what I will show you is we were working on descriptive writing. First of all, together, with this little activity, because my goal was for students to write a description on their own.
But we went over what our adjectives-- in a different class, not this particular one, adverbs too. And so I made a shared Google slideshow. And each group had two slides, one with a picture, and a blank slide. And every group had a different picture. This was group four. They had this particular picture.
And they had to work together in their breakout rooms to write a paragraph or so with as many adjectives as they could. So this was the winning team. They wrote, there are many happy people in the tiny village somewhere in South America. The beautiful excited bride, wearing a long multilayered pink dress, is on the antique pink-ish convertible car on a sunny day. The bride is marching on the dusty road with a pink and red balloon.
I don't think that one of those students alone could have constructed such a beautiful descriptive short paragraph. They work together, and they were the winning team, because they have the most adjectives. So what I have here, we don't have time to do this.
Student: Kristi, can I ask a question? There were no errors in the writing? Was it all--
Kristi Reyes: Well, here's the beautiful thing. While they're working in their breakout rooms, if I see something, I can go and say, you said persons. You wrote persons. What's correct there? So I can either-- or can make a little comment. You know how you comment on Google Docs? You can do the same on Google Slides.
So either I go in and I kind of give them feedback. So I'm not just sitting here bored while they're working. I kind of go around and give feedback. Yeah. So but these were-- because they were working together, there weren't many errors, honestly. There really weren't. They were correcting and helping each other a lot. And you just don't see as many errors, especially at the higher levels, when they're working together.
So right here is a slide show that you can replicate this activity with your class if you like. You would just click on it and make a copy. Narrative--
Student: How time time-- how much time would you give for an activity like this?
Kristi Reyes: That one, I'd say about 20 minutes for that. But--
Kristi Reyes: --please--
Student: I have another question.
Kristi Reyes: Sure.
Student: With any kind of grammar, vocabulary, or topic you're trying to practice with all of these strategies, you know, are there always like the weaker or the shyer students, that even in a group, or maybe even distracted students, the one with the kids at home, that they will possibly allow others to do all the work and contribute very little? Did you ever find that?
Kristi Reyes: Oh, yeah. And there's no way I can control that in Zoom, whatsoever. So I tell my students at the beginning of my classes, you get out of the class what you put in. And right now, we're in a pandemic. And if they have kids at home and they need to walk away, I just have to respect that.
I have students coming into Zoom at work. They want to be in the class so badly that they're willing to risk their boss possibly knowing that they're also taking a class. So I'm very forgiving with that. And in my classes, students know the ones who are only able to participate minimally. And that's just the reality of where we are right now. So thank you for that question.
Narrative writing. Let me check the time. OK. So this is really my favorite one. And I don't think we have time to do the full activity. I want to show you the fuller one, but that takes a lot more time. So I'm going to do the reduced one.
So this narrative really would apply to-- I love the personal narrative. I don't know if you've ever had students write these personal narratives of stories from their lives. Wow, you really learn a lot about them and connect with them. That's not always what they need to do for college and careers, though.
But when they're in their jobs, they need to be able to report something that happened in the past. So they need to be enabled report using past, obviously. So in this activity, you can use an image. I like to use a video. And so I have lots of different videos. They're on this slide show that you can see.
There's some of them pretty old, but they're my tried and true activities. I'm sure you will have those, an activity that you've used many years that just worked so well for you. So what I do with an image or video, I think of what are some of the main words that are really important for this story of this image or this video.
I get those, the word bank, and I provide that word bank to the students. In this case, on a slideshow, every student has their own-- or I'm sorry. Every group has their own slide with the same words. They go to the breakout room, or if we are in person, they have one computer that they're working on, and they're around one computer. And they have their group slide.
And they're working together, looking at those words. What is the story? And they're writing the story based on the words that they have. So you can make a copy of slides that I'm going to show you of an activity, a longer activity, that will probably take about 30 minutes with advanced students. But we're going to do a shorter one together, and this will probably be our final activity.
Let me check my time. Yeah. I think we'll have time to do this final activity. And let me go right here. I think it's this one. This is my shorter one. So the way that I introduced this one, I introduced the longer activity with this shorter activity.
So let me ask you all, we've been working on this grammar of past and past continuous. What are some good reasons to miss work or school? What are some acceptable reasons to be gone, to be excused from work or school?
Oh I love that, Lane. Great idea. COVID, please don't come. You have, yeah, don't miss work. You're sick. Those are good reasons. Your child is sick. Anything else? You don't have child care. You can't leave your child alone. Appointments, depending on the nature of the appointment, right?
And what do you think are some bad excuses? Teachers, I'm sure you've heard it all of them before. Mine, the one is there's a soccer match. Like can't you record it? Shopping, hung over. Transportation is sometimes good, sometimes bad.
Like couldn't you think of another way? I'm busy. I'm at the beach. I'm tired. I have company coming for dinner. There's a baseball game. So I kind of build this out into a bigger lesson, but we're making it short.
So this is what you're going to do. I'm going to send you back to your group one last time. And your team is going to find your team slide. And these are the words you need to use. You need to work together on your slide. Whoever is sharing their screen, you're going to listen to your teammates.
And you need to write about three sentences. What is the story? These are the words. Announcer, call, friends, golf, loudspeaker, man, name, sick, trouble. What could this story be? Try to add an adjective and adverb. OK?
If you-- I'm going to give you-- let me check my time. I'm going to give you about eight minutes. If your team finishes early, you can go for your insert, image, and browse the web for some image that goes well with your story.
So here's team one. You're going to put your team members' names there. Team two, team three. So you'll need to go over here on the right, left. I have a problem with right and left. To find your team's slide. Do you have any questions before I share this in the chat and send you to your breakout rooms?
Student: Kristi, I have a question. Are we supposed to be using past tense and past continuous? Because that's how you started?
Kristi Reyes: Thank you. Thank you. I forgot to mention that. Yes, you've been studying past and past continuous. There is the link in the chat. If you were a screen share before, please click on that. Or if you want to take control and you want to share from your group.
So I'm going to send you again to the same breakout room. So it looks like many people have clicked on the link. I'm going to open the breakout rooms. You'll have about eight minutes. Find your slide. Work together to write a few sentences. Here we go.
All right, everybody. So I'm sorry if that wasn't enough time. I just wanted to give you a taste of this, put you in the shoes of students to see how this would go. Of course, I wouldn't cut them off in the middle. I would let it go longer.
But so now, what we would do is look at all of your stories, have a volunteer to read aloud your story. And then you kind of have a contest to see whose story is closest to the actual story. So this is the actual story. Let's see whose is closest. Here it goes.
- Sir, this is James Horner. James Horner. Actually, I'm doing pretty lousy, sir. I have a sore throat and a headache and I've been puking my guts out all night long. So I figure I'm not going to come into work today. Yeah, I'm going to lay low and try and kick this thing.
- (Over loud speaker) Horner Force at the tee. Horner Force at the tee.
- Hello. Everything you need to play.
- So kid-- I almost said say kids. Students get a kick out of that. But usually what I do is I do this as the example. What I have is a longer story that I use. And I don't have time. I wish we had more, but that would probably be a much longer workshop.
But you can see it here. It's based on a longer video. It's maybe like four minutes or so. And it's really cute. And you can use this. I have it right here, right here, that you can use that. And my students, it was really funny, they worked really hard. And one group came up with a story that was almost identical.
And I was thinking, how did they do this? This is what they did. They took the words that I provided and they put the words in Google. And they found a YouTube movie trailer for, I don't know this movie. It was back when Hugh Grant was really the it guy. Mickey Blue Eyes. And there is a scene from that movie that is kind of similar, but it's kind of raunchy. There are some bad words. But it was just so hilarious.
It was very clever of them, and their story was so good. Here are some other videos that work well with that. Emoji generator is another fun tool that I've used, where students get a set of random emojis that I create, or that they create with this tool. And one team writes a simple sentence. The second team gets the exact same sentence, but they have to build on it.
And then the third team gets that same, the second team sentence, and they have to make it even more descriptive and better. So you can see the progression here. Another really great tool for collaborative online writing is PIC-LITS. It can be free-write. Or with each picture, which changes every-- the group of pictures that change every day, there is a set of words that is provided, that students a beginning level could do a drag and drop, and write a poem, or write a story, or write a sentence, or even write an essay.
So my time is up. I'm going to share in the chat right now the link to these slides. And you may find something there that you can replicate. I hope you have at least one new idea for integrating technology, creating community, and having students write collaboratively in your classes.