Maha ESL Community Second Anniversary


    It was a great day packed with Professional Development. The best thing is that the four sessions integrated, reflected and complemented each other. The Teaching Club started with Mizy’s and Doaa’s Presentation on Multiple Intelligences and Differentiated Instruction. They listed the different Intelligences and spoke about each of them:
a.                       Linguistic Intelligence
b.                       Logical-mathematical Intelligence
c.                        Spatial Intelligence
d.                       Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence
e.                       Musical Intelligence
f.             Interpersonal Intelligence
g.                       Intrapersonal Intelligence
h.                       Naturalistic Intelligence
i.              Existential Intelligence

They also noted the Benefits of Using Multiple Intelligences:
“[—MI provide a new lens to perceive students and a new tool for acting on that information. Using such lens enables teachers to focus on the strengths, instead of the weaknesses of the students.
n  Consequently, this gives students a can-do attitude since they are using their strengths.
n  Once we focus on the strengths, teachers and students will have “Higher Expectations”.
n  They help teachers create more personalized and diverse lessons to accommodate their students’ learning needs, which leads to more opportunities for students to learn the expected material.
n  They allow teachers to “provide concrete opportunities” to develop their students’  “intellectual potential”.
n  They make lessons more interesting, which causes students to pay more attention to what is taught and then learned. ]” (1)

After that they introduced the idea of ‘Differentiated Instruction’ and related it to MI. First they defined DI as: “The varied techniques, strategies, activities the teachers use to address the different learning styles and multiple intelligences.”(2)
Why is it necessary for teaching?
“The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process.”(3)
“In order to differentiate instruction in the classroom, a teacher must address three student characteristics:
n  Readiness
n  Interest
n  Learning Profiles”(4)

What are the areas of DI?
“Teachers can differentiate at least four classroom elements:
1. Content – what the student needs to learn or how the student will get access to the information.
2. Process - activities in which the student engages in order to make sense of or master the content
3. Products - – culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apply and extend what he or she has learned in a unit.
4. Learning Environment – the way the classroom works and feels.” (5)
Finally, before introducing some practical interactive ideas, they summarized the relation between MI and DI.

     Then came Erika Van Winden with a number of ideas for Warm-Ups to academic Writing classes and how to help students to look for info online to promote different ideas for writing. The most important thing is to convince them to use Keywords from the topics suggested to succeed in finding the info they are looking for. If they use the long sentences given by their teacher to introduce the topic idea, they would get lost in the maze of info online and get nowhere. This could be done by asking them to look for certain simple photos online using just Keywords not full sentences. The teachers did this practically during the session twice and were excited to be able to detect the photo introduced.

Another idea is to ask the students to write different words and put them in a jar. Mix the words, then ask each student or group of students to pick 4 or 5 words and make a story or an article out of them. You can also use usual photos or abstract ones and ask them to write about their impressions of these photos.  You can add points or bonuses for doing such activities to enthuse your students. You can also adapt these ideas to different levels and ages.

     Thirdly, Maha Hassan came to speak about the relationship between Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Four Skills of teaching the language. Integration between both is essential as they complement each other. She also pointed to the relation between them and Multiple Intelligences and Differentiate Instructions that Mizy and Doaa spoke about in the first sessions. More info will be provided about this idea so soon!! Stay Tuned!!

     Finally, Aya El Wakil came to speak about ClassDojo which is an App for Classroom Management that can be used between teachers ---- students and parents to know about their progress in class.  Each student can have an account and the teacher adds his/her evaluation everyday or week in the form of points or badges, so the student and parent can log in to know how far they are doing. The teacher can also add brief comments on what the students do as well. Take a look at “A quick overview of ClassDojo” and “Getting started on ClassDojo” on www.classdojo.com  or www.classdojo.com/LearnMore

      Thank you for all the participants and Trainers who shared our celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of Maha ESL Community. Hope to see you on the next TEACHING CLUB.    J  J

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Footnotes:  (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) Mizy Fares’ and Doaa Ragab’s Handouts