Sunday, October 13, 2013

Preparing for my WAESOL Presentation


In about 6 days I'll be at the Highline Community College giving a presentation on using math with ELL students. I've told coworkers and peers and so I often get the question, "Are you nervous yet?" I response with a ho hum "No, I'm ready." But when I get home and think about, I am starting to get nervous.

As far as things being ready, they are pretty much spot on. I have the PowerPoint made, my handout made (just needs to get printed) and a script to look at and practice from. But I haven't really practiced a whole lot and when I do I feel like I'm talking too much. But it's a 20 to 25 minute presentation and peppered throughout are questions for my audience. I thought I would share what I prepared here so you can see what's going on.


First I welcome everyone to my lecture and thank them for coming. Then I give a brief overview about myself which leads into why I'm giving this teaching tip.


As you can see my slides are colorful, dynamic and not plain. I showed Ian my presentation yesterday and he immediately disliked my use of moving text. So I took out the animations. Otherwise what you see is what I've prepared. I go into who this tip is for, because I know a lot of the presentations are for adult teaching situations. I do mention that the topic can be adapted to teach adults, just with adjustments for the age group.


The next two slides I start talking about why math would be a good idea for ESL or EFL use. I mostly base this off of the experiences I had along with some linguistic knowledge. I also ask the audience whether they teach math to ELL students or why they think it would be a good idea. I next go into talking about certain topics in math that would be useful with English, narrowing in on what really works. I also ask the audience if they know of other topics in math that work well with these students.


Moving on I next talk about specific English goals that can be used with math. What you see above is a shortened list of what I actually describe. It is also setting up the projects I am going to talk about and shows how well rounded math can be when using it in the ESL or EFL classroom.



I then go on to talk about actual projects, activities and games I did with my students. These are meant to represent the goals in English with math and show how diverse it can be. Animal Cubes are a project I did for the topic of 3D shapes and I talk about how it goes from basic learning of the shapes, to a craft that extends into a role play.



The Omok games is to show how students can work with each other and speak while doing math operations all at the same time. I think I've talked about this game in my other blog.


I use Fraction Stories to show how mostly all the topics in math can be made into writing activities that later turn into role-plays or speaking exercises.


I use this activity to show my goal of getting students to not only speak but also use the key vocabulary and phrases within math. In this example, students are given a card (seen above) and on it is their phone number and a math problem. They are given a handout which has a list of phone numbers. Then they pretend to call someone and have a dialog with that student using their card as the prompt. I explain how this activity is really great for listening skills because students had to really pay attention when the other student is reading the word problem. I think this activity could be adapted to adult learners, as well.


The final activity I talk about is Math Bowling which is used for vocab games or quizzes at the end or during the lesson. It's a fun way to motivate students and keeps their knowledge sharp.


I finish off with a simple take away list and thank everyone for coming. As you can see I have a lot I'm talking about but I think once I get to the projects section things will be more visual than just hearing a list of things.

So far when I practice on my own I get to 18 minutes. I would prefer to be over the time limit as I know I tend to talk less in front of a room. However, I'll just remind myself to take it easy and add in more information. Since this is all based upon experience I think I can add in stories or personal quips about the topics.

I hope my audience has questions for me and answers the ones I prompt towards them. Otherwise I kind of can't wait to get it over with and also enjoy other presenters at the conference.

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