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The Importance Of Randomness

Teachers work very hard to remove randomness from classrooms, either through organization of time, activity or the direct assignment of groups to undertake the activity. A classroom is often only seen as effective when the random elements are minimized. But is that always the best option?

Recently In Gamification

Solved Games And Boring Worklives

The more a job inherently resembles a game .... the more enjoyable it will be regardless of the worker's level of development Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, Flow, p. 152 Mihaly argues that work can be made to be less boring and more autotelic by introducing some of the elements of games into the … [Read More...]

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Teachers’ Belief In Students

I'm currently reading a very interesting book entitled Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. It's full of great insights into the way we think and behave, but it can also be highly disturbing from the point of view of an educator. One thing that is particularly disturbing is … [Read More...]

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Recently In Comic Books

Everything I Learned From Comics: xkcd And Education

This is the first of a series of posts on what I have learned from comics or other unusual sources. Sometimes surprising insights spring from the unlikeliest of sources. One of the best web comics, xkcd, deals with a huge range of subjects and scenarios. This one in particular resonated with … [Read More...]

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Recently In Thoughts

Random Thoughts On An Autumn Day

Staring out my office window today I started thinking about how we can know whether or not a student is learning. Learning is very similar to the wind if you are experiencing it you can feel its effect but if you are removed from it like, say, a teacher, it is an invisible force acting on the … [Read More...]

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Recently In Materials

Everybody Needs An Imaginary Friend

Everyone Needs An Imaginary Friend

Most beginner level books in English language teaching start with some form of basic introductions and then move on to everyday concrete expressions. This is in line with the Common European … [Read More...]

Gamifying Grammar Drills

Gamifying Grammar Drills

Perhaps it's the word 'drill' that fuels my dislike of grammar drills,  as it conjures up in my mind visits to the dentist. Often painful, repetitive and while good for us, definitely not … [Read More...]

Countable And Uncountable

Countable Vs Uncountable

I used to struggle with explaining the difference between these for a long time till I realized a very simple truth. Countable things are easy to count and clear to see Uncountable are … [Read More...]

Crazy Recipes

This is one of my favorites. Students are put into pairs or teams in which they brainstorm vocabulary for food. Filling out the first page. Students are then told that they are going to use … [Read More...]

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