Class | 1 April, 2015

April 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

This is an out line of what we covered. I had more details, we worked on many examples and other things as they came up.

I asked about Monday’s class. What they did.


We reviewed the basics of what we have long been doing: (for new student)

  • Simple present, past and future
  • Progressive past, present and future – stressed only To Be changes for the tense. To Be + -ing of verb.
  • Regular and irregular verbs – need to start presenting irregular verbs!
  • To Like: it needs an object. You should never say “I like.” – even in conversation when we know what you are referring to. You like something, someone, or at the least use ” it”.


We continued Comparative and Superlative.


  • Must have at least two things, or more, to compare
  • Using “than”
  • Examples as a class, including -y to -ier as in tiniest


  • You can only have one, “the best” “the shortest” “the nicest”
  • Using “the”
  • Examples as a class, including, -y to -iest

Long Words

(New student brought this up. Excellent!). Noted that most long, multi-syllable, words do not follow this format. Instead they use words like:

  • Some, many, more than, much more than, the most


I just said Objects. I didn’t go into terminology with Direct Objects etc.


Direct Objects

The subject controls the verb/action/does something, something/someone receives the action.

  • He hit my dog. (Not!) Have examples of hit: hit song, hit a car, hit the ball, hit the mark, etc.
  • She threw a ball.
  • They play games.

Objects of Prepositions

  • At, with, to
  • Not sure what I did here – notes are vague. Let’s make something up…
  • She played with him. She talked to him.
  • The dog barked at a squirrel.


  • When they receive the verb action, including with prepositions (see above).
  • me, you, him, her, it, us, them, you
  • I like her.
  • She hit him. (A lot of violence today! Hit is easiest to demonstrate.)

They liked this class a lot.


  • Create online exercises for Comparative and Superlative – done.
  • Remember to prepare Irregular Verbs – some learning, portable practice, format. Cards? Online cards? Both?

Class 1oct 2014

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment


Today we will discuss “love”.  Write questions on the board.  Ss copy and answer verbally.

  • What is love?
  • What kinds of love are there?  How are they different?
  • How does it feel?
  • Does it last forever?


Should, Would and Could


Should is used to give advice and make recommendations and to talk about obligation, duty and what is expected to happen. Reference is to the present and the future. Should is similar to must but is not as strong as must.


If we want to talk about an unreal or unlikely situation that might arise now or in the future, we use a past tense in the if-clause and would + infinitive in the main clause. Compare the following and note thatwould is often abbreviated to ‘d:

  • How would you manage, if I wasn’t here to help you? ~ I’d manage somehow. I wouldn’t bother to cook. I’d go out to eat or bring home a take-away. I’d ask your mother to help me with the washing and the ironing. I know she’d help me.

Nouns and Verbs – handout: “Batty About Bats”

Bats fly. Bats have extra skin. This skin connects their hands, arms and ankles. Why do they have it? The skin forms wings. Bats use their wings to fly. They fly at night to find food. They need their wings to eat.

People sit and stand. Bats hand upside down, even when they sleep. Some bats live in trees. Some live in buildings. Others live in caves.

Find the nouns – which are a person, place or thing?
Find the verbs.
Is this piece past, present, future or in general? 

Reading for Computer Lab.   See 8oct 2014 class/computer lab

Handout: “In Love”
Donna loved her husband. Her husband loved Donna. They were in love with each other. She wanted to give him a birthday present. He was going to be 40 years old next week. She wondered what to give him. Should she give him a watch? Should she give him a sweater? Should she give him a new guitar? What should she give him? She asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He said he didn’t want anything for his birthday. “Oh, you must want something!” she said. “You’re right,” he said. “I want your love forever.”
Lab Exercises:  Crossword, Cloze, Dictation
Dictation:  can’t hear computers in lab, I will read.  They will write answers online.
1).  Did she love her husband?
2).  They were in love with each other.
3).  She wanted to give him a birthday present.
4).  He was going to be 40 years old.
5).  She wondered what to give him.
6).  Should she give him a watch?

14 May, 2014 Class

May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

We have have rain the past two days.  And chilly!  Impossible to believe for May.  Today is breezy, sunny and still a bit of chill in the air.  Incredible weather.  May well not finish all of this today – especially Some/Any.

Intro topics

  • The Weather – have them describe it, write terms on the board.  Possible Paragraph.
  • Mother’s Day

Paragraph :  Today is a sunny and windy day.  The weather is beautiful.  It is not too hot or too cold.  It is not too hot (n)or too cold.  Yesterday it was cold and raining.

We did past, and future – noting “will NOT be”


1). Present slang, idiom and phrasal verb from Daily – in side margin of my page

Do not do side margin stuff – takes too much time and not very useful right now.

2). Verb List I assigned for them to look up definitions.  Easy verbs – should not be a problem – except potential confusion with speak/talk/say, put/set, look/see/watch,  listen/hear, …I had best have dictionary definitions ready.

3 ).  Start review by asking them the definitions, and clarify.  Listed below in groups of 10:

  • walk, open, close, talk, look, listen, wash, watch, clean, smile
  • laugh, stop, cry, try, eat, see, speak, take, make, give
  • write, do, go, sing, drink, sit, stand, say, sleep, keep
  • feel, hear, cut, hit, set, put, come, run, read, think
  • bring, buy
We did the first 12 verbs – Regular Verbs.


  • Conjugate some of the verbs.  Each student to use each verb in a sentence. 
  • Present add S to He, She, It. Past add -ed, Future add will.  We repeated verbally the verbs with s, -ed and will.

Next Class:

  • Review To Have – worksheets 2

Some and Any

Some = a little, a few or a small number or amount
Any = one, some or all

Some and any are used with both countable and uncountable nouns to ask about, confirm and respond negatively about an indefinite amount. Some and any are used with singular and plural verb forms.

Usually, we use some in positive (+) sentences and any in negative (-) and question (?) sentences.

  some any example situation
+ I have some money.   I have $10.
  I don’t have any money. I don’t have $1 and I don’t have $10 and I don’t have $1,000,000. I have $0.
?   Do you have any money? Do you have $1 or $10 or $1,000,000?

Here are some examples followed by the rules: 

Do you have any salt?  There are some chairs in that room. She doesn’t have any money.  

  • Use “some” in positive sentences. We use some for both countable and uncountable nouns.

    Example: I have some friends.


  • Use “any” in negative sentences or questions. We use any for both countable and uncountable nouns.

    Example: Do you have any cheese? – He doesn’t have any friends in Chicago.


  • Use “some” in questions when offering or requesting something that is there.

    Example: Would you like some bread? (offer) – Could I have some water? (request)


  • Use “any” in negative sentences or questions. We use any for both countable and uncountable nouns.

    Example: Do you have any cheese? – He doesn’t have any friends in Chicago.


  • Use “some” words – somebody, someone, somewhere and something – in positive sentences.

    Example: He lives somewhere near here.


  • Use “any” words – anybody, anyone, anywhere and anything – in negative sentences or questions.

    Example: Do you know anything about that boy? – She doesn’t have anywhere to go.

Additional examples:

In general, we use something/anything and somebody/anybody in the same way as some/any.
  • He needs some stamps.
  • I must go. I have some homework to do.
  • I’m thirsty. I want something to drink.
  • I can see somebody coming.
  • He doesn’t need any stamps.
  • I can stay. I don’t have any homework to do.
  • I’m not thirsty. I don’t want anything to drink.
  • I can’t see anybody coming.
  • Does he need any stamps?
  • Do you have any homework to do?
  • Do you want anything to drink?
  • Can you see anybody coming?

We use any in a positive sentence when the real sense is negative.

  • I refused to give them any money. (I did not give them any money)
  • She finished the test without any difficulty. (she did not have any difficulty)

Sometimes we use some in a question, when we expect a positive YES answer. (We could say that it is not a real question, because we think we know the answer already.)

  • Would you like some more tea?
  • Could I have some sugar, please?


Computer Lab



6feb class

February 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today we said goodbye to Ania and Alma.  They and Joanna are advancing to level 3.  Ania had brought a cake she baked. Incredible as always.  We chatted for some time.  Ania and Alma worked on reading a piece about Eng and Chang, the 19th century Siamese twins – with follow up questions.  They were waiting to take the placement tests.


Officially we did The Paragraph. (TP)  super simple to start:

“Today we are in class. We study English.  We have 2 new students, Guadalupe and Yesenia.  Guadalupe is from Mexico.  Yesenia is from Honduras.”

Verbs conjugated Simple Present, Past, Future: to Be, to Study and to Have
Then TP: past and future.  No person changes.  The concept of matching the noun to noun change with the verb change was not clear for one (We are to we were, not we are to I was) – a simple matter of practice.

Next Class

Siamese Twins reading – Guadalupe is interested in the Siamese Twins story.  So we will do that.  It is advanced, but interesting.

Vocabulary – Check the Siamese Twins story

Prepare for something on the computer.  Yesenia is extremely keen to get started.  So awesome!
 – Create simple exercises matching person to verb with verb tense changes.

The Paragraph

February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Every Session – Start with The Paragraph 

This will go quickly.

An exercise to engage students, encourage speaking and communicating with little to no translation.  Develope reading, pronunciation, grammar skills and vocab. 

Speak together with students as a group, chit chat to start the class – then choose one student to give you information via questioning.  Write about 4 plus sentences on the board as I review the question/answers out loud to clarify.  Repeat verbally after the student speaks and write on the board what the student says – corrected.  No explanation – just write. 

Basic Level, increase level over time:

Today I am in English class.  I want to learn English to get a better job.  I am from southern Illinois. I live in Austin Texas.  I like to watch TV.   I like to study English.

  1. I read the paragraph aloud first.
  2. Each student individually reads paragraph aloud.  Correct pronunciation – all.  Strictly. Y’s are not J sounds.  Watch for full words.  Wan-ted, not wa-ne.
  3. Change person – Today YOU are in English class…
  4. Change tenses – Yesterday YOU WERE in English class…
  5. Define and conjugate new verbs on another board as we go.
  6. List new/usual words to the side.  Discover definition verbally as a group – until everyone gets it.
  7. New idea – use list and verbs for Flashcards.  No translation.  Note Noun vs. Verb.
  8. Do not write definitions – let them write and use their own notes.  (Oops, Flashcards need definitions. Think it through Toni.) 

transition, and class plan

February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

We have talked with the advanced students – my gals! – to moving on. They are quite ready for the next level. I will miss them dearly.   I am in contact with them, so it will not be cold turkey. 

We will be getting new level 2 students soon.  I have been told there is no level 1 class currently.  Likely the new students are not computer users…yet.  I will take care of that.  And email accounts.  Vital basic skills.  The keyboard, mouse, text boxes and double clicking are daunting for first time users.  This time I shall write everyone’s email and password. 

Where shall we start?  With the book a bit – verbal descriptive.  As much as I can figure out how to use the book. Very complicated teacher directions in it. Grammar is not presented in a helpful fashion, so that is number 2.  Present a list of nouns and verbs with definitions.  Do The Paragraph exercise – switching out person and tenses.  Then computer exercises. 

  1. *Remember books.
  2. Notebooks – make sure they date session notes and use for computer work.
  3. Grammar – review To Be, try to explain nouns and verbs.
  4. *Create online quizzes – determine if a word (from the presented list) is a noun or verb, and To Be – Simple Past, Present, Future.
  5. Set up Gmail accounts – allow for extra extra time for this. Use my address for back up – lost pwd retrieval. 
  6. Make sure they write down their login info in their notebooks, correctly!
  7. Perhaps introduce Flashcards – they will create some each class?
  8. *Buy notecards for Flashcards. 


January 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

More possibilities for activities.

The Book:
Use it for guided verbal work. Specifically the beginning parts.  Then have J. do the workbook.  Guadalupe should do so too.  May not be workable unless Gaudalupe has the time for homework.

Computer Lab:
On my empty new site – create quizzes for:

  • Regular and Irregular Verbs.  This can build needed vocabulary as well.
  • Simple Past, Present, and Future Verb forms.  Limit it to commonly used Regular Verbs.
  • Regular Verbs – Simple Past, how many syllables?
  • Written observations of images?  I need to explore that in more detail.
  • Multiple choice for proper Word Order.
  • Prepositions – explore

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