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Magic Calendars, a daily notetaking wonder!

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I tried this idea last year, and it really worked for the students and served as a review at the end of each class. It teaches students how to take notes about vocabulary.

I make the calendar by printing it off of Microsoft publisher (takes only 2 minutes to do!). I add some extra information on the calendar as a kind of schedule such as important dates for students to remember, holidays like Thanksgiving for November,school events, etc...

Then, at the end of each class period, I ask students to pick ONE new word that they learned and WANT to remember from the lesson. I ask them to write that word on their calendar and to draw a picture of the word and/ or write a definition of the word in their own English. The goal is to practice giving definitions in English about English, and not always having to rely on translation for meaning.

Once the month is finished, the students have had the chance of recording up to 30 words. Some students take the calendars home and hang them on their walls or in their bathrooms.

This is a good chance for students to learn HOW to take notes in a foreign language, and to reflect about each lesson and what they have learned. The calendar is a way to document this learning, and the students can say "WOW, I learned all of that?!"

Good luck!

Lisa BOULESTREAU
Nagasaki, JAPAN (Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages)

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