Last week, one of my university friends introduced Wordwall.net to me and so far, I’m feeling so satisfied with this tool. In this blog, I’m going to share some of my ideas for making our online classes interactive and engaging with Wordwall.net.
Randomly Asked Questions
In my IELTS classes, I usually start with some speaking activities. Students are supposed to discuss some relevant questions about the theme of the day or share some details about themselves. Shifting from regular brick-and-mortar classes to e-learning, I have found asking students to speak is not easy. I did try breakout rooms, and predictably, there are weird silent periods when I joined the room to monitor students’ discussions. Sometimes, I overheard them using Vietnamese when talking with each other. Monitoring doesn’t work well with such digital platforms!
I tried Randomly Asked Questions (inspired by the usual FAQs). I prepared around 8-10 relevant questions and put them on Wordwall, using Random Wheel. At the start of the class, I allowed students to control my shared screen in Zoom (or I did it myself), spin the wheel, and answer the chosen questions. I also followed up with some further enquiries.
Students had a chance to speak, and they found it more challenging and funny to choose the questions. However, I am fully aware that this only works for classes with a limited number of students (for my cases, 5-6). Otherwise, you will spend half of your lessons just for everyone to answer at least one question.
One exciting thing about Wordwall is that it provides various themes for the spinner, ranging from the standard minimalistic design to funny versions of gameshow and more. If you are unfamiliar with this one, the get-to-know questions can be conducted with Wheelofnames.com or Name Picker Ninja (as long as you have a range of questions for your students).
Grammar practice: making the acts more fun
Doing grammar exercises has been a tedious task, as some of my students complained, either in the young learner group or in high school classes. They have been bored of lists of multiple-choice questions on a plain sheet of paper. If you have ever tried Kahoot! or Quizizz for your classes, give Wordwall a try. I beg it’s worth your time.
For grammar practice, I have used multiple-choice questions (though it’s not my favourite). However, going beyond this, we could create Match-up or Matching pairs games to review rules (e.g., if we need students to associate time markers with the correct tenses). Sorting out questions can also be a good idea for students to distinguish two different grammatical features (defining vs. non-defining relative clauses, sentences with and without articles, verbs followed by gerund and to-inf, etc.) This template works best for any kind of “Distinguish…” tasks, particularly helpful when we need to have students’ attention on certain grammatical structures so that they can work out the rules themselves.
Another type that I find helpful for my young students is the Unjumble activities. It can be used as writing activities for students during online classes since we cannot distribute paper handouts, and marking is not as easy as printables. We need to just type in the grammatically correct sentence and let Wordwall do the entire job!
Vocabulary learning: one content – tons of activities
Next comes the best thing about this tool – hundreds of templates (just kidding!). Have you ever been tired of compiling different activities only for students to review a particular set of words? I have, a lot of times… until I find this tool.
To help students remember the meaning of new words through different activities, I now only have to create a set of words with meanings (or pictures, like what I am doing with my Movers class). Believe me or not, within one class, I can create matching games (Match up), multiple-choice questions (Quiz), word search (Wordsearch), memory game (Matching pairs) and unscramble letters (Anagram), thanks to the Switch template feature.
After the class, I can also create a link for students to review at home very quickly. It can be easily shared via google classroom or any kind of LMS you like. For my case, I attach the link in the Reminder file and share it with the parents.