Saturday, November 26, 2011

Welcome Emma! And Free Rice!

Hi Emma! Welcome to my page. To tell you the truth, this was my first effort at a blog, not knowing what I was supposed to do. I do most of my posting over at The Great Raven, but because I suddenly found myself with followers here I have been posting more often, just the general stuff, a lot of it about school.

I know more people are reading this than have joined, because I check the statistics, though I don't yet keep the counter up on the page, so I'm going to introduce Emma McGregor to anyone who is reading. She is a young writer who was kind enough to choose my session at the Bendigo Catholic College Lit Fest the other day and she keeps a number of blogs. One of them is Be The Change, which I have joined because it is so very impressive and useful. It is about social justice and has some extremely useful links to Fair Trade web sites and charities and even Free Rice, which I've been using with my students for some time already.

I discovered it, of all things, in an ESL newspper. The idea is that you do vocab - it gives you a word and a multiple choice and you pick the meaning. If you're right, it donates ten grams of rice to the World Food Bank. If you're wrong, it drops you a level and you keep going till you get the word again and this time you know it. I'd like to say my students love it - and sometimes they do, when they realise that this is real and doing this helps real people. I usually give them one full period on it at the beginning, with chocolate prizes for highest score and highest level reached, then keep it for a few minutes at the end of a period in the computer room. No more than that or they get bored. I, personally, find it addictive, I just HAVE  to keep going and trying for the next level and the next and towards the top there are words even I don't know. If you aren't interested in vocab or don't teach English, there are other subjects, though the English bit is the best.

But do hop along to Emma's site and join. It's well worth it. I'm going to add it to my blog roll, both here and at The Great Raven, when I've finished a bit of housework (Sunday is the only day I can get it done at all.)