Blogs as a "brainstorming" tool
Where a group of students need to come up with ideas for group projects, a blog could be used so that even absent/sick students could review and comment on the ideas of others and/or add their own suggestions for consideration.
Blogs as Learning Journals
A Blog is an excellent tool for practicing critical thinking skills, e.g. reflecting on learning. Regular reflection on learning leads to increased independence and awareness of one's progress and needs.
Blogs to Compare Facts and Make Choices
Blogs could be used to give preferences and compare factual information to make choices in the context of the particular theme. Simple advertisements, schedules and tables can be attached and read. Learners would write, in their blog, preferences based on the information and support their decisions. For example:
Banking-Compare two or three types of bank accounts to choose which would suit their needs.
Shopping-Compare food items for best value.
Leisure Activities- Read information on a fitness schedule and express preferences based on time, location and cost.
Weather- Read basic information from a weather table or listen to a short forecast. Decide which clothing is appropriate for certain conditions, traveling, etc.
Breaking New English lesson plans
I have found the website: www.breakingnewsEnglish.com very useful as it provides learners with tons of amazing thematic lessons, along with the respective worksheets, questions and answer keys. Learners may want to practice by their own and can easily have access to this free website
Students can use the 'participants' block to send their instructor or classmates an email. After reviewing formal business writing with the course ware activities, they can immediately apply and practice this skill.
I like the idea of using polls to determine learner preferences regarding course activities, scheduling, level of difficulty, etc. It offers a quick, non-intimidating way for instructors to get feedback with specific questions.
Choice activities can be used to get student feedback on a regular basis, since they are fast and easy to create and to complete. I usually ask for feedback on the level of difficulty of the class in general, or of a particular type of activity, on the students' level of comfort in the class, or on the amount of material presented and class pace.
You could use choice to take surveys on events such as deciding on field trips, PBLA topics, etc. so even absent students can be part of the poll.
Choice activity empowers students to have more fun communicating with each other
The choice activity is a good tool and a fun way to engage students, especially those who are less vocal or don't have enough vocabulary to express themselves, to voice their ideas in the area of needs assessment and giving opinion on certain topics. Students' interests and opinions can easily be revealed in a quick and efficient way, which adds to the fun of understanding each others' different thinking. Other follow-up skill building activities can then be designed.
Choice Activity for Prior Knowledge
A choice activity could be used to assess prior knowledge of a subject. This would give a learner time to think about the topic and would encourage engagement. The teacher would be able to get some understanding of existing views the learners have.