Making good use of the Calendar on Day 1

In the article ESL Digital Calendar for 2018-2019 and Sign-up Charts-, we propose a digital calendar for the coming academic year.

Two examples of what the students would see:
Term 1:

PDF - 71.4 kb

Term 2:

PDF - 68.6 kb

The digital calendar serves two purposes:

  • Organizing activities, presentations, tutorials, etc. with your new students
  • Working actively on Day 1 with dates and numbers in a real context.

The calendar example below is dated and is used only as an example to inspire you:

PDF - 70.8 kb

But in our digital book, you will find many versions in DOC files, which you can customize to suit your needs by typing in the necessary information.

With the DOC versions, you can add for example:

The name of your school
The year of the English Course
Your names(s)
The number of classes
The length of each one
Plus other information

Speaking Activities

I’d like to give you some suggestions about how to use the calendar in class. Let’s suppose you have a session every Friday. You ask the students to color in all the Fridays from September through January. Then you remind them about holidays-vacations and ask them to mark these days with either capital “H” or capital “V” as you wish. They usually smile or laugh a little as they do this. Then together you will mark all the days of the course, writing the numbers in the boxes for Fridays as Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and so on. This activity goes very quickly with the teacher speaking and often repeating the instructions.

Then you can have the students work on the expressions:

  • "Day 1 is today September 5th (fifth)",
  • "Day 2 is next week on September 12th (twelfth)",
  • "Day 3 will be on September 19th (nineteenth)",
  • "Day 4 on September 26th (twenty-sixth)",
  • and so on. But only for a short while. Or the students can compare with their neighbors to make sure there are no mistakes. All in English of course!

Advanced Students

If you have advanced students, this activity will not take much time and will be merely a means of refreshing their knowledge about dates or the fact that you say “Day 1” without an article and 12th (twelfth) with an ordinal.

Having the students sign up for the tutorials

Then you can go on to having the students sign up for the first principal activity you assign—in our case, the tutorial or “one-on-one session with the teacher in the form of a student presentation. If the students now have their calendars ready as well as a sign-up sheet in their booklets they can choose the dates of their activities on a first come first served basis.

Year 1Term 1:

PDF - 101.1 kb

You can, of course, have the sign-up sheet projected on a screen from your computer and type in their names. The students, when called upon, will have to say concerning the tutorials:

  • “I choose Day 3 on September 19th (nineteenth) and my name is…”
  • “I choose Day 5 on October 10th (tenth) and my name is…”
  • …and so on.

The teacher writes the names on the sign-up sheet or types the names on the computer to be shown on the screen,.

Here is an example of a sign-up sheet in PDF.

In our digital book, you will find the sign-up sheet in DOC that you can customize.

We only do this with students we have never seen before at the very beginning of the year. In that case, it takes a little longer. But when you get the same group or many students who have already done this a previous year with another teacher, you will see it goes very quickly.

Later on in the year, instead of this joint class sign-up procedure, you can pass around a sheet in class, and the students will quietly choose from their calendar (in their booklets) and place their names next to the dates that suit them. Once you have completed the work, it is best to post the sign-up sheets in the classroom or somewhere for the students to check their dates out of class time.

Free oral drills on iTunes

Don’t forget to check out our four series of podcasts with oral drills and interactive exercises on iTunes. Go to our homepage to get the right links or type my name Marianne Raynaud" into the search box on iTunes. You can also go to iTunes / Podcasts / Education / Language Learning where you will see these podcast series ranked among the top 200 in a great many countries. As they are free, you can assign them as "oral homework" for your students. They are sure to progress in their speaking skills.

Good luck to you with the coming school year!

I hope this calendar and sign up sheet plus my suggestions for speaking activities will be of value to teachers starting out in the profession or even professionals with many years behind them. If you have a group of teachers working together on a similar personalized program, you will see that the calendars will help you get organized. More information is to be found in "QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book 2.0" available on this website.

Best regards,
Marianne Raynaud

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