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Volume 4 Number 4

No matter how many hundred of millions of dollars are spent, school reform initiatives will continue to produce unsatisfying results until we unflinchingly address the critical problem of teacher quality.
We're Still Leaving the Teachers Behind...
We're Still Leaving the Teachers Behind by Vivian Troen & Katherine C. Boles
Bureaucrat's Field of Dreams: If You Test Them They Will Learn -- A Rousing, Rip-Roaring,Raving Rant by Bill Page
That's My Job! Promoting Responsibility in the Preschool Classroom by Mary E. Maurer
War Impacts Preschool Students -- Current events and behavior changes from the Teachers.Net Early Childhood Chatboard
TEAPOT Word Game - What Every Teacher Should Know! by Catherine Schandl
How To Use Anchoring for Accelerated Learning by Stelios Perdios
An Art Historian on Children in the Museum by Erick Wilberding
China ESL, An Industry Run Amuck? by Niu Qiang & Martin Wolff
Editor's epicks for April by Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Egg Hatching - A PowerPoint Presentation by Mechele Ussery
Direction for Teachers of Creative Writing by Dan Lukiv
Tutorial - High Frequency Words (for students who struggle) from the Teachers.Net Chatboard
Vocabulary Activities by Lisa Indiana 2-3
April Columns
April Regular Features
April Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

Catherine Schandl...
Catherine Schandl taught ESL for many years and is currently the Program Director of a private school in Toronto, Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, taekwondo and is also working toward her Master of Education. Her most recent paper 9/11 and the Chaotic Evolution of American English has been published in the latest edition of Language, Society and Culture, an Australian journal.

Teacher Feature...

TEAPOT Word Game - What Every Teacher Should Know!

by Catherine Schandl

I have always been fascinated by old, worn books so it was nothing out of the ordinary that, some years ago in the teacher's room of the ESL school where I was teaching, I noticed such a book. It was nestled between two glossy grammar books on the bookcase of the teacher's room and what first caught by eye was that the cover was missing. That meant that someone -- or many people -- had used it a great deal!

I pulled out the book as the teachers debated who would get to use the Scrabble game that Friday. The pages of the book were old to the point of being discolored and I quickly sat down at the table to go through the contents. There were games and activities of all kinds for students. One name in particular caught my eye. "Teapot." Basically this was how it worked. One student left the room and the class came up with a word (noun) that was to be the secret word. Once the word was decided, the student was asked to return to the classroom and sat in a chair at the front of the room. Then each student had to say a sentence using the word "Teapot." in his/her sentence instead of the secret word. If the student could not guess what the "Teapot." was, the students were encouraged to give easier clues as the game progressed, until the student guessed what "Teapot." was. The last student to give a sentence about "Teapot." before it was correctly guessed was the next one to leave the room until a new "teapot" was chosen.

At the end of my conversation class that day, I decided to try out the new (or rather old!) game and wondered if it would work. The first student left the room and his classmates excitedly came up with a word. I do not recall what the word was, yet I do recall the excitement with which they played the game until he guessed "Teapot." and the next student left the room. From that moment on, they were enthralled. Every day, at the end of the class, they requested a few minutes of "Teapot" and I obliged, soon realizing that this was one way of getting them interested in thinking of words and how they can be used.

I have even used "Teapot" outside of the classroom, while driving with my boisterous little nephews and niece, who now insist, every time they climb into a car with me, that we play "Teapot." It sounds something like this "I like teapot." "Ummm chocolate." "No. I would like to go up the Teapot." "C.N. Tower!" "Yes." "Now it's my turn to think of a teapot!" The most exciting time we played the game, however, was when "Teapot." was actually a teapot!

This game seems to enthrall not only ESL students, but curious kids as well and I therefore highly recommend it for teachers who would like to help their students build their vocabulary, use words correctly and, more importantly, express themselves.

Unfortunately, all those years ago, when I returned to the teacher's room following my first successful encounter with "Teapot," the old worn book was gone, having been thrown away by a well meaning individual who wished to "clean up" the teachers' bookcase. No matter. "Teapot" still lives on!

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