I am in no position to tell you I have an answer to this question "Do we write materials OR Do we design them"
But I hope that sharing the following experience will help.

"We don't write materials for our sessions. There are paid professionals for that, instead we design them" said my trainer.

Now imagine you wish to plan a  training session based on an in-class experiment, won't you need to build on what you already collected during the experimental practice?

"Research the topic you want to give a training session about, then copy the necessary documents and design how you wish to present it. you may wish to design them in a fill-in gap form, a loop, a jigsaw reading" said one of my colleagues.

So, do we build the material from scratch or do we adapt other materials is still debatable in my mind. In this blog post I share with you my reflection on writing materials for a CLIL class and for a training session. I am also sharing my actual lesson plan for both.

Recently I tried a CLIL lesson in my class around the history of one of the public houses in Egypt. Since I did not find the history of the place not available in English I had to write it myself by translating the available materials into English.

To download the lesson plan and the worksheets click here

Now, I am about to design a training session based on an experimental practice I tried this summer school. The session will be about "how to improve students writing through classroom blogging".

I will need to build on the materials from scratch. One way I figured to help me with material writing is to

  • name each stage
  • think of the presentation style for each material (gap -fill, picture ordering, etc.)
  • design the materials to vary the activities

For example:

1- What is a classroom blog/ different type of blogs (photo/ type match)

2-How to establish a classroom blog (photo re-ordering)

3-different writing activities through blogging (scavenger hunting)

4- the role of teacher and the role of contributor (scavenger hunting)

5- how to give feedback( language vs.content)

That was how to approach material writing for a training session. Recently I have read an article about the framework for training sessions by Adelina Holmes,English Teaching Professional, (111), July, 2017 where she shares her planning framework, see figure 2.

I have wrecked my head trying to find  a purposeful introduction as a warmer when the session is about classroom blogging but could not find any! So instead I will grab their attention by giving them each a rose envelope and ask them not to open but until the time of the session. Inside the envelope I will include the sessions’ handout and the grouping slips.

For the experiment in the experiential phase I will be using from the above mentioned materials the following:

1- What is a classroom blog/ different type of blogs (photo/ type match)

2-How to establish a classroom blog (photo re-ordering)

For the problem solving I will be using from the above mentioned materials the following:

3-different writing activities through blogging (scavenger hunting)

4- the role of teacher and the role of contributor (scavenger hunting)

**In this stage teachers will log into their Pre-created accounts which I created before hand

For the reporting back I will be asking them to set in groups and report back some of the examples they have seen (tasks will be divided among the users)

For the reflection stage I will be asking teachers to reflect back to the workshop and ask them:

  • How did I grab your attention?
  • Name one take away idea you might be using in your classroom.
  • Will you be interested in setting up your own personal blog?
  • If I ask you to tweak one thing in this session what would it be ?

So,  as you can see I am sharing with you two situations where as a teacher and a teacher trainer not only did I need to design the share of the activities/materials but also to Write them from sratch.  I think I have come to the conclusion that it is up to the teacher to decide, do I stick to the already provided materials, do I need to tailor them? Your call.   

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