The Minimalist ALT
was inspired by a group of Japanese elementary school teachers I was training who told me they wanted to learn activities that require 'no preparation, no materials, and are time-flexible.' Don't we all!!
The result not only changed my own teaching style, it made my life at school a LOT easier! But more importantly, the students enjoy the classes and use English in real and meaningful ways.
Scroll down to learn how to teach... with less.

March 3, 2009

How to Use This Site

There is a translation tool in the upper left corner of the page; choose your language to translate the page. After translation, hover the cursor/arrow over a sentence to see the sentence displayed in the original English.

Explanations of each activity are written lower down the blog page. A link at the top of the page will bring up the List of Acitivities for you to use in the following way:

When I need to choose activities or make a lesson plan, I first determine the language pattern being targeted (words, sentences/negatives, yes/no questions, wh- questions, or commands). Then I simply look down a compiled list of the activities I know (click the Activity List link at the top of the page). My eye/mind recognizes suitable activities as I look through the List, and I note these on a pad of paper. Next I look over the activities I've written down, and choose complementary activities that I want to include in the lesson. The last job is ordering the remaining activities to maximize student experience.

The Minimalist ALT blog offers another method: sorting. By choosing one of the links in the lefthand column, you can bring to the top of the page only those activities that are suitable for your language pattern, meaning- or -pattern-focus, or time. Since the blog can sort by only one criteria at a time, by choosing different sorting tags and noting which activities sort into each option, you can use the sorting feature of the blog to assist you in choosing appropriate activities.

For in-class use, here is a .pdf document listing all of the activities on a single page, divided by meaning-/pattern-focus and teaching/practicing/testing. Keep this in a folder that you carry to class (and your dice & timer!), and you'll have it with you when you need it in a hurry.