Sunday, May 26, 2013

Here's one way to get invited to travel to interesting places: Ask mentors to join you in creating an ebook and then print it on Then send the ebook to schools in other countries

This is an invitation to make an excellent book of worksheets.


Note to the reader who is a teacher

Have you ever had that moment when one or more of your students is done with the lesson and you can see boredom appear in their eyes?

Have you ever wished you could reach into a magic box and pull out a worksheet that would keep fast students occupied?

This is that magic box. These worksheets worked for us and we want to share them with you.

In return, we ask that you pass along these worksheets to your colleagues. Please write to us with your suggestions and if you have a mafic worksheet, please share it. We can include it in the next edition.

Send your comments and worksheets that work for you to

The worksheets will become Creative Commons. Please assume that other teachers will adapt your work and improve their lessons. We will ask that your name is attributed to all derivations of the work.

Note to the reader who is a student

You are probably annoyed by the boring classes that you might be taking or you might be interested in accelerating your speed of acquiring English.

Step 1: Tear out this page of the book.
You can tear out this page (the words “annoyed” and “boring teacher” probably will be associated with your current school) and give the rest of the book to one of your teachers or perhaps to a principal.

Step 2: Get this book in front of a boring teacher.
It might help if you simply slip into the teacher's room and place this book on a table. Or leave it next to the photocopy machine, if your school is equipped with such a dangerous device.

Step 3: Get the ebook and share it with your friends
Research shows that studnets who work together and encourage each other often learn faster and more.

Step 4: Start your Personal Learning Plan (PLP)
You might want to show future teachers what you have already done in your classes, so that the future teachers can adapt to your plan for your success.

Step 5: encourage your classmates to start their own PLPs
Why not spread the joy of independent learning by asking your classmates to join you?

Step 6: Contact and ask for penpals.
You might need to send a copy of your request email to because the bibpenpals email address is not monitored daily. If you have access to the Internet, you can watch videos at and you can look for BIBPenpals on Facebook at You will learn to speak better if you have a native speaker working with you.

Send your comments to

A note to directors of schools

It is a hazardous business to make suggestions to teachers. Many will nod their heads and say, “That's something I will start to do in my next class,” but really you don't know what is happening in their heads. Other teachers might make a face and eventually agree to do what you asked them to do, but you feel you need to follow up with monitoring.
The beauty of this Photocopiable Pages approach is that the teacher doesn't need to prepare a lesson plan, since the worksheets are generally easily completed by students. If your school has access to the Internet, there are videos associated with each worksheet. Students or the teacher can switch on the video and let the class proceed. It's a way to differentiate the instruction.

If your school is plagued with teachers who lead a one-lesson-for-all approach, then the creation of portfolios and personal learning plans might be one part of the cure. Your classes will have a new culture of learning and inquiry by using this book and some of the other books in our series, including:

Building More Responsive Schools (Dr. Abraham S. Fischler),
Let's Lecture Less by Mario Llorente and S. McCrea
How can we improve schools? (the Humanistic approach) by Mario Llorente and others
Guide on the Side (in production)
The Flipped Classroom (Ask students to watch your lecture at home and arrive ready to discuss the lecture in the next class)

All of these books are available as free ebooks.

Send your comments to

Here is the introduction to the book

There are many workbooks with effective worksheets.

Many students benefit from filling in blanks to learn the differences between past and present and subject and verb. But let’s look at the binders and folders that students carry around. What do we see?

Often we see a stack of worksheets that appear to be carried around but not looked at more than once or twice.

The goal of this packet is to give you useful worksheets that students can use again and again.  

Worksheet A
How to politely interrupt the teacher

Worksheet B
My Learning Plan

Worksheet C
Pronunciation Practice Chart

These are the three sheets that I distribute at no cost online.

I like to introduce the sheets to my students in that order. Here’s what I say:

Teacher Talk A
How To Interrupt the Teacher
I like to give my students permission to interrupt. It is an excellent skill and it communicates immediately that the class is centered around you, the students. Your best skill will be speaking. Talking is how you will quickly show people your level of English. So I want you talking. Let’s practice using this sheet…

Lower levels: It’s okay to ask questions. We want you to talk a lot. Let’s use these words…

Teacher Talk B
My Learning Plan
The learning plan is a set of goals. You can put your goals on this sheet. We can work together to find words and homework to meet your goals.

Lower levels: What do you want to do? Let’s look at each part of this page.

Teacher Talk C
The learning plan is a set of goals. You can put your goals on this sheet. We can work

Lower levels: What do you want to do? Let’s look at each part of this page.

Teacher Talk (at least once a week)
Remember, students: Eventually you will not need these sheets. Eventually you will leave these sheets on a bookshelf or you’ll toss them out because you need the binder for another project. Someday, you won’t need these pages. But right now, let’s look at these pages again – what can we add? What can we review?

No Photocopier? No Problem
None of these worksheets needs to be photocopied. You can put this information on a board and the students can get the information on blank sheets of paper.

Final word to teachers:
  1. You have the “teacher talk.”
  2. You have the sheets.
Let’s get started.


The end of the book goes like this:

There will be future editions....

Note to future contributors

This book is intended to be sold at a very small profit margin and will in fact be given away to schools in developing countries, such as Cuba.

The aim is to get the contributors (whose names will be on the cover) invitations to come to the schools.

A contributor who places some lessons in this compilation will be encouraged to send the ebook to hundreds of schools in an area that the contributor wants to visit... in exchange for a place to sleep, the contributor offers to give a workshop. Not a bad way to spend a holiday.

If you are interested in participating, send me some examples of worksheets … the aim is to make the 101 pages useful. The core of the program is the creation of a portfolio, so the items in the portfolio will help show future teachers the level of fluency that the student has attained. The portfolio will also show what areas the student has and perhaps hasn't mastered.

Steve (editor / compiler)

I hope you will participate. Let's throw together a bigger, better and more diverse collection of worksheets that teachers can use.

I think it's okay to have multiple approaches to irregular verbs in the same workbook... after all, it's an ebook. It will also be available for purchase as a 8.5 x 11 format book on Createspace.

Ending Message
Thank you for using my photocopiable worksheets in your class. Please contact me at Thanks. If you have a worksheet that works for you, I hope you will let me share it in the next edition of our book.

English Language Teaching can take you from Alaska to Argentina!

A list of tips
1. Go for it and actually make it happen!
2. Relate to students on a personal level
3. Be energetic and show that you want to be there teaching
4. Have unconditional positive regard and treat mistakes as a good part of the learning process
5. Give real world examples
6. Make the activities fun and interesting

Keep in touch.


You can see the prototype of this workbook here

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