The Environment, Your Brain and a Writing Focus (Week One)

This week we worked on 4 topics:

The Environment

We studied Unit 2 of Workplace Plus 2. We learned about places in your home and studied dialogs about renting houses and apartments. Remember the key phrase from this unit was “I’m looking for _____.” You can use this when you are shopping for anything from a camera to bananas at the grocery store.

Your Brain

We took some time to look at the ways your brain works and talked about the importance of making mistakes when you learn anything, including language. I showed four videos I found on another ESL teacher’s blog. Larry Ferlazzo has many great resources. If you haven’t looked at his website be sure to check him out.

Here are the links to the videos we watched. You can watch them again from this page:

Excellent Short Video On The Brain And Learning

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures

A Writing Focus

For this part of the class, we divide into two groups. One group studied how to make sentences, while the second group reviewed how to write paragraphs. The second group is using the Great Paragraphs textbook.

Remember to study those editing clues. Here are the first two for example:

VF = verb form; example = I am go home right now. Correction = I am going home right now.

VT = verb tense; example = I go home last night. Correction = I went home last night.

It is important that both groups know and understand the correction clues so you can make corrections in your own work. Teachers now know something interesting. When students correct their own mistakes, they learn faster and become better writers.


Finally, we studied these 6 words and took a test. Many of you did very well.

a mistake; a neuron; a synapse; a convenience; a syllabus; to share; a leap year


Comment on this post. Tell me what you learned last week. What do you remember the most?

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21 Responses to The Environment, Your Brain and a Writing Focus (Week One)

  1. Abel Green says:

    Hi Kerrie! y need the vocabulary or last week, i need the practices this sentences what see last week.

  2. johyn says:

    Last week I learn about lap year it have 366 the day

  3. Abel Green says:

    In the week two i only need practice the grammar.

  4. Galina says:

    Last week I learned new words. Every day I share a car with my husband.

  5. Volodymyr says:

    Last week I leaned a lot of words about my brain and grammar.

  6. HANH NGUYEN says:

    Last week I learned :- Vocabulary, convenience store , neurons, syllabus, apartment, lease, a two bedroom apartment, a leap year is a year has 366 days, a synapse is a space between neurons. to share means use st. for two people or more.
    – Grammar ; Subject, verb ( verb form, verb tense ), object, (prepositional phrase).

  7. Nguyen, Hanh says:

    Nguyen, Hanh. Mar.19 2012
    Hello Karrie.
    Last week I learned several new words in Money lesson and grammar.
    New words: a deposit, to endorse, a withdrawal, signature, teeler, checking account, saving account, passbook, checkbook. a statement,
    Grammar: I learned about Past tense, Irregularly verbs, Comparative adjective:
    Ex: Become became become
    Forget forgot forgotten
    Write wrote written
    Teach taught taught
    Forgive forgave forgiven
    Comparative and superative adjectives:
    Ex: old older the oldest
    young younger the youngest
    cheap cheaper the cheapest
    but beautiful more beautiful the most beautiful
    expensive more expensive the most expensive
    interesting more interesting the most interesting.
    Remember: Adj has 1 or 2 syllables adj+er, adj+est.
    Adj has 2 more syllables more+adj, the most +adj.
    I’m studying at group 2 too, I learned about punctuation : period,comma and how to write a paragraph, topic, supporting, conclussion, and I’m learning about definite and indefinite articles: A, an, the.
    This class is very useful to me, and I think after finishing this level ,I can start my vocation class at Bates Technical College.

    • Nguyen, Hanh says:

      This week, I learn lot of words from two stories at class : The Gold Rush, this story told about a man was digging near the small village of San Francisco, he saw gold, The next years , thousands of men came to California from other countries , and they looked for gold, their dream would be rich. Later, San Francisco became a rich city and California became a state of The United State.
      Another story, Chewing Gum told about a man named William Wrigley who had little education and money, but he had an idea. He developed and succeed his the most popular chewing gum in American. Today, everywhere all over the world we can find William Wrigley’s chewing gum. I learn again Past tense of irregular verbs this week. EX : to go, buy , win, build, leave, sell, grow up, cost, …
      These lessons are very interesting .

  8. jalba galina says:

    Last week i steadied about money .I would like to make a withdrawal .My sister made a deposit in Columbia Bank. I endorse with my signature.

  9. ion says:

    In begin the spring bract wee steady about bulletin board. more people use the bulletin board .

  10. Nguyen, Hanh says:

    Last week, I learned about two stories : The bald eagle and The american cowboy, the bald eagle was chosen as the symbol of The United States because it was a bird of strength and courage. and this story wanted to remind us about protection of environment. The second story told about the hero cowboy of many movies, he was a symbol of courage and adventure. I relearned the Past Tense of verbs ( regular, and irregular verbs), too. I learned present continuous tense, and past continuous tense. I think , this week I ‘m learning some new things and prepare for test at the end of this quarter.

    • Karrie Zylstra says:

      Hahn, the stories about the bald eagle and the cowboy must have been memorable for you to mention them here. I’m also intrigued that you remembered our small discussion of the past continuous.

  11. bong k oh says:

    last week my son and daughter to go seattle dawntown in market sappeing the tv
    by the house nstitution befor dinner eated.

    • galina says:

      Hello Karrie How is your son is he doing better or not say hellow from Tabita Adiel Galina and John we are still praying for your son ca you please write me back.

  12. galina says:

    Hi karrie This is Galea.How do you feel? im praying for you.I understand your feelings sometimes I i lose my voice.last year befor Christmas i had some problem If you can write meback. Thank You From Family Jalba

    • Karrie Zylstra says:

      Hi Galina,

      I’m doing well. Thanks for asking and sending a message. Today I’m going to show you how to send an email and work on getting you started in the childcare program.

      See you soon!

      • galina says:

        Hello Karrie how are you can you pleas tell me what time does your church begin Thank you can you pleas write me back

      • Karrie Zylstra says:

        Hi Galina,
        Church begins at 10:30. We have coffee at 10:00, so you can come early if you’d like:),

  13. galina says:

    Tank you for your answer i will like to come is your church far away from our house because John tells me that is 1 hour away is it true?

    • Karrie Zylstra says:

      Google maps says 15 minutes if you take highway 16 to I5 to the pioneer way exit and follow it to the church. I think 30 minutes will be plenty of time even if you go on 72nd street.

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