Wanting to get out of a winter/Corona funk, I’ve decided to invest some energy in sprucing up the Worksheet Generator. I still think it’s my best chance to convert something I’ve made into a second income. And, reading the examples he provides, I think “I can do that.”
Sitting down to actually do it, it’s much harder.
I use too many words. Still, I’ve tried to cut things down. The current landing page is at dynamic-efl.com, you can have a look a that, if you’re curious. Once you’ve seen that, here’s what I have:
The unformatted landing page
Above the fold:
Title: Provide your learners with tailor-made vocab review and save time.
Subtitle: Review worksheets so specific, they’re single-use. Made with only moments of effort. (Learners will think you spent hours.)
Instead of social proof: Vocabulary isn’t easy for learners, and no amount of work you do will make it easier. You can give some structure and a clear review task to do.
Visual: Video showing Dynamic-EFL in action (not a walkthrough, just moments of it in use) (see below)
CTA: Button: Try it for for 3 months, no charge Subtitle: (not even a charge card)
Below the fold:
Make it concrete: Manage a vocabulary list for each class and generate structured review worksheets and one-off review activities.
Classroom vocabulary rotates through different activities, coming back again in the next worksheet to refresh learners’ memories. Use the same vocab list to make crosswords, word searches, memory, and more.
Frequently asked questions:
Do I really want to give my learners another resource printed off from the internet?
No. That’s why I don’t brand the worksheets. In fact, the goal is to make this look like you did all the work. Use your own branding or change the text on one worksheet–or on every worksheet you make.
Do I really have time to do the extra work of making worksheets for each class?
I don’t know. I can say that, not counting writing down the classroom vocabulary as we go in class, I invest about two minutes per class. The secret? Most of the work has already been done, and the rest is easily done by a computer.
I have my own way of explaining things. Should I worry that yours will confuse my learners?
Probably. I think you can use 99% of what I’ve written as it is–especially if you’re teaching Germans (they’re who I write for)–and I’ve included tools to let you tweak things as much or as little as you think you need to.
I don’t really have time to learn something new. How difficult is this to learn?
Not very. I’m a teacher and built this for teachers. If you can type vocabulary and click on “make a worksheet,” you already have the skills you need.
Second call to action:
Let me start making your review worksheets and I think you’ll see the value of what I do. I’m so convinced that I’m ready to do it for free.
Button: Try it free for three months
Subtitle: (no credit card required)
Founder’s Note: I’m a teacher, first, not a coder. But, when students told me they “couldn’t learn vocab” or were “too old,” I knew that my standard bit about how to learn vocabulary didn’t help, it just made me feel better by making it their problem.
I teach adults: none of them needed another problem. They needed a teacher who would step up and find a way to help
I began to make structured review activities. They were a hit. Students saw their own success and thought I was a big part of it. It felt good to be a part of their success story.
But it also ate time. Lots of time.
So I thought of automating it with a software product. And, when I realized what it would cost to hire a coder to make it for me, I taught myself to code. (We all have dry spells in freelance work, right?)
Very quickly, it went from a time-suck to a time-saver. I had time to help my students in other ways (see my collection of stories and other worksheets), but I still think of this as my greatest teaching idea, yet.
Automating it doesn’t only mean that I can produce great worksheets in minutes. It means that anyone can.
The idea is simple. As I teach, I write down the words that I’m introducing–and also the vocabulary that comes up as learners talk about their own stories.
After class, I type the words here into the classroom’s vocabulary list. That’s done in seconds.
Then, I double-check that the vocabulary is being understood correctly–a table can be furniture, but it can also be a tool to format a document–and I’m done.
For a worksheet, I click and skim through the worksheet that the system wants to make for me.
When I got that much done, I was proud of myself. The magic is in the next worksheet, though, when vocabulary from the previous worksheet comes back.
That’s the gist of what I do in a nutshell, but if you want to keep watching, I’ll keep talking.
From the same vocabulary list, I can make a memory game… a crossword puzzle… a word search… or a vocabulary puzzle…
When vocabulary enters the classroom list through one student’s funny story, I can make that part of the definition of the word… or I can make that part of the gapfill sentence. Learners see that one, small personal touch and think that I made the whole thing.
I mean, I did make the whole thing–these are translations, definitions, and gapfills that I’ve created over years of developing this–but your learners will think that this was all your work. You can reenforce that impression by putting your branding on the worksheets, or by setting up your own default definitions and gapfills.
(I timed a read-though of this about just about two minutes)
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the next thing for me to do is to just copy and paste that in some format on the landing page and see what happens. But I have a grander vision.
I’d like to take my time and format everything new with my newfound CSS skills from freecodecamp.org. And, while I’m doing that, I’m thinking about how to do my own stats.