I underutilize flashcards. I know that's a weakness in my ESL literacy teaching and want to address it. A recent post on the ESL Literacy Network blog inspired me to use flashcards to teach personal information with a new iteration of learners who are just starting with me this month. While I was nosing around in the Community - Showcases area of the same website, I rediscovered a showcase by Shelley McConnell called Making Picture Flashcards Using a Template. Mind you, I have visited many websites that offer flashcards as well as flashcard templates, but this one was just so easy to use that I felt compelled to share it here.
Shelley's template has a variety of sizes ready for you to insert the pictures. She also includes one set with an area under each picture for text. The font is 20 pt Century Gothic, perfect for literacy!
My school is about to get a subscription to Clipart.com. In the meantime, I discovered that this set of templates pairs beautifully with our Oxford Picture Dictionary software. The software, which we have licensed for each classroom, comes with one WORKSHEETS and one ART folder per topic. The art folder, I discovered, is full of png image files. The way that Shelley has designed her flashcard templates, all you do is click on the picture icon in the middle of the flashcard. This triggers a dialogue box whereby you find the image that you've saved on a drive. When you select the image, it inserts itself into the flashcard with no need to resize! With very few clicks, you're ready for the next flashcard. I was able to make four sets for the hospital topic for my seniors class, print them AND cut them up with the paper cutter in about twenty minutes. I was very pleased by this time saver. Next time I'll get out our school's laminator to make the set more durable.
Shelley's showcase includes an instruction sheet.
I haven't made any flashcards for my literacy class using these templates just yet, but am happy to report that they came in very handy in my morning class. The seniors enjoyed having one set per group of three students so that they could drill each other on hospital vocabulary.
Do you think these templates are a time saver? What do you use to help students remember new vocabulary?