Beatriz Martine, Teacher Candidate at Touro College on Prepositions and Articles

11102782_10152791417766381_2687658104203970642_nBeatriz Martine is a certified 7-12 Mathematics teacher currently working in the Roosevelt Union Free School District. She has had the experience of teaching in the 7th and 8th grades for four years and is looking forward to teaching many more. Beatriz has found a love in working with ENL students because of the predominantly high ENL population in her school district. She is currently pursuing her Masters in TESOL at Touro College to better support her students. Beatriz is hoping to continue her studies and work towards her Bilingual extension after graduating with her Masters.

Here the questions for the Discussion Board of our Touro online learning environment with Ms. Martine’s answers. Ms. Martine has given express permission to use her discussion board postings in my blog.

Why do you think learning correct prepositions, articles and when a noun needs an article or not takes so long to learn? Is this also true for native speakers?  

I think the reasons why learning correct prepositions, articles and when a noun needs an article or not takes a long time to learn is that the rules are complex, have many exceptions, and in certain situations interchangeable. Most of the time, practice is the key to learning these grammatical components. Tara Arntsen explains in Gerund vs. Infinitive, that “it takes a lot of practice to recognize which words this applies to and there is no rule to help,” referring to specific words that must be followed by infinitives or gerunds (2011). Prepositions are hard to learn because they have multiple meanings. Take the preposition on, for example, we can use this for different situations: to be in physical contact with something (on a shelf) or to participate in something (on a team). There are also instances where depending on where you are geographically, prepositions are used differently (standing in line vs. standing on line). Prepositions can also be interchangeable. When someone is waiting inside a restaurant, they can be in or at the restaurant.

Create a short worksheet requiring your students to demonstrate their proficiency in the use of prepositions, infinitives and/or gerunds. Post this on the discussion board for your colleagues to address.
I would use this as a Do Now for a succeeding lesson on when to use gerunds or infinitives. 

Name: __________________________     Date: ________   Period: _____

Gerund vs. Infinitive

Directions: Fill in the blank with the correct gerund or infinite


1. I enjoy (play)  ________________  hide-and-seek with my friends.

2. My teacher always says, “Keep (try)  ________________, next time you’ll get it right!”

3. I need (clean) ________________ my room this weekend, it’s a mess.

4. I don’t like (go)  ________________ to the store with my mom, she takes forever!

5. When my mom walks in my room, I pretend (sleep)  ________________ but I’m really on my phone!

Post two, thoughtful and insightful questions about grammar proficiency for your colleagues to discuss.

1. Does anyone have a good classroom resource for practicing gerunds and infinitives?

2. Matthew Lubin explains, “It’s easier to explain to an ESL class that gerunds sound more natural than infinitives when used as subjects or complements of a sentence” (2017). How would you model this to your students?


Arntsen, T. (2011, August 22). Gerund vs. Infinitive: How to Explain the Difference. Retrieved from

Arntsen, T. (2016, October 30). How To Teach Prepositions Of Place (8 Simple Steps). Retrieved from

Lubin, M. (2017, July 27). How to Teach Gerunds and Infinitives to ESL Students Without Confusing Them. Retrieved from

Bitcoin, Blockchain and IoT for Educators accepted conference presentation


NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference in Albany, November 2nd, 2018

This poster session will explain and present in easy to understand non-technical language and infographics: 1. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which represent much more than digital economic innovations. 2. The Blockchain and Blockchain principles. 3. Potential applications for to the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Systems for educators and educational institutions.

Blockchain can be implemented within individual educational institutions, groups of educational institutions, and both national and international educational bodies. This technology makes it possible to securely store badges, credits, and qualifications through a decentralized system. Blockchain has the potential to morph into a massive open, online, secure database used for certification and achievement repositories with payment in cryptocurrencies. Blockchain can be implemented within individual educational institutions, groups of educational institutions, and both national and international educational bodies. As education becomes more diversified, democratized, decentralized and disintermediated, we still need to maintain reputation, trust in certification, and proof of learning. The increased focus on relevance and employability may also push us in this direction, as we also need more transparency. Blockchain could provide just such a system: a massive open, online, secure database embedded in the IoT and Smart Systems.

Evilyn Ortiz Teacher Candidate Touro Contribution – Modern American English- Approaches to Grammar/TESOL/Bilingual course

Sometimes Teacher Candidates contributions are too good to be buried in discussion boards.  Here is an outstanding post with permission from my teacher candidate. The activity by my teacher Evilyn is not only viable but also shows her thoughtfulness in folding in ESL grammar into real-life classroom teaching while making grammar fun. The assignment questions are featured in in italics.

Evilyn Ortiz is a certified biliassignment questions are featured in intalicsngual teacher (Spanish speaking) currently working in the Wyandanch schoEvelyn Ortizol district. She has worked for 2.5 years and is going on her second year teaching as a third grade bilingual teacher in Wyandanch. She loves working with ENL, CLD students and is currently pursuing her masters in TESOL at Touro College so that she can better support her students with new strategies and methods. 

  1. After reading our course texts, can you come up with a new method to teach the parts of speech to English Language Learners?

I like the idea of teaching the parts of speech through poetry. I think that this is an engaging way to teach parts of speech especially since most poetry is rich in nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and prepositions. I would use poetry to teach the parts of speech but chose which parts I want the scholars to focus on. In my class, we have mainly focused on nouns, verbs and adjectives and we color-coded each. A noun was to be identified in green, a verb was blue and adjectives were red.I often had my students do “scavenger” hunts during their literacy stations and they needed to find the part of speech and color/shade it the color assigned. Then students could create a chart using the words, create new sentences with the words and also needed to share their findings/data with a friend to see if they were in agreement or disagreement.

Create an activity for teaching the parts of speech for an ESL student that focuses on one particular learning style.

It was interesting to read about the different learning styles of children. All of my students are visual learners however, I have one global learner, one analytic learner, and one auditory learner. Any opportunity that I get to incorporate a video or audio to supplement a lesson, I use it in order to benefit my students.

For an auditory learner, this one specific student that I have in mind, I would pair her with a higher student. They will be given a short leveled reading a passage. I would give them job titles. The auditory learner will be the recorder and the other student will be the reader/teacher. This student is to read the passage three times. The first time just to listen, the second reading the recorder is to listen for nouns and verbs. The third reading, the student is to listen for the adjectives. Then they are to have an oral discussion of the examples they found within the text.

Pose three insightful questions relating to teaching the parts of speech or addressing learning styles to which your colleagues will respond.

  • Has anyone transformed their classrooms into a flexible seating classroom to address the various needs within your classroom?

  • On an elementary level, has anyone ever successfully had their students participate in an open panel?

  • According to Haynes, “most ELLs are visual or kinesthetic learners when they first learn English. Most teachers, especially in the upper grades, teach to students with an auditory learning style. This can be very difficult for the ELLs in your class.” Has anyone found that they are not using enough visual aids to support their ENL students and if so, how have you addressed it or plan to address it?


Haynes, J. (n.d.). Teach to Students’ Learning Styles. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from

Jordan, B. (2018). How to Teach Parts of Speech. Retrieved June 18, 2018 from

Open Library – a Project of the non-profit Internet Archive

“Open Library is an open project: the software is open, the data are open, the documentation is open, and the team welcomes individual contributions. Whether fixing a typo, adding a book, or writing a widget – it’s all welcome.” from  Open Library

As an educator and Professor, I love this site.  Instead of asking students to buy classic textbooks such as John Dewy’s Democracy and Education, all my students need to do is sign-up for the free library, download the book as a PDF and read it for free.  A search function for keywords is incorporated and extremely helpful in pulling content up. Nearly three million books are available in digital form, some can be borrowed, some can be downloaded and read.  In addition, there are books in other languages than English such as Italien, Greek, Chinese, and German.  For example, one can find the complete Die Harzreise by Heinrich Heine. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has 251 books in German dedicated to him. Pindar’s The Olympian and Pythian Odes are in this realm as is Gildersleeve’s Latin Grammar and Athenaze: an introduction to ancient Greek. Interested in learning Chinese? You can borrow: Conversational Chinese, with grammatical notes
prepared by Teng Ssŭ-yü.

It is possible to borrow up to five eBook titles for 2 weeks each, either in your browser or as a PDF or ePub. Reading is available in Adobe Digital Editions as a PDF or ePub.