1-To honor and celebrate the interests of my college students, I always keep them centered in my classroom by giving them the power of choice and voice. I always allow for a large amount of freedom on what topics their projects should be for and how to create them. As an example, one of the projects they will have this semester regards art in the Arab world. I keep topic selection very open for them to choose what kind of art their project will be on. It might be on music, mosaic,....., or even architecture depending on their interests.
An interesting article to read on how to make the classroom student-centered can be found at
2- I am a very motivated instructor who like to motivate my students. There are so many ways to motivate students. One motivational tool I use is giving my students some extra credit assignments. With these assignments there are no boundaries which allows every student to choose a connected subject to our study to have a presentation on to share with class. Another way to motivate my students is to plan some trips for them to be connected to the Arab world and experience the culture while here in the USA. Two weeks ago, I planned a dinner in a Moroccan restaurant. In the link down, there is a picture of my students enjoying the Moroccan culture at Casablanca restaurant.
I am also planning a new trip to a Sufi poem concert. You are welcome to join us at Trinity Center for Urban Life | 22nd & Spruce St, Philadelphia on April 16th.
You can learn many ideas motivating your students by reading how to motivate students: Top Twelve Ways. If you are interested to read it, please visit:
3- Students who are learning a foreign language are always interested in learning and practicing the culture of that language. Watching videos on YouTube is a great tool to help students understand the concept of what they are learning. Students also sometimes like to have their own videos on YouTube to show what they came up with.
In the middle of this month, our lesson was on marriage and weddings. Many videos helped the students understand the culture and enjoy what they are learning. One of them was about Henna, the night before the wedding, which I am going to share with you.
4- One of the methods I use which I don't think many teachers use is how to grade my students work. It is very frustrating to someone when he/she doesn't get a good grade. I always underline their mistakes with a red pen without any grading and give them back their papers to look at and think how to correct their mistakes. I give them my feedback, and let them try to correct their work. I found this way gives much better results in their learning than when I correct their mistakes for them. Understanding their mistakes makes them happy as they are less likely to have them again and more confident of what they are doing.
Please visit http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/degrading-de-grading/ to read about grading.
5- The Digital Badges idea is completely new to me. So, to grasp the concept more, I did my research on it. On YouTube, I found this critical conversation which explains the role of Digital Badges in extension and lifelong learning in general. Please join me to watch it at