Monthly Archives: August 2014

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies



1 cup + 1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup oil

¼ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup chocolate chips

caramel (like the caramel from this post)


Directions and Notes:

1. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla until just combined.

2. Stir in the flour and baking soda until just combined.

3. Add the chocolate chips. Be careful not to over-mix the dough at any point.

4. Chill the batter for at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Use the batter to form 12-18 cookies on a cookie sheet. Press small pieces of caramel into the top of each cookie. I use the condensed milk caramel from another recipe on this blog, but any caramel will work. I just tore pieces off of a big block and pushed them in. It wasn’t beautiful, but it tasted amazing. (If the cookies are being cooked in multiple batches, put the dough back in the refrigerator to keep it cold until right before it’s ready for use.)

7. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown. The centers should appear fluffy.

8. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt. Let the cookies cook completely and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: Zesty Cook


Caramel (from Condensed Milk)



1 can of condensed milk

Directions and Notes:

Place one can of condensed milk in a slow cooker and cover with water. Cook on low for 8 hours. Open and enjoy caramel!

“A Healthy Lifestyle” Discussion & Time Wheel


In Spoken English class, I try to take every opportunity to help my students live intentionally and consider making healthy decisions. One activity I’m trying with them this term is a class focused on living a healthy lifestyle and dividing their time among the things most important to them. During this class, I plan to give each student a half-page worksheet with a list of life areas (eg. friends, family, romantic relationships, education, health and exercise, personal growth, volunteering, etc.) Students will be asked to use a wheel with several different slivers to represent how great a weight each of these things has in their ideal version of their life and consider whether this ideal is actually a healthy life.

After students divide their wheels, they will have a chance to present their work to their classmates and explain why they think this division of their time is appropriate. Their classmates will then have a chance to ask them two questions as a challenge or a point of further explanation.

To download the worksheet, click here: Time Wheel

Here’s a preview:

Study Abroad Article Worksheets


This file contains a set of 7 articles related to studying abroad. When we study our “Study Abroad” unit in Spoken English class, students break up into seven groups, and each group is responsible for a 1-2 page article somehow related to studying abroad. After reading and discussing the article, students share the content of their articles with the class. Several of the articles come from the VOA Student Union website and are written by international students studying in America– it’s a good perspective for my students in China to learn from.

To download the PDF that contains these study abroad articles, complete with a wide side margin for content and vocabulary notes, click here: Study Abroad Articles

Here is a preview of two pages from the 12-page document. The first is the first page of a 2-page article; the second one previewed here is a one-page article.:


Job Interview Questions Practice Worksheet


This worksheet contains 11 core job interview questions including some advice for and examples of how to answer them. In class, we usually go through them one by one and then I give students time to answer them with a partner. After we finish the 11th question, we do mock interviews in front of the whole class. I am the interviewer and student can choose to interview for one of three different job positions. I choose 3-4 of the eleven questions to ask them, and they answer. After I’ve modeled being the interviewer two or three times, we transition into having a student interviewer. Students generally seem to enjoy this activity and see its very practical applications.

All of these questions and responses (though slightly edited) were taken from Melissa’s wonderful Mock Interview PPT presentation over at TeachersPayTeachers.

To download the two-page PDF worksheet, click here: 11 Important Job Interview Questions

Here’s a preview of the worksheet:


Spoken English Activity: Race Around the World


I do this activity in my spoken English classes. It’s absolute chaos but great practice and great fun at the same time. Rather than typing up all of the instructions, I’m just going to post a picture of the worksheet that students receive to guide them through the activity; all of the instructions are included.

Here are the instructions… all the printables can be found below:

To download the instruction worksheet, click here: Race Around the World

About 1/4- 1/3 of students should be travel agents. I usually print a few copies of each travel airline schedule and laminate them so they can be easily re-used. To download the airline schedules, click here: Airline Schedules

Travel agents are responsible for cutting and distributing airline tickets as they help customers book flights. To download airline tickets, click here: Airline Tickets

In each class, just a handful of students (usually 2 or 3) should be police officers. This really helps with reinforcing rules. Police officers receive a police badge and fine cards that they cut and distribute as needed. To download the police badges, click here: Police Badges

To download the police fine cards, click here: Police Fine Cards

Some teachers play the game with fake money; my students just imagine that they’re using a credit card and keep a running tally of how much they spend on tickets or are fined by the police.


Supplementary Culture Article: Campus Life in America


This is a great article, written from a Chinese perspective, on three differences between campus life in China and America. It contains some grammar mistakes, but it’s authentic!

To download the article worksheet, click here: Chinese-American University Comparison

Here’s the first page of the article for preview: