Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogging with the Transformers & Xooms

Students published their first blog posts today in Spanish IV!  I put up a discussion question on the Smartboard, students wrote responses, and then published them to their individual blogs.  The students loved the new way of communicating and are ready to do more blogging soon!  Take a peek at our first blogging experience here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Students Have Many Hidden Talents

I posted these pictures, because one of my Spanish IV students brought these in as a class treat before break.  I was so impressed!  It made me think about the many hidden talents each student has and how we as educators need to tap into their interests and talents to improve learning.  I attended a really great presentation last year about this topic by Sir Ken Robinson.  See video below with a very similar presentation!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Screen Capture (by Google) = Grading and Feedback for Blog Posts

In order to grade and give feedback to my Spanish IV students, who created blog posts to practice the various progressive tenses, I utilized the Screen Capture (by Google) extension for Chrome.  Next, I used its editing tools to highlight errors and write comments.  When done, I simply copied the final image and pasted it right into an e-mail to students.    

Tutorial of the Screen Capture Extension

*Project:  Students either took 4 of their own photos or found 4 images online and then wrote 2 sentences, one including a pronoun, in each of the 4 progressive tenses to describe their photos (This project was adapted from an orignal poster project created by my colleague, Tracie Van Gheem-Rottier.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Asus Transformer - Our new classroom device!

My classroom is officially a 1:1 environment and I am thrilled to start implementing a bunch of ideas I've had for a while.  We received 15 Asus Transformers a week ago and also have 15 Motorola Xoom Tablets.  I am really liking that both Android Tablets are set up almost the same way, which is great for students adapting to the new devices.   Take a look at the device below!

Splashtop App! - Great tool for the classroom!

This app can be found in both the Android and Apple markets.  It is currently on sale right now at a bargain price of only $2.99 on the Android Market.  It allows me to navigate my computer on an Android tablet, smartphone, or device from anywhere in the classroom.  I love this, because I don't like to be stuck up at the Smartboard/in front of the room all the time.  I like the ability this app gives me to easily move around the room, but still navigate the computer/class activities.  See the video below for a description!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Speaking Assessments Completed Via Google Voice!

Used Google Voice App today for recording in the target language.  My Spanish 4 students recorded their responses to questions given in various perfect tenses.  The students were given a handout yesterday with 4 possible questions (one in each of four different perfect tenses).  Today, students picked one of the questions randomly out of a bucket and called my Google Voice number to record their responses.  Take a look here!

* I plan to grade the students recordings and send them their feedback via text message through Google voice.

** Students were not able to view their preparation handouts during the recording, but they were given a green sheet of blank scratch paper after handing in their prep sheets and choosing their specific questions to jot down/organize their thoughts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PCSD Model Classroom Teachers Meeting

Want to start out by saying that I am extremely grateful to work in a school district and have technicians that are so supportive, helpful and encouraging of innovation in education!

Meeting Highlights and New Ideas:
  • Need to create an organization shelf for easy storage of tablets during the school day.
  • One of the model teachers using Twitter with students - love the idea of creating a hashtag for our class and discuss various topics in the target language.
  • What is the best device to purchase at specifice buildings/for age of students?
  • PDF of lesson - put on blog and embed form with activities with it!
  • Create e-mail filter to filter e-mail from students for assignments right into a folder!
  • Google form>get students name and blog address>copy addresses>put in Google doc and publish on class blog.  Brilliant!
  • Voice Record with Micdroid app - send via e-mail to blog! 
  • Problem Based Learning - What is it?
    1. Has a situation problem to be solved.  Students come up with their own way to solve it.  
    2. No set product.
    3. Needs to have collaboration, communication, problem solving, real life relevance, real life audience

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Example of Soapbox Use for WL Lesson..

Here is a screen shot from my Spanish IV "Soapbox sandbox".  I pre-loaded some discussion questions that students used during a lesson on the perfect tenses today.  Was a great tool to engage and have students interact/discuss in the target language during the lesson. !

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creative Products from our first PBL Unit!

Here are some of the products/presentations that students in my Spanish III classes created to get people involved in their cause/organization.  Take a look!!


Video Game - Students created a video game and placed signage within the game that tells people how to get involved in the Red Cross. This is a slide show with screen shots from the game.

Friday, November 4, 2011

WAFLT Session 2 - Keeping it in the Target Language


students need training
language needs to comprehensible - pictures, acting out, cognates

Languages and Children by Helena Curtain - book

role play culture situations

if students asking for english clarification... ¿Cómo se dice? + let another student answer

have survival ?'s posted in room..

Interactive SMART Lessons for WL Classrooms

Notes from WAFLT Special Interest Session 1 - Fri., 11/4/11

Teachers Recess

  • Erasing things - erase to reveal task/pic/etcand 
  • matching activites
  • put detailed photo or pic up to converse about
  • create street map and have car icon for directions
  • take photos of student samples instead of keeping student work
  • put vocab of song up w/ pics 
  • tortuga game on smart
  • shark/tiburon - vocab game create grid w/ animals icons (3-4)have about 30 tasks or vocab

Thursday, November 3, 2011

#WAFLT11 Pre-conference workshop - Tech-niques that Foster 21st Century Skills

Notes from the wokshop...

  • what would you do? 20/20 - create videos or show videos of innapropriate/rude comments or actions  have students comment / discusss actions and what the appropriate action would be - could be used with group travel or conditional tense

  • clear conversation - u of michigan
  • blurb - create book and add audio
  • global hero project-  would work great during hero unit in spanish 3

        Wednesday, November 2, 2011

        Get Involved! - Problem Based Learning Unit 1

        Get Involved!  My Spanish 3 classes are currently working on forming formal commands, describing volunteer activities and organizing others to do a project/get involved.  They were given 3 questions (in Spanish :)..

        1.  What is a cause or social action project that I would like to support or help out with?
        2.  How can I get volunteers, generate support, or inform the public about this project/organization?
        3.  What is the best method to get the general Spanish speaking public involved?

        Here is a video of one group in the planning stages...