Archive | January, 2013

Grading technology assignments

31 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am presenting at SVSU on Monday for a group of World Language teachers.  
Part of the presentation is about using online resources.   I always have questions about grading technology assignments or projects.  It can be a lot more time consuming that grading paper tests and worksheets.  I have a short list of ideas for them below.  Please let me know if there is anything I should add.

**Grade technology as it is presented. Have your rubric and class list ready.

** Use dropbox.com so all projects go to the same place.

**When using sites like Photo Peach, Google Docs, Glogster, Issuu, etc; have a login that is the same for all students. Then all of the work is in the same spot.

** Always grade with your rubric beside you.

The website I have created for them is here. It is not nearly finished yet.  I always seem to find things to add.

I appreciate any suggestions!  Also, if you have a WL blog not included on my list, let me know.  I will be glad to share it!

¡Gracias!  Penny

Travel project help please

27 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am planning a travel project for my Spanish students.  I did an online search for rubrics, but didn’t quite se what I had in mind.

I would like to have the following components:

  • Students work in pairs and each pair is going to a different Spanish speaking country.
  • They must consider each place they will visit, including the airport, hotel, restaurants, and any attractions they visit.
  • They must create a dialogue they will have to have in Spanish with someone they will meet in each place.
  • They will have to create and resolve a problem with that person.
  • They must plan three excursions for their trip.
  • Products they will turn in would include an itinerary, postcards from the three excursions, the dialogues, and a menu typical to the place they visit.
  • They will also have to create a short video of one of their dialogues.

    I feel like there should be more products. What am I missing? I am not sure how long the project would take, but I plan on assisting with a different list of vocabulary each day. Things that they may not find in their texts. Or do I let them find it on their own? I was thinking to give it to them to use as pronunciation practice as well as making sure they know the correct words for the context. They will have to come up with the structures for the dialogues on their own.

  • I appreciate any input you have!
    Gracias, Penny

 

Seamless Teaching : Navigating the Inclusion Spectrum

23 Jan

Seamless Teaching : Navigating the Inclusion Spectrum | Teaching Tolerance.

One of the many items to consider when planning lessons is how to accommodate students with IEPs.  This is a good article with many thoughts to consider.

In schools across the country, students in special education and general education are increasingly learning together in inclusive classrooms. This is a significant civil-rights achievement, but it also means students in special education are being taught by general education teachers who may not have the training and skills to best serve them.

Click on the link to find out more under these headings:

What General Education Teachers Should Know

Teaching to All Learners

The Inclusion Spectrum

21 Jan

The Comprehensible Classroom

This game has been played in thousands of classrooms for hundreds of purposes in many different subjects areas.

BHC Who Are You ?This time, I am using it in Spanish class to practice the verb form “eres” (you are). I’ll get reps in of many other second-person structures, but we are targeting ‘eres’.

  1. Have students pick a famous person or character–sports or political figure, actor or actress, singer, cartoon character, character from a movie, etc.
  2. Have the students write at least five descriptive sentences about that person in the second-person verb form. They should include a mix of general and specific things, like “You are a man” and “You play for the NY Giants”. Alternatively, you could have the students complete the form that I created for this game, so that you get enough specific information from each student: Quién soy. The first page is in Spanish, and the second page is…

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Audacity: Playback audio at a slower speed

21 Jan

¡Hola!

Recently someone anonymously sent me an assistive technology calendar (if you are reading this, thank you very much).

Friday’s helpful hint was changing the playback speed on audio files.

It could be very helpful for students to hear audio played back slower at times.

This tip goes along with Audacity, which is a free download.  Here are the steps to slowing down the playback speed:

  • File/Open the .mp3 or other audio file.
  • From the effects menu, select “Change tempo”
  • To reduce the tempo by 20%, type “-20.0” in the “Percent Change” box & click OK
  • The length of the playback will be increased by 20%
  • File/Export the audio file

The only credit listed in the calendar is to Jim E in Ohio…..  I wish I could credit him better….

Enjoy!  Penny

Biography projects

8 Jan

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable start to their new year!

I just did a Google search for types of projects you could do with biographies.  I am having my students research a famous Hispanic and I get so bored reading types papers I am sure it is boring to them too).

I found some great stuff at Pro Teacher.  I wanted to share my favorites with you.  If you have ideas, please share them too. Here they are:

1:  A teacher in our school did this project with our Gifted/Talented kids and it worked great. Each student had to bring in pictures from various eras of their life. First, they created a Life Map (timeline) of their life. Then, they used the pictures and information from the Life Maps to create a brochure about their life. On the front, they put their most recent picture. The title was, “The Life and Times of …” Inside, they started with infancy and carried it through until today. They listed accomplishments, interests, and etc. It was a fresh take on Auto Bios. I suppose this could work for Biographies, too. The students could create their own Life Maps and bring in pictures. You could assign each student a partner to interview and create a brochure or Bio. about that person’s life.

2:  Last year I had my students, who were very bright, read biographies and bring in a garbage bag full of items that represented/symbolized the person they read about. I was so impressed and amazed with the thought that went into this project, many of the students completed two just because they wanted to!!! For example, some of the things they brought in were: a candle because Florence Nightingale was a vigilant person, a soccer ball for Majorie Stoneman Douglas because she achieved her goals, an Energizer battery, because she kept going, and going, and going. They had to briefly give an oral summary about their person, then share the garbage bag.

3:  I have done a cereal box book report with my students. The students read a biography and designed their cereal box to include a Wheaties like picture of the person. On the back, students wrote about the person. For the nutrition facts, they included the “ingredients” of the person which was their character traits. On other parts of the box, the students used their creativity to add fun facts about the person.

I recommend using an actual cereal box and covering it with construction paper. Then students should type or write on light colored paper and glue it on the construction paper background.

4.  For the wax museum, I first had my kids research a famous, yet imaginative person in history (this went along with our Open Court Unit and the unit project of Biography) The kids chose people like Claude Monet, Henry Ford, Duke Ellington and the like. They researched them, wrote their biographies, etc. Then, to present their findings, the kids wrote a one paragraph “summary” of the person’s life in the 1st person point of view. On the day of the museum (today!), the kids dressed up as that person, stood still as a statue, and had a poster of their name and a “button” (just a red circle) people could push. The kids from other classes came by, pushed the button, and my students “came to life” and recited the speech, as if they were a wax statue at a museum. When they were done, they just stopped in the same position the began in, just as an animatronic statue would.

5:  For our unit on biographies my students do bio-folder projects. They have a file folder which they designed like a book about their individual. They create a timeline about their lives, a poem sharing what made that person incredible, along with a portrait. Then they create a pipecleaner model of their individual. Last year I added a bio-cube to the project using the bio-cube maker from ReadWriteThink. My kids really seem to enjoy it as they get to express their information in a variety of ways rather than just a written report.

6:   Bio Cubes–I had my assistant make cube patterns out of poster board (these make a 3-d cube or box). The students had instructions of what to write on each side of the cube:
1. name, birthdate, deathdate
2. what the person was famous for
3. they glued a picture of their person
4. something they found interesting that they didn’t know
5. important facts
6. I think on this side, we listed our resources.

It gave the kids something concrete to hold and handle. They love it. At the end of the unit, they shared their cubes and we hung them from clothes hangins to display.

I also found this during the search:

5 Pocket People:  Directions for making the 5 Pocket People

Use poster board for the body

The person’s body must be decorated with at least 5 different kinds of material, such as:  felt, fabric, buttons, burlap, leather, plastic, yarn for hair, ribbons, straw, old pieces of jewelry, beads etc…. NO FOOD ITEMS.

The face must be drawn on with crayon, colored pencils, markers, paint, made from felt, or colored construction paper.

Your figure must have 5 pockets on the costume.  They may be on the hat, legs, arms or body.  You may cut slits into the cardboard to use as pockets.

In each Pocket there must be different kinds of information:

  1. The name of the person, date and place of birth.  Also include the reason for choosing this person.
  2. Tell about the person’s family and childhood.  For example, give information about the person’s parents, brother/sisters, his/her education etc…
  3. Why is he/she important or famous?  What did they do that made the world take notice?
  4. Tell about special interests or hobbies of your person.  If none are mentioned you may write about a fact that was of interest to you.
  5. What difficulty or challenges did your person face in life?   If none are mentioned, when did your person die?  If the person is alive, how old is he/she?

I am leaning towards the bio-folder idea, what do you think?

¡Gracias!  Penny

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