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An answer to how to share what you learned from your Culture assignment

21 Apr

Notice that I say “An answer”, I would love to hear how all of you have students share what they have learned.

My students must complete a Culture choice activity each week.  My problem was that they completed the activity and turned it in, it is not shared with the rest of the class.  This is a problem because they have 6 choices and pick 4 to complete throughout the month.  Students do not get to all of them.

Here is an example of one of our Culture Choice handouts.  They complete the assignment in English because I am only teaching Spanish 1 this year.  this is for our foods unit and covers some Michigan World Language Standards.

Here is the activity that I came up with.  It works great because we do it after a quiz.  We have 72 minute classes…

The name of the activity is Jot Thoughts.  It is from an excellent book called Learning in the Fast Lane.  I wish that I had taken pictures to add in.

  1. Group students in any way you wish.  I put 3-4 students together or more depending on class size.
  2. Give each group a stack of sticky notes.  Each group should have a different color of sticky notes.
  3. Students silently write what they have learned from their past month’s Culture assignments on sticky notes.  One fact per note.  They try to cover one person’s desk or two pieces of computer paper if you have tables.
  4. Students then share with their group what they have learned and eliminate any duplicates.
  5. On the board I have drawn a 6 part grid.  Each grid is labeled with a possible culture assignment.  One student from the group brings up the sticky notes and sorts them into the grid.
  6. A spokesperson from each group comes up and reads what their group has learned.  If you hear something that your group has also posted, you do not say that one when you share more than just a mention.

The kids really loved this because they got to write on sticky notes!  They do love sounding like experts as well.  I loved hearing that they had remembered what they learned.

Let me know what you do for students to share their Culture assignments.

 

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Plickers: Technology without student phones

3 Apr

I learned about Plickers at the MACUL conference.  In a nutshell, students hold up their answer to a multiple choice question projected on the screen.  It is great for formative assessment.  It is similar to using those clickers.  Read on to find out how easy and useful it is.

First you print out a class set of “Answer cards”.  Each card has a unique number on it.  Assign a number to each student.  You can use the same number for multiple classes.  The program knows by time of day which student it is.

Project multiple choice questions that you create on the Flickers website.  Students turn their card with the correct answer on the top.

You use a phone or tablet to scan the papers, it takes very little time.

The students will see how many of them voted for each answer.  You will reveal the correct answer.

Later you can check out each individual student’s responses.

Give it a try, it is a very simple and effective way to check student progress.

Glyphs

2 Mar

I love doing glyphs with my students.  It incorporates many parts of languages, reading, writing, speaking…  I hope this description will make sense to you.  Keep in mind that this is done in the TL but I have switched it to English because some of you are not Spanish teachers….

Glyphs make pictures out of information.  Students draw a portion of a picture for each prompt given.  This one is an example of one that I use for the end of the first month for review.  Some of the prompts require a bit of charades to explain in the TL, or vocabulary drawn on the whiteboard (eyes, pointy, etc.).  I have changed the sentences to English, they would be in Spanish.  It forces them to read and apply what they are learning.  Instructions include telling them to read all of the prompts before beginning.  Below this glyph I have some further examples of how I use it in my class:

 

 

  • If you are 14, draw a large cat’s body (80% of page).  15, draw a medium cat (50%).   Any other age, draw a small cat (30%).
  • If you prefer to write with a pencil, draw a fat cat.  Pen, draw a skinny cat.
  • If you have a calculator in your book bag, draw a long tail.  If not draw a short tail.
  • If you have a cell phone, color the eyes green.  If not, color them blue.
  • If you have more than 3 pencils with you, give the cat pointy ears.  If not, draw rounded ears.
  • If it is sunny today, draw a black nose and mouth.  If it is not sunny, draw a brown nose.
  • Draw a stripe on the cat  that represents the number of the month in which you were born.  Example:  May = 5 stripes
  • Draw a whisker for the day of the month that you were born.  (Ex: 10th = 10 whiskers)

 

Extensions:

 

 

  • Tape up the cats and have students try to identify to whom each belongs.
  • Have students exchange glyphs and write the facts they learn in the TL about the other student from examining the picture.
  • Have students write facts about their own glyph to substantiate the drawing.

 

I have also used a house as a glyph.  The prompts can be changed so students have to color the house, draw a certain number of windows, etc.

You can really have them draw any picture you wish and make the prompts fill it in.

Listen and draw

22 Feb

Have students fold paper in fourths then number the squares 1-4 (or 1-8 if you use the back too).  Say (in the TL) “Number One. I like apples. “ or something like that using a vocabulary word in a simple context.  The students draw a representation of the word you used.  Repeat until all squares are filled, then check the answers by having the students tell you what the word for each number was (in the TL, of course).

This can also be used as a pop quiz….

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How Can I Be a Better Teacher Next Fall? | Edutopia

17 May

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How Can I Be a Better Teacher Next Fall? | Edutopia.

 

Great blog post on evaluating your year with the help of students.

Saving in my blog to refer back to  🙂

Cinco de Mayo presentations

7 May

Today was Cinco de Mayo presentations/fiesta day.  We have 72 minute classes so it works out perfectly.  We did not have school on Friday so that was not an option, and you never have a fiesta without a school day prior to remind them to bring their goodies.

I know that some teachers do not teach Cinco de Mayo because it is not celebrated largely in Mexico, but I love to point out the historical aspects including how it changed the course of our own Civil War in the United States.  There are also many family friendly Cinco de Mayo activities in our area, so I feel it is fitting.  I also explain that many Hispanic people feel that it helps them celebrate their heritage since they are so far away from “home”.

The students were able to make any kind of project they wanted.  I had a combination of Power Points, Prezis, posters and skits.  

We were in the computer lab last Thursday and yesterday.  I put out 15 index cards with topics that included the French Invasion, the Battle of Puebla, Fiesta music & food and several others.  In pairs, they picked one and got to work.  Their tasks were to do research and begin create their presentations.  I also had two other tasks for them.

I created two Google documents.  I made them public pages so they could edit them.

The first document had a table to share the links where they found their information.  Now I have a great collection….

The second document included a table where they had to share two facts they had learned.  From this document I made a worksheet.  The worksheet had the name of each of the presenters and their two facts.  I picked a word or two from each fact and changed it to a blank for the students to fill in while they watched the presentations.  This encouraged them to be actively engaged.

After the presentations we ate and they filled out an exit slip that asked what the most interesting fact was that they learned, something they did not understand, and 3 True or False questions.

It worked out pretty well.

Penny

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

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

Centers: How to keep track of who’s where when & evaluating center work

12 Jul

Again, great information from Nooks, Crannies and Corners.  The authors explain how to keep track of student movement and how to handle evaluating their work.  I may throw in a few of my own ideas inspired by reading the book.

Keeping track of Student Movement:

1. Give each student a checklist.  The checklist will not only point the student to the center they visit next, but will allow the teacher to see if a center was skipped.  I envision the checklist not only including the name of the center, but a sub-checklist for each center of which activities need to be completed.  If differentiation is required, alter the assignment on the checklist as a reminder to the student and yourself.

2. Use a typed chart.  This could be just sitting at the center.  Students would refer to it to see what the next center was.  This works if the students stay together as a group.

3. Give a creative invitation.  Make the activity sound like a quest maybe.

4. Make your checklist a graphic.  Imagine a picture of a house:
On the roof is typed “Week of March 17-21” along with a space for the student’s name.
The second story windows are labeled: “Art: Peruvian artists”, “Video: Sports in Peru
Answer questions 1-5″, “Sports: Create a graph based on the survey you have given”.
The door says “Write 5 sentences about the last sporting event you attended or participated in”.
The first floor window says “Complete activity 12 on page 231”.
Each window and door represents a center they must complete that week or day.  You could even have the students color each part as they finish.  My high school students would love that…

Considerations for assigning centers:

1. The student must know exactly what course to follow and the teacher must be able to tell at a glance exactly what tasks have been completed.

2.  Exemplary systems offer choice and alternative assignments.

3. Have an “Open center” that students can visit at any time. Provides freedom and a safety valve.

Evaluating & Grading:

** Discuss grading system with students

** Talk about “failure”.  Why and how it happens and how to avoid it.

**Give a grade every day.

I will definitely be sharing what specific centers I use in my classroom for two reasons (or more): to get feedback from all of you, and to have a reference for later.  I have found blogging to be rewarding in both instances.

The following are types of centers that Nooks, Crannies and Corners suggest as evaluative measures:

drama/art
checklists
recordings
suggestion box
scrapbooks
record of observation
interview


Open ended questions
games/quizzes
crossword
log/diary
test
diorama
chart/poster
graph/diagram

I am leaning toward a daily journal.  I think it is important for students to be able to refer back to their work and reflect on it in writing.  It is always very cool to see the difference between the first few pages of the term and the end of the term.

I hope you got some ideas.  Remember to share your ideas and thoughts.

Gracias, Penny

Centers: Determine Learner Needs

10 Jul

Continuing with my research on using centers in my classroom, Nooks, Crannies and Corners suggested to determine the needs of the learners.

They gave a few suggestions on how to do this:

**Pre-tests
**Battery tests – short tests, one in each major area.  Test in several ways: matching, writing, listening, etc.
**Student created tests
**Student’s personal preference/interests (questionnaire)

I did some research and found a couple of web sites to refer to when creating Learner Needs Assessments:

Learning Needs Analysis

Identifying Learner Needs

At our school, it is preferred that we give a pre-test and post-test.  We do this to show growth, but I can see the value in assessing student’s needs as well.

What are your thoughts?

Gracias, Penny

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