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Reading unit Day 1

8 May

I started a reading unit with my Spanish students today.  I am new at this so I am sharing what I did hoping for feedback….

We are reading the Clifford the Big Red Dog in Spanish.  I know…. not authentic.  One of my students gave me the set of ten books for Christmas.  I thought maybe we should use them.

Day 1 

I made a Power Point that had a cover of each book on a slide by itself.  Nothing else is on the slide.  We read the covers of the book and I checked to make sure they understood the title.  I had them think about what the picture on the cover was to show them one example of using context.

I had a Word document with the title of each book.  Students then folded a piece of paper into 10 parts.  In each part they wrote the title of a different book and made 2 predictions of what might happen in that book.  I instructed them to use very simple sentences and to only use the book, no dictionaries or translators.  They were surprised with how much Spanish they could remember and use.

At the end of the hour each pair of students was assigned a book.
That is as far as we got today.  I am having them save their predictions to see how close they were.

The end result will be a Newsletter they will have to create.  They will have to design a newsletter and include items such as a summary of the book, a description of the main character (Clifford), and advice column for an event in the book, a comic strip about the plot, and some advertisements, puzzles, etc.  

If you have any suggestions for some activities in between today & the final project, please share.  I am thinking about vocabulary montages, verb finds and the like.  

Gracias,  Penny

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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

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

 

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

Websites with info about Hispanics and their culture

23 May

These are my favorite sites regarding Hispanics.  I am sharing because I know there must be a whole lot more out there.  Share what you have….

Infoplease: Hispanic American Biographies

Hispanos famosos

Six Hispanic Literary Giants

Hispanics in America: An inforgraphic

Explore Hispanic Culture

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Culture Online

Art, Culture, Music, History:  Scroll down to see “by Country”

Hispanic Culture Movies: from Screen Junkies, nice summaries

10 Myths about Immigration

Música Del Pueblo

Gracias, Penny

Chez Renée: Puppet Shows & the iPad

29 Apr

Chez Renée: Puppet Shows & the iPad.

Excerpt:
This was truly a success!  Using Audio Memos instead of having students read their lines while performing accomplished the following:
  1. Improved pronunciation  Students were able to focus better on their pronunciation while recording themselves on their iPads than they would have if they’d been trying to read their lines from paper while also working their puppets.  Many of them listened to the recording and then re-recorded in order to fix mistakes they’d heard.
  2. Everyone was able to hear better because the conversation was projected throughout the classroom over the speakers.
  3. Shy students felt less intimidated about speaking French because they only had to worry about working their puppets in front of the class when all eyes were focused on them.

Voice Thread in World Language

18 Apr

        A new site that I am just beginning to use is Voice Thread.  It is a site that we have begun using to collaborate with a classroom in Maryland.  I see immediately that it can be used for speaking practice and assessment purposes.  Our students have uploaded pictures of themselves and recorded themselves speaking just by clicking on the “Comment” button under their picture.  Once their Voice Thread is finished, other students can listen to it and make comments back.  The comments can be made with a microphone or students can just type in a response.  There are even options for phoning in a response, uploading a prerecorded comment, or using a web cam to make a response.  I am excited to find out what other uses Voice Thread has.  

      There are World Language teachers using Voice Thread for speaking practice in the form of dubbing.  The teacher uploads a short video on the current unit, students use Audacity or another recording program to record themselves making a conversation to go with the clip.  When finished, they upload it as a comment.  It works best if the video has no words.  You can do a search on You Tube.  The Vancouver Film School channel has lots of them!  I hope to give this a try before the end of the school year.

     Let me know if you have a cool use for Voice Thread!

Penny

You Tube in class

9 Apr

We use You Tube frequently in World Languages, it is a great resource!

Before sharing, I would like to stress that you save your videos in playlists.  Also, use descriptive names for your playlists so you can find the videos you want again easily.

I ALWAYS use You Tube videos for reflexive verbs.  Once the students have individual flashcards made, we watch “Morning routine” and “Bedtime routine” videos.  They put their flashcards in order of what they see.  **Watch the videos ahead of time and pick your favorites (short & vocab packed).

Right now we are learning the  “Qué Llueva” song by projecting the video with lyrics and singing it.  It is “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” in Spanish.

Another type of You Tube videos that was discussed during Twitter #langchat for class use are videos without words.  Great for dubbing and speaking practice.  This playlist was given during our chat:  Animations sans Mots

The Vancouver Film School channel has some great short videos that you can use for dubbing as well.  Make sure you are in the “Videos” tab, then click on Playlists.  Just turn down the sound… I heard this through #langchat, too.  It’s like online PD!  🙂

To have students dub, I use Voice Thread.  This is quite a project but it can easily be done.  Upload a video to Voice Thread.  Maybe one with no words, or one with cultural aspects.  The students will prepare their script.  They use a voice recorder like “Sound Recorder” (in Accessories portion of Programs menu), Audacity, Garage Band, etc. to record their work as they are watching the video.  The timing takes a little practice and you need to reassure them that it will not be perfect.  They upload the audio clip to the video and it is finished.  It saves a lot of time if you only have a few videos for them to choose from.  It also makes sure they are using a video of a current vocabulary topic.

I have not browsed extensively, but there are some great channels for use in World Language.  Here are a couple that I know if.  Again, make sure you are in the “Videos” tab, then click on Playlists to see them by category.
Spanish Together
Señor Jordan

If you have some favorites, I would love to hear about them!

Tube Chop allows you to easily “chop” a portion of a You Tube video.  Just use what you need!  A great tool for those videos that have good stuff but are just too long.

Listen to You Tube:  Convert a You Tube video to an MP3 audio file.

Here are some references I have about using You Tube in class:

This is a great article: 10 You Tube URL Tricks You Should Know About.

Here is a quick tip to get rid of the ads, etc:  The You Tube Trick.

These are sites where you paste in the URL of the You Tube video you want to download to a flashdrive for later use.  Possibly to show in class without the ads or to upload it to a wiki/web page/ Power Point.  There is no program to download, just pick a format for your end video:  Keep Tube    Download Tube    Save Tube    Keep Vid  

Quiet Tube is a site where you can drag a bookmarklet to your links menu, then for “supported” videos you can click the bookmarklet and eliminate the ads, etc.

Alternatives to You Tube, perhaps because You Tube is blocked in your school or because some of these sites categorize videos:

This Google Doc is interesting: Eighty Alternatives to You Tube.  I haven’t read through it all yet…

Watch Know Learn:  Free educational activities sorted by subject.

Happy You Tubing!  Penny

Using Prezi in the Classroom | The Creative Education Blog

18 Feb

Using Prezi in the Classroom | The Creative Education Blog.

 

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