February 27, 2011

Max My Dream - writing tool

This a BEAUTIFUL site suggested in a tweet by @evab2001.

You can write your dream in a 140 characters and then see it animated.
What I liked about it? The idea of making you think of your dream, the beautiful background music, the  imaginative way of representing our dreams, EVERYTHING.

After typing in your dream, you can share it via Twitter, facebook or even embed it, like I did just below:

My dream was: I wish one day all nations would be united in peace, helping each other overcome their difficulties and learn to respect their differences.

  • have students talk in pairs about their dreams for the world or fot themselves, then ask them to write about their dream in a maximum of 140 characters. They use the site and share the link or embed their dream in a class blog below the original dream they wrote.
  • You can also have students write their dreams show the video to sts in class, and have sts guess from the images what the original words were.
*** If the music disturbs you while reading the blog, click on the SOUND ICON to turn it off.

    Your Hybrid Classroom - Will you change your Paradigm?

    While browsing through my diigo bookmarks looking for an article this morning, I had the chance to watch this amazing presentation by Michelle Pacansky-Brock.

    February 21, 2011

    Task Challenge #2 - Creating a comic strip

    Last Thursday, I proposed challenge #2 which involved students creating a dialogue with vocabulary from the previous units (EDUCATION)

    Students were asked to use http://writecomics.com  and use a minimum of 5 new words.

    This is a sample created by one of the students.

    All the comic strips are being shared at our school wiki (for projects) and will be shared with parents.

    How will I give them feedback?
    • Well, I've decided to write down some common mistakes and then talk to the class as a whole not mentioning names.

    • Common mistakes noticed: some students don't know the right collocations for scholarship, lots of students forgot to use DID in questions in the past, and some of them invented some expressions using literal translation from Portuguese to English. All in all, I guess they did a good job.

    February 20, 2011

    Picks of the week

    Sharing interesting sites I've come across this week.

    Click on a letter of the ALPHABET and watch the letters turn into an animal. Cute, great for teaching animal vocab.

    Watch video summaries of various famous books. EFL teachers can use the videos as a preview to reading or for listening comprehension.

    Learn idioms in English. Definitions and examples.

    Type a verb and see it conjugated in various verb tenses.

    • Personalized meeting rooms
    • Use any presentation: yours or someone else's
    • Streaming live video
    • Group chat
    • No downloads
    • Unlimited meetings & participants
    • Private or Public

    February 17, 2011

    How to find ALTERNATIVE tools

    It's amazing how many tools cease to exist the moment you're planning to use them. :)

    How can you find alternative tools? Use SIMILARSITESEARCH

    Yesterday I was looking for an alternative to http://www.pageflakes.com/ 
    and found another interesting tool for organizing feeds http://www.protopage.com/

    February 16, 2011

    Task Challenge #1 - Listening practice

    According to a previous post , this is the result of the first task I proposed to my students.

    It's pretty simple, students had to listen to a dictation I created on Voki about the topic we were discussing in class that week, had to transcribe it and then send the text to me via e-mail.

    This is the VOKI message they listened to:

    The texts I received via e-mail showed me students did a great job understanding the words. I noticed some minor spelling mistakes (Ex: reserch, then instead of them) but most students failed to use the right punctuation marks (full stops, commas, and inverted commas). As a post-activity, I'll be elicitng the right punctuation from my students in class.

    When asked if they thought the task was easy, medium or difficult, most of them told me they found it easy, however they had to listen to it several times to get the words right. Isn't that what all teachers wish? Lots of listening practice and spelling awareness. Mission accomplished!

    February 11, 2011

    The 10 tasks CHALLENGE

    With the beginning of our semester, we've already started developing little projects with our students. I've got 4 groups of Upper Intermediate students ("I'm the queen of Upper As!) and this semester I plan to propose 10 challenging tasks for them to develop at home apart from doing their traditional workbook exercises.

    The tasks aim to help students practise LISTENING, WRITING and SPEAKING. Students will also get the chance to learn how to use different webtools to create content, a skill I believe all our students need nowadays.

    As a plus, students will get  to watch tutorials , in English, to learn how to use the tools.

    This is what I have in mind:

    •  All tasks involve uisng language learned during that week.
    • The platform used for sharing is EDMODO and a school blog.
    These are the webtools we're going to use:

    February 5, 2011

    CO11 Free Online Conference - Time to share and learn

    Fantastic free online sessions taking place this weekend.

    Presenters will discuss the following topics:

    To participate, click on the link below, check the session that interests you, and a few minutes before the session starts, click on the link of the session, click JOIN THIS CLASS, and then LAUNCH THIS CLASS.

    I'm planning to watch two sessions today:

    1. Blended Instruction w/ Blogs and Wikis for Young Learners (Shelly Terrell and Greta Sandler)
    2. Language in Motion: Teaching with the Flow (Janet Bianchini)