Tag Archives: Spanish

Saving the World w/ COETAIL

I had intended to share both my students’ collaborative projects  as well as the SIC work I have been doing with the teachers in my building. I had NO idea how short 10 minutes actually was to describe a project in-depth,  so I was forced to choose.  Although a tough decision, with the  kind guidance of COETAIL coach, Diana Beabout,  I decided to go with the student project for the video requirement of Couse V.

Feel free to provide feedback here.

No nos gusta el durián

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 10.55.29 PMStudents shared one lie and two truths about their new amigo en Singapore. I captured some video of their presentations so I thought it would be nice to share it with our friends across the ocean. Having started a new iMovie project, I thought I’d capture our feelings on tasting the fruit durian as well. Not wanting our new friends to think we aren’t open to trying and appreciating new foods we added a video of roti prata which we’ve been told is absolutely delicious.

I’m continually amazed at the excitement my students have shown for their new friends in Asia. We will continue to communicate with this class in Singapore and we’ll be adding a new connection with students in Guatemala very soon. Later in the year, we hope to connect with classes in España and Perú.

Infographics: Hitting all modes of communication

Sport habits in Spain

by yolsclemente.

Infographics, like the one above, are a fantastic way to present information in a visually appealing fashion and provide (thanks to the images and organization) authentic material that is more accessible to our second or third language learners. In addition to our students consuming/interpreting meaning from these authentic sources (WL Standard 1.2), they provide us another tool for producing/presenting/creating in the target language (WL Standard 1.3).

Here are a few ideas for teachers and students where the use of an infographic could be of value. 

  • The classic Who am I? Novice Level assignment
  • Music, cultural or historical presentations
  • Syllabus, exam or assignment make-over
  • Why learn another language?–Advocacy campaign
  • Book talks or novel reviews (themes, new vocab, characters, culture, etc.)
  • Passion Project-students pick something of interest
  • DP Themes: Health, Leisure, Technology,  Global Issues, and Cultural Diversity
  • Visual of the class story

My students and I have had the best luck with both

Piktochart Logo.

I’ve heard great things about Visual.ly but have’t been able to figure out (user error, I’m sure) how to personally create my own.

Infographics are not meant to be printed. Maybe that’s not accurate but a reality in my school with no color printer and the drive to reduce paper consumption. And, they look just awesome on the screen. My student, Luisa, asked proudly if she could put hers on her blog so others could see it. That’s a good sign.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with adding a QR Code that links to questions, audio, video, etc. This will provide the opportunity for interpersonal communication (WL Standard 1.1) with additional authentic listening.

Here is a site with lots of infographics for Spanish. Pinterest has some fabulous examples as well.

Lastly, encourage your students to use infographics and visual data in their other classes. Although it may appear that everyone is doing it (I’m talking to my COETAIL colleagues); they are not. 

Good luck.  I’d love to see some fun examples in your WL classrooms hitting all the modes of communication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colors of Chichicastenango as a writing prompt?

 

I used these ten images to inspire my students during an in-class writing assignment this morning.  Students wrote original stories using new vocabulary and cultural elements from Guatemala.

We have been reading the novel Esperanza and just finished viewing the classic El Norte movie. The novel is fantastic but has limited images and the Oscar-winning film, produced in 1985, certainly did not do justice in showing the amazing color, fabric and scenery of Guatemala.

Although we have interacted with images of Guatemala like the famous Chichicastenango market during this unit, I thought a visual writing prompt might inspire students to be more creative in writing their stories.

Most students found the images helpful in some way.

Here is their feedback (translated back to English).

The images on the screen…

Helped me think.

Helped me add details to my story.

Gave me inspiration.

Gave me a specific setting for my story.

Gave me some ideas as to  where to begin.

Reminded me of specific events in Guatemala.

Helped create an image in my head.

Maybe not at the Modification or Redefinition stage of the SAMR Model of technology integration but  the feedback above is compelling enough for me to keep adding  images in new and unique ways to help my student acquire Spanish,  feel more successful, stay engaged with content and become more passionate about different cultures.

 

 

 

How do you say UPGRADE in Spanish?

These were Ben’s exact words when I had the class shift their eyes toward the screen as we began class yesterday.

Embarrassingly  I had been using an old mini white board to write my class agenda/objective for the day.  My pens are half dried-up, the board is stained with permanent scratches and my handwriting is atrocious. As much as I try to pump my students up with awesome content (like a Pirate), I was killing them with my lame text-based introduction of the material.

No more.

This is the UPGRADE.


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Course 3 has motivated me to look for new and intriguing uses of images and design in my lessons. Ben’s reaction to a simple upgrade* in how I shared the agenda inspired me to have the next three days of lesson plans ready to go.  That’s a miracle in itself.  I’m usually looking for a marker just before kids are coming into class to write-out the agenda. Besides a more effective design, the addition of culture (Guatemala in this case) and the personalization with actual pictures of my students, I’ll have a digital record of each day to review at any point. I’m using Keynote (it’s faster/easier for me) to create and share with my students but I can easily move these agendas to SlideShare or Haikudeck (like I did for this post) for online storage, sharing or viewing. What super simple ways are you adding the power of images to your classes?

*mejor versión, nivel superior o actualización 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness with Images

Inspired by the The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and the 100 Happy Days challenge I just saw posted on Facebook, my students and I are going to use the power of images to document what makes us happy over the month of April. In Spanish, claro.

This assignment should be personal, relevant and fabulous practice for communicating about self while hitting WL Standard 1.3 in the process. We’ll also learn about the importance of using creative commons images and giving attribution.

Design is tough for me but I have no doubt my students will create some amazing projects with a little guidance and a few Zen design principles. I’m looking forward to sharing their creations with their parents, their pen pals and all of you. 

Huellas Digitales

Compfight by Reza Vaziri

Huellas Digitales-Digital Footprints

I’m struggling with the desire to help my students learn about building positive huellas digitales while at the same time facilitating a Spanish class and improving levels of proficiency. Much of the language associated with Digital Citizenship is difficult to access for the level of my students. However, communicating (in more than one language) in a global society is one of the major goals for students studying additional languages. So, the topics are truly a perfect match.

I just need to backwards design a few lessons that will make our conversations on Digital Citizenship and huellas digitales more meaningful while also improving their ability to communicate in Spanish.

The plan is to:

  1. Generate a list of language associated with technology to start using in class.
  2. Use this poster from Edmodo.
  3. Have my class of Native Speakers remix/reuse this video (alone or with partners) using voice, text (In Spanish) and their creativity to produce videos in Spanish I can share with my students learning Spanish.

Common Sense Media: Digital Footprint Intro from Joaquin E. Jutt on Vimeo.

4. Lastly, when more confident with the lingo en Español, I plan to have these older students connect with elementary students in Madrid, sharing the importance of building their huellas digitales. 

 

Gadgets and Widgets are Hooks for WL Classes

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I’ve been experimenting with how to make our student blogs more interactive, communicative and personal while at the same time increasing our proficiency levels in Spanish. I thought the use of gadgets and widgets might help. Widgets are little pieces of code that run small programs on your website.  As for blogs, they are often housed in the sidebars. Widgets can run on any website while gadgets (widgets by definition) are created just for their own sites.  For example, Google Gadgets are for their site like Blogger.

Given so many choices out there, many students first chose PacMan or Donkey Kong to add to their site.  Not downplaying the choice of a game and lack of español, I then encouraged maps of Buenos Aires, weather reports, calendarios, translator programs, horoscopes, Vokis, newspapers and sports reports-ALL IN SPANISH. It’s amazing the variety of choices!  All students found something of interest. A favorite, keeping in mind we live in the mountains of Colorado, was the Open Snow widget with over twenty language choices including Spanish from Spain or Latin America.

Students interpreted (Standard 1.2 for the WL teachers out there) authentic language but most importantly, their blogs are becoming more of an expression of who they are rather than just place for them to post their assignments. The variety of widgets on each blog brought more interest to each other’s blogs which increased communication between the students.  Language such as How did you do that? and What do I do now? was practiced quite a bit (Standard 1.1).

As I look forward to adding more interactive hooks to our blogs, I think a playlists of their favorite songs with the Spotify widget is our next move.  Next, a Soundcloud widget for oral language samples and our class stories and would be a fantastic way to share with parents and administration how well the students are learning.

Adding a widget is simple.  I just added two to the right on this blog. Many options are included in your blogging platform which makes it easy.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 6.47.02 PM

 

If you are looking for something more specific (target language widgets), find the widget, look for words GET EMBED CODE, choose the TEXT Widget or Gadget under Appearances in your blog and paste the EMBED CODE.  Voilà!

 

 

 

Kiva for WL Classrooms

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 9.37.59 AM

I first used kiva.org as part of a 5th grade Exhibition years ago with just a small group of students. It then became my go to item for gifts such as birthdays and Mothers Day. It was more recently when I thought about using it to help students acquire Spanish, learn about other cultures, and solve an authentic problem.  My COETAIL Course Two reminded me of the power of connecting, leveraging the web, and then sharing the outcome.

So, this is the process by which my Spanish IV (DP I) class went about helping Edgar with his car, Brenda with her store and José with his farming equipment while acquiring Spanish in meaningful ways.

  1. Each student chose a Spanish Speaking country to investigate.  Next they…
  2. Researched two or three people to support.  Although in English, you can also VIEW ORIGINAL LANGUAGE DESCRIPTION which is just awesome.
  3. Chose a person or group to support.
  4. Created a two minute Elevator Speech as to why their person should be supported.
  5. Delivered the speech with a few pictures of the country, the owner and the purpose of the loan.  They used the subjunctive mood such as “It’s important that…”  “I want you to…”  and “I hope that you…” to make their case.
  6. The class took notes (en español) as to whom they liked best knowing they would have to cast a vote the end of all the pitches.
  7. Students voted at the end of class as to whom they would support.
  8. We then divided the class up among the top four winners.
  9. Each person in each group chipped in 2-4 dollars to add to the $25 loan amount.
  10. Once money was collected, each group officially made a payment toward the project.
  11. Each leader/winner also reported back to the class when the loan was paid back.
kelly kiva
Kelly proudly winning the honor of lending money to Santa Urbina.

 

 

A Motor, a Wedding, and Crossing the Border

Evan made a motor. It was so cool even though it didn’t work. Thomas saved money to send to his former surf instructor in Costa Rica to help pay for his upcoming wedding. Vivian taught us about different types of rice in Central America. Gerson took us through his journey from El Salvador to Colorado earlier this year.

Content for Spanish class this past month was not typical of most Spanish textbooks.

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Wolf’s karate class
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Kaitlin’s Fashion Blog

My students just finished up their 20% Time Projects. As reported in a previous post, this was my second round of projects.  Their results proved inspiring content and rich language for our class this past month.

Students chose passions and interests to investigate by which they were able to improve their Español, connect with others, and save the world.

  • Supporting nutritional organizations in Central America
  • Learning about the Bible in Spanish and reading stories from it to younger children
  • Teaching karate to Spanish Speaking students
  • Playing video games in Spanish with kids around the world
  • Studying fashion and design in Madrid
  • Skiing through Chile
  • Learning about the Spanish Guitar
  • Learning to play a song in Spanish

  

Student feedback

Wanting to know what my students thought of the project and not wanting to break into English, I sent them in the hall with another student who recorded their feedback in English. Here are a few examples of what they thought of the project.

 

My Reflection

My students’ oral proficiency in Spanish improved because I was able to provide relevant vocabulary I knew they were going to need prior to their presentations. They didn’t email me back,  it surprised me that,  and I had wanted to do… but changed my mind were common language structures we practiced and practiced before kids presented.  There are even a few more structures I’ll add to my list for next time like I could not find or I realized that Students (me included) also learned specific vocabulary tied to their topic and their interest.  This year’s group was more comfortable with sharing as we discussed and modeled delivery and design. The reading of slides was highly discouraged. I didn’t allow notecards, although a few students did bring up cards which I allowed reading the anxiety on their face. The biggest challenge for them was connecting with others.  Most students picked someone they knew or friends of friends as their connection.  I was hoping for more global connections or more specific communications with people specific to their particular passion. I get it. The concept of reaching out to strangers is difficult and even more so in a second language.  Next time I’ll spend more time on how and why to make global connections.  We’ll practice. I’ll also give more time for student-teacher 1:1 conferences so I can individually help students brainstorm connections with similar passions or interests.  This, however, is a challenge for me as class sizes seem to grow and grow but I think maybe offering online Google Hangout hours could be an option. Lastly, I’ll put a time limit (with a friendly bell) on the sharing.  Maybe something similar to a Pecha Kucha  (or shorter) because with classes of 30, it takes a while.  Some of my students felt comfortable going on and on. They were so darn cute that I didn’t have the heart to cut them off.

What successes have you had with similar type projects?