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Hi everyone -
When it comes to learning a foreign language, I think all teachers can agree that the more time students spend interacting in the target language, the more confident they will feel about communicating in the language, and their language skills will reflect this confidence. But it can be very time consuming to locate interactive resources that are tailored to students' proficiency levels! So why not let the students be the resource? Twitter is a popular way to communicate, and students probably already how to navigate the site. By creating Twitter accounts for each level of the language that you teach, students request to follow your account, and then make comments to each other and carry out real-life conversations via Twitter about what interests them - all in the target language at a level that matches their proficiency. Teachers can make comments to posts or "get the ball rolling" by asking questions for students to respond to.
1. Make all Twitter accounts that you set up for your classes private, and encourage your students to change their settings to private as well. This ensures that you have complete control over who is seeing your students' Tweets.
2. Require that students create a Twitter account for use ONLY for the foreign language Twitter page. Otherwise what they Tweet in a social manner (and in English) will not interfere with the foreign language Twitter account.
3. Obtain parent/guardian permission before accepting a request from a student to follow the class' Twitter. Might be a good idea to obtain administration approval as well.
4. Set up a Twitter account for each section of the foreign language you teach.This idea could be adapted to any content area.
If you are able to use iTouches or iPads in your classroom, I found that the free gFlash+ app is a great one. You can import your vocabulary lists from Google into the app and students can review the words on their individual iTouches/iPads. They can view them as flash cards, multiple choice mode, or quiz mode. It is a great way to review at home or in class when they finish early.
Also, this year I used Pixton.com for my students to write their own science fiction comics after reading the graphic novel version of Fahrenheit 451. They have a Pixton for Schools version that is great if you're looking to use comics in the classroom.
Lisa-CEP 812 Summer '11
Both of these resources are awesome. I'm going to look into both of them!
Thanks for sharing.
If you teach science or math, Khan Academy offers free online videos giving detailed explanations of everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. They also offer comprehension quizzes. Students can only finish the lesson after they've correctly answered 10 questions. There is feedback for incorrect answers. As a teacher, you can track how your students are progressing through the videos and quizzes. Did I mention it's all free? Check out the video on TED talks if you want to know more.
I just recently discovered the Khan Academy website, and have already found it useful in my math classes. It is difficult to find quality math videos out there! Last week, some of my students were having difficulties solving multi-step equations. I played some of the videos from Khan Academy, which explained the steps in a different way than I had been doing, and got a positive reaction from my students. Now, when solving an equation, I remind them of the way the "guy in the video" described it, and they know exactly what I am talking about. They also got a kick out of him repeating things over and over, and using different colors for different variables, numbers, etc. I didn't know there were comprehension quizzes. I will have to explore the capabilities a little more! Thanks for the tip!
Tip for Glogster EDU in Mathematics Classrooms
You can create virtual multimedia posters with your students at www.edu.glogster.com. Unfortunately, this website does not support mathematics functions, such as graphs, tables, or equations with exponents and radicals. A “trick” I used with my students during our Glogster project was to use MathType Equation Editor in Microsoft PowerPoint (Insert, Object, MathType). Using this program, students create the equations and tables one slide at a time, recognizing that eventually these pictures will upload on Glogster. When ready, students save their files as JPEG File Interchange Format, which can be uploaded as “images” on the Glogster program. Although the text box program for Glogster cannot support math functions, uploading the images from PowerPoint was a way of effectively incorporating the math components. Using this method, Glogster is now user-friendly for mathematics classrooms!
Great idea! This type of work-around is valuable for educators. Often these solutions are easy, but we overlook them.
I love dorky!