Thursday, 30 October 2014

All about me "digital" bag

This year I decided to start my journey on projects with my younger students from the very beginning. Inspired by Despina Karamitsou, I used her idea to introduce myself and let them know more about me.
The concept of the presentation is to bring a bag in the class with just four objects that can tell something about you, i.e. your interests, your hobbies, your preferences. My bag included my tablet, an English book, a German DVD and a movie. I told them that I love my tablet because I can surf the Net, listen to music and it is light to carry around all the time. I showed them the book and they could easily figure out that I like reading literature. The German DVD was evidence that I speak and teach another foreign language, German, and finally watching movies is my favourite leisure time activity.
They really loved the idea of bringing something of  theirs and share information about themselves in the next lesson.
However, I wanted to implement some technology and so motivate them to engage themselves. Thus, I took photos of their bags and asked them to think how they would present their belongings to someone who would look at their photo and listen to their voice. They prepared their paragraph and ,after editing them, we used Vocaroo to record their presentations. They were thrilled and very professional, I must admit. This application is very convenient, easy to use and its most important advantage is that one can share their recording in social media, blogs or even download it as an MP3.

Here you can see and hear the kids

A1.1. level, aged 10


 A2 level, aged 11.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A new project has been launched!

It is this time of the school year that I have been thinking what kind of a project I could run with my students, B1+ level. And then Patty Salguero came along and suggested that our classes collaborate on an Art project. All our students have something in common. They love drawing! So, we thought of letting our students express themselves on a topic through Art. You can imagine how excited I got! Over the moon, I must admit…
We have chosen Picasso’s painting Guernica to introduce them to the topic of ‘War’. We will expand on the topic and ,as an outcome , we will have our students draw their thoughts, feelings and impressions on a large cardboard. It will be more like a collage.
Apart from the famous painting , I am thinking of using work from Music and Literature as sources of thought- provoking elaboration so that more Arts can contribute. 
But first things first… In our last lesson I asked my students if they would like to participate in a project like this. I didn’t have to convince them. The thought that they can collaborate with Peruvian students of their age was enough to get them thrilled ! It was the triggering event to introduce the topic. For the next 10 minutes they came up with words and phrases associated with war. The question was “What do you think when you hear the word “war”?
All the words were gathered in a mind map which can be edited throughout the project.
I have already shared the image with Patty in Dropbox so that she could share it with her students, talk about it,  they can edit it, add more thoughts and expand  on the topic. 

It is one way of asynchronous communication because we have to think of our time zones and the time of our lessons. We will try, of course, to have a live talk so that our students have the chance to speak to each other and exchange information about their countries and hometowns, talk about themselves, their interests and hobbies.
This is for now… Not much but the step has already been made and I am
sure this will lead us to an extraordinary journey!