Archive for February, 2012

Flickr Vocabulary Pictures Based on Real Objects For Your Class

I have been having my Spanish students take  real life pictures of vocabulary items  that are in our textbook and  put those pictures in my class Flickr  account. The textbook’s drawings lack realism (what is that?).  Most students used their Smartphones. When students can see a real object such as a plate, they can  better learn the word.

Elementary teachers, special education teachers, modern language  / foreign language teachers, ESL teachers, and   people working with refugees can use these pictures.   The pictures usually have no words.  They can be used in any language.

There are about 600 pictures ; some categories such as comida (food) are very large with subcategories while others have about  ten pictures.   I will update this blog as the students add more categories.

To use these free pictures in your class   1) go to flickr.com, 2) click on the word Search,  3) Click on Tags Only at the far right,   4) Then in the search box, type in spancon + one of the following category names such as spancon +hora  (for clocks showing various times). spancon is the name for my class so you only see my students’ pictures of the category.

To show the pictures in a slideshow,  1) click on the slideshow icon (a screen)  in the upper right, 2) Click on Options in the upper right, 3) Adjust the time from slow  to medium to fast; slow  is about seven seconds between slides and  4) click on the X in the upper right corner to close the  Option window.  When the left  bottom side displays a triangle, the slide show is paused.  Click on the triangle and two bars appear, the slideshow is running. The first  slide will not change for a few seconds since it is on a time delay; just wait.)  You can also just click on the pictures at the bottom of the slide show to show select pictures.  Students can identify the vocabulary and even say very short sentences before the slide changes.

The category names are in Spanish (without accent marks)
actividad (common actions)
aparato (electrical devices – phone, headphone..)
casa  (house)  with cuarto (rooms), bano (bathroom), and cocina (kitchen)
ciudad (city -mainly traffic things)
clase  (classroom objects)
clima (weather)
color (color)
comida (food) with subcategories of fruta (fruit) , verduras (vegetables), bebida (drink),
cubierto (tableware)
cuerpo (body)
deporte (sports)
hora (clock time- digital)
joyas (jewelry)
naturaleza (nature)
numero (numbers)
oficina (office things)
ocupacion (occupation, jobs=
reflexivo (reflexive actions such as to brush one’s teeth)
ropa (clothing)
salud (health related)
quehaceres (household chores

I have over 15 Spanish spontaneous speaking activities  are at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students ; Successful Student Writing   Through Formative Assessment ; and Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment , can be purchased at  http://is.gd/tbook

Education Leaders Promote Higher Users of Mobile Learning Technology

Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents for Curriculum, and Principals as  the educational leaders for their district and building  have the responsibility of  helping students to succeed.  One way to accomplish this goal is to assist teachers through showing them how to use  technology at higher levels to meet learning goals.  A current hot technology centers on mobile learning through tablets and Smartphones.

These educational leaders may enlist the assistance of the Director of Technology or a technology specialist to show teachers how to quickly climb the ladder of learning with mobile learning.  Unfortunately, when people introduce  a new technology, they  generally tend to show  its lower levels of learning such as for drill (memorization) or comprehension.  Those people demonstrating tablets or Smartphones will not focus on using these mobile learning devices to access factual knowledge such as through Chacha or Google.  Instead, they will show how students can create a Google Form survey and then send  it to collect much data about any topic .  For example, one group of  Health students create a healthy food checklist of how many servings  (0, ,1 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9) of vegetables, fruits, meat, etc. people actually eat each day and an age range of the person such as 5-9, 10-15, 16-20, …  The students send it out to their friends, etc. and within 48 hours they have over 400 responses which Google Forms automatically tabulates for them. They prepare a mini-presentation about the results.

The leaders will show teachers how their students can use Google images to contrast visual information important to subject area learning.  As an illustration,  students in groups of two may search for Geography and each group has a  different country in South America such as Geography Venezuela, Geography Colombia, etc.  Students can find images that show ocean, rivers,  mountains, plains, etc.  The students do human graphs of geography.  The student group from Venezuela picks a geographic feature  from its country such as mountains. All the groups that have mountains in their country raise their hands.  Then, the next country Colombia picks a different geography such as ocean. Again, all the groups that have ocean raise their hands.  This continues until all the geographic features have been covered. The teacher keeps a chart on the board with the number of countries having the same feature. Students discuss the chart and its implication.

What high level uses of mobile learning will your teachers use?

I have many Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Learn not be engaged in technology

I would  like to ban the words “engage”, “engagement”, “engaging” from education.   Many educational articles, company ads, and conference presentations use the this concept with titles such as “Engage your students through…”, “Highly engagement by….”, or “Engaging Students ….”.  Teachers will comment “My students were so engaged in the lesson.”  I would like much more than mere engagement, I want learning.

In a Social Studies class, students can be “engaged” in creating a PowerPoint of a country for many class periods but they  may not have  learned the critical country information.  Also, an “engaging” activity may be for students to create a video showing an understanding of a play  in their English  class. The students  can be fully attentive to the project but if they focus on sword play instead of the plot of the play, their engagement does not end up in learning.  Likewise, in Science, students can fully participate in a twitter conversation about the impact  of development on the local environment with every student tweeting.  Does each tweet add more information (depth or breadth of learning)?  Modern Language students can be “engaged” in using their Smartphones to collect pictures  for their teacher but do they talk in the target language about the pictures?

When we use essential questions, backward design, or problem based learning, students immerse themselves in learning. They improve in their learning through technology.

Do your student focus on learning?

I have  nine + Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Modern Language Spontaneous Speaking Find Someone Who +

Many modern language/ foreign language teachers use a form of the common Find Someone Who activity to get students speaking. For example, the teachers may ask, in the target language, for the students to  find someone who has five pens, has two books, has a blue notebook or find someone who sings, bikes, swims, etc.  Students enjoy asking each other questions and hearing the answers. Usually, the answering student simply repeats the question as a sentence.

However, with just a slight modification, this modern language activity can turn into more spontaneous speaking.

1) Usually, if the answering student answers in the negative, Do you swim?  No, I do not swim, then  the asking student moves on to another student. In a variation, if  the student answers No, he changes his/her answer to be a positive.   Do you swim? No, I do not swim.  I do bike or No, I do not swim.  My father swims.

2) When a student answers in the positive, he /she adds at least one more piece of  information.  Do you swim? Yes, I swim when it is hot,  Yes, I do swim in Lake Ontario, Yes, I swim with my friend, Bob.

3)  When a student answers in the positive, the asking student asks a follow-up question such as Where do you swim?  When do you swim? The answering student answers the additional question.

4)  After the answering student answers, the asking student agrees, “Me too” or Me neither” or  disagrees, “I do not like to swim.”

How do your get your modern language students to speak spontaneously?

I have  nine + Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook


RSS Education with Technology

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