Archive for the 'ELA' Category

English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details)

Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session:

Based on CCSS Anchor Statements:

L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization)

SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter.

SL.4 Tell about a mobile picture of a place far from your home by using space organization.

SL.6 Present mobile recorded news to two different groups (HS class and elementary class).

R.2 Create a one minute small group video to record the  theme of  the story.

R.5 Analyze the structure in downloaded literature by doing a key word search.

R.7 Integrate mobile content. Find online image to show the meaning of each poem stanza by identifying the key words in the stanza.

W.5 Revise a paragraph about non-fiction article using point of view and claims.  Orally dictate to voice to text on mobile, read, improve and re-record.

W.6 Publish school news as tweets; publish much info in few words.

W.7 Do map and image research for a novel like Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

Use the 150+ different mobile activities in my ebook ,English Common Core Mobile Activities, to guide your students in learning and demonstrating the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Anchor Statements in Language, Speaking and Listening, Reading, and Writing. The activities, organized by Anchor Statements, actively engage your students. More than half the activities are non-fiction. Although the ebook is intended for grades 6-12, teachers at both the elementary and the college level can easily adapt the activities. Over 98% of the suggested apps are free and work on both Android and iPad. Many of these activities can be implemented immediately in the classroom. Each activity is described in detail; most students already can use the app in each activity. Students spend time in achieving the Anchor Statements, not in learning apps. Many of these mobile activities are done in pairs or small group so not all students need to have a mobile device.  $7.99

English Common Core Mobile Activities

English Common Core Mobile Activities

Common Core and Modern Languages- Do not panic

No, there are no common core standards for Modern Languages.    Yes, Modern Language teachers are looking at  the English Language Arts Common Core.      No, those teachers should not panic.

I  have been in education for over 40 years.  I have seen many many movements and new  approaches.  I have been in education long enough to see the same movement resurface with a new name.  With each new building principal came a new way of doing things, with each new superintendent came the newest approach, and with each new leader of  state education or professional organization came a new vision.  Usually the new approach, especially the common core in Modern Language,  does not require multiple days of professional development even a half day; most times modern language teachers can make the change within about an hour.

I have used a simple technique to change to any new  approach.    I analyze the new approach thoroughly and then determine
1. What am I presently doing that directly fits in that approach?
2. What am I doing that I can modify slightly to fit the approach?  Sometimes it is as simple as a name change or where something goes in a lesson. For example, what  is the new name for an anticipatory set?  I believe that Common Core English just uses different labels than we do in Modern Languages when we use the labels from ACTFL or state guidelines.
3. What do I have to change completely or add to what I already do?

I am waiting for someone to develop the magic cheat sheet that converts  the English Language Arts Common Core to Modern Language learning.  We already do  them, we just have to give our activities a new name or number.

I have attended two workshops on Common Core and Modern Languages  and neither kept it simple. In fact, I walked out more confused than when I went in.  A Modern Language department could do a  CC to ML conversion chart  in about a fifty minute meeting.

If you know of anyone who has developed the magic conversion chart, please let me know so I can share it with other Modern Language teachers.

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

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

Students vote to improve -Formative Assessment

I teach a freshmen college  English course. I’ve been using formative assessment throughout the course.  We do at least five very structured formative assessment peer reviews before we even write a draft (Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment).  During today’s class, we  peer reviewed a draft of their contrast essay.  I asked the class to vote whether they wanted 1)  to hand in their essays the next class which was just before  the vacation or 2) to do another  peer review  and have the essays due after Spring Break. I told them I would do whichever they wanted.  90% voted to have their essays peer-reviewed again. They wanted more formative feedback so that their writing could improve!  One student even boasted as he showed me  his peer-reviewed draft, “Look at all the ways I can do better!”

How do you use formative assessment to constantly assess students and to “instantly” help them to improve?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Really Effective Technology or Not?

This semester I decided to try something different in my writing class.  After giving them a pre-assessment (writing an in-class essay), I determined that this  class was at the same level as last semester’s students.  My change for this semester was that  I taught the whole semester without using a single PowerPoint.

In all the previous semesters, I have had a PowerPoint presentation  each night that had illustrations,  certain words in different colors,  many visuals, etc.   I had noticed that my night class often went to sleep when I turned down the lights and used the PowerPoint.  Even though I asked them many questions and did interactive things, the class seemed lulled.  This semester it was just me and the whiteboard with the lights on.  I did have different colored markers. I did full up the board and erase it several times during the class.   I felt that I had more eye contact (could see their reactions better)  and more interactivity with the students (could show other  strategies when they encountered a problem)  rather than being the button-pusher for the next PowerPoint Slide.

The informal results  based on this semester’s last in-class essay  compared to the previous semester’s was that this semester’s students did just as well (really slightly better)  than last semester’s students.  The lack of PowerPoint did not negatively impact the students; in fact, they did better without it.  Teacher methodology (focusing on students’ present learning status)  matters more than technology!

How do you know if technology is a truly effective tool in your class?

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Using Writing Formative Assessments for At-Risk students

Recently I received an email from someone who had purchased my Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment.  She said that she was, at first, shocked by how I had objectified English by breaking each part of the writing process down.  She said that she had assumed that her students “knew” all the basic things about writing. However, when she began to use the book’s formative assessments for each part of the pre-writing process, she quickly found out that they did not. She  realized that they became stuck very early in the writing process and, therefore, did not move forward.  She told me that she never thought about giving students different strategies to overcome their writing gaps; she just assumed their present writing strategy was effective.  She used some of the book’s  various strategy to help them.    She commented that she could see success in her students as they used the strategy.  She ended up by saying that she was now aware of how much structure students need to be successful and how these formative assessments provided that structure.

Obviously, I felt good about her comments.  The writing formative assessments  that I included in the book were ones that I have used  in a college writing course that I teach. Some of the students in the class dropped out of school in six grade and am now working on their GED as they are taking college courses. My job is help these “at-risk” students  to go from six grade writing to college level writing in one semester.  Through the use of constant formative assessments I can guide them from where they are to where they need to be so they can  write college-level academic essays. The writing  formative assessments build in student success and  build in student confidence in their writing.

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Revisions and Formative Assessment

I find that if I ask students to revise their work based on my formative feedback, some of them do make the changes  and others do not.  However, if the students have to create a Change sheet, they do make the changes.  In the Change sheet, they list the original learning problem, tell what they did to improve, and include an example from their most recent work.  As I look at their revisions, I first look at the original rubric, then their Change sheet, then put their previous work and their revised work side by side. I look for the changes in their revision. I look to see if they have changed all of the items for each formative feedback. For example, if I asked a student to improve his/her topic sentences, I look to see if all the original poorly done topic sentences have changed. If students have made the revisions for the three major areas of feedback and, therefore, reached the level of proficiency or above proficiency, they receive a new higher grade.

How do you help your students to improve?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

How Lost Are Your Students?

I heard from a college student who happened to read parts of my next manuscript (Formative Assessment Improves Writing) after his mother told him that she was reviewing the book. He mentioned that the smart kids “get it” but the other kids often struggle. They get lost in one part and then they get more lost  in the next and more lost in the next until they cannot find their way out. Unfortunately, their teachers usually do not help them.

He was interested in how I made sure no student could get lost since I assess each student on each minor part of his/her writing  journey.

I wonder how often teachers assess their students and then give formative feedback immediately?  How many minutes go by before the students are assessed and formative feedback is used to help students get back on the learning path if they have wondered off? How many days? How many weeks? The more time between formative assessments, they more time to get lost, to get so lost that there is almost no hope of ever finding the path again.

learninggoalfaffmap1

How lost are your students? How do you know? What do you do to help them when they get lost?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Messy papers are best: Continual Improvement through Formative Assessment

I like messy papers. I like papers with all sorts of colors over them and all sorts of comments. My students enjoy them too.

The messy papers are my students’ peer reviewed papers .  The pupils color code the writer’s paper with the thesis and topic sentences in red, evidence in yellow and details in green.  They draw triangles for transition words. They put in many other marks to indicate various aspects of writing that they found.

The more colors and the more marks, the better the student has written the paper. When students get back their papers, their faces light up when they see all the colors and all the positive comments. When they are missing a color in a paragraph, they can instantly notice the lack of color. They know we are a “green” classroom; we want to have plenty of “green” in their writing.

After a quick verbal peer conferencing, they revise their papers as soon as they are made aware of their learning gaps.They want more “color” in their life!

How do you help your students to give formative feedback to other students? How do add “color” to their work?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

How valuable is Peer Review?

When my students hand in their final English essay, they also hand in their peer reviewed draft. I’ve noticed that usually they do not incorporate the changes that peers suggest.

I gave them a survey on peer review to help me better understand their use of peer’s comments. They admitted that they use very little of peer review.

Some of their reasons:

The reviewer isn’t as smart as I am.

I don’t care what they “feel” about my paper. What is good/bad according to the rubric?

They don’t understand the rubric.

It does not help me when a reviewer finds a mistake if he cannot tell me how to fix it.

They don’t understand my thinking/how I wrote the paper.

The reviewer found some spelling mistakes but missed the big things like my first body paragraph having two topics.

They don’t try/ they do not  take it seriously.

How well do your students peer review each other? How valuable is the peer review to the author?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book,
Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

New Learning If Have Options

My wife just purchased an all-in-one printer-fax-copier.  The machines lists eight special features. However, next to six of the eight features, there is a comment such as  “Optional hardware/service needed to utilize this feature.”

I wonder how often we give instruction to students but we have not included the optional features.  As I talk and survey students more about their writing, I find out that my assumption that the students  already know “how to” or that they remember “how to” are not true.  The wonderful lesson of two days ago has not been internalized so that they do not use the new technique; they revert back to the learning gap.  Likewise, they face a new writing pattern and they suddenly disregard all the good writing structures they used previously.  Finally, they encounter a writing topic that engages them so much that they forget the writing pattern completely.  All subject areas have optional features.

As I break the writing process more into thinking units and have the students practice these ways of thinking, I find that optional features need to become part of  the standard writing process. I have to be prepared to help the students negotiate their thinking so that they use these features.  They have to internalize the formative writing process so that they can produce high quality work at any time and in any condition such as in an in-class writing essay.

How do you build in the options for success for your students?

Not a life Threatening event for Doing Homework

This semester I’m trying a new strategy which  is to reduce the pressure to be “perfect” on assignments.  Recently, I told students to do their best at this given stage but that doing the essay was not a life threatening event.  I then added that once they hand the essay in, I’ll give them feedback and then they can make those changes. Furthermore, I told them that what I wanted to see is improvement through the semester so their beginning papers would be baby steps in doing the essay.  I could see many faces changed from pure panic to less stress.  Some students even leaned back instead of being so far forward I thought they were going to fall. My hope is that if  they can feel less stress, they will work more from thinking than from fear.  I’ll let you know if this less stress and more thinking strategy pays off.

Do you build in stress or take out stress in your students’ work?

Embedded Testing or Random Testing

A colleague was sharing a humorous story about assessment. The students in his college have to take a post-writing test to show their improvement from their first writing at the college. They have to write an essay based on the same five topics.

However, the irony is that the students who are in his business writing course which is the final English course for the students are the ones being asked to write the post-writing. In the business course, they write business letters according to very strict formats.

Having them write an essay in the business class is like assessing a pizza maker on how well he writes checks. The pizza maker certainly writes checks but those checks are a very small percent of his/her time. The pizza maker spends most of the time in making pizza. Maybe the pizza maker can be observed as he/she makes pizzas just as our students can be assessed doing regular classroom writing in their essay class, not in their business class.

How and when do you assess students? Are they doing things that they would normally do as part of your class or is the assessment a random event outside of their normal tasks?

Scaffolding Writing Handouts For Students’ Success

I’ve been revising my writing handouts for my next semester classes. I’ve tried to create a step-by-step approach  in the order that they would actually do the steps and then in the checklist I repeat the steps such as for a contrast paper:
“Do I include two items in my thesis?”
“Do I directly state that I am contrasting them?”
|…..
“Do I include a detail for the first item, a contrast transition word and then a detail for the second item?”

Hopefully, if the students have followed the step-by-step approach then they will just confirm those items in their actual writing as they do the checklist on their draft. If they have missed a step then, they can catch it in the checklist and revise it before handing it in.

My students have wonderful and dramatic stories to tell; they need a structure in which to tell them well. Hopefully, the revised step-by-step process will give them the scaffold they need.

Greater Learning Through Same Model and Technology

I talked to a student who had been in the same English classes with several friends from 9th through 12 grade. Each year they had a different teacher and each year that teacher taught them “their” way of writing. When the students got to 12th grade, they just said to the teacher, “Tell us how you want us to write.” She taught them her “official” way of writing. These students are living proof that constantly changing what we expect of students results in less than proficient writers.

How can we expect students to improve in their writing if we constantly change how they should write? They will only improve when we build on one consistent model. They same is true for all subjects.

Do you get together with your department (K-12) to talk over what you expect of students and what model the students will follow? Do various teachers produce Power Points, emovies or podcasts to demonstrate that consistent model? Do other teachers help develop scaffolded handouts or Power Points that guide students through the model?

Pre-assessment: Open Eyes or Blinded

This semester I have given many pre-assessments to my students. Last semester, I made many mistakes in instruction because I did not know enough about my students before the beginning of the semester. I taught material that they knew and did not delve into material that they did not know. I assumed that they could read the textbook when their reading rate and comprehension which I tested once I saw a problem revealed an average class reading rate in the low 100s and a comprehension rate of 60% or lower. I thought that since they were college students they could organize their own writing.

So this semester, I have given them writing diagnostic, writing patterns past knowledge diagnostic, grammar diagnostic, vocabulary diagnostic, and reading diagnostic. I can hear the moans about wasting all the time on diagnostic. My students spend 45 minutes on the combined writing and grammatic diagnostic, three minutes on the vocabulary one, four minutes on the past writing patterns and about 15 on the reading one. So in just about one hour and ten minutes I have done six diagnostic tests that have transformed how I teach writing to the students.

What pre-assessments do you give and how do you change your instruction to better improve your students’ learning?

Online Writing Programs- Not Formative Feedback

I’ve begun to look at online writing assessment programs. The one thing that I have noticed is that the feedback is very general such as “May have organization in parts, but lacks organization in other parts”. How helpful is that feedback to a struggling writer? Does it tell him/her what specific parts are organized or what parts are not organized? Does it tell the student what to do to organize the part? Does it provide scaffolding to help the student organize the part? The bottom line is “How likely is it that the student will improve based on the feedback?”

So far the online writing program that I have seen do not give formative  feedback. I’m afraid the students using these online writing programs now  somewhat know  something about what they did without being given the tools to move forward in their writing.

Handwritten Essay assessment by Computer!

The University of Buffalo (my alma mater) is taking a bold new step in writing assessment. They are attempting to computer score the eight grade English Language Arts assessments which students hand write. So far they are within one point of human evaluators and their program assesses the student’s writing in seconds. If this program can quickly score students’ writing, then the teacher can work with students to improve their writing. Students could take mini-ELA assessments during the year to assess their progress and work toward scoring a 5 or 6/6on the state assessment. At present, teachers can only assess so many writing assessments during a year due to the time it takes to assess each writing. Now they can focus on improving students’ writing instead of focusing on correcting their papers.

Rewriting a Rubric To Be Formative instead of Summative

In my last blog, I mentioned that my students had suggestions for improving their essay rubric so that they could better understand it. I went through and made all of their changes. As I made those changes, I began to see that my rubric lacked examples of what each category asked for. I added mini-examples such as a real thesis statement, a paragraph topic to support it, words that support it, real transition words, concluding sentence, etc. All of my examples supported the thesis example that I gave. With these changes, I feel that the students can “see” what each section requires. They no longer have nebulous terms but real examples to look at.

I will try it out on their this week’s essays and then have the students react to it next class.

How you changed your rubric to help students understand what is really expected of them?

Student Understanding of a Rubric – Not that easy!

Tonight in class I passed out an essay rubric and asked my students to circle any word or term that they did not understand. I said, “Imagine I gave this to you after you wrote an essay. I’ve circled some words that show you your learning gaps. Would you understand these words?” About 1/4 of the class circled items on the rubric that they did not understand or they wanted more clarification on. (I had revised the rubric from one from Rubistar) I will rewrite the rubric so that they can understand all the items on the rubric. One student mentioned he would like examples of each. A good thought but I have to consider how long the rubric will be. At present it is two sided. After I use it once with them, I will ask for them any more clarification on the rubric.

How well do your students understand your rubric? How beneficially is it for them?

Formative Checklists- Useful or Not

I created a writing checklist (For narrative writing – start with a startling statement.  Use time transition words to move your story along)  for my students’ writing. We went over it.  We used it to evaluate a piece of writing. Then I asked the students to self-evaluate themselves using the checklist before they handed in their own writing.  Every student self-assessed that they had done all of the items on the checklist when they had not.  They could not discriminate between the reality and their perception.

A key question is how can I help them to better understand the checklist so that it becomes an effective tool to help them.  They cannot better their own writing unless they can analyze it critically.  I will probably ask them to paraphrase each of the items on the checklist, pair-share, and then we will evaluate more writing against it.

Does anyone else have any suggestions on increasing their ability to use a checklist, rubric, or rating scale?

Does our diagnostic assessment give valuable writing and grammar information?

I spoke of a teacher who gives a three hour grammar diagnostic test.  I tried a different route.  I gave an essay writing diagnostic and I recorded each grammar and  writing errors or proficiencies on a chart as I read each student’s paper. When I finished, I looked for patterns.  Their diagnostic assessment took 45 minutes for them to do and about 30 minutes for me to read and record.  I found that out of all of my students that there was only one “grammar”learning gap that three students shared and that was spelling.  There were a few learning gaps that two students shared.  The writing diagnostic revealed that they could use grammar fairly well; it did not interfere withe the comprehension of what they wrote. Their biggest learning gap was not in grammar but in their actual writing.  About 80% of the class lacked specific examples to prove their points. I  will focus on writing and teach grammar when I see specific needs.

What powerful diagnostics do you give?

Diagnostic Testing for Vocabulary

I’m teaching two writing courses and I’m giving a diagnostic writing in each.  They write an sample essay.  However, I found out a tremendous amount about my student’s vocabulary with a simple vocabulary activity that I did in class. I gave them various vocabulary lines like   scorching……. freezing in which I asked them to add words in between or at the ends such as scorching…boiling…hot…cool…frosty…icy…freezing.  I gave them four other opposite  lines to do.  I could quickly tell who had an indepth vocabulary and who will probably have difficulties in expressing themselves. I walked around as they were doing the vocabulary sheets and recorded my observation.  Next class, I will have to do activities to help them enlarge their vocabulary so they can be expressive writer

What quick diagnostic tests do you do in your class that give you powerful results

Diagnostic testing Questions

I was sharing college teaching stories with another instructor who also teaches a course similar to mine. She has her students do a three hour online diagnostic test and then the students do the grammar drills for each part that they did poorly on.  I was shocked  to hear that they spent three hours on the  diagnostic and then about 1/3 of each class on grammar drills and quizzes.  She shared her course outcomes with me and grammar in one of several items in only the first of  the seven outcomes.  When do our students spend more time  being tested rather than being instructed? When do we know so much about our students through diagnostic tests but do not have time to change how we teach them? When do our diagnostic tests not really measure our true goal such as writing? I took a grammar term practice test and missed a few questions although I considered myself a fairly good writer!

Where are Multiple Concept Maps For Paragraph Writing?

Maybe I am forgetting my good web research skills but I cannot find a website that lists the various types of writing and the concept maps that support each type of writing. I can find general concept map sites and I can find a lesson plan for a particular concept map for a specific type of writing. I’m trying to give my students two different concept maps for each type of writing. For example, for narrative writing I have a time line concept map and a  downward sequencing concept map.   For compare and contrast  I have similarities/differences boxes and  a point by point /topic analysis chart. My hope is that one of these two will appeal to my students so that they will be better able to organize their ideas and, therefore, write better.

What sites do you know that offering various concept maps for each type of paragraph writing?

Powerful Learning Pictures from Flickr

I’ve been preparing some images to use in my Writing classes.  Flickr  has the biggest selection of high quality and of good vivid images.  There are many pictures that convey emotion as well as action and location. The advantage of being able to search helps to find the “right” image to use in the class for the particular purpose. I’ve made a word processing document of the picture URLs and the writing topics I’ll use the students for such as cause-and-effect and  process writing. I look forward to using exciting pictures in the classroom that will encourage the students to write.
How have you used Flickr images in your classroom?

Why write in an English course?

I believe in purposeful writing.  I have trouble when a course is just an exercise.  Often many writing courses have students do paragraph patterns such as narrative and description even when the students will probably never write in these literary styles.  When students are in a business specific college, they need writing that corresponds to the type writing they will do in their occupations. Reading great literature and copying its writing style probably is not a valuable life skill for these students.

What type writing do your students do? Is it real life writing or is literary exercises?  Do they ever send their writing to a person outside of the school to response to? Are they writing for the 21st century or for a traditional century old theory of writing?

Free-Reading.net – A Free early literacy Wiki

Free-Reading.net  for early reading

A new and exciting first grade reading workbook/Wiki, Free-reading.net, is up for adoption by Florida, one of the to five textbook market according to”Free Online materials could save school billions”(Greg Toppo, USA Today, Nov. 7, 2007 12D).

The site states: “Free-Reading is an ‘open source’ instructional program that helps teachers teach early reading. Because it’s open source, it represents the collective wisdom of a wide community of teachers and researchers. It’s designed to contain a scope and sequence of activities that can support and supplement a typical “core” or “basal” program

This site allows teachers to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues. In true wiki fashion, teachers can also add materials to the site. Also, the site has videos that demonstrate techniques.

Try it and contribute to it.

Developing Students’ Listening Comprehension Skill With an Image (Picture)-Spanish, World Language, ESL

restaurant

Developing the listening skill through using images (pictures)

One student describes a picture orally to a partner. When the first person is done, the partner repeats the description, using the picture as an aid for recall.

One student orally describes the picture to another student who does not see it; the second student then repeats the description to the first student.

Two students look at a picture; then one student looks away while the other student asks him questions about it.

One student orally describes a picture to a second student who does not see it; the second student then draws a copy of it.

One student orally describes a picture to an­other student who then is given a choice of three pictures and must choose the one described.

One student describes a person or an object in the picture and the other student identifies which person or object it is.

While both students look at the picture, one students describes a person or an object in about five to ten sentences and includes one or two incorrect things about it. The second students has to tell what was wrong and correct it.

The first student says ten sentences about the picture and then the partner says ten different sentences. The first student listens for an duplicate sentences.

I would assign students to get several pictures from the Internet (Flickr) on a specific topic such as restaurant, city, house, etc. so that they can share the pictures (URLs) with me and print out the pictures for work with their partners. As a teacher, I can quickly build up my digital visual library for listening.

 

©Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

 

Revised from Harry Grover Tuttle’s “Using Visual Material in the Foreign Language Classroom”, Learning Resources, Vol 2-5 (Feb. 1975) 9-13.

Other Spanish (Hispanic images) for conversations or writing

Spanish streets – Calle
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/spanish-street-callescenes-photos-from-flickr/

Spanish sports –Deporte
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/spanish-sport-deporte-pictures-from-flickr-for-student-conversations/

Spanish transportation Transportes
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/spanish-language-transportes-transportations-from-various-hispanic-countries/

Spanish restaurant Restaurante
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/restaurant-pictures-from-flickr-for-spanish-and-other-language-conversations/

 

Spanish Language Menu
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/learning-hispanic-culture-through-spanish-language-menus/

 

 

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Standards-Based Sponge Activities

sponge

We use sponge activities to fill in time between activities or at the end of the period. How different would the students’ learning be if we used standards-based sponge activities? In an English Language Arts (ELA) class, the teacher could have a list of standards-based activities (similar to the state exam or covering district specified parts of the standards that are not covered on the state exam). She might:

Have students listen to a digitally recorded brief debate, take a side, and list their reasons to support it (New York State ELA Standard 1 Information).

Have students list their ten most common activities during their vacation, one per line, and then add an adverb to each line to create a poem (New York State ELA Standard 2 Personal Expression).

Have students list all the literature that they have read so far that has a certain theme such as love, man’s inhumanity to man, being true to one’s self, etc. (New York State ELA Standard 3 Theme Critical Analysis of Literature ).

Have a student pick a topic and list different people in the family and community (young children, same age, parent, grandparent, and civic leader) and students tell something about the topic to each different person in a way in which he/she would understand it ( (New York State ELA Standard Four Social Interactions-Various Audiences).

We can have these activities in a word processed document of sponge activities that we call up and pick the one to fit the time. When we project these activities for the students to see, they have all the structure they need to do them successfully. Not only do we fill up time but more important, we advance their learning in the standards!

How do you support the standards through sponge activities with technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Improving Reading Skills With Technology

TechLearning

I wrote another article on improving reading skills through technology, Ramping Up Reading With Technology. There are fourteen different easy-to-apply techniques. Try these out in your classroom so that your students can be better readers! Although the examples are in English, many of these will work in ESL and World Language classes.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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