Monday, February 15, 2010

Collaborative Bell Ringers to increase writing performance

Monday February 15th, Van Meter students joined conversation groups with students from Newell Fonda and South Hamilton schools to allow students an outlet to practice spanish writing and reading skills and enhance their individual performance.  Students are using a NING to communicate and are paired into groups that students joined via a google doc sent to each student as one working document.  Students have weekly topics with expectations to respond to each group member throughout the week.  Spanish levels 1-3 are participating and conversing of course only in Spanish.  Stay tuned for more tales of the collaboration between 3 escuelas mejores!:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cocinando en la clase de Español 2

Move over Emeril and Martha Stewart!  Spanish 2 students are going to show us some authentic spanish food and their cooking abilities.  Lets not forget the use of commands with cooking!  Students have been assigned the task of cooking a authentic meal and producing a spanish production of how to cook the meal and incorporating the use of Spanish into the production.

Español 4:Hace peliculas animados! video animations in Spanish 4

To help incorporate the Future, Conditional and Future/Conditional of Probability students use the program XTRANORMAL ( to create an animation of their choosing by typing text and choosing voice sounds.  Typing their text correctly is essential so the words are pronounced correctly. Students have choice in characters, setting, story line etc.  The use of Jing is essential to get a recording uploaded so that students can do other editing.  Students are super excited about the project and have learned although the system is somewhat slow with xtranormal, that correct sentences are essential. Examples to follow!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Something cool in the Spanish Classroom! ¡Una Cosa Chevere!

Spanish 1-3 students are completing a collaboration project that I began a week ago requiring students to do research on different topics paired with partners from two other school districts in the state of Iowa.  How do the students communicate?  Through a NING.  What is a NING you say?  A NING is a social networking site that is very similar to Facebook.  It allows students an area where they can manage their own wall and communicate with other people who have been given permission to join the specific NING.  It has Forums, Groups, Blogs, Chats, Walls etc.  It is perfect for a classroom because the teacher can monitor everything that happens on the NING due to emails that are sent to the administrator (teacher) with every post. Students are familiar with this type of communication and enjoy posting to each others’ walls and commenting in the Forum section.  They call it the school “facebook”.

In November two other teachers and I myself communicated and connected these students as a daily conversation piece in Spanish on the Forum to communicate a review concept. The hardest encounter we ran into was our curriculums did not line up, and one of us was teaching something the other had not learned etc.  We definitely want to collaborate this summer to create a curriculum that will work!  Communication between teachers was essential, however we managed…and what the neatest thing about the introduction to the Ning was the fact that the students had the opportunity to communicate in Spanish to someone they did not know and find out they were learning similar things at the same level.  They were no further behind than anyone else.  

Last week we decided to pilot a project for Spanish levels 1-3.  This pilot project required students to join a group with no one from their own school and research the topic listed.  Spanish 1 was researching about sports in Spanish speaking countries, Spanish 2 researched about animals in specific Spanish speaking countries and Spanish 3 researched about Spanish speaking countries and all they have to offer.  This project required students to become LEADERS by taking on these roles they would read the requirements and delegate what needed to be completed and who would do which jobs.  It required students to share the information they found and communicate what else needed to be done to be complete.  Students used Voice thread and Show beyond, their choice as a method of presenting.  This allowed both students to edit the same slide, create a podcast type presentation on a web2.0 application!   Hopefully an example to follow, but until then---what a cool project!  Getting students to THINK, LEAD and SERVE---by representing Van Meter Iowa and be able to collaborate and communicate with students across the state!  ¡Todo es possible! Gracias Newell Fonda and South Hamilton schools!

Student work examples Spanish 2:
Example #1
Example #2
Example #3

Spanish 3 work samples:
Example #1
Example #2
Example #3

Spanish 1 Work samples:
Examples #1
Example #2