Monday, September 28, 2015

Oh my dear sweet DINOs! I had a "duh" moment last week.  I thought I was tech savvy enough to get the kids started on Blogger and then have them place an RSS feed to their websites.  If you aren't tech savvy, you are probably thinking I'm speaking a foreign language right now! Lol.  

An RSS feed is a web feed that publishes frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video from another source.  You may have subscribed to an RSS feed at one time or another. It just pushes the info into one feed and location.

First, I had the students blog on Blogger to get a feel for blogging.  It is different when you ask them to blog in another language.  Expect less but set high expectations for quality.  On a different day, we came back to the Google Sites and set up an RSS feed gadget.  I've included directions for that here.

Here's my RSS feed on my Google Site. 


I checked and double checked my directions. I tried it out on my "fake" sites/Blogger etc. I thought I was prepared.  To my surprise, none of the students were successful in adding the RSS feed.  It kept popping the same stupid message "cannot parse the feed".  I was ready to chunk all the technology out the window!  I scratched that idea and goal for the day and did some investigating over the next several days.  Turns out because I had my students set up as private on their Blogger account, they couldn't "parse the feed".  As soon as I had my students change their settings in Blogger, we were all set! Man, sometimes you gotta just roll with the punches! Don't give up!

Now that our RSS gadget is all set up, we will never have to do it again, (Praise the Lord) and it automatically pulls their blog posts to their website. How awesome is that!  I will keep the posts coming. Next item we are working on is the digital locker for each unit. Wish me luck!!!! Back in the trenches I go!



Friday, September 4, 2015

DINOs to the Rescue!

My Google Sites Website Template...

I am absolutely L-O-V-I-N-G the Google Chromebooks in my classroom! This has been such a huge blessing this year.  These Chromebooks have been the very reason I started to use Digital Interactive Notebooks (DINOs).

So how's the DINO coming, well...we are off to a good start. I finally got a template worked up thanks to one of my coworkers-- shout out to Steph. Once I got the template set up the way I liked, it was super easy. The students used my template and created their own website. I will say, Google Sites is not the most user-friendly website creator out there, but since we are a Google school, I felt it was easiest for the students to upload items from their Drive.

I gave my level two students the review project that I give them every year during the first week of school. I divide them into about 7-8 groups and have them take a unit from level one to teach and review. They create a Google Slide presentation and activities for the class.  Since everything is Google, when they finished I shared all the group presentations via Google Classroom and had them link them to their websites. It was super easy.  It took about 10-15 min for them to link the presentations on their site.  I imagine that this process will get faster as I do this more often.  I was pretty impressed.  We didn't have one glitch in any of my classes.  It was a miracle.  I kept waiting for something to go wrong, but it never did.

I did give the students a information sheet that explained how to link and get things from Classroom to their website. I've uploaded those instructions here.  You can create your own Google Sites template for your class and give them similar instructions.

On their websites is now a "Level 1 Review" tab with each of their classes' group presentations linked for easy access and review at any time.  Here is the link to my template where you can see where the students would link the presentations.

We are doing more DINO work this next week.  I will post how it goes! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oppa Google Style!

Well...Google has taken over the educational world! We are now a Google school.  We are Googling EVERYTHING...Google Forms, Google Docs, Google Drawings...It's making me very Googly-eyed!!! It has been amazing and, yet, altogether overwhelming.  Despite all the newness, I feel like the McDonald's slogan-"I'm loving it!"

As most teachers, with the new year I have decided to try something new. Last year I worked on student interactive notebooks. I am proud to say that our department successfully implemented these amazing notebooks into our curriculum.  We "ditched" the textbook and we are moving in a completely new direction. This year we are taking the interactive notebooks to a whole new level...we are going digital (in my Spanish 2 classes at least).

I'm sure several of you have already been doing digital notebooks.  Others have already named these digital notebooks with the cute name of DINOs (Digital Interactive Notebooks). That's soooo cute!!!

So what exactly is a DINO? How does it work? Why would you want to use this?

I can hear some of you sighing. Lol.  I know...just one more thing to do...one more thing to add to my already long list of things to do. I'm not promising that this won't be lots of work, but I can promise that the rewards will be well worth it in the end.

We are going to traverse these murky, choppy, and unsettling waters together! I'm going to take you through my process of creating, implementing, and grading these DINOs.

So...are you ready to bring out your inner DINO?
www.conceptartworld.com

So let's jump in!  I'm putting a link for you to see how my interactive notebooks will look like. 
Click here for your viewing pleasure. I will keep adding stuff as we go. :)








Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Inside/Outside Circle Activity: Shopping!

¡Hola a Todos!

I love it when language learning takes place and all you have to do is watch it unfold around you. No longer are language teachers the "sage on the stage", but facilitators of the students' learning.

This is a perfect example of a practical "real-world" life skill. SHOPPING!!!!!!

I've been dying to use the inside/outside circle method with this activity.  I finally put it all together. Please take/modify/use whatever you like! If there's any errors, please let me know...I did this in a hurry!

Spanish 2
Realidades 2:2B
Ir de Compras: Inside/Outside Activity

For a class of 30, arrange 15 desks in a circle. Outside circle (15 students) will sit in the desks. They will be the sales persons (cajero/a). The 15 students chosen to be the inside circle will stand in front of one of the outer circle desks. The students have their question/answer sheets. Outside circle will be selling the clothing item that I placed on their desk. They will answer questions about the clothing article (size, material, type, color, etc.).  The inner circle will be trying to "purchase" the item by asking all the questions about the clothing article and recording the outer circle partners' answers.

I let the students "purchase" one item and then I had them switch roles.

Then I had the students switch roles again...This time they had to pick a different desk to sit in with a different clothing item. Inner circle students had to talk to a different partner this time. I made them purchase three more items this round.

They switched again and this group did the same thing and purchased three more items.  

I continued switching them until the end of the period.  

My students stayed in the target language for 40 min!!!! Of course there are the few students who Spanglished something, but I would say that 80% of my students stayed in Spanish the entire time!!! The "chaos" of moving around the inner circle and attempting to sell their items kept their attention the whole 50 min. period! SUCCESS!

Here's what I did/learned in the process:
1. Have your desks arranged before class starts and let them come in and choose their seats. (Both inside circle and outside circle require speaking so it doesn't matter where they are.)
2.Have your clothing items already on the desks when students arrive. Don't worry if they trade. It's all the same. Lol.
3. Tape the (Vendedor/a) half sheets/responses to the outer circle desks.
4. Print the Cliente questions on the back of the Cliente chart for ease of access.
5. I put directions (explanations of the roles) on the Smartboard so that students could reference that at any time. 
6. I used a timer to time the buying/selling.  I gave them 5 min. on the first round and then I got it down to 3 min after students got the hang of it.  
7. After the first round, you may need to give students (clients) a minute or two to finish filling in the first row of their chart. They will get faster as the activity progresses. 
8. I also gave the students a speaking rubric strip as part of my informal assessment.  I've attached that here.  If I heard a student speaking in English, I would snip off the last number on the strip leaving them with a 9/10 for speaking. If I heard them again in English, I would snip off the 9. This left them with an 8/10 for speaking, etc. Great idea I got from my wonderful colleagues!
9. Encourage students to really "sell" their items, saying phrases like "Liqidación", "Ganga", etc. Encourage them to haggle with the clientes on the price. Tell them to be creative and use their Spanish!
10. Monitor constantly...walk around (with your scissors in hand prepared to snip rubric)...assist with the language, answer questions, etc.

The magic of this lesson will unfold before you! The students leave so excited that they stayed in Spanish the whole time, that "Johnny" wore Mrs.____________ pink shirt, and that they didn't have to sit still all period.  They will remember this for a lifetime!

Enjoy!