Wednesday, February 25, 2009

fab collab

Via Facebook...and Team 1 in Pennsylvania, Team 2 in Maine. Preterit and imperfect via local celebrity. Using the backward design model to work on developing the plan.

Will have a wiki page up soon to share!

Friday, February 20, 2009

what does your budget say about you?

Budgets were due way back, and mine looked thus: 10 Flip Cameras, please. Bean bag chairs, please. Enough construction paper and Sharpies to last a year, please. And that was it!

Storyboards, a comfortable place to work, a tool to work with. If I get my wish next year will be the year of the student film.

I don't teach film-making, I teach language. But Marco Torres inspires me to give voice and image to children. They are amazing creators. They are motivated by creative projects. And I truly believe that the process of re-playing the tape helps students see where they made minor errors, and allows them to adjust. Not to mention the Four P's (plan, produce, present, pheedback) seem to translate and spill over into every content area.

I want to enter some Spanish student film competitions...I just know that with the tools, guidance, and constructionist atmosphere that some amazing stuff will happen, just like it did this year.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spanish Field Day

For two years in a row I produced a Spanish Field Day at the elementary school, starring my students. Now the task is to improve the experience using technology.

Here is a sample of what I did at MSAD31. (In pictures).

TPACK physical education

The big project this semester is to design a unit with a colleague who is not in the cohort and not in my content area. Originally I chose art and wanted to do a Día de Muertos movie. However, the timing of the unit was not sufficient. So I switched gears to my big Spanish Field Day project and how to make it better.

As it turns out the best way to make the Field day work better is to unpack the phys ed component.

Physical education and modern languages actually have a lot in common. Not in the results but in the methods. Students need lots and lots of practice with new skills before they are assessed on the skill. Students need lots and lots of feedback on specific components to make the other components work. And technology is strong in both areas. For the phys ed classroom, having appropriate diagnostic software and video tutorials helps the teacher manage a lot of data. In modern languages the support technology works about the same way.

Here are links to TPACK in physical education:

KIDS.GOV was "the" site I went to for a lot of the following links.

Flag House Activity Guides --contains PDF files of several activities you can do with elementary school children

Play with Carla
--designed specifically for girls to learn about physical activity to promote healthy bones

Activity Tv -- features video tutorials for a variety of physical activities like dance, martial arts, and juggling

Middle --focuses on educating girls to be healthy and fit

BAM --this site is is very kid-oriented and you can build your own activity calendar

High School
--website designed to help people be more active!

The President's Challenge
--Site includes an activity log and resources for all ages.

There is more to write on this chapter but I need to work on the actual unit. My friend at the elementary school has agreed to help me figure everything out--he teaches physical education. My high schoolers will teach specific skills through a Spanish lens....and teach new words at the same time. My master plan includes the French classes as well. I need to email the principal with an outline of my plan and continue to bust out the unit. I LOVE THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING A UNIT. Love it. This is the job for me.

Update: I have been working "my butt off" on the unit. Working with OL has been really helpful because he can break down a lot of the concepts for me. He teaches very discrete skills to k-5 kids and his goals (aligned with MLR's) are like my goals in Spanish: teach building blocks to do bigger, better, things.

As far as TPACK goes we decided that pairing our classes and communicating via Skype will help scaffold up to Field Day next spring. He has a drop down screen in the gym and projector built right we are hoping to coordinate schedules enough to make it work. My kids will be making instructional videos, which will be preceded by vocabulary slideshows, that the elementary kids will have access to after the first quarter.

We are using technology to teach Spanish and "fizz ed". Yeah!

Friday, February 6, 2009

warm and fuzzy

Yesterday I presented at my first professional conference, and it went well! I did the presentation using mywebspiration and tried to "show by use" as many applications as possible.

Today I told my Spanish 4's..."I bragged on YOU! YOU made me look good yesterday!"

And one sweet dear girl said, "It's because YOU won't let us fail."

Wow. Thank you. I try.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


At the end of the chapter I scrawled a smiley-face and the phrase “I love this book” underlined, twice, exclamation point.

It makes what I do valid.

It validates my practice.

My students make blogs. They have wikis. They have Flickr accounts. They talk to each other. It’s beautiful. It’s social. It’s cultural.

I am the TPACK poster child.

Next for us: poetry-out-loud. Odes to common things. Podcasts. Recordings. Voice. Fluency, style, pronunciation. That ooh-la-la of language: the ablity to sound right.

Es posible, I whisper, sweetly. “Todo es posible, el poder es creer que lo imposibe es posible.”

A specialty of mine, a favorite quoe: “Power is believing the impossible to be possible.”

A bit more on the chapter.

Teacher cognition is linked to pupil cognition.

Teachers who became researchers have added insightful experience to the discussion.

Different standards. ACTFL (6) and TESOL/NCATE (5).

Knowledge, understanding and disposition make a teacher.

Learn to communicate across cultures.

Six domains of expertise (Richards, 1998) .

Language analysis, language proficiency, an understanding of civilzation and culture.

Understandin how second languages are acquired has a direct effect o how second languages are taught.

HUman minds posess a language acquisition device that enables children to learn the grammar rules of their language.

Knowledge of how a linguistic system works, how the grammar rules and syntax work, is competence. Performance, o the other hand, refers to the person’s ability to produce language.

Communicative competence is grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence, discourse competence, and strategic competence.

Adults acquire language structures in a predictable order provided they are exposed to comprehensibile input and witin a low-anxiety enivronment while an internal monito acquires and makes sense of correct language functions.

Interaction Hypothesis...native speakers modify speech to interact with non-native speakers...

Output Hypothesis (Swain, 1985, 1995) INput alone is not enough to acquire native-like language competence. Language production or output that is accurate is necessary to reach higher levels of language proficiency.

Cumming’s theory of bilingualism and cognition emphasizes that being bilingual poses a cognitive advantage (og how well I know this! My Passamaquoddy kiddos were brilliant at Spanish).

Sociocultural theory: Language development is socially constructed. Cognitive process as social process. Group or pair work important (I do this!)

The aim of Richard’s domains (theories of teaching, teaching skills, pedagogical reasoning, contextual knowledge) is to promote and strengthen the teacher’s engagement in the exploration of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and thinking as they inform their teaching endeavors.

NETS project: to refine and develop set of standards to connect curriculum and technology.

CALL--computer assisted language learning--HERE WE GO. Synchronous Skyping...have opportunities to infer meaning new words and expressions...use multimedia...promote inference....learners perform more efficiently with the support of multimedia technology. Telecommunication networks enhance writing process, particularly when email is used.

Access to authentic materials that are physically far away.

The TECHNOLOGICAL body of knowledge MUST BECOME the knowledge base for future teachers.

Educational technology is a robust structure for advancing current understanding of teacher cognition, as fields of second language teacher education and educational technology intersect.

The foundation of good language teaching with technology requires an understanding of how linguistic and cultural concepts can be represented using technology, educational appraoces that draw from a socio-constuctivist philosophy, awareness of what facilitates or hinders language acquisition, an awareness of students’ previous knowledge, a knowledge of second language acquisition and cognitive development theories, and an understanding of how current and emerging technologies can be used to present knowledge and develop new epistemologies and sustain previous ones.

So back to my book. Grosse (1993) analyzed 157 foreign language methods and discovered that integration of technology is one of five areas that need further development in methods courses. DESIGN....DESIGN......opt for, adapt, implement, and DESIGN meaningful technology0based activities that are aligned with current approaches to language teaching and learning.

Social construction of learning!! THE FEW FOR THE MANY THE MANY FOR THE FEW.

One must think IMAGINATIVELY!!

Study how teachers develop cognitively as they learn to interate technology.


Restructuring of teaching and learning.

Teacher’s level of reflectivity promotes meaningful interactions with technology.

Wow I love this chapter. Will come back later to add my comments.


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