lunes, 21 de diciembre de 2015

Reflection of my 2015

It has been a year of positive changes as regards my work. I have worked four consecutive years with Patsy and this 2015 I had two different co-workers! So I believe my strenghts of the year have been the posibility to adapt to these changes and continue with the hard work.
I strongly believe that making "good plans" doesn't mean starting over every year from scratch or eliminating everything. Although we always updated and modified plans/activities/projects with Patsy I feel this year we changed and included many new things for example lots of videos for Project ,all the Final Tasks of the projects were new (kids made digital productions) and the project on National Parks that popped up thanks to the hangout connection.
As regards my weaknesses, I think that I could mention the fact that we didn´t finish the last two books for the Home Reading Programme so my goal for next year concerning this issue is to be more consistent until the end.

Other goals:

  • Include more videos to the different projects and to the Phonology Routine (I hope we all have a projector in our classrooms in 2016)
  • Create a new project on The Olympics to work on Geography (Brazil), Vocabulary on Sports, History (Ancient Olympics)
  • Add more Listening  and Grammar practice in the Booklet 
  • Create more instances of self-assessment and reflections in the class.

lunes, 12 de octubre de 2015

¡Empezando mi 1er MOOC!

Soy Ana Lucía, de Bs As, Argentina. Empecé este curso motivada por un par de compañeras de trabajo y porque me interesó la temática que propone. Espero poder aprender muchas herramientas en este MOOC de Narración Digital para poder aplicarlas en mi tarea como docente de Inglés ya que en la institución donde trabajo nuestro método para planificar esta basado principalmente en literatura y creo que esta propuesta puede enriquecer mucho mi modo de enseñar.

lunes, 6 de abril de 2015

Seeing old things with fresh eyes

Well, the time came to start working with a new "sister-teacher". I have been teaching the same age group and working with the same person  for four lovely years. I had always wondered what it would be like to change coworker or to be"the expert" of the level. We had worked so well with Patsy, always on the same wavelength, always so comforted by her experience, advice and care that I had mixed feelings when finishing the year.
The truth is that we are working perfectly with Sabri, she has found very interesting videos, material and webpages to complement and update the "Lands"of  the "Voyage" that is 4th form.  She has also done a lot to create all the Drive folders and I feel really comfortable with presenting our work like this (until last year we had always presented the plans in the copybook), it is very tidy, organized and clear.
In conclusion, my impression is that it is great to see the things we´ve been doing up to now in this level with fresh eyes. I also think that changing the frame of the unit planner supported by the 21st Century Skills theory has been important too since it gives a lot of professionalism and background to our work as educators.

lunes, 15 de diciembre de 2014

21st century skills - 4th forms

In 4th we´ve had many project (The 5 "lands") + some mini projects and I believe that we´ve enhanced some of the skills necessary for this century in different ways.

- Summarizing skills? We tought 2 techniques to summarize: highlighting key words and phrases or crossing out irrelevant info. When we have texts from project they must summarize it for studying. When we finish a class before leavingg kids make a summary of the most important things we did/learned, when they retell a story.

- Logical & Creative thinking? We ask them to find solutions to character´s problems in many assemblies. Creation of stories (creative writing) also involves Creative thinking

- Communicative skills? In every assembly, in every final task-presentation they have to send a clear message. We made some peer-assessment activities specially during the training for the Verse competition and in retelling stories (kids had an assessments chart in which they had to evaluate their mates performance). In the preparation of the spring Concerts revisited / hangout / Brazil´s Final Task / Christmas Assembly we made a lot of emphasis on presentation skills, posture, tone of voice, turn taking etc.

- Reflective thinking (reflective moments)?Throughout the year in many occasions, during assemblies if they are giving opinion about a character´s attitude, if a problem/situation came up. A project in particular: Melody Around The World

- Bringing the world into the classroom? 1) Hangout with Missoury, USA. Our sts prepared beautiful presentations about our country involving food, tourism-places to visit, culture, etc (We had a gaucho, a paisana, some chefs talking about empanadas, asado and mate). we listened to the american sts´presentation. We received and gave them feedback. 2) Brazil´s Football worldcup: We learned and activated prior knowledge about Brazil´s culture. We read a Brazilian legend, we worked on geography of South America and analized/commented info about teams and general organization of this event. 3) Stories from Around The World: in this mini-project we read a story from each continent so we work on cartography (continents, oceans) and in card-work kids completed beautiful illustrated cards about the culture of the country of each story.

- Collaborating with other teachers? (bilingual projects / cross cultural content / global themes) All the time, specially Belgrano´s project, Brazil´s Football worldcup, seating arrangement, articulation with library projects and workshops.

miércoles, 23 de abril de 2014

First impressions...

     In order to "honour" Book Day, I chose this title which was the first one Jane Austen had thought for Pride & Prejudice. I would like to talk about judging in advance, to start getting worried about something/someone.
     I believe that Reports on the Group + Articulation with the ex-teacher of the group + all year long chats about concerning cases (this is the 3rd year Dai has my groups and we talk about them all the time in the train) is essential but all the same we shouldn´t be determined by these information we receive.
It has happened to me many times that I heard "This mother is terrible!", "This kid is so lazy!", "He has a bad relationship with mates.", "She is a trouble-maker, beware!" and so on. I am not saying that the perceptions/ideas are not valuable, but I think that they shouldn´t influence us a 100% or make us judge the learner/mother in advance. Every person can change, can became a better human being, can mature and it is important to consider that there are years that are more difficult than other because of family or health problems and it is reflected in the way they behave and learn.

jueves, 13 de marzo de 2014

Assigning Roles

Learners work more efficiently when they clearly know what they have to do and what are we waiting from them. This is why we daily write the OBJECTIVES in the blackboard together with the specific VALUES of the class and we make success criteria explicit before kids write their 1st draft of a story/text. However, when it comes to group work I always become frustrated because many times they don´t work appropriately, they tend to discuss too much (specially girls!!!) or there´s always one member that doesn´t do anything. In February we were planning with Patsy and we found a set of cards with roles for group work in the blog of a teacher from the USA. I´ve presented them to the kids, I know it will take time but I´m hopeful kids will little by little become aware of what group-work really involves.
NOTE: There are four main roles:  Speaker, Materials Manager, Recorder and Time Keeper. Two secondary roles will be used when there is a group of more than four: Trouble Shooter and Facilitator. We have several sets if you want to try them out!!

miércoles, 19 de febrero de 2014

video #4

We know that Context is crucial and essential to make ALL CONTENTS meaningful. Even during the Activation Knowledge stage, kids can be asked to say whatever they know about the topic, which is WITHIN the context. Even if it´s a wrong concept, we´ll take into account. In a specific part of the lesson, this mistake will be clarified, even by mates.
We strongly believe that it is very important to choose appropriate material and strategies according to age CULTURAL CONTEXT and interests.