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.

martes, 18 de febrero de 2014

The world into the classroom & Tools (video 2 & 3)

This year we´ll have an extraordinary opportunity to bring the world into the classroom: Brazil´s World Cup 2014. With this world event we´ll be able to investigate about: different cultures, religion, music, geography and VALUES related to sports and acceptance among ethnicities. The lady refers to real people in a real world so we´ll all be involved not only in the results of the matches but also all the other news surrounding this big event. We strongly believe that this topic would fit perfectly well in the bilingual project. Together with Pope Francis and other possible new/events, the World Cupm will definitely be a "Global Theme". Apart from this new project, after winter holidays we usually develop Stories From Around The World that involves traditional stories from different countries.
As regards Video 3, we understand that we have to keep updated with technology, not only for teaching, but for our daily life. But we don´t think that electronic devices are the only way of sharing a common ground with children and teens. Sometimes, we plan lessons in which computers are needed but we don´t have the necessary ammount of netbooks for that day, or there is not internet connection or just 4 computers out of 14 could connect.
This situation can lead to develop Values and Skills such as : being flexible, patient, generosity, and finding other resources to achieve the same objective as the already planned in the lesson. (offline)

                                                                                           Miss Patsy & Miss Anne

lunes, 17 de febrero de 2014

21st Century Skills

After watching the teacher from the video, we really felt identified with her proposal and the way we work in the classroom. Technology is an excellent tool to teach, learn and communicate, but information is overwhelming, even to us! So, we strongly believe that, summarizing is a necessary strategy to get the relevant information. While communication is happening, kids will develop critical thinking, connections to their own experiences and  consequently they will make all the information found their own.
Although our students are definitely DIGITAL NATIVES (they have the "digital finger", they enjoy using technology and they are terrible attracted to computers) they really need guidance to use internet and technology in general FRUITFULLY and EFFECTIVELY. We mean: select the relevant data, visit safe and reliable sources.