Breakout EDU

Hooked

Searching for Dr. Johnson’s antidote was my first experience with Breakout Edu during the First Annual Google Summit in Breckenridge back in May of 2015. Breakout Edu is the creation of James Sanders and Mark Hammons who had the brilliant idea of transforming the ever popular Escape Rooms into a classroom activity that involves solving clues, puzzles and problems to break into a box rather than escape. I assume escaping our classrooms wasn't their goal, but quite the opposite. Students work together, think critically and learn relevant curriculum in the process. After playing in Breckenridge, I was hooked and dragged my friends to numerous Escape Rooms all over the country, including Valencia. Although I was hooked on the concept, it took another experience playing Time Warp to figure out how I could create an original game that would also include culture and Spanish for my Spanish classes. So, after a GAFE Summit in Boulder last fall, I drove back to the mountains designing a Spanish game in my head.

The Game

I won’t share how long it actually took me to create my first game but it does give me comfort knowing that every time I share my game or another teacher shares it with his or her students the number of minutes spent per student ratio decreases. The other good news is that now there are 100s of games to chose from in all content areas making prep time for teachers much less of an issue. Just go to the site and register. You'll have access to both completed (vetted games) as well as games in beta. 

I actually built the box out of barn door from Leadville with the help of a talented friend and then spent hours creating a storyline with clues around Spain and la Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve). I thoroughly enjoyed looking through my cultural nicknacks to find the perfect tiny bottle of saffron or Metro Map to incorporate into the game. I even used the inside of a old Don Quijote book to use as a clue. The process included many trips to Lowes and WalMart looking for more locks or returning the ones I had “broken”.  I had most of the game complete in my head but was stuck on the last clue until my colleague put the last piece together. Gracias, Silvia.

Salvando La Nochevieja (Saving New Year’s Eve) debuted with my grade 10 Dual Language classes.

The premise of Salvando La Nochevieja is that the students have just finished a semester studying in Spain. They are planning to spend New Year's Eve in Madrid. However, someone has stolen the grapes needed to celebrate properly. The students must find them before the tradition of eating the grapes starts. 

Grade 5 Students

Both classes "escaped" as we call it with less than a minute to spare. They loved it and one student blogged about it here. Next, I played it with my juniors (DP1/Spanish IV) Surprisingly, my larger class of juniors did better with a lower level of Spanish proficiency as they demonstrated stronger teamwork and determination. I also played the game with 4th and 5th graders in our Dual Language school. Two classes escaped and one did not after bickering with each other on what combinations they had already tried. Watching the teamwork (or lack of it) was amazing. It was also excruciating for me to watch and not help. I did fail a few times and provided a few more than the allotted two clues. 

Students as game designers

Minutes from our first game, students asked when we could play again. I laughed and told them THEY would be creating our next games. They did.Their games were related to cultural topics and were quite creative. In one game we had to find our host family in Argentina who had been kidnapped upon our arrival. Another brought us in to save Machu Picchu before the Spaniards arrived. One of my favorite parts of their games was the story they created and shared with us before starting. Here is another student blogging about their BreakOut games. It wasn't all perfect. One group brought in dirt that was really compost (to hide gold of course) and bugs (from the compost) exploded around the room while kids looked for clues. The setting and resetting of the locks was also a challenge in my student created games. I still don't know how, but one group had us find a key but the key didn't match the lock. Hence, my first hasp had to be cut by the maintenance man at school. All in all is was a success. One student borrowed my box for a project for his DP English class.

Sharing Breakout EDU with teachers

iFLT 2016

iFLT 2016

I have now presented Breakout Edu to teachers over the past year, running either my game in Spanish or another from the Game Store in English depending on the audience. Both have been successful in hooking teachers. One teacher trainer was so excited to use the concept with her staff that she drove four hours to my home to borrow my box.

Here is the slide show I used in Chattanooga during iFLT this past summer. Copy it, give proper credit (as most of this information is from others), improve the presentation and please share back in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter. The power of Breakout Edu has been the sharing of ideas, clues, materials and inspiration.  Soon there will be even more WL Breakout EDU games to explore.

A few tips

  • Work with a friend or two to create a game. I should have asked for help much sooner.
  • Start small and keep it simple. My first game is time consuming to both set-up as well as clean-up. My next game will be shorter and less involved. (maybe saying it publicly will help me with this tip)
  • Use the FB page and Pinterest for support and mega ideas.
  • Take time to go over the clues with your students the next day. You will want everyone to experience the creative curricular content and not just the few that ultimately solved that puzzle. Plus, students will want to know how certain puzzles were solved. I never seem to have enough time to reflect properly on the game the same day. 
  • If you chose to create your own box (I suggest buying the awesomely branded Breakout EDU boxes and making your own), error on the smaller and lighter. My box is gorgeous but huge and heavy.
  • Document your students playing and share the experience with parents, administration and the community.

Please share your experiences with Breakout EDU or something similar you are doing with your students. The goal for me is to include more elements of Breakout EDU to both my classes and teacher professional development. 

Making storyboards novel again

Not another storyboard! My students have shared this sentiment with me on more than one occasion. Even after hundreds of requests by me for students to make six boxes, I still find it an awesome activity to provide additional reps for our target structures while students are relatively calm at their tables or on the floor. (Calmness is not how I would typically describe my class.)  I also love this activity because I can individually check for understanding with certain students and pose higher level thinking questions for others while they are drawing. Although not crucial for language acquisition, the number of output assessments that result from a student-created storyboard is endless.

A few ideas for making the process of drawing the story novel.

  • paper size, color and design
  • number the boxes by 5s. 10s, 1000s or ordinal numbers
  • white boards (grandes y pequeños)
  • cardboard
  • Google slides and other tech tools
  • chalk, paint and new Sharpies

I have yet to say "brush my teeth" en Español

True statement. Although I have been studying Spanish for over 30 years, I have yet to use the verb cepillarse in an authentic context. I suppose I can see someday having to ask to buy a toothbrush if I forget mine while traveling. Maybe it isn't impossible to imagine that someone could ask what I was doing when the phone rang and I'd need to say, brushing my teeth. It just hasn't happened yet. Don't get me wrong, I used to conjugate the heck out of cepillarse with my students. I forced them (in the most creative ways) to tell me when (and where) they brushed their teeth. 

I then realized that if I wanted our students to USE the language I needed to provide them the actual language structures they needed to communicate their messages. Often, these language structures are not present in text books. 

Days of the week, weather, body parts and brushing teeth are not topics elementary nor high school students need at lower levels of proficiency. I was once (not long ago) asked to teach an entire unit on rooms in the house. Although I am encouraged by the rapid growth in the last few years of teachers moving toward teaching with Comprehensible Input methods, I still see blog posts, questions and tweets on how to teach colors and the daily routine. Also, I regularly hear veteran World Language consultants make jokes about word choice but the practice still continues. So, thanks to a new teacher in my district, I thought I'd share a few resources on how to get started teaching words that matter for our students. 

Which words?

Listen to your students

It is a sure bet that one of my elementary students will say look (wanting to show me something) within the first week of class. So, they learn mira. Other common language structures for my little ones include: Can we? and I didn't do it. My high school students require a slightly different vernacular: What are we doing today?, I wasn't here or can you please sign this? 

Use these lists

Super 7 by Señora Rose

Top 200 words in Spanish used by Denver Public Schools

Top 400 words in Spanish by Bryce Hedstrom

Question words are crucial


Buy this dictionary

This dictionary provides a list of the 5, 000 most frequently used words in the language and their level of frequency. This is super helpful as research has shown that the 1, 000 most frequent words account for 75-85% of speech. My elementary school bases much of their entire curriculum on the top 120 words (mostly verbs) spread out over six years.

Note: cepillarse doesn't even make the top 5, 000. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novel ways to summarize a novel

 

Five Fingers

Students trace their hand. They label the fingers: characters, setting, details, details and solution.  Students then read the chapter on their own. Some to took notes under each finger. They then wrote a paragraph summarizing the chapter. Next time I'll have students orally retell the story using their fingers as a guide. 

 

 

8 Verbs to Describe

Students worked in pairs to find eight verbs that summarized the chapter. They wrote them on a large piece of paper.  Then, one partner would read the verb/sentence and the other would act out the sentence. Then, they switched. Lastly, I lined the kids up across from their partner with all the papers on one side. The side with the verbs had to pick three verbs and their partner on the other side had to demonstrate the action. Then, the line moved so each student had a new partner. We continued until each student was back to their original spot. 

 

Five Sheets of Creativity

Each group was given five pieces of paper. They had to creatively illustrate the chapter and then act out the chapter out using their new visuals. 

 

These examples came from the novel La Calaca Alegre by Carrie Toth

 

 

19 ideas for integrating songs into your WL Classroom

I was recently asked how I integrate songs into my Spanish classes. Here is the much longer version of my answer. 

I consider, first, teaching just the chorus or a portion of the song. It’s an authentic resource, which is fantastic, but typically over the head of most of my students without lots of backwards planning. So, choosing just a portion is fine. My 9th graders still sing the chorus to Estrella de Mar (starfish) that I taught them in first grade when they were studying the ocean.

Next, I choose 5-9 structures I want to teach or emphasize. I choose cultural items whenever possible.  

We learn the structures via a story, personalized questions, images, actions, etc. I have students DO something with this language before actually reading or singing the song. Sometimes I run the lyrics through a world cloud app and have students predict the meaning of the song. Other times I simply have students identify and circle the target structures on their written copy of the song. Either way, students know which words and cultural topics are important in each song.

Below is a list of activities I use when teaching songs. I do not do each of these with every song . My students and I prefer variety. One thing that never changes is the focus on NEW vocabulary and grammar structures present in the song. I also do not allow students to mosey to the baño during a song. I stress the importance of DOUBLE input (reading and listening) so going to the bathroom is strongly discouraged.

  • Listen to the song and students raise their hand/elbow/finger or show jazz hands when they hear the target structure. If they have cards with the new vocab, they raise the actual word when they hear that word. I usually don’t have the video on for this part as it’s hard to read when you can watch famous singers dancing on the screen. I just want them to follow along at this point.
  • Listen to the song and students sing or act out the target structures as they follow along.
  • Listen to the song and draw vocabulary or culture from the song. Another day, using their drawings, they listen and point to where in the song a certain word or cultural concepts appears. 
  • Students fill out a cloze activity sheet while listening. We have purchased many from Zach Jones. If I do create my own, I make multiple cloze versions so we can repeat the activity. I challenge students to make their own versions of a cloze sheet and share it with a friend.  Easy to share the Google Docs.
  • Divide the song up into 4 or 5 lines and give each portion to a pair, a table, a group, etc.

                    Each group...    (pick one or let them choose)    

  • Videos themselves on their phone or my iPad singing their part. 
  • Writes the lyrics of their portion on (huge, tiny or colored) paper.
  • Draws their portion of the song and sings it 4 times.
  • Creates actions to their part to teach to the class.
  • Reads and sings their portion 7 times.

                  Then, the class listens again and each group highlights their section above.

  • The class makes two lines so that each student has a partner. Line A reads/sings one part of the song and then Line B sings another part. After a few lines, I have one person move down from Line A so each student has a new partner.
  • The Voice or some competition between groups of students.  Whomever sings w/ more emotion wins. Prizes to the winners if you are keen on giving prizes. Today winners received ACTFL shopping bags for their amazing performance. 
  • The class makes a huge circle. Each students reads or sings along while walking slowly in the circle. Seems to take the pressure off while kids have to focus on reading and walking at the same time.  
  • Show the music video. I use a version with the lyrics on the screen if possible. Good for karaoke, too.
  • Duets. Class is divided into teams of two. Each team stands-up or stands on a chair, sharing one microphone/pencil while singing the song.  Very dramatic is the key to this one.
  • Two truths and one lie.  Student reads/sings lines from a song and asks class/partner if they are true or false and class/partner responds.
  • If you have lots of props, have students sing to the props.  Or, the props can sing. This is fun once a year and is perfect for shy kids.
  • Students create a music video for a portion of the song. They add images and text to the words to the song.  This forces them to listen over and over again to get it just right. Google presentations works well for this.
  • While listening to a song with lots of culture, students search Google to find high quality images of the cultural context. They then draw something similar on their song sheet. I play the target song while they are searching.
  • Students use the new vocabulary from the song to either write a new song or create an original story. This shows me they have (or have not) truly acquired the new structures.
  • A new idea for me is to have students tweet or blog just a portion of the song that resonates with them. They use SoundCloud or Audioboo to record and then embed the recording into their blog. They are careful to credit the artist when publishing to their blog.
  • Students buy songs in iTunes and/or make YouTube or Spotify playlists of our class songs so they can practice at home. I also have a list of our current songs w/ links on our class website.
  • Remix. Once we have a pile of songs under our belt, I have kids remix them and create their own songs in small groups. They love it.
  • One of my favorites, since I often use storytelling in my class to teach vocabulary and grammar, is to add lines from songs to our stories.  The more recycling of this compelling input the better.  For example, when Ben saw the girl, she yelled: “dime que no” (tell me it's not true),  “mientes” (you lie)  or  “las olas me hablan de tí”(the waves remind me of you).  It's super fun and we are using the language in context. I either have the music cued up and ready to go, have a student pull it up on her phone quickly or have the entire class sing the line.

Hope this gave you something new to add to your music tool belt.  Please add (via a comment) what you do with songs. I’ve found it easy to find songs but more challenging to create varied activities so that students acquire the language to use for future communication.

Drawings from Latinoamerica by Calle 13

Drawings from Latinoamerica by Calle 13

 

 

Tech Integration: "I know it when I see it."

 
 
cass teaching class.jpg

cass teaching class.jpg

 
 

What does technology integration look like in your classroom?

This is the question posed to us in Course 4. I'm attempting to answer it with an example from my class.

A few years ago I had a 5th grade student, Cass, who wanted to teach others Spanish. Her level of Spanish was amazing and I suggested she teach an online mini course, not having any idea what that could really look like. Cass decided to give it a go and created a Google form seeking potential students and/or classes. I sent out her form via Twitter to spread the word. When someone responded she instantly shared the news with me.

cas email
cas email

A Spanish teacher in Florida wanted her to teach her 6th graders.  Cass composed an email to the teacher in Florida. She cc'd me in on the conversation but the letter came from her. They chose a date. The Florida teacher then sent Cass the material she wanted her to "cover".  Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Cass shared with me the list of 40 plus words present in the traditional end-of-chapter pages.   I was sad, yet not surprised, this teacher was still using such a traditional textbook/approach, but that's another post.  Cass and I decided 40 words weren't practical for one lesson and chose six important verbs from the list.

Cass prepared her lesson. She asked for the names of a few students in the actual class and learned that the class would be visiting the Dali Museum in the near future. She created a lesson that integrated the students in Florida and the new vocabulary with an imaginary story of the theft of an important piece of art at the Dali Museum. She created flashcards with images to use in her lesson. She practiced in front of our class and received valuable feedback from her classmates.

feedback.jpg
feedback.jpg
 

She also came to my 1st grade class and practiced the lesson in front of a bunch of eager 6-year-olds. We then Skyped a friend of mine in Costa Rica who was learning Spanish so she could practice the lesson once more over Skype.

The big day arrived. Cass was ready and excited. I was a little nervous.

cass ready for teaching florida kids.jpg
cass ready for teaching florida kids.jpg

The lesson started fabulously but almost immediately the video feed in Florida went out and Cass couldn't see the class.  She could hear them but she couldn't see them. Fortunately, they could still see and hear her so the lesson continued.  She was slightly rattled but continued like a pro. I would not have remained so poised. Reminds me of last night's episode of The Voice where the contestant continued singing after her mic went out. Cassidy finished her lesson in about 25 minutes and we were both thrilled. The teacher thanked her and then wanted her students to thank her as well. We quickly created an Edmodo group for an easy location to continue the conversation. Each student in Florida wrote a post to Cass thanking her and sharing their new learning.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.36.22 AM
Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.36.22 AM

Although it was time for lunch and recess, Cassidy stayed in and personally answered each reply.

This lesson represents for me true integration of technology (or redefinition) according to the SAMR framework.

The funny thing...

My biggest take-away with her lesson had nothing to do with technology. It was when the Florida teacher commented to me that she thought it was quite interesting (I believe she meant interesting in good way) that Cassidy made the lesson personal and chose to teach the vocabulary in the context of a story.

This brings me to the TPACK model of technology integration which has always been a bit complicated for me in the past.  As transformative as the technology can and should be, pedagogy and often content trump the technology for me every time.  Even moving up the SAMR scale won't be truly transformative if content and pedagogy aren't addressed in the learning.

Hopefully Cassidy's lesson inspired another WL teacher to possibly look differently at her pedagogy and content.  Then again, the inspiration would never have happened without the amazing possibilities that the technology affords us today.

Could effective technology integration be like Justice Potter's definition of pornography, "you just know it when you see it" but cannot define it?

 

Digital Storytelling in the WL Classroom

“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”   ~ Indian Proverb

Storytelling has been a major component of my World Language classroom for many years. New vocabulary and grammatical structures are embedded into stories co-created by myself and the class. Students are the actors: a king, a talking tortilla, an octopus or possibly Shakira.  Stories are an effective vehicle for providing compelling, repetitive and personal comprehensible input.  Because language is acquired through comprehensible input, I have found storytelling effective for both helping students acquire high levels of Spanish as well as creating a close-knit community of risk-taking language learners. 

storyboard 1st.jpg
storyboard 1st.jpg

I have used the traditional paper/pencil/crayon storyboards for years. Quick and easy for assessing Listening Comprehension (Interpretive Mode) and practicing retells (Presentational Mood) but many kids (often the older ones) find drawing difficult.

Digital storytelling is incredibly more powerful in terms of building language proficiency. Digital tools today enable my students to capture our class stories, create their own and easily share them with a wider audience on my website or their blog. The ability to easily work with audio, text, images and now video is amazing!

Here are a few examples of students creating digital stories.

iMovie (above)

Zooburst

Storykit

Go Animate

Voicethread

Course Three inspired me to create a digital story(with iMovie) based on our most current class story. Kim was correct in stating the amount of time required to make an actual video. Embarrassingly, it took me about 10 hours to complete mine and it is no masterpiece. I created it primarily on the plane with no wifi and wanted to experiment with the different features. I'm grateful otherwise I’m sure I would have spent double the time looking for images of Juanes and music from Marc Anthony. I tried, instead, to focus on providing repetitive language and asking a few simple questions to prompt students while viewing.

My only caution, as a language teacher, in using Digital Storytelling is the potential amount of time spent (in class) creating digital stories.  Although most tools are quite easy, there still is a learning curve and I find my students move back to English when learning how to use the tool or program. I'm trying to teach language such as What do I do next? or How did you do that?  to mitigate them moving into English. Also, students and teachers can spend too much time looking for the perfect background, color or image.  I say too much time only because class time is limited and searching for the perfect color of blue will not increase a student's proficiency in the language. That being said, giving time lines to finish stories and encouraging out-of-class creation are two strategies that have worked for me.

Limiting the tools you teach students is alright, too. There are so many options to create digital stories. New tweets everyday, with long lists, appear in my stream.  It is not always about having lots of different tools to tell your story but having a few that work well for you and your class. That way, you are spending more time leveraging the power of the tool, rather than learning a new one. Sometimes I send kids home with a list of choices and they report back as to the best ones.  Ideally, I'd love it if my students came in to my class already having had practice with a fews tools, as they do with a pencil or pen.

Please share examples of digital storytelling in your language classes. I'd love to see them.

Can a digital story land you a job?

teeth pic monkeychicks pick monkey If I walked into your class, what would I see?

Have you ever been asked this during an interview?

When I'm asked, I try and paint a picture in the interviewer's mind so he or she can feel what it would be like to be a student in my classroom.  I've also asked similar type questions when I'm interviewing teachers with the hope of getting an authentic glimpse into their classroom. The last thing I want to see, honestly, is the portfolio sitting on the table.

I may have a better option.  Digital storytelling.

Why not immediately start the cued-up video or quickly send the link if you are on a Skype interview of your class story to answer the above question?

This course again moves my thinking up an iteration.  I thought I had a killer (smaller than most which I know was appreciated)  portfolio 20-years-ago and just three years ago when asked why I thought I was qualified for a certain position, I casually pulled out my iPad showing a quick Keynote (mostly images) as to why. It's almost 2015 and I need the next version to answer to the question.  A digital story is the answer.

"I realized the importance of having a story today is what really separates companies".

— Blake Mycoskie, CEO of Tom's Shoes

I believe this is true for educators as well.  Being able to effectively share your story with a potential employer will set you (and me) apart.

This Animoto video I put together for parents last year during the holidays is a start. Images, short video clips, student work, teacher-student interaction and parent testimonials will be the framework of my class story.

The trick will be keeping it super short. Two minutes is probably the key length. Maybe I'll make two versions: a 3-minute video and a 30-second trailer depending on the purpose and/or stage of the interview process.

I’ll be ready when the next opportunity comes for me to share my story. That is, of course, until the next version is launched.

Infographics: Hitting all modes of communication

Sport habits in Spain

by yolsclemente.

Infographics, like the one above, are a fantastic way to present information in a visually appealing fashion and provide (thanks to the images and organization) authentic material that is more accessible to our second or third language learners. In addition to our students consuming/interpreting meaning from these authentic sources (WL Standard 1.2), they provide us another tool for producing/presenting/creating in the target language (WL Standard 1.3).

Here are a few ideas for teachers and students where the use of an infographic could be of value. 

  • The classic Who am I? Novice Level assignment
  • Music, cultural or historical presentations
  • Syllabus, exam or assignment make-over
  • Why learn another language?--Advocacy campaign
  • Book talks or novel reviews (themes, new vocab, characters, culture, etc.)
  • Passion Project-students pick something of interest
  • DP Themes: Health, Leisure, Technology,  Global Issues, and Cultural Diversity
  • Visual of the class story

My students and I have had the best luck with both

Piktochart Logo.

I've heard great things about Visual.ly but have't been able to figure out (user error, I'm sure) how to personally create my own.

Infographics are not meant to be printed. Maybe that's not accurate but a reality in my school with no color printer and the drive to reduce paper consumption. And, they look just awesome on the screen. My student, Luisa, asked proudly if she could put hers on her blog so others could see it. That's a good sign.

I'm looking forward to experimenting with adding a QR Code that links to questions, audio, video, etc. This will provide the opportunity for interpersonal communication (WL Standard 1.1) with additional authentic listening.

Here is a site with lots of infographics for Spanish. Pinterest has some fabulous examples as well.

Lastly, encourage your students to use infographics and visual data in their other classes. Although it may appear that everyone is doing it (I'm talking to my COETAIL colleagues); they are not. 

Good luck.  I'd love to see some fun examples in your WL classrooms hitting all the modes of communication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colors of Chichicastenango as a writing prompt?

 

I used these ten images to inspire my students during an in-class writing assignment this morning.  Students wrote original stories using new vocabulary and cultural elements from Guatemala.

We have been reading the novel Esperanza and just finished viewing the classic El Norte movie. The novel is fantastic but has limited images and the Oscar-winning film, produced in 1985, certainly did not do justice in showing the amazing color, fabric and scenery of Guatemala.

Although we have interacted with images of Guatemala like the famous Chichicastenango market during this unit, I thought a visual writing prompt might inspire students to be more creative in writing their stories.

Most students found the images helpful in some way.

Here is their feedback (translated back to English).

The images on the screen...

Helped me think.

Helped me add details to my story.

Gave me inspiration.

Gave me a specific setting for my story.

Gave me some ideas as to  where to begin.

Reminded me of specific events in Guatemala.

Helped create an image in my head.

Maybe not at the Modification or Redefinition stage of the SAMR Model of technology integration but  the feedback above is compelling enough for me to keep adding  images in new and unique ways to help my student acquire Spanish,  feel more successful, stay engaged with content and become more passionate about different cultures.

 

 

 

How do you say UPGRADE in Spanish?

These were Ben's exact words when I had the class shift their eyes toward the screen as we began class yesterday. Embarrassingly  I had been using an old mini white board to write my class agenda/objective for the day.  My pens are half dried-up, the board is stained with permanent scratches and my handwriting is atrocious. As much as I try to pump my students up with awesome content (like a Pirate), I was killing them with my lame text-based introduction of the material.

No more.

This is the UPGRADE.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Course 3 has motivated me to look for new and intriguing uses of images and design in my lessons. Ben's reaction to a simple upgrade* in how I shared the agenda inspired me to have the next three days of lesson plans ready to go.  That's a miracle in itself.  I'm usually looking for a marker just before kids are coming into class to write-out the agenda. Besides a more effective design, the addition of culture (Guatemala in this case) and the personalization with actual pictures of my students, I'll have a digital record of each day to review at any point. I'm using Keynote (it's faster/easier for me) to create and share with my students but I can easily move these agendas to SlideShare or Haikudeck (like I did for this post) for online storage, sharing or viewing. What super simple ways are you adding the power of images to your classes?

*mejor versión, nivel superior o actualización 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness with Images

 
 

Inspired by the The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and the 100 Happy Days challenge I just saw posted on Facebook, my students and I are going to use the power of images to document what makes us happy over the month of April. In Spanish, claro.

This assignment should be personal, relevant and fabulous practice for communicating about self while hitting WL Standard 1.3 in the process. We'll also learn about the importance of using creative commons images and giving attribution.

Design is tough for me but I have no doubt my students will create some amazing projects with a little guidance and a few Zen design principles. I'm looking forward to sharing their creations with their parents, their pen pals and you all.