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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Voki :)


Let's discuss Voki!!!


I think that this application is awesome. A great tool for teaching second language.
There are so many ideas and so many things to do using Voki – It is unbelievable.
One of the ideas I had is using Voki to teach body-parts or at least review the new vocabulary.
Another idea I had is using Voki for oral practice. Recording yourself and listening to it makes it a good practice.
You can see the exercise by clicking on the Voki icon. 
I also use Voki in my assignment for students who are facing difficulties in reading. That way they can listen to me instead of struggling with the reading. See an example in my DrawSomething activity.

I haven't started mentioning the students' enthusiasm when it comes to Voki.
They just LOVE it! They love creating all the different characters, making some imaginary UFOs, animals and more…
I believe that by recording your voice the students can improve many things. For example:
They listen to what they say and can easily correct a pronunciation mistake.
They can also practice a dialogue for class or practice telling a story.
Of course there are many other ways for recording, such as the Sound Recorder on your PC (start menu – all programs – accessories – sound recorder) but what can I say… I love Voki. I think it is more enjoyable and interesting to watch and listen. Moreover, the Voki character can be embedded to any forum, blog, site etc… which makes it easy to use and easy to watch.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't Panic Mom!! I have got LICE!!



Yesterday when I went to pick up my daughter from day-care, I was told my beautiful, most amazing child has lice!!! OH MY GOD!!!
I was shocked at first, only wanted to scream H-E-L-P!!! 
The worst has happened!
We got home; I grabbed my purse, put He-Lee in her bike and ran to the nearest drug-store… I asked the pharmacist for the strongest stuff he has. We got home 5 minutes later (God Bless! I live right in the shopping center!!) and He-Lee along with myself were drowning with Hedrin Once (on the package it says the lice are gone in 15 minutes)….
It took a long time to use the Nit Free terminator comb (HARD WORK) and I only saw one big black louse, but many small ones or maybe there were nits … I have no clue.
Now, combing my own hair was a tragedy! Lucky He-Lee she has thin hair not like her mom, who deals with a thick, black, curly hair!!! That really was a mess!
I have no idea if I got them all out! This morning I saw He-Lee itching, but only once – so I am not sure. When she comes home later on I will comb her hair once more to be sure we got rid of the infestation!

Cartoon Clipart    Cartoon Clipart    Cartoon Clipart


Monday, July 23, 2012

Technology in the ESL classroom

Well, during the last year I've been giving a course on "Technology in the English Classroom" for esl teachers and I must say I enjoyed it so very much, that I've decided it's time to get my M.A degree in technology in Education. I've enrolled and been accepted already and it will start after the holidays sometime in October, 2012

I really think that it is necessary for today's students to have the opportunity to use computers, tablets, smartphones, smartboards, magiClass (www.magiclass.com) etc as it is part of their daily lives. They are using these devices every single hour and it is our job as teachers to cope and go ahead and learn, make new lesson plans and implement them in our classes.

True! It's a hard work but it is rewarding seeing the kids enjoy a lesson, it's rewarding seeing the kids enthusiasm about the English lesson and it is rewarding seeing the kids' progress. But most of all it's rewarding looking at the progress we, as teacher have done up to now.
This is a very nice video I've found in YouTube that show the changes in education during centuries.
So, what kind of teachers do we want to be?  What do we want to teach our kids? What do we prepare them for?
Once you have an overhead projector and a computer in the classroom  you are ready to go!! 
The sky is the limit!!!
As I see it there are many levels for the implementation of techonolgy in the classroom.
The first and most basic is using Word/PowerPoint.
You can make a nice explanation sheet, game, activity and show it on the overhead projector. You can make it fun for kids to learn.
when the kids are activated - they find it more interesting. For example, they can go to the board and circle/match/color (using a marker - no need to use the computer)
See example here:  (you can click on the image to go to file)

The kids just love it! They really love coming to the board, using the teacher's marker and everyone waits nicely for their turn. (I usually begin with a boy coming to the board and then a girl, a boy and a girl... so they don't aruge as for who goes first).

PowerPoint games are wonderful and the kids enjoy learning by playing. (sometimes they don't even think they learn)... There are many ways to prepare a PowerPoint game and you can learn how to make a basic game using the tutorial I've made.

These kinds of games can be played with the entire class, where each student has a chance to come to the board  (computer) and play once, it can be played in a small group or individually.

It will be delightful if every English teacher had an English room with computers, but unfortunately this is not the case in Israel. But looking at the bright side of things I think every school has a computer lab where an English lesson can be done once in a while.
The computer can be used to help the students explore. One activity I like to do is to give some information about a specific topic and ask the students to explore.
They like it as they write on colored cardboards, add images, paintings, drawings and then they present it to the class.
So that kind of activity where the students use the computer, but only for exploring, finding data, translation and reading is also a great way of using the computer in the classroom, which is one of the curriculum domain (access  to information). Our goal is for students to objain and use information from all kind of sources by applying their knowledge of vocabulary, syntax, morphology  etc. 
Here is an example for such an activity:





Sunday, July 22, 2012

Projects



I would like to share some of the projects we had during the years.I collected some pictures and made a short clip :)






Click on 'watch flash in full screen'





He-Lee

I have just found a video we  took 2 years ago, while visitng family in the US...
It made me happy... how much she has changed....
video


English Room

The summer vacation is here, but I don't seem to enjoy it too much so far. I was busy remodeling the English room at school and then on July 14, when the school's stuff went on their summer vacation and school was closed, I found myself sitting at home thinking about the next school year and I started adding, writing, deleting, designing things to my English site (www.englishatbarlev.com) and so I made this nice presentation about the remodeling so far... Let me first tell you the objectives behind the design :) First, I wanted the kids to have a welcoming place where they feel they want to come and learn. Another thing I noticed during the years I've been teaching is that a lot of kids are afraid of English... They believe it is a hard subject, so I wanted them to love the subject with the help of an attractive English room. Each class (beginning 3rd - 6th grade) has one English Room Lesson per week. During the other times we meet we learn at the regular class ("mother class") I made 6 "corners": Writing Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Computers Grammar Teacher's Corner and a Library. There are 8 seats in each 'corner', so that the kids work in small groups. There are also 'activity pockets' in every 'corner' and so the kids can work on a different assignment every lesson. The activities are based on what we learn in class and they are numbered. At the end of every lesson the kids have to fill a chart saying what they did during the lesson (name of "corner", name of book read, name/number of activity, where did they stop etc) I will continue telling you about the English Room and how it goes... I can't wait! For the meantime - here are some pictures I took during the remodeling.... Please take a look.. What do you think?