Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grammar review through podcasting

While searching through the mountain of podcasts that itunes has to offer I stumbled across a Spanish Grammar Review podcast. It includes review for major grammar topics for the intermediate to advanced learner. Examples of topics that were discussed are: Subjunctive review, Using the subjunctive modd with adverbial phrases, ser vs. estar, por vs. para, expressions with time and dar, etc. This podcast would prove very useful for my Spanish IV and V students as a reinforcement for grammar. The one specific podcast episode I listened to was When to use Ser or Estar. It was very informational and the best part was that the speaker spoke almost entirely in Spanish! I could see myself using these podcasts (especially ser vs. estar) in the near future as a grammar reinforcement tool before the students started their midterm project. As I am trying to prepare the students for college through Spanish IV and  V, I feel that it is important for them to experience as much Spanish in the classroom as possible. However, when I teach grammar I do speak in English. But, I feel that if the students are reviewing a topic it would be useful for them to hear the presentation in Spanish. I could provide them with a note sheet that doubles as a test of comprehension as well! This activity would provide great review with a little insight as to how a college level Spanish classroom is (for those of my students that want to continue with Spanish)!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Señorita, we want to write to kids in Spain!"

Recently I asked my Spanish IV students what their goals are for the rest of the year. One of my most motivated students spoke up and said that she desires to speak/write with kids her age from Spain! I always thought that it would be fun to do so, but until now I was stumped as to how to do so. Now, as I sit perusing the Epals website, I find that this could be the answer! There are projects already set up and aligned with standards and objectives, there are groups/families awaiting other classrooms with which to interact, and this website seems easily accessible. Through viewing this website I can see myself using this website to create a connection among cultures and classrooms around the world! Projects could be assigned where Spanish is strictly spoken and the students are communicating about issues that are affecting lives around the world or could use the opportunity to learn more about a significant traditional aspect of Spanish culture. My Spanish students have been eagerly awaiting an opportunity such as this. I cannot wait to start pitching this idea with my LOTE colleagues and to the principal of our school!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Amazing Animoto!!!

I began this project thinking what could I do with this resource to enhance the Spanish experience in the classroom. After creating a video about the Importance of Studying Abroad, I created a wonderful idea! I am in the process of creating a trip to Spain next year with my upper-level Spanish students. I want our Spanish Club officers to present a short presentation to the Board of Education on why the believe having the opportunity to travel to Spain would be beneficial for them and I am going to have them use Animoto. I used Animoto for my video and it was so easy to upload pictures, combine music and video styles to create a video in about 15 minutes (+/-). I cannot wait to get my students started on a project and present to the Board next month! I hope to blow them out of the water so it will be hard to say NO to traveling to Spain. :)
Make your own slideshow at Animoto.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Teaching and Learning made fun through

The book I published is entitled What Spanish means to me by Amy Seweryniak. I created this book as an example for my Spanish IV students as they are going to publish a book/video in Spanish about why Spanish is important to them. I am going to use their projects to show younger students why it is beneficial to continue learning a second language. However, their project (and perhaps I will re-create this book) is going to be all in Spanish!

I have placed an example of the project below. Enjoy!!

The Story of Me!

Cadiz Cathedral
(Cádiz Cathedral by Andy Cardiff)
This Mod is going to be most influential for my new Spanish IV curriculum. I spent last summer creating a new curriculum for my Spanish IV students that is meaningful, upbeat, and motivational. I tried to make the course as fun as possible with new units on cooking, history, art, and literature while still incorporating the grammar lessons (not as much fun)! One project I had in mind was for students to express how Spanish has influenced their life. One option I thought about was video, but I wanted an easier way for students to use the same skills without the use of tape recorders/video cameras. Digital storytelling seems like a magnificent alternative. Digital storytelling is a more technological way for students to express themselves. Through digital storytelling LOTE students are able to incorporate language, technology, and self-expression in one project. In the article 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Storytelling the following quote really stuck with me: "Digital stories let students express themselves not only with their own words but also in their own voices, fostering a sense of individuality and of owning their creations." After reading this article I now feel like I have a sense of direction in which to help the students create a meaningful story on how Spanish is affecting their life!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tweeting in the LOTE classroom

I haven't ever given much thought as to how useful twitter could be in the classroom. However, after reading Twitter - Expanding Our Classroom - Shrinking Our World and 28 Creative Ways Teachers Are Using Twitter I am convinced that this could expand the horizens for my students. Twitter will allow my students to make connections with other Spanish speakers and, ideally, other students from Spanish speaking countries. Not only that, but it could extend lessons to the home and make Spanish class that much more meaningful for my students. I cannot wait to experiment even more with twitter! Even as an educator of Spanish, I can always afford to continuously practice my Spanish skills. Twitter could be a great way to continue my learning in the language and culture.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Keeping up with Technology

While I was working my way through the tremendous list of social networking sites, I came across one site that was not on our list in the syllabus. Aula 2.0 is similar to Classroom 2.0; in fact it is the direct translation from English to Spanish. Obviously this is a great resource for Spanish teachers everywhere! I was even captivated by the fact that there is an on-line World Conference taking place November 14 -18. I will have to write that down on the calendar!!