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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week 6: A short review

The end of the 6th week is very close. I am so used to this course, that I don't consider the tasks I have to do tasks, but pleasure.  I have become more courageous, I have learned to read and to explore new things.  And thank you all for the great words you wrote in your comments.

I have started this week by reading about the multiple intellingences. It was nothing new for me, as in 2002, I attended my first course provided by the American Embassy, and it dealt with this topic. Then, while doing the CELTA course, we had a special section dedicated to the multiple intelligences. But, I read once again about this. I consider this idea extremely interesting, as in general my students (and not only) aren't aware of it, and sometimes they simply label people (if somebody is not good at math, then, it is labeled: stupid). All the time I try to make students get rid of labels: see what people do, not what they imagine. For this, I have a questionnaire regarding the multiple intelligences, and at at least once a  year, I do it with my students. Then, I explain to them what their main intelligence is and how they can exploit it at the maximum. I think this is great help for their future career. My students are very excited about the multiple intelligences, as they have no idea they exist. By giving them examples, they become aware of them.

Then,  I read an interesting article about the learning styles. Once again, it was not new for me, as every year, at the beginning of the school year, I give students a questionnaire in order to find their learning style. I posted a comment on Nicenet, and Joanna wanted to know how I do this. Now, I can answer: I distribute printed papers to all the students, and they have to answer the questions (about 10). I found this questionaire on the internet years ago (4 or 5 years) and I adapted it to my students. I have the same questions, I don;t change them from one year to the other. But now, I found something else: I can use the internet: my students can find out their learning style in just two minutes, here - I think it's great I found this site, as I save paper and time, and printing problems, etc.

Then, I read the article "Enhance Learning by Enganging Students" about  alternative tools to assess our students. In a post on Nicenet, I wrote about some things I can use in class. Technology is priceless in this regard, and one helpful thing is Hot Potatoes, which you can download for free here: Simply download, install, create and let your students solve their tasks. It offers a large number of things: matching, re-ordering, etc. (you'd better find all by yourselves).

The most important things for me this week consist in the rubric I created and the Wiki I designed for my students. I found out about, a great site where I created my own rubric for one of the projects I created the previous week - Traditional books vs. e-books. I liked very much the idea of creating a rubric: it was not at all difficult and when creating it I was in my students' shoes, to make everything as clear as possible. All the time I imagined myself as a student, reading the rubric for the first time. I created it, and it can be found here:

Then, the big challenge came: to integrate all I know / learned  in my classes, otherwise I consider everything is nothing but a waste of time. If my students are not involved in my work, I can stay at home and create everything just for myself. But, that's nothing. I loved working on the Wiki: I had to imagine things, to find out things, etc. Just have a look here: It is based on my 9th grade textbook, simply because the book is interesting and I felt my students want to know something more. Just a short example: one lesson deals with Anne Frank, and her diary. They fell in love with her story and they wanted to know more. I am not sure when they go home they start searching the internet for this, and I am not sure they find what they should see and read. This Wiki gives them all they need. I use the Wiki just for resources and extra-materials. One section of it, named "Essential documents" contains everything I considered to be important for them, and I uploaded there links to the sites I found out about during this course.

Then, I created the class' blog. Not very difficult (as level of language), not too overloaded. You can see it here: It contains their first task and a link to the Wiki. I hope my students will like it.

I am lucky as in our school there are 3 computer labs, and only 2 of them are used by the IT teachers. I talked to them and every time I want to have my class in a computer lab, I am free to do it. I will start this next Monday (I am so excited). On Monday morning, my students will see their blog. And, those of them who haven't accessed the Wiki already, will do it on Monday too. I am eager to see their reaction on Monday.

Later edit: 

The link I provided for finding out everybody's learning stlye is not the best option, as you are asked money at the end of the survey. It can be used only for a general idea of the questions. If you are used to the different learning styles, you don't need their answers, you can give the answers yourselves.


  1. Dear Nadinne,

    I'm really impressed with your hard work in this course. You are very active - Keep it up!

    I agree with you that creating a rubric was very useful. I think it's important for us as teachers to use this technique to assess students' work, such as writing.

    This course is so wonderful - we're learning a lot!



  2. Hello, Nadina!

    Wow, you've done a lot of work this week!!!
    You have such amazing experience and know so much!

    Well, as for me, topic about multiple intellingences was quite new, and about different learning styles I've known only a few months ago, at my course about primary students.

    I also think, that creating rubric was very useful this week.
    AS for your wiki-page- its great! We don't study at English about Anne Frank, but we had a good project about Holocoust with my European Club and spoke about Frank a lot. And the story about elephants and mice we were watching with my husband together - he is also an English teacher.
    But, you know, I couldn't check my learning style at the site, which was recommended by you - they asked me to pay for results. Here is another free test to know the learning style - It is a little bit long - 70 questions, but they provide the answer with graph and write the explanation.

    Ok, I hope your students will love to use blog and wiki and you will write about your work!

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Nadina

    Thanks for guiding me on changing my blog' appearance.
    I must admit like Joanna, I too wanted to know how you went about finding your learner’s learning style. I agree with Ruslana that
    is long but it works. I look forward to next semester to test my students' learning styles.
    Congratulations on your grid-persuasive essay-its very detailed, yet very easy to follow.
    I concur with you, HOTPOT, is very useful. Now you can imagine my disappointment when I could not use it with our current in-house platform; KEWL.
    Your wiki is very impressive. Was it difficult to create? How much time did you spend? What are some of the pitfalls to consider when developing a wiki? I felt so part of your class. I might even consider The diary of Anne Frank for my students.
    Thanks for the great example you set on how to make rock English teaching. I’m considering some of your ideas for my classes.
    Kind regards

  4. Hello Jules,

    first of all, thank you for the nice words.

    The Wiki took me about 4 hours to create. It means first of all imagination and then, to be used to different platforms and websites where to upload your materials. It's a very meticulous work. All the materials must be very carefully chosen, taking into account the students' level and what could interest them. That's why I decided to upload not only text, but also videos.

    It was not easy to make, as I didn't know where to upload the power-point presentation, for instance, or the texts, to be seen on the spot. But I read carefully the tips Wiki provides, I tried many things and I chose the best one.

    I liked working on it and as some of my students have already used it, the reactions are positive. I will expand it and when I have time I will do one for every textbook I have, so that from September I may have some auxiliary materials online.

    If you need help with the Wiki, please let me know and I will help you as much as I can. And feel free to use anything you want from it.

    All the best,

  5. Dear Nadina,

    First of all, thank you so much for continual exchange of views and experiences. It seems to me that you always respond to our queries. It helps a lot when learning / exploring new ideas through distance learning. In class, you can always turn to someone ‘physically’ and they will not avoid the answer. However here, we all depend on other people's willingness to respond and interact. Thank you once again!

    As far as your ideas about identifying students’ learning styles are concerned, I need to try it still this semester. Although it is about to finish in three weeks time, I believe it will help me reflect on the quality of my teaching and also to plan the next semester. You have been very supportive.

    All the best,

  6. Hello Nadine,
    I agree with my partners you always give us more than we expect. I appreciate the way you encourage us to continue working in this course. I agree when you say that "I don't consider the tasks I have to do tasks, but pleasure". I would like to add solidarity with each one of us. You detailed quite well our experience during this week and it has helped a lot since I was a little stressed based on my job responsibilities.



  7. Dear all,

    thank you very much for the nice and encouraging words. I consider that the best way we can learn is together, by sharing experience. If I know plenty of things and I keep them just for myself, what's the point? I learn from you and I am delighted I can help you. I will continue sharing everything I know,learn and experience, even after this course ends. I promise I will not let this blog die.

    Thank you,