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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.