Ancient civilizations coming to life

Have I mentioned that I one of my biggest passions is connecting classrooms around the world? Hopefully that’s old news because I’ve let it ooze into most of the posts I write. The grade 2 blog about Sharing the Planet w/ a focus on water is up and running – and they’re eager to read posts & comments from classrooms & experts around the world.

Next up – grade 3! Andria and Anna have been going through the COETAIL journey together and are gearing up to start their course 5 final project. They have chosen the IB PYP unit of Where We Are in Place and Time in which the students will be learning about ancient civilizations. Read more specifics here and here.

via Stux on Pixabay

Andria and Anna are hoping to connect their students to other classrooms that live in the ancient civilizations they will be studying – China, Egypt, Rome/Italy, Greece, Maya (southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador) and Mesopotamia (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria). Although Mesopotamia is the closest to Kuwait, it might also be the most difficult to connect to.

Their unit starts at the beginning of March. If you or anyone you know is interested in connecting to a grade 3 class in Kuwait, please let one of us know! They are open to Mystery Skypes, video chats, asynchronous communication and any other ideas you have 🙂


Second Semester!

Whew! Second semester is in full swing! It’s been a bit crazy here but things are starting to settle down nicely. Last semester I taught French 1, French 2 and French 3. This semester I’m only teaching French 2 (block & year long classes)! I have high hopes for a much less stressful couple of months. Some things to stay tuned for…

*My class will be getting a class set of ChromeBooks soon as part of our district’s 1TWO1 initiative.

*My French 3 class finished up their final projects, so I’ll be sharing more on that soon.

*I also found out that my proposal for the 2012 SCFLTA conference was accepted. In February I’ll be presenting on using mobile devices (phones, ipods, etc) in the classroom.

*My semester French 2 classes are just finishing up their review projects. I’ll have more to share about how it went this time around.

*On a whim (and since my desks were in groups) I experimented with a speaking activity with my year-long French 2 classes today. I think it went decently well but I want to get it down on “paper” for the future.

à bientôt!

F3 Project Proposals

Yesterday my French 3’s final project proposals were due…

After they submitted their proposal, I had individual meetings to discuss their project. Together, we tweeked their ideas so that they didn’t require too  much new vocabulary (I don’t want them to be reliant on a dictionary). We also made sure that they would be able to talk about the past and future. As we met, I edited the spreadsheet to reflect what we discussed. After class, I took screen shots of their final proposals and emailed them to each student.

They have the rest of this week, plus the week that we come back from break, to work on the projects. It is completely up to them if they work on the projects during break…but if they use class time wisely, they shouldn’t have to do too much at home. We shall see what happens!

French 3 Final Project

A couple weeks ago I wrote about getting input from my French 3 class for their final assessment. On Friday, I used their input to design a project for them. We will be started the project on Friday and will be working on it until the end of the semester (January 9). They will also have to interpret two different articles after winter break – we will discuss one and they will write about the other. Here is the presentation I gave them (and had them help me perfect). Most of them seemed pretty excited and even thanked me. We’ll see how it all goes!

Getting Student Input for Final Assessment

My block classes have finals in less than two weeks! Where has the semester gone?! Although we will still have one week of class after Christmas break, we are giving finals before break (I, personally, think this is amazing!).

This year I have really tried to go away from the paper/pencil assessments with my French 2 and 3 classes. Although it has been extremely hard for me not to be guided by a textbook, I think (HOPE!) my students understand better that communication and comprehension is key in learning a language.  I have LOTS of things that I need to change for next semester (like be way more organized) but it has been a good learning experience for all.

Today I gave my French 3 students a survey to get their input on the final “exam.” Thanks to my awesome husband for the idea! We talked about how they hadn’t taken many traditional tests/quizzes this year so I didn’t think it would be fair to give them one for the final exam. I asked them to be specific about how they wanted to show me what they’d learned. I wanted details and how they thought they should be graded.

I got a lot of really great feedback (loved the idea from one student about a multi-genre project). Now just taking/finding the time to make an amazing final project…