Friday, 17 February 2012

Week 6 : Big steps back to school

"  Essentially, learning  means  a  
                                                   change in your thinking, a change in your    
                                                  feeling, a change in your behavior. Learning      
                                                    means that change takes place in the mind,
                                                              in the emotions, and in the will "
                                                                               -  Howard G. Hendrick

Another  summer is ending and a new school year full of expectations, hopes and challenges is soon to begin. Once more, we are about to see those little faces in need of heart and mind growing ready to go on. I cannot share with you what I have done with children at school this week, but I can share what I plan to do and how I think children may react in front of that.

Children learn the language as EFL students. They are exposed to it four times a week at school and a little bit more with all the internet games they play at home. My biggest challenge is to help them realize how much learning they can get out of those games and implement a technological change that keep them engaged with the language in and  outside the classroom setting. They get motivated easily in class, but get bored easily too, if the activities are not meaningful for them. So, keeping on with authentic and motivational tasks in class,  that provoke a real interest is, with no doubt, essential. I will begin with small changes that will end up with the final project I want to try .Through listening to stories, children hear the sounds of the language, start understanding about prosody and acquire new vocabulary words. This is an activity they have always enjoyed. Then,providing online tales told  by people whose native language is English, will be a greater motivational factor.
Through many  PBL activities, they can  apply  that knowledge better. Besides the listening skill, they will be applying speaking, reading and writing. Our " four great friends " will lead them to our ultimate goal as educators . " to communicate in the language "


My students conform a group of about twenty first graders. I believe a similar amount of students willl be in second grade this year. They do not have computers in the classroom, but they do have an Audio Room, where we go for power point presentations or alike. Therefore, my main goal in the course is to include a technological tool  in a non-tech classroom. The blog idea, called my attention from  the very beginning and that is what I am planning to do.
I will involve parents too,  so that they help with home tasks.  Parents' involvement in the learning process is crucial, especially  with reference to little kids. I will  start by introducing a pronunciation resource " vocaroo", to make children feel confident with new technology and I will show examples of blogs written by other children  to refine my expectations. We will use the blog  as a helpful resource, as a reminder of activities and as a fun-educational tool.  I will use emails to communicate with parents and children, when needed, and I will use rubrics to assess  students' progress in the language.

I perceive children will adapt to those changes and will react positively to them. Time will define how much of these changes will  remain and will be motivational factors for further use in their on-going learning process. 


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