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La continuidad de los parques (Julio Cortázar)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tool Eleven

 Tool Eleven...thank goodness I made it! I think that one of my favorite tools is the Voxopop app, simply because my students can get some good and needed speaking practice in Spanish. In a language class, speaking is one of the things that is easily not practiced, simply because of the amount of students in the classes make it hard to manipulate and set up lessons. With the Voxopop app, I plan to have students get their voice recorded and have them listened to and responded to by other classes, and further on by other classes around the world. They will be given a topic to talk about and then they will have to respond. I'm not so sure I have transformed my thinking but rather expanded my knowledge about what is out there. I am not against technology, just wasn't very versed on all the apps that are out there and available for my use. I do know that these things require lots of time in some instances so they need to be planned accordingly. For someone like me who has been a teacher for 24 years we can tend to get into a routine, but I'm glad to see that we are being nudged out of it. It takes baby steps to make these changes but they are totally possible. Truly I was mostly surprised by all the different apps out there and by how some people have gotten so adept at using them. I think I will start with just a few and get good at those and then move on to others that I feel will help my teaching.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

El valor de la palabra...

Aristóteles dijo una vez..."El sabio nunca dice todo lo que piensa, pero siempre piensa todo lo que dice." Creo que esta lección yo la aprendí cuando tenía 16 años y tuve que decir algo después de haber recibido un premio por haber sido la "mejor atleta" de mi clase del último año de High School. No me había llevado bien con mi entrenadora ese año. No había preparado nada para decir y dije cosas un poco negativas de mi entrenadora que hasta este día me siguen como huellas que no se pueden borrar.  ¿Te ha pasado algo igual? Usando al menos 75 palabras, cuéntame de alguna vez donde debías haber pensado en lo que ibas a decir antes de decirlo y explica las repercuciones de haberlo dicho  ...por no haberlo pensado mejor.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tool Ten

The things I would discuss so that my students understand good digital citizenship are basically the same things I discuss with them about just being good citizens in general. Bullying is never an option and I would discuss what that is and how they can recognize it and that it should be brought up to someone if it were ever happening to them or someone they know. Good manners are also something that I try to discuss with my students and proper etiquette for the digital world is no exception. Just as they need to respect my classroom and the things in it they will learn how to respect the technology that they are going to encounter in school. I can teach these things by being a model for them and by openly discussing these things. I think the iSafe site is interesting. It basically breaks down all the ways to stay safe on the internet and it does it for all audiences. This can be something that can be done at the very beginning of the year so that students/parents/teachers can stay vigilant and be safe. I believe that parents sign a page in the Student/Parent Handbook that tells them of these digital dealings. Maybe the students need to have an assignment where they go home at the end of the day and involve their parents in an online survey /question and answer session so that the parent is truly aware of what they signed on that form in the Handbook...make the student responsible for his parent knowing the procedures.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tool Nine

I think it is important to tie technology to the objective of my classroom lesson because students are already submerged in technology, why not in their school education? Many times they look at the teaching in the standard classroom as out-dated and don't find the importance or usefulness in the lesson. By using some form of technology they feel as though the lesson is more geared towards their "new" style of learning and hopefully it will capture and hold their attention. We should hold our students accountable for the stations/centers because ultimately it is for their use and their learning and improvement, and just as we held/hold them accountable for keeping their textbooks covered as to not cause damage and incur a fine, or if they don't turn in a homework or a paper they don't get a good grade, same thing, they need to be held accountable for the technology that is being provided for them. One of the links I visited was the Thinkfinity site where I looked at Creating Cartoons. Since I teach Spanish, it seemed like a good and fun way to create a story and any sort of grammar topic could be used to reinforce learning. Once they finish the cartoon they can print it out or share it digitally to offer proof of their having completed the assignment. I also visited the "Cover it live" site on the SBISD database. It is a site that allows instant coverage of news, which ties in to language use in my class. It could be a fun project to cover live news around the campus or just live news in general around the world. There weren't many other websites on this list that were applicable to me, in fact SBISD doesn't have Foreign Language even listed as a discipline...shame,shame,also I found many of them a little juvenile for my target audience. As far as apps for the iPod Touch/iPad that I can use in my classroom, I really can't say yet nor can I envision how my students are going to form stations or pods. With a traditional classroom with 34 desks, I can imagine we will be doing a lot of floor scraping to move desks into place. It is sort of like asking me which recipe I'm going to cook out of Julia Child's French Cookbook but I haven't even picked up a copy of it yet. I can only guess. I don't own either of those items though I am anticipating receiving either one or both of them for my use here at MHS. Once I receive my device I know that the fan will unfold for me and I will be eager to learn all the apps and their uses. But, for now I'll just have to do a bit of searching around and see what is available.

Member of my own blog

So, in trying to become a member/follower of other people's blogs, I became my own follower by mistake. Now I don't know how to un-follow myself so I will just have to look at my face in the hall of fame row of members. This might be interesting though, following and commenting on my own thoughts....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tool Eight

After watching the videos/tutorials, the two or three things I learned about the device(s) that will be in my classroom this spring was how to use an Ipod touch and the Ipad2. I learned that they are basically the same though the Ipad2 can handle more apps and obviously its size is larger. I also learned how to get an Itunes account on my computer. As far as managing the device(s) in my classroom I believe that will be a hands-on experience for me. I can only imagine at this moment how this is all going to work since I have never even had more than one computer in my room at the same time. I did like one of the postings that talked about having certain students in charge of managing the devices, though all students need to participate in the care and proper use of them.

Tool Seven

So, after visiting the resources in this tool, I designed a collaborative project with another classroom. The objective is for students to practice their conversational skills in Spanish with students from another classroom, whether it is one that I teach or somewhere else in the Spanish speaking world, using the Voxopop application which I have posted on my blog with the title "Los exploradores", "The explorers"...since that is basically what we will be doing. I would like to be able to begin this lesson in February in order to begin preparing for the AP Spanish Language exam. Briefly stated, the project would be for students in one class to record a beginning conversation and then for the other class to listen to that recording and answer or continue the conversation. I am interested in collaborating with a school in Mexico, I need to firm up plans with classrooms down there first. Probably will begin right here at home with my own classes to work out the kinks. I will keep you guys posted on how this works out.

Tool Six

Tool Six wasn't so bad. Actually I found something that was pretty cool. It is an app called Voxopop that is pretty useful for the foreign languages since you can create a group and communicate with anyone else or any other group that belongs to the Voxopop community, which can be anywhere around the world. There is the option to communicate in real time or to record your message and wait for a recorded audio reply. This is great for practicing oral communication skills without the anxiety of saying the wrong thing face-to-face. I also set up an account with Skype since that seemed like another logical choice for foreign language communication. I did not have any real problems with setting up an account since there is a Free Account choice that I chose. I liked tool six, and I think that I will explore some of the other apps that were on the options to look at since this is probably the place I will use most with my classes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tool Five

In Tool Five I used two tools to create "products". I used Animoto, which was pretty easy to work with. It was a relatively quick up-load and I was able to choose music provided or from my own music. The other "video" I created, was with Stupeflix, which was just as easy but it was more like a Digital Story, something that I worked with this summer. These programs, though fun, can be time consuming, though I'm sure the students would be faster and much more creative than I was with mine. It is a good tool for presentations since I believe they can add voice recordings and so on in the target language. I also made a "book" which I was not able to embed since they wanted my hard earned $$$ which I was not willing to give up. Too bad, because it was a cute book and was eager to actually purchase it, but the district does not have "Google Wallet" to allow us to purchase things through that app. So, it is on to the next tool!

Tool Four

Tool Four proved to be not as overwhelming as I had thought it would be. I created a document in Google Docs that I shared with two colleagues, a Story Map that students can use to help track sequence in a story. I then created a form in Google Docs that was a questionaire for the Zumba Fitness class that I teach here at MHS after school. I emailed it to 6 of my participants and have received a response from one of my students.
I like the Google Apps and Google Docs Tools because it makes it easy to share just one document with so many people. It cuts down on paper use which can be very helpful with students for homework assignments, etc. They can just send in their responses and be done with it. Of course these forms can be used for quizzing and testing if they are projected onto the Active board and students can answer in various ways. So. I would probably have to say that I am most excited to use the Google Docs Forms with my students because it can serve many purposes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tool Three

If I thought Tool Two took time, Tool Three made me reach for the Ms. Clairol bottle sooner than I needed to! It took a long time to get this video sharing done. I have frequently used different video sites/hosts/streaming in the past, especially if I wanted to share a song or a video with my classes. I have also found these type of sites useful to look up videos that provide information on authors, some of them who are already deseased, so it is a way of bringing an author to life for my students. What I learned about copyright use that was new to me was that a large majority of material out there is free game for teachers and students if it is being published to a secure location that requires passwords and firewalls, as long as it is for instructional and sharing purposes.
My Dropbox has been created and I have added a written file to it which is a lesson plan that has my students using this very Blog, Hot Tamales.


Otra vista del Pueblo Mágico de Taxco. Aquí se aprecian los cambios que han producido los años.



Una serie de imágenes de Taxco de Alarcón hace muchos años, antes de ser invadido por automóviles.

Tool Two

Tool Two


I have to say that Tool 2 took me a bit longer than the actual creation of the blog and voki, etc. I looked over all of the Blogs that have been created at MHS thus far and actually feel better now since I found out that I wasn't as far behind as I thought I was. It is still an akward search and destroy process, mostly destroy as I lose my way in blogland. I'm still wondering if this blog is going to benefit me or if it is actually going to take more of my time than I'm willing to give. I have no problem sharing with an online community, actually it seems to be the first time that many teachers are able to share their expertise with other teachers. I'm pretty open face to face as it is and speak my mind easily, so doing the same on a community network doesn't make me shy. Maybe one good outcome of this sharing will be that some of the boring in-services can be done away with??? This is much more fun, hands on, and intellectually stimulating. 


There is a website that I have started using with my students; http://www.colby.edu/~bknelson/SLC/  It is a Spanish website that has a ton of grammar practice, music, poetry, and more. For any Spanish teacher looking  to bring some extra practice into the classroom in a fun and interactive way, this is a good site.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tool One

In this first of 11 Tools, I have created a Blog, a Voki, and have posted my first blog post. I really didn't have too many glitches while trying to create this blog. I would have to say that the most challenging part was just trying to figure out where to navigate to begin the whole process, handing over my phone # in order to receive a number to activate my account. The Voki, or Avatar, was a fun process which reminded me of when I used to play with paper dolls when I was younger. Lots of fun. I'm looking forward to all of the tools being as fun and as easy as this one was.

Animoto/ Taxco de mis amores

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

El Rancho de Pancho