Showing posts with label classroompractice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classroompractice. Show all posts

Thursday, May 07, 2015

TESOL 2015 - Kahoot: A Game Platform to Spice Up your Classes

TESOL 2015 - Kahoot – A Game Platform to Spice Up your Classes

Just another thing I discovered in TESOL International Conference in Toronto. Actually, my colleague Ana Cristina Gerin had used it and mentioned it in one of our EdTech meetings. I was a bit busy with other projects and did not have time to try it out, though. So, while in the last TESOL conference, I had the chance of attending a 25 minute session in the Electronic Village in which I had a hands on experience with the tool. Back to my routine, I decided to give it a try and my students and I just loved it. Kahoot is free and it is in its own words is “ a classroom response system which creates an engaging learning space, through a game-based digital pedagogy.” To use it you will need internet connection and a device (iPad, smart phone) for each pair of students. So, let me explain to you how it works.

Create your own 

First, you will have to join Kahoot. After you create your account, you can create your own games (called kahoots). You can create three kinds of activities: quizzes, discussions, and surveys. To create a new kahoot, you will have to click on “new” and add your questions. Once you are done, it will be saved to your account and you can play it as many times as you wish. Besides that, you can also share your creations with your friends if you happen to know their user names.

Find other Kahoots

Once you are in, you can also use one of the thousands of public activities you will find for free on their site. To do this you will just have to use the search feature, find the one or ones you are looking for and check them to see if it suits your purposes.

Play the Game

Now that you are in, it is time to use it in class. You should first log on to your account and choose the game you want to play. Next, you should ask your students to open their device’ browser and search for Kahoot. The search will give them two results. Ask them to open the Kahoot it link. Once they do that, the platform will ask for a game pin. This is when you will have to launch the game by clicking on “play.” The next step will involve students choosing their nicknames, which can be a combination of the paired students’ names. Once everyone joins the game you can start playing. After each question, the platform gives a score ranking students as first, second, third, and so on.

A Gift

I have created two games for my Teens 7. So, here they are,

What did she say?   A quiz on reported speech.

What's the correct answer?  A quiz to test will and going to future.

I really need to work on tagging and creating names that will help others finding my quizzes.

A Tutorial

Here is a tutorial to help visual learners to grasp it a bit better.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Google Docs and Interaction

I have used google docs as a means of collaborative document for quite a while, but never thought of using it with my students.
After a meeting with Carla Arena, she inspired me to think about something I could do with my group. Something simple, yet challenging.

I decided to invite Teacher Henry on this journey with me. We have a Teens 5 group at the same time. My students are struggling with question forming using the simple past tense. So, here's what we did:

1. We created a document with some instructions for students. In class we gave them a shortened url as homework (each class had a different url).
2. They were supposed to make a question (using the simple past tense) to another student in another class. So, my students would be making questions to Henry's students and vice-versa.
3. On the following class, we opened the document in class and reviewed all questions. We corrected the ones that had mistakes and talked about how to make questions using their own examples. 

After the questions were all made, we gave them the other class's url, so that they could answer each other's questions. This was also done as homework. One of the challenges we faced after doing the activity was that some of the students weren't able to edit the document and add their contribution. So, we found out that goggle docs can only be edited through a mobile device (cell phones / tablets) if the person is logged on, otherwise he/she can only see it, not edit. However, if the student access the document on a computer, it requires no login. 

As a follow-up, many ideas came to our mind. Some of them are:
- print questions and answers and have students match them.
- have only the answers on a slideshow and then students have to come up with a correct question.
- pair-work where students would use the questions and answers as a conversation.

We decided to gather students in the school gallery. We printed the questions and randomly handed on question to each student. Then, we asked them to ask the question they had in hands to at least five students from the other class. It was fun and very meaningful! They had a very good time! 

As a whole, students got engaged and we felt this practice added value to their learning. It was a meaningful task and involved students in their own learning process, linking the subject with students' own realities. We were able to spot which aspects we still needed to work further on, creating an opportunity for students not only to gain knowledge, but also to be able to apply and use what they have learned in a different yet valuable way. Since students were exposed to the content in a surprising way, the language was possibly more vividly experienced and, therefore, better remembered. 

Here are the pages students worked on:

Click here to watch a nice video about Google Docs. 


     Lilian Marchesoni                           Henry Silva

Monday, September 08, 2014

Whatsapp and Education - is it feasible?

Social networks have surely opened up new ways of communication, new opportunities of interaction and collaboration, and teachers can take advantage of these tools by including them into their lesson plans. 

One of the most popular social networks nowadays is WhatsApp. It is basically an instant messaging application for smart phones. Everyone uses it, everyone has it. Many times, teachers can see students' phones constantly receiving WhatsApp messages or notifications during classes. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, videos, and audio messages.

We believe that the use of WhatsApp might encourage students to get more engaged in their own learning process, which might lead to a better long-term retention of structures and vocabulary. Teachers are able to work with all four skills, and should consider designing different tasks and activities in order to cater various learning styles.

Thus, to improve reading skills, the teacher can send the group a text (i.e. a short story). Then, as a follow-up, the teacher can ask comprehension questions about it , and also questions on specific vocabulary presented in the text. It is also possible to ask students to come up with a different endings for the story they've read.

Teachers can also create several writing activities by proposing a topic for discussion, for instance. Students can also write descriptions of a place, based on an image sent by the teacher. 

An interesting function in this application is voice recording to practice speaking skills. Students can record their voices to present their ideas/opinions about a certain topic, or answer specific questions based on a text or image sent by the teacher. Furthermore, the teacher can also record his voice and send to the student and work on listening comprehension. There is also the possibility of sending a video and then ask questions about it. 

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Some practical examples now.

1. I designed two slides on PowerPoint and saved them as images. Then, I sent them to students and asked them to perform a simple task: write sentences using the passive voice.


2. This is another very simple activity that can be done using WhatsApp. I used it with a group of teenagers to practice adjectives. After having explained the meaning of the adjectives from the lesson, I made a numbered list of the adjectives on the board. I, then, asked them to pick up their cell phones and log into our WhatsApp group. I gave them 3 minutes to find an emoticon for each adjective from the board. They would have to make the whole list and only hit send when they had finished. The following class we performed the activity a bit differently. First, I sent the adjective and they had to find an emoticon to show they remembered its meaning. Finally, I sent the emoticon and the students had to type the adjective (in order to practice spelling).  It became a competition. We had a blast!

        3. Another activity I developed using emoticons was concerning 'if clauses'. I prepared the if clause in advance and the main clause should be provided by the students. However, they had to create this main clause using a key word that I provided using and emoticon. For example: "If I get a book on my birthday, :) ". They were supposed to say something like "I will be happy."  Although I included the emoticon to control their answers, they had different and funny ideas.

       4. This activity was done with an advanced group. I just wanted to check their pronunciation of certain words. I sent the word to the group and they had to send the a recording of their voice pronouncing the word.

Ask students to choose an object they own to put up for sale. They got to take a picture of the chosen object and add a description saying the story behind it and why it is special for them. Students can then bid on each others items and justify why they'd want to buy a certain object and not the other. I have used this activity in class with my 5B group and it has worked quite well. 

This is a fun game which  can be done with any group or age. Teacher starts the game by saying a random adjective, for example the color "red". Then students have to type up as many combinations as possible using the word red. Ex. red lipstick, red light, red dress.

As the title already gives away, it's a verb tense game. Teacher starts by typing up a verb in the base form and students gotta type it up in the past simple or past participle. Students can also join in adding verbs and competing amongst themselves. The points can double when the teacher adds a talking face Emoji and the students record a voice message pronouncing the word accurately. 

The teacher send a sentence and students have to decide if its right or wrong. That can also be done to practice pronunciation. 

Teacher sends part of a picture (you can easily use your own phone's camera to take a picture of a pic) then students have to guess wha or who it is by saying "It might/can't/may/could/must be..." . It's great to practice modals. 

The teacher writes the answer to a question and students have to guess what question was asked. Ex. Answer: Hardly ever. Possible questions: How often do you...? Do you still see each other? Do you go dancing? Did you use to go to the beach? etc...

The players send part of a song and the others have to sing the following bit. 

The game starts with a description of a phrasal verb and students have to write a sentence using the corresponding phrasal verb. Extra points if they know if its separable, inseparable or always separated. 

One assigned student at a time has to to narrate (using the voice message) an impromptu  part of a story using the words the teacher types up. The other assigned students follow the story line trying to give sequence to it. Ex. Anna - gold, chest, gun, shoot, man, get away. Pedro - robber, blue eyed, charming, laughter, dream. etc. 

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Have you tried using this app with your students? If not, would you be willing to give it a try? Let us know about your outcomes! 


        Paola Hanna                      Tatiana Severo                  Lilian Marchesoni