Backtalk

          Many people agree that education starts at home not in school. I was raised by very strict parents who taught me plenty of things and among all those things respect was the most important.

Writing about this talkback theme brings me flashbacks of an incident that happened to me when I was a high school student, where I had to talkback to defend myself.

It was a Monday morning when my literature teacher was running late to start the class. I won’t deny that I was running late too therefore I didn’t have time enough to do my business in the restroom. I could barely hold it in and since I didn’t see the professor in class yet instead of sitting at my desk I ran to the restroom, hehe..!!  

Unfortunately, on my way back my teacher accused me of ditching class, absurd..!! I have always stand before my principles in terms of respect however I had to talkback and tell him that I was not trying to ditch class. It was an emergency..!! I really had to go..!!

Fortunately, my very best friend back me up and supported my story by telling my professor that I was telling the truth. hehe..

Now, writing about this backtalk theme reminds me of that funny incident and it’s so funny that I just can’t stop laughing about it.. hehehe 😉

This entry was posted on June 30, 2012. 1 Comment

Bloom´s Taxonomy

Hi! everybody

To be honest, I had heard a long time ago  about  Bloom´s taxonomy, but I didn´t pay attention at the time. I didn´t realize  how important it is for teacher especially for the ones that are new in the field and are learning how to prepare their lesson with the most appropriate aims for their learners.

Bloom´s taxonomy is an excellent tool, It guides us with a  practical way to achieve the aims that we choose for our learners. It  organized the learning process from  lower order thinking skills (Lots) to  higher order thinking skills(Hots) in six easy steps,with each one having a related activities: 

Remembering: Recalling information

Understanding: Explaining ideas or concepts

Applying: Using information in another familiar situation

Analysing: Breaking information into parts to explore understanding  and relationships

Evaluating: Justifying a decision or course of action

Creating: Generating new ideas, products, or way of viewing  things

This is a very useful tool because teachers can use it  with  students from different levels. They just adapt the questions to their level of knowledge and they will be developing their cognitive learning according to them.

This is one way I will  use it:

First, I will give  the students a reading passage about the extinction of  elephants which we will read  together.

Second, I will put them into groups to discuss and answer some questions.

Remembering- What animal  is the passage is talking about?

                                What  happen to them? 

Understanding_-What have they been killing?

                          Who has been protesting about this  situation?

Applying-  Can you name two other animals that are in danger of extinction?

Analysing- What do you think about killing animals that are in danger of extinction?   Compare other animal that are in danger of extinction with the elephants.

Evaluating- What do you think it should be the penalty for killing elephants?

Creating- If you could write a letter to the people who kill elephants, what would you tell them?   Compare your answer with your partners.

This entry was posted on May 26, 2012. 2 Comments

Assessments

Last week my son had exams every day, and we(because I have to help him) studied all day. He was so stress that  even in the shower he wanted me to ask him questions about the subject he was studying.( and this is the same thing every two months) Even though he studied very hard he came home disappointed because the test was very difficult for him.  This last Monday I saw the test and  he was right   it was even confuse for me some of the questions I have to read them twice.

We know that assessment is a way of measure our learning, but why they have to be so stressful. All the memories that I have about my experiences  with quizzes and tests there are not very good. There is only one that I remember had enjoyed it. it was an AP literature exam that I took in high school. And even though it was a subjective test ( I prefer objective test because as you see my linguistic intelligence is not to strong) I remember that I really enjoyed it because the teacher made me fell in love in literature and I was waiting the test to see how much I have learned . And now that I saw the videos that Ellen put in the AA for TKT  specially the first one “Assessment for learning” made me think in the way we, as teacher present  tests.  I like when Rick said that assessments is  a celebration of learning  “is where the teacher and students celebrate the learning as they go along” and that we have  to find a way to make assessment process a way to help our students want to learn. I think if we change the perception that students have about test we will have better results, don’t you think?

This entry was posted on May 19, 2012. 1 Comment

Voki and Voice Tread

Hello everyone!

I found it  very interesting to see how many  speaking tools we can find on the web. They are all very good,   but I especially like  Voice Tread   and  Voki. Voice Tread is an online tool that allows  people from anywhere in the world to  have  group conversations, discussions and to  share different points of view. “A Voice Tread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents and videos. And allows peple to navigate slides and leave comments in a 5-way using voice (with a microphone or telephone) text, audio file, or video (via a webcamara).”

I chose this tool because it has more than one form to use it. Some students don’t have  a microphone  set up  in their computers  so they can use their phone and still share  their comments with their partners.  I think I can use this tool as homework, I could show some slides  during  class and then the students would have  to discuss and share their points of view. So this way they will  practice their speaking and listening skills.

Voki allows people to express  themselves in their own voice  using ceative customized characters. It is an online tool  that people can use in their blogs, social networks and other media.  It was created with teachers in mind by Oddcast,  a New York company.

 I found Voki to be a very creative way  to introduce technology  to students. They can have fun making their own avatar; they can create their own animals, characters, as well as the opportunity to choose their voices. Thus, they would be able to have more dynamic speaking/listening experience.

This entry was posted on April 5, 2012. 1 Comment

Literature Circles

Literature circles is a wonderful tool that teachers use in classrooms. In these times of immediate gratification where kids wants everything on short period of time, teachers needs to find differents strategies to make literature fast, dynamic and relevance in order to get students* attention on reading. Perhaps thats why this literature circles are so popular   and effective nowadays.

Literature circles provide a fun and active way  of reading. Students can practice their four language skills and specially their receptive skill in  a dynamic way. They learn to take responsibility of what they are reading. kids take ownership of the literature circle by shoosing roles, taking charge of their own discussions and respecting different points of view. Working as a team there is a positive peer pressure And they develop their critical thinking.

There are different types of literature circles: There are mini literature circles, structure literature circles, literature circles with roles, nonfiction literature circles etc. All of them have different formats for different needes but all of then have one purpose help teachers to  inspire  studens to the magical world of reading.

 

ALTE and CEFR

Hello There!

This is the first time that I heard about these acronyms. And to be honest  at the beginning I didnt get it how these associations that are designed mainly for European countries could affect me as a teacher.

The  Association of language tester in Europe (ALTE) is an institution that  gives a framework  for examinations and certification  and promotes the ¨the transnational recognition of certification in Europe…¨ Which in my opinion it is great. It opens oportunities for all those teachers who would like to live and work in others countries. It will be wonderful if the same tipe of system could be in place among the North  American Countries.

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) it has a more worldwide system. It gives the testing standards  for english learner Which is categorized in six different levels:  A1/A2 for basic users,  B1/B2 for independent users and C1/C2 for proficient users.

Even though it  is clear that these assosiations give us a lot of beneficts, It is also true that  they are imposing us  their testing standars too.  So as teachers is important to take the time to know about these two references because we will be working with their testing standar system.

 

 

 

This entry was posted on March 16, 2012. 2 Comments