Friday, December 11, 2015


I created a video on Animoto about the life cycle of a butterfly.

In flipped classroom fashion, I would post a link for my students to watch at home: Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Students would be instructed to take notes and make sure to know what each stage of the cycle is.
Once in class, students would then be put into 4 groups - one for each stage of the cycle. The groups would then have time to look through readings and pictures about the life cycle of a butterfly and then they would have to present briefly on the stage of the life cycle that their group was assigned.

I would then talk about Animoto and give a lesson on how to use it. Students would then be instructed to pick an animal or a plant and then create their own Animoto video, similar to mine, about the life cycle of the animal or plant that they chose.

The performance indicator for this would be-

    Performance Indicator - ESL.I.5- 
    Students apply self-monitoring and self-correcting strategies for accurate language production
    and oral and written presentation, using established criteria for effective presentation of

I would assess their videos based on a rubric - was the animal/plant they chose clearly identified? Did they list each stage of that particular life cycle? Did they include appropriate pictures to show each stage?

Mod 8 - Serious Gaming

I chose to play the game, Against All Odds. I played the game 3 times total. 

This game allows players to take on the role of a refugee to understand what it feels like and what life can be like for refugees. There are three different aspects of the game - you can play the part of running from prosecution in your own country, you can play the part of being in a new country and wondering if they will grant you asylum to stay there, and the last part you can play is once you've been granted asylum and dealing with the challenges that refugees face everyday. 
I would have students play this game and then write a story that compares and contrasts their own experiences in America to that of the refugees in the game. 
My performance indicators would be: 
Performance Indicator - ESL.I.5- Students identify and use reading and listening strategies to make text comprehensible and meaningful.

Performance Indicator - ESL.I.5- Students read, gather, view, listen to, organize, discuss, interpret, and analyze information related to academic content areas and various sources.

May Include - ESL.I.5- Sources such as nonfiction books for young adults, reference books, magazines, textbooks, the Internet, databases, audio and media presentations, oral interviews, charts, graphs, maps, and diagrams.
sing prior knowledge, graphic organizers, and context clues, planning, note taking, making inferences, questioning, exploring cognates and root words, and applying ideas to new settings or experiences.

Performance Indicator - ESL.I.5- Students compare, contrast, categorize, and synthesize to gain a deeper understanding of information and objects. 

I would assess if my objectives and indicators had been met by reading through my students compare/contrast stories. I would check to see if they included details and examples from the game to either compare their experiences or contrast their experiences. I would be looking more for the compare/contrast part of it rather than specific spelling and grammar issues - although I would still make note of those. 

Mod 7 - Post 2 - Casual Game

I decided to play the game - Phantasy Quest. In this game, the player is trapped on a desert island and must find a way to escape.

The player has the option to click on arrows to move their player around in the game. Each time the player clicks on an arrow and is taken somewhere, a text box pops up with directions or a prompt about what is going on.

I played the game about 10-15 times before I grew frustrated and gave up. After toying around with games of this kind, I realized that this is probably something I will never make my students do, unless they ask for the option to play. That being said....

My language performance indicator would be:

   Performance Indicator - ESL.I.5-
   Students read, gather, view, listen to, organize, discuss, interpret, and analyze information
   related to academic content areas and various sources.
This is because my students would be assessed based on their ability to read and interpret the text boxes throughout the game. 

The role that I would take as the teacher would simply be a facilitator. I would probably have my students in the computer lab or on iPads playing the game and after giving them directions and a brief walkthrough of the game, I would let them spend time playing and working through the game themselves. I would circulate the room to check on progress and answer any questions that students had. 

I would asses my learning objectives by asking my students to write a brief report on their progress in the game as well as a review of the game. Based on their report and their review, I would be able to tell whether the students were able to read the text boxes and progress through the game or not. 

In all honesty, however, it would be very hard for me to assign this type of activity considering how inept I am myself at these kinds of games!

Mod 6, Post 2 - Using Twitter for Professional Development

"Professional Development" is a pretty big buzz word in the world of education. I have been hearing it since declaring an education major in my freshman year of undergrad and I have been continuing to hear it throughout my masters and throughout my first year working in a school. Teachers are called upon to constantly update their professional development by attending workshops, conferences, classes, etc. With all of the technology at our fingertips however, professional development can actually be done right from our phones.

Over the last year or so, I have started to come across educational twitter accounts run by teachers or by education outlets, if you will. I have always enjoyed following them and picking up helpful teaching hints here and there. During one of my student teaching placements I needed to teach a lesson on the difference between revolution and rotation and I actually came across a post on one of the teacher twitters that I followed at the time that gave me a great idea for my lesson!

I have been using Twitter for several years now and I have seen Twitter chats and looked through them, but I never actually participated. I read the article, What is a Twitter Chat?, and it gave me a bit of a deeper insight into what they are. I also read The Twitteraholics Ultimate Guide to help give me better insight into what I was reading in the Twitter Chats.

I think that following eduTwitters and looking through Twitter Chats can be very beneficial for me as a future teacher in terms of finding helpful hints and new strategies, etc. However, I don't necessarily see myself participating in Twitter Chats as a form of professional development - I just think they are nice to look at and browse through for my own personal type of professional development.

I know that some teachers use Twitter as a teaching resource with their kids, as well. I have always thought about when I finally have my own class that I will make a twitter account for the class so that we can post updates and pictures for the parents to follow, which I think would be a very neat idea. Considering that I plan to teach younger students however, I don't think my use of Twitter in the classroom will go much further beyond that.

The more technology you can use and the more outlets for professional development that you can take advantage only means a greater chance of growth for you as a teacher!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reaction to Podcast

I listened to a podcast from the site ESL Podcast. The podcast was called Types of Students in School.

I thought that this podcast was really good and could be used as a resource in teaching. I would use this podcast for students in their teens in high school. There is a dialogue in the podcast between two kids who are looking through an old yearbook and talking about the different types of people in the yearbook - nerds, jocks, dropouts, goths, etc. The vocabulary is very culturally relevant to American high school teenagers and teaches about the American high school environment. This would be very helpful for students just entering high school in America for the first time.

The speaker in the podcast speaks slow and methodically, but not slow enough to the point where it is boring. He is very descriptive and even spells out some of the specific vocabulary words such as y-e-a-r-b-o-o-k, n-e-r-d, etc. He goes into detail about each target word and gives a definition about each type of student you may encounter in a high school.

This would definitely be something to consider when working with teenage ESL students entering high school to give them a good idea of what to expect.

Monday, November 9, 2015

TedEd Lesson

Pasted above is the link to my Ted Lesson!

Target students: High/intermediate advanced students

Students will be able to discuss and define what response writing is.
Students will be able to write their own response essay based on a reading given in class.

Assessment: Students will partake in a brief discussion during class to review the Ted video lesson. At the end of the discuss students will write their "definition" or their thoughts on response writing and hand it in to the teacher. Students will then be given a short opinion piece to read and discuss with a partner, and they will then need to work together to write a 1 page response essay. 

Flipping Your Classroom

I think that the idea of a flipped classroom is a great thought, but in order for it to work effectively and benefit your students, it puts a lot of trust and reliance on the students. Having students participate in the lesson outside of class and then using class time for activities and observation is a great way to maximize learning and practice with the L2 for ELL students. Students however, must be motivated and must be accountable for actually participating in the lesson prior to getting in the classroom. I think with older learners that teachers would have better luck in being able to count on their students to participate, but teachers might have some issues with younger learners. Younger learners might need the assistance of their parents to access the lessons, but some parents may not be as involved as others. These are some things that teachers must consider before implementing this learning technique. Teachers must also make sure that all students have access to view the lesson outside of class before using the strategy of flipped classrooms.

In theory, I think that "flipped classrooms" are very interesting and innovative strategy that could really help ESL students. However, there is a lot that needs to happen to ensure that this style of teaching/learning can work smoothly. With the right class and the right resources, this tool could maximize learning and potential for all students.