Sunday, June 24, 2012

CLIL Coming From Outer Space...

Doing Science in English? I mean, Science CLIL? This site can interest you!

Space Place is the NASA’s  website for children.  It contains lots of pages about space science in general. It is organized in 5 categories (Space, Sun, Earth, Solar System and People and Technology) within which you can find activities “to explore, to do or play."

You can get information on science (physics, chemistry, heavenly bodies, mathematics, technology ...) and its relationship with other areas (such as music!). You also can get access to interactive games on this knowledge or find instructions for experiments at home or in school (models, recreation, maps ...)

The website includes cooperative work proposals such as making models or doing some experiments. You can link to other websites or social networking; join the NASA network to share content or download the application for mobile phones.

Other links of your interest may be...
  • European Space Agency Site for children
  • Kidsastronomy A powerful and fun resource for kids, exploring astronomy and other space related topics. Play games, learn through interactive applications, and much more.
  • StarChild This site is intended for students in grades K through 8.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shahi, more than just "Tea time"!

Shahi is a visual dictionary that combines Wiktionary content with Flickr images into a single pleasant and easy-to-use interface.

The word Shahi is Saudi Arabic for tea!

This a very useful "pictionary" when working any language learning or ESL outcomes in literacy or project working. It can be used for teaching students with a second language but it can also be used in a number of other curriculum areas as a starter for any topic, to make photo flashcards, or to find great pictures to illustrate student works.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Interactive Whiteboard resources

From ICT Across the Curriculum blog
It is not difficult to find online resources for IWB actually, but finding good resources that fit the needs that each teacher has, this is another completely different thing. 

Today I want to share with you all some interesting sites in which you can find, resources, activities (on line and to download), lesson plans, tips, links and lots of stuff for IWBs and for any subject. 

It is remarkable how useful are IWB for the ESL class. So, let's fly your imagination and think about the many possibilities you have got to use them.

Interactive Whiteboard and SMART Board Resources: Lesson Plans, Interactive Sites and Training and Tutorials

Interactive white board Games PBS Kids: a collection of interactive whiteboard games for educators.

Interactive Whiteboard lessons. Reading and math lessons and activities.

Interactive Whiteboards in the classroom. Tutorials, templates, interactive sites, software to download.

Interactive Whiteboard resources. It is a bank of free to use tools and resources created for teachers who are teaching with an IWB.

Interactive Whiteboard activities from Teachers Scholastic. Activities, tips and lesson ideas for Language, Social, Science and Maths. Learning games and teaching tools.

Mashable Interactive Whiteboard activities from ESL Very interesting resources to use with the IWB.

Smart Tech Scholastic. With over 60,000 resources, you'll find the lesson content, images, or inspiration you need to add interactivity into your instruction: Science videos, Maps, 3D Moels, Storytelling, Measurement and Geometry.

Topmarks. An educational search engine to find resources, homework help and educational websites for use in the classroom. To get started pick a subject, then an age group from the menu on the left.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Storytelling Xtranormal: Animated Movies Made Easy!

Storytelling Xtranormal is a web application that lets you create videos and movies, of one or two characters, about different topics.

It is a very easy and friendly to use application, so even young children in primary school can use it. After the video is done you can save your animated stories and publish them on your school blog.

You only have to chose a scenes or background and the characters that are related to the chosen collection. There are many different options, even by nationality and sex.

Each scene and each character has a value. They are like virtual currency that can be achieved by inviting friends to the program, sharing our videos or buying them. This might have seen a disadvantage at first, but students will be highly involved. They have to know how to manage their currencies, and this can be a plus of motivation as they have to get more to buy new scenes and new characters.

This application can be used by both students and teachers. The teacher can introduce a topic with a short animated video, or students themselves may try to explain a subject creating one, acquiring thus the role of teacher.

For these reasons Storytelling Xtranormal has got a great pedagogical value. It can be used in any area and at any age because it develops different key skills, and not only the ones related to Language.

In short, this is a web application that offers many possibilities in the classroom and encourages also the motivation, interest, autonomy, creativity, imagination, collaboration among students.

The following video was done by one of my year 6 fast finisher students in just 20'.

Fire in the surgery room!
by: PauVila

Think about how can you "squeeze" this application and the many possibilities it can offer for the ESL class! 

You may be interested in these other posts about doing comics and strips:
14 places to make comic books and strips on line
How to facilitate speaking in the ESL classroom 
A class full of superheroes 
Create your own stories and poems

Monday, June 11, 2012

MetLink, resources for teaching weather and climate in schools

MetLink is the educational website of the Royal Meteorological Society, with weather and climate resources aimed at primary and secondary school teachers, students, teenagers, children and the general public.

A weather experiment for Primary
Resources include lesson plans, powerpoint presentations, games, coloring worksheets, cut and stick displays, puzzles and wordsearches, poems and songs, weather experiments and demonstrations, that can be very useful for Primary CLIL lessons about how the weather works.

Do not miss the teachers' section of the web site. You can get there materials to use in the classroom. These include curriculum links, experiments, careers information and information about weather systems, instruments, projects, and so on.

Science of the weather resources for Key Stage 2 Teachers

Crossing the River. A short activity to practice oral vocabulary

Thanks to Núria Biosca for this "engaging and motivating" activity to start or finish an ESL class. 

Material: Pictures or flashcards to practice a specific set of vocabulary or flashcards with the alphabet or numbers...

Time guide:10 minutes

Preparation: create some space across the middle of the classroom.

Activity: Use the cleared space in the classroom and place the flashcards in a line on the floor with the pictures facing up.

Divide the class into two teams, with one team standing at each end of the line pictures. If necessary check that the children know how to play ‘Rock, paper, scissors’ by practising this with the whole class.

Each student stand opposite another child with their fists clenched. They both move their fists up and down as they count 1, 2 3 together and out loud. On the third count each child chooses between showing rock, paper or scissors with their hand.

One child wins, rock beats scissors, paper beats rock, and scissors beats paper. If the same gesture is chosen by both children, they simply repeat the game until one of them wins.

The first child from each team walks along beside the line of pictures, each starting at opposite ends line. They have to take turns to say what each picture or letter is as they reach it. The rest of their team can join in by saying each item.

When the two players meet they play’ Rock, paper,scissors’. Whoever wins stays where they are, and the other player goes to the back of their team’s line.

The next player in the losing team now starts walking along the line of pictures saying what each picture is,and the winning player also continues. When they meet, they play ‘Rock,paper,scissors’ again. This continues until one team member manages to "cross the river", in other words, reaches the opposite end of the line of pictures. A point is scored for each child that crosses the river.

The game can end when all of one team reach the other side – but that could take a very long time! You can play for a set period of time, stopping when choose, and the winning team is the one with the most points or with the player furthest along the line.

Núria Biosca. Research group "Open&Share". Autonomous University of Barcelona ICE

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Symbaloo, a tool for differentiated instruction

Ready to finish this school year, just thinking about the new one!

Personal Learning Environments (PLE - Personal Learning Environment) are systems that help students take control and manage their own learning.

      SymbalooEDU or Symbaloo is a website where we can organize the tools, websites and any online resource that we use in the classroom every day, creating what is called a "webmix" which can be set as your homepage when you open the browser or can be posted on the school website to be accessed from anywhere.

     It provides a configurable desktop that allows you to collect your favorite sites on one page, so students will have access to the collection of favorite resources from any Internet-connected PC.
Symbaloo is very easy to use and configure: Its interface consists of a grid with 60 spaces in which we will add the different resources to access them with one click.

      This tool also allows to organize sites in tabs, rearrange them (by dragging them into the box where we place them), edit, delete, add search engines, widgets and more. And, if you want to better organize them, we can use different colors or icons and use any picture that allows us to identify the sites.
Ceip Tierno Galvan. Murcia
As teachers we can create pages ourselves with all our bookmarks, or websites we use for a specific subject.With the Symbaloo bookmarker, we can easily add the website we are surfing on to our Symbaloo page, just by clicking the extra button that appears in our FireFox browser.

This is what I was looking for: 
  • I can have access to my favourite sites anywhere. 
  • I can change the tile icons to facilitate children access.
  • I can organize differentiated instruction or specific activities for SEN children.
  • I can individualise activities or researches. 
  • I can set a collection of activities to be done in our weekly work plan.
  • I can plan a project through different websites
  • I can share "webmixes" with my colleagues in the school.
  • ...

You can find different tutorials on the net such as: Manual de Symbaloo in Castellano or this "Symbaloo webmix":

Can you think in any other applications Symbaloo can offer in Primary Education and in English as a Second Language teaching?