Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#fliplang -- Twitter chat

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the first #fliplang twitter chat occurred.  The idea for this type of chat came from a conversation on Twitter between @SraSpanglish, @SraWitten and myself @srapontarelli about the #flipclass chat and the #langchat chat on Twitter.  The flipped classroom chat normally happens on Monday nights from 8-9 PM EST.  The foreign or world language chat happens on Thursday nights from 8-9 PM EST.  The idea for #fliplang came about to help those teachers who are looking to flip their World Language classes.

Both of the other chats are fantastic and I wouldn't be the "flipper" and World Language teacher that I am today without them.  However, it seemed like there was much interest that specifically related to how to effectively flip the FL class.  Hence #fliplang.

The chat was very lively and went fast.  The questions posed were designed by Heather Witten and myself to help guide other teachers to think about how they could possibly execute the flip in their classes.  It was exciting to "follow' so many new and energetic language teachers from across the country.  I believe that many great ideas were shared and many of us are excited to put what we chatted about into practice.

We hope to keep this chat going and keep the ideas flowing!  Join us on Wednesdays from 8-9 pm EST to talk about flipping the world language class.  Next weeks topic will be on "Classroom Activities".  What do you do in class after they have viewed the tutorials at home?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Google Voice for Formative Assessment

A while back I wrote about how Google Voice was a great tool for getting students to speak on a more consistent basis.  One of the other aspects of Google Voice that I really liked this year as well was it's function as an "exit slip".

I initially wanted to use the Voice for speaking.  As I mentioned before, because of the large number of students that I have, I wanted to make sure that each student had the opportunity to speak to and answer questions about a particular topic.  However, I soon realized the texting function of Google Voice played just as an important role as did the speaking.  Because let's be honest, our students really only want to text one another anyway!

After my students viewed a tutorial about a particular topic, the next day in class I had them text me a response to a question that I put on the board.  After texting their response, they got to work on the in-class activities.  While they were working, I was able to go around and speak to them individually about the responses they had texted me and make any corrections if necessary.  They could then ask me any questions regarding the topic being studied as well.

In the last 5-10 minutes of class, we got back together as a group, reviewed an activity and answered any questions students had.  Then I gave them a prompt similar to the one from the beginning of class.  They then had to text me their answers.  As their texts were coming in, I was able to text them back with any corrections that were necessary.  Some students responded with another question, and most of them responded with a "Gracias" or a "Lo Siento" (I'm sorry).

The final text response functioned as an exit slip.  I essentially removed the paper aspect from the equation and gave the exit slip in a format that is more enjoyable to the students.  The feedback is also more efficient and timely for the students as well because it is immediate!  And in this age of instant gratification, nothing is better than that!