See, Feel, Hear, Touch, and Capture Vocabulary

Like so many of you, I’m always on the look-out for interesting ways of teaching vocabulary.  From math, to science, to English, etc.—each content area has vocabulary words that we introduce.    In the ESOL/Bilingual Ed courses I teach, we look at ways of integrating both the everyday language, which helps give our students a voice, as well as the academic language embedded in meaningful contexts that they need in academia.  How can we help our students see, hear, feel, touch, and maybe even smell or taste new words?  How can they record and share their learning?

Check out Shelly Terrell’s slide share.
Shelly’s slide share is packed full of ideas, so I’m using it as a springboard for this post. 
  • Some of these are tried and true no tech suggestions with examples like word walls (slide 7), which can also be done with online stickies like Linoit, Primary Wall, etc. 
  • I’m off to look at the voicethread (slide 10) because I have used voicethread with vocabulary and beyond with success in the classroom and am really excited about the new voicethread app.
  • Several of her suggestions such the word cloud Tagul (slide 12), Word Stash (slide 19-20), and Wordia (slides 21-24), I have blogged about and/or are found on our student’s tab.  There are also a lot of additional vocabulary games and sites on our student’s tab to explore. 
  • Triptico (slide26) is a new one that I recently downloaded and am in the process of experimenting with.   It contains several useful tools like word magnets, what’s the question, and more assessable via your desktop.  It’s a fun way to involve the whole class in learning vocabulary.  Parts of it remind me of Classtools.net which I also use for vocabulary plus.
  • Type in a sentence or story, and Flickr Poet  (slide 27)  produces it in picture form.
Scroll down through some related posts, videos, and examples I have made on vocabulary.  They include developing vocabulary with word clouds, online dictionaries and my vocabulary class Glogster.  In passing, I will mention that it amazes me how the sites I use continue to improve and many new vocabulary related sites continue to pop up.  For example, shortly after posting about Lexipedia, I discovered Visuwords.  Personally, I find all these sites worth exploring because they can be used for various purposes or with different age groups. 

Met Ed (Applications):  The sites within this post can be used alone within a lesson. They often work well with class discussion.  Many of them can also be used independently by students or as resources.  In addition, they can be used as a springboard for creating your own versions with the technology available to you or sometimes even with no tech.  For example, I love the videos on Wordia, but not all of the words my students need to search are found there.  I’d love to have my students take words from a unit of study and create their own picture gallery, videos or other type of media that we can then share with upcoming classes. 

Share your ideas (low tech or high tech), favorite sites, and experiences of teaching vocabulary either by commenting or emailing us.   How do you make vocabulary come alive?

*A thanks to Shelly Terrell for her slideshare and many amazing things she shares.  More to come in a future post about the many contributions Shelly makes to ed tech and my personal learning.


Quick Byte: K-12 Online Conference Nov 21-Dec 9

This year, the K-12 Online Conference promises to be good.  I predict this year will be interesting and informative and will strike up some good conversations and maybe even debate. The theme, Purposeful Play, relates to my gaming post series (See part 1 and part 2).   

It will start on Monday, Nov. 21 with a pre-conference keynote by  Angela Maiers.   Angela blogs at www.angelamaiers.com.  All of the presenters that week will be worth checking out:
The rest of the conference will occur week 1 November 29th - December 2nd,  and week 2 December 5th-9th, 2011.  The complete schedule of presenters can be accessed here.  The Twitter hashtag is #k12online.

I have a special place in my heart for the K-12 Online Conference.  It is when I first began to realize all of the free quality professional development opportunities that are out there.  It opened my eyes to the many online choices we have to either quietly observe or actively participate at our own comfort level.  One of my first blog posts was done last year on the K-12 2010 Online Conference and was followed up by some of my favorites.   You can view them by clicking here and scrolling through them. 

No worries; if you miss the conference, it will be accessible on their wiki.  Plus, we will highlight some of our favorites in an upcoming post. 


What is Standard English and Related Questions for Teachers

What is Standard English?  What are the various perspectives of it? How can it act as a gatekeeper?  Do our views of it shape how we approach language learning, teaching, and assessing?  How do these types of discussions fit into critical pedagogy?  These are the types of questions my College of Ed course have discussed. Watch the following engaging short videos and read the article about Linda Christensen  to continue reflection on these and related questions.

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language from Matthew Rogers on Vimeo.

Discussion: How do the views voiced by Linda Christensen in this article on the National Writing Project site tie into the discussion? How can bringing in the everyday language in ways such as this site called Pop Lit  relate to teaching academic language and content?  Continue the discussion by sharing your thoughts or related links.


Tech and Ed Play With Web 2.0 Tools: Part 2 Jing and Other Screencasting Tools

Jing is a screencasting tool with tons of creative potential in education.  It belongs both in the hands of instructors and students across content areas and ages.  This post briefly highlights Jing and other screencasting tools as a part of the Tech and Ed Play With Web 2.0 Tools series.

Getting Started With Jing:  Last year, I was a guest blogger at the Teacher Challenge blog.  Here'sa LINK to my post. It’s where I suggest going to get familiar with Jing!  It walks you through downloading it, gives examples of how I use it as a self introduction, to return feedback to my students, and more. 

More of My Jing Examples:
How-to’s and diections:  Most of the video recording I do on this blog is with the Pro version of Jing, such as this video about online timelines like dipity.  I also find it useful for describing weekly expectations and assignments in my online classes.

In the hands of students: Here's another post about a project from my adult ESOL vocabulary class.  Within a matter of minutes, students created a Jing video using my laptop.  Their example is embedded in the Glogster along with more of their creations, but it can also be accessed via this direct link.  Oh, and I can’t make a post without highlighting my favorite use of Jing created by a 4th grader.

Other Screencasting Tools: There are also a growing number of similar free screencasting tools. A few of them are highlighted under on my screencasting page.  I have found that my students who want to work from home don’t always want to download Jing onto their computers, so these offer some alternatives.

Here’s an example of a similar screencasting tool called Screen-O-Matic combined with Go Animate that one of my former College of Ed students, Jessica Coleman, created about SLA.


Screencasting Apps and Additional Resources:  It's also great to see some similar screen capturing apps for ipad such as Screen Chomp and Show Me.   As these become increasingly more functional, they allow us to use iPads in digital storytelling, etc. with relative ease.  One of my favorite ESOL bloggers, Silvia Tolisano, who blogs at Langwitches offers a lot of examples and step-by-step guides for using screencasting tools in the class.  Check out her blog and search for screencasting tools, digital storytelling, and ipads

Discussion:  What experiences do you have using Jing or other screencasting tools?  Feel free to share links to your creations or contact us if you would like to use this blog as a platform to share some of your students’ creations if appropriate.

Happy screencasting!


Quick Byte: Life In A Day

 Life In A Day is the result of uploaded videos shot on July 24th, 2011 contributed from people around the world. It was produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.  Watch it for free below.

This seems like an appropriate post to follow my One Day On Earth 11-11-11 post which we had fun shooting footage for.

Happy viewing!


Quick Byte: One Day on Earth 11-11-11

Participate in this global collaboration by uploading a short video clip on 11-11-11, or just enjoy the One Day on Earth project 11-11-11.  Watch this video trailer to learn more.

Don't miss the 10-10-10 Geo Map!  Click on a country of your choice and zoom in to watch a video or two.  I viewed a few from some places I have traveled, and a flood of memories reminded me of the injustices of the world juxtaposed against indescribable beauty.

Keep your eyes on this site.  I will share it with my Exploring the World class!  It promises to encourage open dialogue on topics of social justice.  How can you use it in your classroom?


Quick Byte: The Global Education 2011 Conference Nov. 14-18

I continue to be intrigued by the number and quality of online free virtual conferences.  The Global Education 2011 Conference Nov. 14-18 looks promising!  Watch this trailer video here.  The keynote presenters include Howard Gardner, Ed Gragert (Executive Director of iEarn USA), Alan November of November Learning and others.  Here’s a complete list of keynote speakers and their bios.

The conference mission statement begins as follows: “The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity. “ Read more of the mission here. It sounds promising for educators K-20 and perfect for those of us involved in my field of ESOL/Bilingual Education.

Here’s the link to the sessions and schedule.  It will be held on Blackboard Collaborate.  The conference hashtag is #GlobalEd11.

This is another conference founded by Steve Hargadon.  Explore the Global Education site to discover more opportunities.

Happy learning!


Prezi, Online Comic Strips, and Fakebook Integrated in SLA Assignment

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone as a student?  How about as a teacher?  I received a lot of comments such as the following from my online College of Ed students, “I stepped outside of my comfort zone in doing this assignment, and I’m glad I did.”  This echoes my sentiment in assigning this assignment. 

Assignment Background: The basic idea of the assignment was to spend an hour playing with technology and demonstrating knowledge of our second language acquisition (SLA) weekly readings.  I’ll be the first to admit that these are rigorous readings when encountered for the first time, so I wanted the students to be able to demonstrate a small portion of their current understanding (which we will continue to build upon throughout the term) in a creative manner.  The suggested methods of doing so were online comic strips, Fakebook, Prezi, or Powerpoint.  I gave some basic guidelines and outlined some possibilities.

I also tried to stress that approximately no more than an hour needed to be spent on the assignment to meet the expectations, sharing in a public way was optional, and ultimately the assignment was to demonstrate understanding of our course objectives—in this case related to SLA theories and technology integration. 

Without further ado, here is the unveiling of their first creations!

PREZIS on SLA  (I was surprised how many students chose to tackle Prezis! Impressive debuts.)

Krashen’s Theories:  
a.  http://bit.ly/s3uAty
b.  http://bit.ly/vMPcsQ,  
c. http://bit.ly/w49e40, and 
d. http://bit.ly/sCFYRb

Schumann’s Theory: a. http://bit.ly/sm81Po and b. http://bit.ly/vq7tZ2
For info on  Prezi educator’s account, look here.   Today, I signed up for the beta Prezi U for educators.  It sounds promising.

COMICS on SLA:  Humor is displayed in several of these comic strips.   A-D  were made with Make Beliefs Comix.  E-F were made with Strip Generator.  I recommend Make Beliefs Comix due to the ads for K-12.

a . This one has two parts. It is cleverly entitled “Krashen the Party” and is a game.  Part 1 http://bit.ly/sNmHUQ  Part 2  http://bit.ly/vLlBwT  b.  http://bit.ly/utNBZQ  c. http://bit.ly/rFWZLz  d. http://bit.ly/sJ8z2r  e. Schumann’s Theory: http://bit.ly/trP3SM  f. Krashen’s Affective Filter http://bit.ly/sUC3VQ

Make Beliefs Comix suggests 21 ways to use them in the class http://bit.ly/jmIGk, and here are some blank comic strip printables http://bit.ly/97fPQP.

FAKEBOOKS on SLA THEORIES:  This is a spin-off of the Facebook/social media idea in popular culture.  ClassTools.Net is the site used.   Several debates between theorists play out in some of these.  Some are in a question/answer format.           

Click HERE to see what the teachers and future teachers had to say about the use of each of these tools with teaching ELLs.

Final Thoughts: I like having this blog as a way to bring both sections of my online classes together to share.  I encourage them to look at their work and continue digging into the theories, questioning and applying.

A few students opted to not share their creations with a larger audience.  I strongly agree that this should be honored without question.  One student did a great job, but had last minute challenges with the technology, which is a reality we face when we deal with technology.  We need to have a plan B for ourselves and students as well as a way to assess the process and not only the final product.  I’d also bet that a lot of technology challenges were overcome and not voiced.  Many interesting conversations about the pros/cons and how-to’s of using these tools are still left to explore.  Feel free to leave your comments. How can you use these tools in your class?

A BIG thank you to ALL of my TCE 572 students for their effort!