Last but not least…Station 3!

In the second session my group and I worked in this station together with Station number 1. We had a worksheet with some activities and we had to divide them into pre/actual and post-teaching activities. I think that dividing the activities into pre/actual and post-teaching activities is very helpful when planning a lesson as it can help you to create a dynamic and fluid lesson due to the fact that you’ve got different activities you want to discuss with your students in three different moments: to introduce the topic, to actually work with it and to finish the lesson. We also had to create a comic and a word cloud. It was fun! These tools are amazing!

station 3

The PRE-TEACHING ACTIVITIES could be considered the following ones:

d) Discussion:

This is a warming-up activity because we want our students to activate their previous knowledge of the topic, the author, etc.

f) Think pair-share:

Students have to predict the plot of a story taking into account headlines/titles. They also have to make comments on their reflections with the rest of the class.

Having students talking in pairs or small groups is something useful as they feel more comfortable than talking to the teacher in front of the whole class; however, we have to make sure they are talking in English and  be there if they have problems with vocabulary. If you create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom and let them know that making mistakes is ok because that’s the way in which someone learns they’ll feel better; the key is to mantain a positive attitude towards them and the language and so they’ll develop a positive attitude and their level of anxiety will decrease.

The ACTUAL TEACHING ACTIVITY is the:

c) Analysis:

It is a reading comprehension activity. Students have to find out and justify if the information in the statements is true or false.

We can also show the students some excerpts of the story in different pieces of papers, in groups, they have to arrange the story in order and justify why the order they chose is correct. With this type of exercise they are talking to each other, agreeing and disagreeing and they have to be very coordinated and share their ideas to come up with the correct order.

and regarding the POST-TEACHING ACTIVITIES:

a) Writing:

Once they have read the short story, students have to carry on writing a different ending for the story: in the end, Mrs. Bixby’s coat is still in the pawnshop and she is planning a strategy to get it back.

b) Discussion:

Students discuss the real ending of the story and what will happen next.

e) Role play:

Students work in pairs and they have to perform Mr and Mrs Bixby’s conversation by the end of the story.

I personally like all of the activities proposed but if I had to choose, I’d pick up the role play. I like using a little bit of drama in class as students can show their creativity and funny side of themselves. It is very  motivating for them if they can design the stage, the clothes or objects they want to use for the scene.

We could also suggest our students to create a Voki avatar (http://www.voki.com/) of either Mr or Mrs Bixby and tell the story from the point of view of each other in a very short way. Students will love this tool and they can practice their digital competence while learning how to summarise a whole text.

– In the next activity we had to represent a scene of the short story through either goanimate (http://goanimate.com/) or bitstrips (http://www.bitstrips.com/).

I used goanimate to create the scene, it was very easy to use. You just need to choose the avatars, the setting of the scene and typing what you want your characters to say or record your own voice!

Here is my goanimate contribution to my group: http://goanimate.com/videos/0I5g-Pp7MF8U?utm_source=linkshare

I would use goanimate with my students because you can review structures, lots of vocabulary, develop their creativity and create fantastic stories!

– The scene can be posted on Edmodo (http://www.edmodo.com/), Kidblog (http://kidblog.org/home/) or Fakebook (http://www.classtools.net/fb/home/page). Those are useful ICTs we can use in our class, they are in fact similar to famous social networks but they have educational purposes so we can use them for free and are more suitable for teenagers.
Our group thought that the scene can be a useful tool to make students write. Creating a writing activity based on a comic can be appealing for teenagers.
 
– In the last activity of the station we work with Word-cloud (http://www.wordle.net/) where you can create posters with words. “Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.”
We decided that we can use wordle to foster writing and stimulating students to flow their creativity.  The activity would consist n doing a writing using the words given in the word-cloud patchwork to build up a possible denouement for the story. Here is the tool they need to use to write their own ending for the story of Mr. & Mrs. Bixby:http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/6604013/UntitledWord-clouds are fantastic to work with words and they can be adapted to create multiple activities as: creative writing, summaries, posters, presentations…etc. We can adapt them into pre/actual and post-teaching activities.So, this is it, here’s the final station me and my group have been working with. The next post will be about two interesting short stories of my choice and soon I’ll come up with some active techniques to teach English trough them! I hope you find them useful!Sara
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Session 2: Station 1!

 

station 1

My group and I worked on Station number 1  and Station  number 3 the same day which was in fact  the second session. The second part of Session one was devoted to Station number 2 which you will found on the next post.

 

We found some activities on “Lamb to the Slaughter” short story:

lamb - activity 4

– In the first activity we had to discuss the differences and similarities between Mrs Bixby (Mrs Bixby and the colonel’s coat) and Mary Maloney. Our group found that Mary Maloney is a scheming wife, totally devoted to her husband and she feels alone as he doesn’t pay attention to her when everything she wants to do is please him. Mrs Bixby has everything in life but she lacks passion.

They are similar in that both women suffer from unrequited love from their partners and they have everything in life except for happiness.

Regarding the differences, each of them behaves in a different way; Mary Maloney actually kills her husband in an outburst and Mrs. Bixby has to resign and continue with her dull life.

– Then, we had to discuss if we would use EDMODO (http://www.edmodo.com) in class with our students and if we would classify the previous activity into pre/actual/post-teaching. We agreed that it’s a fantastic tool where teacher and students can share different points of view and every activity can be adapted to fit into pre/actual/post-teaching. However, in this case, it could be used as a post-teaching  activity because students have to discuss the similarities and the difference between the female characters of both shortstories and this means that they must have already been working each shortstory individually.

In my opinion, I would use EDMODO with my students as it is a fantastic way of sharing information with them and you can also interact with each other. Nowadays, teenagers spend most of the time online, why not taking advantage of it and adapt it to education? The teacher can communicate with his/her pupils but they can also comment to each other, share info, like their classmates’ posts…etc. I think it is very easy for them to use and a very interesting active technique to provide significant learning. It is very motivating as the teacher can give “badges” to the students that are participating and our students need some kind of recognition when they make an effort. It is easy to use and it’s similar to Facebook or Tuenti so our students will know how to work with it perfectly. We can tell them to use Edmodo whenever they come up with an idea, or share videos, pages in English they like…etc. We can also tell them to post their reflections on the lessons and so have some feedback and organise better our time.

– Then, we talked about the ironic symbols on both shortstories:

In Lamb to the Slaughter, the lamb is actually an ironic symbol because it is the weapon that Mary uses to murder her husband.

In Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s coat shortstory the neckpiece is the ironic symbol because it represents unfaithfulness, disdain and greed.

We looked for pictures to represent both symbols: a leg lamb and a neckpiece.

– In the next activity we had to pretend to be Mrs. Maloney in a radio programme and convince the audience of her actions. I did the recording myself and it was a funny experience as I changed my voice to be the radio presenter, I added some background music and I pretended to be Mrs. Maloney who was felt sorry for what she did and tried to excuse herself. We were supposed to used either https://soundcloud.com/ or http://vocaroo.com/but those only work if you have a microphone so I used the recorder in my mobile phone and it worked perfectly.

-We agreed that we would use recorders in class as students can get to know their mistakes in pronunciation and they can improve by themselves. We can suggest our students to use their own mobile phones to record their voices so  they can see that technology can also be applied in class.

I would also use a recorder in my lessons, and I would also recommend my students to do recordings as it is really useful to hear how you pronounce in English. It is a good way in which students can get inmediate feedback and hear themselves speaking. You can do lots of activities in which students have to record their voices as: interviews, radio programmes…etc. They’ll love it for sure!

– In the last activity we had to discuss whether the recording could be classified into pre/actual/post-teaching and we think that depending on the content of the voice message we can adapt it into all types of teaching. In this case, we think that it is part of the actual teaching of the shortstory because while students are writing the reasons which justify her acts, they are reflecting on the plot of the story and they are also putting into practice their speaking skills.

I liked very much working through this station as I learnt more aspects of this shortstory and I discovered new ways of teaching reading comprehension I can actually apply in my lessons that can catch my students’ attention as working with EDMODO and doing voice recordings.