Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's The Point?

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We are starting a new activity to practice reading comprehension skills. The skill that we are going to focus on is figuring out the main idea, and picking out the important details that go with it (these are called supporting details).

For this activity, please follow this link to an article about reusable grocery bags. Read the article, and then we will work together as a group to practice picking out the main idea and supporting details.

Good luck!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ESL 6 & 7 Unit 1 Reflection: Spoken Words

The end of the unit is here, and our projects are done! It is now time for our unit reflections. You have posted your story and podcast in a separate post with a brief description. Now, you will post your two reflections: the first one is your written reflection on the processes that you used to complete your projects, as well as the learning and skills that you gained from doing them; the second one is your video reflection where you answered the unit question and reflected on how well you showed this knowledge during your project.

Part 1: Written Reflection:

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For the written reflection, you should take the information from the reflection questions Google Doc that you shared with me and write it up in three paragraphs:

Paragraph #1: Give a brief description of the whole unit. Answer the questions: what did we study and what did we do? You should hyperlink your Unit 1, Part 1 Reflection in this part.

Paragraph #2: Reflect on the unit. What did we learn? What did we do?
You should use the answers to the Google Docs reflection questions #1-4 in this paragraph.

Paragraph #3: Write a reflection on your podcast and how well you feel you showed your understanding of the unit question. You should use the answers to the Google Docs reflection questions #5-9 in this paragraph.

Part 2: Video Reflection

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Your second reflection will be a video reflection. Go to Photo Booth and make a 45-60 second video of yourself in which you answer the following two questions.

1.) What are the main differences between reading a story and telling a story?

2.) How well do you think you TOLD your story in your podcast? EXPLAIN THIS WELL!

Once you have finished making your video, put both your written and video reflections in a blog post and publish it. Remember to give it the same title and labels as this post.

ESL 6 & 7 Unit 1 Final Project Displays

You have created several pieces of work in this class during the course of this unit:

1.) An electronic storyboard, using the website called Storybird. You then turned this into a poster storyboard and added important details to it.

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2.) A written story, taking the text from your storyboard and adding to it.

3.) A podcast of yourself telling your story. You showed the differences between simply reading a story and telling a story in this podcast.

In a separate blog post (so this SHOULD NOT be posted with your reflections), please load the following assignments:

 1.) The link to your Storybird page.

2.) The text of the story that you wrote.

3.) The video that you made of yourself reading your story, using PhotoBooth.

4.) The podcast that you made in which you told your story.

Next, write a brief description saying what each one is. Then, publish these pieces of work in your post.

Please use the same titles and labels as this post.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ESL 8, Unit 1 Final Project Displays


You have made two incredible pieces of work during this unit:

1.) A written movie blurb that uses emotive language to try and make people want to see the documentary that you created in Language A.

2.) A movie poster with original titles and taglines to accompany your documentary.

In a separate blog post (so this SHOULD NOT be posted with your reflections), please load your blurb and poster. Write a brief description saying what each one is. Then, publish these pieces of work.

Please use the same titles and labels as this post.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ESL 8, Unit 1 Reflection: The Power of Words



The end of the unit is here, and our projects are done! It is now time for our unit reflections. You have posted your documentary blurbs and movie posters in a separate post with a brief description. Now, you will post your two reflections: the first one is your written reflection on the processes that you used to complete your projects, as well as the learning and skills that you gained from doing them; the second one is your video reflection where you answered the unit question and reflected on how well you showed this knowledge during your project.

Part 1: Written Reflection:
For the written reflection, you should take the information from the reflection questions Google Doc that you shared with me and write it up in three paragraphs:

Paragraph #1: Give a brief description of the whole unit.  Answer the questions: what did we study and what did we do? You should hyperlink your Unit 1, Part 1 reflection in this part.

Paragraph #2: Write a reflection about making your movie poster. What did we learn? What did we do?
You should use the answers to the Google Docs reflection questions #1-7 in this paragraph.

Paragraph #3: Write a reflection on the whole unit. You should use the answers to the Google Docs reflection questions #8-11 in this paragraph.

Part 2:  Video Reflection

Your second reflection will be a video reflection. Go to Photo Booth and make a 45-60 second video of yourself in which you answer the following two questions.

      1.)  How can language be used to influence how people act?
2.)  How well do you think you used language in your project (blurb and poster) in order to influence people to want to see your documentary? EXPLAIN THIS WELL!

Once you have finished making your video, put both your written and video reflections in a blog post and publish it. Remember to give it the same title and labels as this post.

Have fun!
 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Say "Good-bye" Or "Farewell" Or "Au Revoir" Or "See You Later" To Boring Words!


I've been noticing lately that my students all love to use words such as "Bad",  "Big", "Small", "Good", "Happy", "Sad", "Great", "Ugly", and "Sad".

I am here to tell you that the days of using these kinds of words in my class are over!

I would like to introduce all of you to the new Synonym Wall in the room: Synonym Wall, meet Class. Class, meet Synonym Wall! 

I have posted synonyms for all of your favorite words on the Synonym Wall, words which are different and exciting. I have also tried to display them in the order of their seriousness. For example, "content" means pretty happy, but at the other end of the wall, you will find the word "ecstatic", which means EXTREMELY happy!

So, the next time you are writing and feel the need to write one of these words, look to the wall and choose another that fits what you are trying to say. Your writing and your teacher will thank you!

Coming soon to Synonym Wall: "Pretty", "Nice", "Mad", and "Very".

This Is What Good Storytelling Looks like! (ESL Grades 6 & 7)



Watch this clip of the making of the movie, "Despicable Me". You will notice that the movie is an animated movie, with actors giving the characters their voices. However, we as the audience never see the actors, so they must use their voices to give the movie life and make it interesting. This is storytelling!

As you watch the clip, take note of the way the actors are saying their lines- they are not simply standing at a microphone and reading them. They are moving their whole bodies, using different voices and making faces. All of these things are what we have talked about in class when we discuss how to tell a good story.

These are things that I want you to remember when you are making your story podcasts. Even though you are only using your voices, and the audience won't actually SEE you, you still need to put these ideas (body movement, using different voices, making faces to show how you feel)into your recording in order to tell a good story. Remember: Have fun with this!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Huge Movie Poster! (ESL Grade 8)


In class, we have been writing movie blurbs for the documentary which you are making in your Language A class. Now we are going to move on to the next phase of the unit, which includes making a movie poster to go along with your blurb.

To do this task, we are going to use the site Big Huge Labs. This site allows you to upload a photo, give it a title, add two taglines, and include other information such as credits, a rating and additional information. It is a very easy site to use! Here is the example poster which I made:



As you can see, I used a picture which I took myself, so I did not have to cite my source. However, if you are using a picture from the internet (Creative Commons, of course!), then you will need to cite the page where you found the image.

Some advice that I will give you is to notice the EMOTIVE LANGUAGE that I use in my poster. I am clearly trying to persuade students to stop using the word "Said" so much, and it shows in the wording of the poster. Think about what your goal is: to try and make people want to see your movie. Use language that will make your movie seem interesting and emotional.

Also, make sure that you copy and paste your ideas if you are not able to finish by the end of the period, as the site will not save it.

When you are finished making your poster, please print it up IN COLOR AND ON A3 PAPER. Then. save it as a jpeg to your desktop for your final reflection blog post.

Good luck, be creative and have fun!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"...and then I said...and she said....and he said..."


While we have been working in some classes on writing dialogue to add to stories, I noticed that the word "said" is used WAY too many times! In fact, it is usually the ONLY word used when students are writing dialogue.

I'm here to tell you that is all going to change now! Welcome to the world of Other Ways To Say "Said"! It's a beautiful world, full of a variety of words to describe the actions of the person speaking. Words such as, "Replied", "Told", "Answered", and one of my favorites, "Sighed"!

As in, "Please stop using the word "said" so much," sighed Mrs. Raisdana.

This world is now open to you. All you need to do is look on the classroom wall...or even in the picture on this blog! I've even categorized them as Quiet, Getting Louder, and Loud! So all you really need to do is decide the tone of voice which your speaker is using, and then look on the wall for a word that you can use instead of "said".

Enough said.

Grade 6 and Grade 7 Reflection- Unit 1, Part 1 (Storytelling)



We have just finished Part 1 of our first unit on storytelling. We have finished making storyboards, which we will now turn into real stories and present orally in a podcast.

This blog post is going to be a reflection of this first part. Reflection is a very important part of the learning process. It gives us a chance to stop and think about what we've learned, how we've learned it, and what we might do to change or improve our performance in the next part of the unit.

This reflection blog post should be written as a paragraph, describing what you've done since the first day of class, as well as how you've done it. This should sound like a story of your learning. Include the following information in your reflection:

Give it the title: Storytelling Reflection, Part 1
Give it the labels: Storytelling, Reflection, Tools

* The tools which you used and how you used them
*The sites which you used and how you used them. Make hyperlinks to these sites.
*The skills which you used to accomplish the work in this unit.
*Things which you think you will need to change or improve on in the next part of the unit.
*What you think you did well in this part of the unit and why.

Then: Include the picture of your storyboard which you took in class.

Good luck and have fun!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Flickr and Creative Commons


Now that we are blogging in class, you will need to look up a lot of pictures to insert. Maybe you will include them in your post because they show what you are talking about, maybe because I tell you that you have to, or maybe just to make your post look better! Whatever the reason, you need to be familiar with Flickr and Creative Commons!

Flickr is a site that lets people share pictures. It is a great place to look for images and pictures that you need for your blog posts. It is also a great place to look for Creative Commons pictures. Creative Commons pictures are those which people say are OK to use on your blogs, and in other published work (though you do need to give the person who took them credit by citing them).

Did you think that it was OK to take any picture from the internet and use it for your work? Well, you can't, even if you give the person credit. Some pictures are only to be looked at, and not to be used by other people. These pictures have the label All Rights Reserved (look for this whenever you find a picture that you want to use). So, just to be clear:

                                                All Rights Reserved = You Can't Use It!!!

OK, so now you may be asking, "But HOW do I find pictures that I CAN use?". The answer is Creative Commons. When you go onto Flickr and do a search for an image, make sure that you click Advanced Search. Then, when the advanced search options come up, scroll down to the bottom and click on Creative Commons images. The next set of pictures will be Creative Commons pictures, and these are OK to use. To double-check, look for the label that says Some Rights Reserved.

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If you are one of those people who like to use Google images, then you will still need to do the Advanced Search, but on the options page, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Labeled For Reuse" in the License section.

Don't forget, though- you still need to cite your picture source. To cite your source means to tell where your picture came from. To do this, you will need to copy the URL address of the page where your picture is located. There are two ways that you can cite the picture:

1.) Simply paste the URL address at the bottom of your blog post (do this for EVERY picture used).
     or:
2.) When you are writing your post and have put in the picture, go underneath the picture, write the word "Source", and highlight it. Then, click on Link and paste the URL address in the space. When you are done, the word "Source" should be in a different color, and when you click on it, it should take you to the page where the picture is located. This is called a Hyperlink.

So, just to summarize all of this information: when you are creating work that other people will see and you need to include pictures, make sure that you are using pictures that you are allowed to use. Then, remember to cite the source of these pictures.

Of course, if you still have any questions, please ask me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ESL Grade 8-Emotive Language Reflection




As we have discussed in class, reflection is very important in the learning process. It gives us a chance to stop and think about what we've learned, how we've learned it, and what we might do to change or improve on our performance.

For the first part of our unit on The Power Of Words, we learned about emotive language: what it is, examples of it, and how it can be used to improve our class writing. Then we made a slide show with pictures that we chose to show emotive language.

For your assignment, you will write a blog reflection post on Part 1 of Unit 1, The Power Of Words. In your reflection, include the following:

1.) The tools which you used in the unit, and how you used them.

2.) The sites which you used and how you used them. Make hyperlinks in your post to these sites.


3.) The skills which you used to accomplish your work in the unit.

4.) Things that you think you will need to improve for the second half of the unit.

Then, include the slide show which we made as a class to practice and show emotive language.

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Grade 7- Adding Vocabulary To Your Storybird

Boy Overboard Vocab.


We have been working on the program Storybird to create a storyboard. You will use this storyboard to write an original story. Then, you will record yourself reading this story, using the storytelling elements that we talked about in class.

This part of the assignment mixes the Language B class with the Language A class. In your grade 7 Langauge A class, you are reading the book "Boy Overboard". Above is a visual list of the new vocabulary that you have studied during the unit (well, except for the word "suppose"- it is VERY hard to find a picture of that!). The Grade 7 Language B classes put together this visual table to help students understand the words better.

I would like you to look over the vocabulary list and choose 7 words that you think you will be able to include in your story. Once you have chosen the 7 words, go back into your storyboard and put them in.

Please make sure that you are using the words correctly and appropriately. You may need to change your story a little bit in order for some of the words to make sense.

Again, please look at my Storybird story as an example. To my story, I have added the following vocabulary words:

Dazzle, Mutter, Realize, Argue, Inherit, Suppose, and Scramble

The Magic Flowers by mrsraisdana on Storybird


Good luck and be creative!