Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Wordle: Science 9 vocabulary

Here an example of wordle in a Science 9 class French Immersion. I compiled the important words to know of the chapter. The size of each word will show the importance of the word to know and it is a funny way to give to them the vocabulary of the chapter.

Wordle: genes

Podcasting takes lesson. Maya Smart

Podcasting is an excellent idea to use as a teaching tool. It can allow the students to synthezise the content of a class (allowing better understanding) and share it with fellow students in the class and around the world!
Personnaly, I use iTunes university as a tool to relearn things that I partially forgot with the years.
But most of all, it is a portable learning device. Students, after creating it, can take the bus to school and listen to the review of a class or read a book review.
It is a great tool. I spend two hours in the bus everyday and listen to book while in transport;things that may not be able to do otherwise.
Thisisa useful tool that I have the intention to use in a classroom. The chapter activities can be made this way on a specific project like mutation: some will do a review, others will have a discussion about the toxicity of cigarettes and debate, etc...
Also it is not just a new technology to use and another way to do activities but students will be far away more involved in the project than just draw or read a piece they wrote.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Making the most of online translators. Charlene Polio

This article reminded me some good times in College when I tried to translate through the internet some of the papers I was doing in English. I knew I was doing mistakes in English but it was even worse when I put my paper written in French and translated. One thing I realized is that if you write complicated sentences in your own language, worse it gets through translators!
I remember my English teachers trying to explain to me that I had "to think in English and not translate"... It is one of the hardest thing to do and honnestly, it takes years to accomplish.
I liked the different methods she uses to try to incorporate the translators into French lessons, they are inovative. Although, maybe that I am old school, but the translators should be restricted to word to word translation as we use a dictionnary.
It may be a good idea to see the differences between two languages and the structures.
Personnaly, the best method I got was from a German teacher, he told us to stay simple in our sentence construction: subject + verb + complement + dot. Even if you repeat yourself several times, it is alright. In time and practice, you can be able to evoluate and write bigger and more complicated sentences .
The Human mind is not a computer, we can associate things together intuitively and a machine cannot. It is for this reason that no matter how good a translator program can be, it will always make mistakes.

ISSUU: Genes and diseases

I found this article on issuu about genes and diseases and I thought it could be a good paper for science 9 when we talk about DNA and genetic diseases. I can use it to talk about specific diseases and have a quick overview of it. It will use it for specific diseases that we talked about and the rest will be good reading!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Reading matters: what is reading? Adrian Tenant

I like the methodology of the paper and the common sense of it. While reading I smiled alone in front of my computer for one good reason: students should learn those techniques not only when they read books but also when they read assignments!
Strangely, it seems that some points made in the article are followed (more or less) when students know they have to apply them in English class or even language classes but when they arrive in Science class, it appears that this part of the brain shut down completely. Science takes over reading.
It is hard for them to understand that we use words also in science book!
That is one of the mystery of teaching: how to make students use everything they learn at once and not separate subjects when they change classes. Especially reading and writing that can be use in all classes...

Thursday, 26 July 2012

the elements song

I found this song on Youtube and it is a great hook/opening for Chemistry class to learn or to remember all the elements of the periodic table.

Tom Leherer' elements of the periodic table Lyrics

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium
Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium
And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium
And gold and protactinium and indium and gallium
And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium
There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium and barium

There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium
And phosphorous and francium and fluorine and terbium
And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium
Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and caesium
And lead, praeseodymium and platinum, plutonium
Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium
And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium
And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium
There's sulphur, californium and fermium, berkelium
And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium
And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc and rhodium
And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin and sodium.
There are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard
And there may be many others but they haven't been discovered.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Making culture happen in English language classroom. Barry Tomalin

This article was a little bite strange. Most of the time, they start with few questions and try to answer them. Here I saw thousand of them and no real answer. I guess the purpose was to make us think about the cultural awarness in English class but I got lost pretty quickly.
Maybe because I do not understand the problem from the beginning. I come from france, overthere, we do not wonder what types of cultural components we could use in our classroom, we have 20 centuries of history and culture to talk about minimum. The city I was born, Nice, is 2500 years old: let me tell you that we have culture and history to talk about, even our own language (Nissart). Maybe it is for this reason that I do not get the unease of Canadian about teaching which culture.
I still wonder why Canada want to incorporate the English culture or the European culture in their English classes. To be honest, each countries in Europe are so different, it is a mess already (just look at the European economy and the difference between all the countries). And in addition, you want to incorporate Australian culture, Asian culture, etc...
How about talking about Canadian culture? I know, it sounds stupid but as I recall, it is a country with history. An history made by people from all over the world but with its own. Since I am in this country, I never heard about Canadian history or culture really. What I know, I learned it by myself.
In United States, it is the melting pot, in Canada, it is the multiculturalim. You cannot teach every culture to please everybody, it is simply impossible. Chose Canadian culture!
Immigrants (like me) arrive in this country to bind with another culture than our own. It will not change who we are and where we come from. But it will show us how to evolve in a new country that adopted us. We want to be a part of a culture, an unique culture under a red maple leaf!

screen recorder: mutations

In Science 9 French Immersion, I did a lesson on the mutations that provoke cancer. Here, through screen recorder, I made a quick review of the important points. This can be use on a blog for the class before a quiz or test as well as during the course for a quick reminder.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Practical Aspects of Using Video... Christine Canning-Wilson.

In the past 20 years, a lot of things has changed in learning another language, especially the modalities to do so. We live in a world of media where television, computer and social websites took over.
I remember, when I was in middle school, learning German (I started in grade 6) in a book as old as Goethe. And the most interactive things we did was reading that book.
The strategies evolved and thanks God! Now we have the opportunity to use so many tools like computer and projector to show powerpoint slides, audios and of course videos.
This generation (and the one to come) is really visual oriented: take for example facebook; nobody post audio files, but put pictures (as a French proverbe says "une photo vaut un millier de mots").
Even when we teach, we try to use our hands and body to mime and show what we are explaining.
The use of video seems logical: students can relate words and action at once. The learning can be more effective, letting us more time to learn more new things.
But, videos cannot do everything. We still need books to read and lessons to learn. The learning of a new language through discussion is en vogue and the one of videos learning will be working as well but let's not forget that to be able to master a language, we still need to learn the structure of a language.
We can use both to teach students, and in fact, we need both not one or the other.

Use of audioboo in the classroom

Even if I am teaching science in French immersion, as TOC, I will teach French in secondary. I know that in Canada schools, you use more French Canadian writers but I thought that introducing Victor Hugo is a must in a language/literature French class.
Here the beginning of a poem that can be discuss in class, not only for the use of the French and vocabulary but also for the symbolic of the poem. This discussion will happen in a grade 12 class and will begin by this audio.

Monday, 23 July 2012

listening strategies in L2 classroom. Cecilia Aponte de Hanna

The post is interesting to explain the different techniques to use in learning a second language. Although, for people that learned more than one language, a lot of the theories given are logical.
I learned English late in life and it is an evidence for me that I did not learn French the same way that I learned English. The syntax, the vocabulary, the grammar are so different that it does not associate the same part of your brain.
Neurological researches showed that when a person is speaking one language, some connections in the brain "lights up" (study under MRI) and when this same person switchs to another language, some other parts of the brain "lights up".
None the less, it was showed that there is also a connection between speaking more than one language and intelligence.
It is a pretty good argument to learn another language, don't you think?