Saturday, April 30, 2011


I located a site on the Education Podcast Network that I think could really help students with grammatical concepts. Since the textbook that I use in class is based on the communicative language teaching approach, drills are not commonly found. However, some students need additional practice with conjugations beyond what the book offers. So, I think that I would suggest for those students that find conjugation drills helpful for them, to use this site on their own time. This site is called ReVerb Spanish. While I would encourage students to use many of the podcasts found on this site, I have selected the one on the simple past tense conjugations of the verb tener because a.) it is a commonly taught tense in beginning Spanish classes, b.) it is an irregular verb which is important to learn because it is commonly used in conversation.

I would recommend that the students follow the instruction in this podcast at home or on their mp3 player. The podcasts allows students to hear and practice the correct pronunciation when they are practicing outside of the classroom. It is also a way for family members to get together and study with the students. I've had many parents tell me it is difficult for them to assist their children to study because they don't know how to pronounce the words. The podcast clearly annunciates and this can help make learning/studying a family affair.

Monday, April 25, 2011

ePals Global Community

I have never heard of this site before but am now so thankful that we have been introduced to it. I was happy to see that National Geographic has partnered with ePals (it lends some credibility for me). One important point for me is that this website appears to make connecting with other classes across the globe painless. In the past, I have tried to find credible sites where my students could online penpal with Spanish students who wanted to help them practice. Without having experience in this capacity, I had a hard time locating willing parties. This is one perk that I have noticed in a preliminary investigation into the ePals site.

I would definitely use this site to help me connect with Spanish speaking students so that our classes could practice written and spoken language, along with learning about the two cultures. Also, I found a really helpful area of this website where they feature a teacher and his/her usage of the site for inspiration. Roanne Parra's class (Spain) has collaborated with another class in Venezuela. I loved their idea: they have included a video of their final project which was a project where the students shared their daily routines. Since this is a topic that is commonly taught in my beginning classes (and the students sometimes have difficulties expressing that they do something at a particular time), I would love to use this project. I like that students would be able to include cultural information about their daily routines (for example, instead of drawing themselves during their daily routines, they could take real pictures of their items (so that students could see products from the target culture)and they could demonstrate the use of a 24 hour clock.

I also really like the share your work tab. I love to collaborate with my colleagues to maybe inspire them or get constructive feedback from them.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I love the idea that I found on Big Huge Labs of making a puzzle with my realia photos from the target countries that I have visited. I tried a sample but you have to pay for the actual puzzle, so I can't post it on here. However, I think that it could be really fun in the high school classroom where students work at variable paces. I always had certain students that would complete their work before others and I never felt giving them additional work was the best choice. So, I had a bunch of educational games that I offered to them so that they could go to the back of the classroom and "play" while the other students would complete their tasks. This type of task would work great for this kind of aim or if you plan to do stations/centers with students, it can be wonderful. Not only can you have students put the puzzle together, but they can also answer questions about them in the target language later or start an internet search on the image. Some examples are a picture of the Sagrada Familia and then students could research it. Or the puzzle could be an open air market with fruits and veggies and the students would have to answer questions about what's available and prices, for example.

Chocolate, Mercado de la Boquería, Barcelona (Spain), HDR by marcp_dmoz
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Venezia by [dorli]
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Creative Commons

I read up on Creative Commons.  Here is how they describe themselves on their website, "Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright."

There are different options available.  Here is the basic info about the types:

1.)  Attribution - You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if they give you credit.

2.)  Noncommerical - You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work - and derivative works based upon it - but for noncommercial purposes only.

3.)  No Derivative Works - You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

4.)  Share Alike - You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Information from Flickr Explore/Creative Commons

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Comparing Audio Recording Tools

On the Site?
Upload an Image?
On or Reply to Other People's Recordings?
Create a Link
To your Recording?
Your Recording on Blog/Glog?
Share through Facebook, email, Twiter, other?
Use an RSS Feed?

The recording was pretty painless.
I tried to upload my recording for hours.  This was extremely difficult - maybe due to recording size.  Image- no trouble.

No problems here.
Recording- easy; image- same



Very easy.
Both were quite easy.


Very easy.

Very easy.



A bit problematic with the recording.

More difficult than the other programs.
Very hard time getting the recording to not come out all jumbled - tried it honestly 15 times.  Recording is still jumbled. Image-N/A

Friday, March 11, 2011

Twitter for Teacher Networking

    After reading the online articles for this week (Langwitches Blog and Free Technology) (and looking at the posts from the educators that I follow, I was able to connect the two easily.  The articles suggested that teachers rarely have time/opportunities today to connect like we should.  I remember hearing about the teacher's lounge from my teachers when I was in school - it was described as an area of comiseration among the teachers.  Now, we are so burdened by our ever-increasing workload, demands of keeping ourselves abreast of teaching practices, and a total lack of time.  Unfortunately, this means collaboration and moral support is hard to come by.  I myself have felt this and wanted opportunities to reach out to my colleagues.  Twitter seems to be the perfect way.  Not only can I "follow" educators, but I also have the ability to tag them in my posts or search for revelant terms (using hashtags) and find suggestions/tips/etc. from other educators.  I actually was able to "follow" one of my previous professors from undergrad who is a fantastic foreign language educator.  I was so fortunate to find her on Twitter and be able to follow her posts.  What a new opportunity we have now with this technology!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Schools Should Model Learning for Students

   The comment that I made was on the post entitled 10+ Ways to Promote a Learning Culture in Your School on the blog 2 Cents Worth by