Team work ,matters!

The ability to work together with others as part of a team is not simply a skill needed at school, it is a vital skill used in all areas of life. For me, school is, an excellent time to cultivate the teamwork skills, children will then draw from, throughout their life.

 

For a team to work together effectively, it takes all members of the team to respect each other’s abilities and opinions. Teamwork is a highly social activity and involves much interaction and exchanging of ideas and actions. We all understand that, being part of a team enables a child to move from more intrapersonal (individual) ways of thinking to interpersonal (communicating with others). It will help students in all areas of their learning, and help them to feel part of a community, too.

The biggest problem in my country’s educational system is that, teamwork is not encouraged at schools- at least, not as much as it should be….

Working as part of a team will strengthen students’ social and emotional skills, help develop their communication skills, and can improve confidence.

Team games, are also important…From experience, the best way to teach children English is to not only get them physically involved within the lesson, but also to create the illusion that they are simply playing games. And rather than focus on individual development, it is also a very good idea to promote class interaction as far as possible.

Even very young learners can become independent in their learning and guided early on they will be more likely to grow into autonomous and successful language learners.

Creative use of language makes communication possible even when students may not know the perfect grammar for what they are trying to say.Nothing is more true to life than that.

When students work in groups, they have to work together to accomplish a goal. Even when the use of grammar is weak in these collaborations, communication happens, and that will give your students an advantage, when they have to face communication in the English speaking world.

Encouragement in class,is crucial ! One way encouragement comes, is when lower level students see the accomplishments of higher level students.Less accomplished students will become better speakers just by talking to others more advanced than them, without help and without pressure….When they work in groups, I see that students help each other learn.

One of the most important things for me, as far as group work is concerned, is speaking!

Putting our students in groups, gets them speaking up and practicing the language that they are trying to learn. And, speaking, is not top priority in the Greek language class…. not even in the private Greek Language schools-“Frodisteria”…

Students who are kinesthetic learners, will benefit greatly from learning through games and group work,too. Students of varying English levels can work together to support each other, make decisions together and learning from one another. Games and group work can involve all of the aspects of language—listening, speaking, reading and writing.

 

In our class, children experience teamwork in many different forms. They may be asked to work in pairs, small groups, or larger groups on a variety of different things. They may be asked to work in teams for physical activities such as ball games or running games or more formal activities such as projects. Children also often form their own team activities during their play time.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” – Plato

I am sharing an interesting post about the benefits of Team Building, here

 

Benefits of Team Building

1.  Getting to know each other better
2.  Bonding
3.  Building team spirit
4.  Encouraging tolerance and understanding
5.  Creating a sense of belonging and connectivity
6.  Creating a climate of cooperation and collaborative problem-solving
7.  Improving motivation
8.  Improving communication within the group
9.  Team development – Building a community with a common purpose
10. Developing trust, care, compassion, kindness and creating empathy (Trusting each other AND yourselves)
11. Building self-esteem

12. Creating an understanding and awareness of individual differences, personality strengths and  weaknesses
13. Breaking down barriers
14. Creativity – Doing things differently! Out of the box!!
15. Higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment.And all the time … Having a huge amount of FUN

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“PuppETs-European Travelers”: an amazing ETwinning project!

This old time classic pen pals project, gave a real purpose and meaning to learning a foreign language and helped the students experience education in a different country through European citizenship ,using Arts and crafts and a new tool: twinspace!

The project lasted  a school year and we had to complete many individual items . We had to create common projects about: ourselves, our school, our country , our town ,our favourite sports and hobbies, our customs and special traditions, our most favourite place in our countries , our daily routine and habits and also ,create our pen pals as PUPPETS , reading their appearance descriptions and looking at their self-portraits ! We lived in another country, as our school and country ambassadors, and experienced life in another class, far away from home, for one school year! Puppet-students, wrote on their twinspace diaries about their adventures and collaboratively wrote and put on stage, a puppet play about their experience! Our projects and letters were both sent to our friends by snail mail and uploaded on twinspace, to share and compare, in a different class.

Pedagogical Innovation and Creativity 

This was a new and innovative partnership for my school; It was the first time the students participated in such an innovative ETwinning project.

Both, group work and independent research was used  by pupils.

The innovation and creativity of the project is based on the following factors:

1.The willingness of the teachers involved to communicate easily – via phone, email, sms

2.All partner  schools being inclusive of each other, working as one unit on each common project

3.That the children felt able to be creative with their audience in the partner school in mind and dare to share and compare.They also used their imagination and creativity as well as their artistic skills, in order to create their puppet pals and write/stage their puppet plays.

4.That the learning from the project was so significant that it will not be lost from children’s minds

5.The student-Puppet-Ambassadors, created by and for the students ,served as a  meaningful pathway towards understanding and learning more about our friends.

6.Our student-Puppets project, provided the opportunity to break down classroom walls. It gave our students a chance, to see a world outside of their walls.Students,  became fully aware of the other European partner countries and their ways of life. Citizenship became a practical ,rather than theoretical, part of the curriculum.

7.Our ETwinning project, encouraged cooperation between teachers and unified learning. It also offered us the chance to collaborate with the local Puppet Theatre and museum,which was highly beneficial for all of us.

The scope of learning widened from English skills to several other subjects. The idea of being   partners in a European project, encouraged the pupils to find out more about different European countries, their nature, art, food and ways  of living. In the context of European partnerships,our work  provided in the shared learning environment were not only learning material, but were a meaningful pathway towards understanding and learning more about our partners.

  1. In this sense, the true revelation has been that apart from climate and language, people in Europe are essentially very similar with shared values and interests. Surely, this  helped us to overcome our prejudices and made us more open to intercultural cooperation.

Curricular integration 

The theme was chosen deliberately to ensure that the project and its work was as cross-curricular as possible. The areas of ,EFL,  social studies, expressive arts, citizenship,and basic IT , have all been integrated into the sharing of  our common  project activities .

The main focus was to improve the learning of English.

This fitted well into the Curriculum and all my  pupils  benefited.  Our  project involved MFL, language, social studies, expressive arts and basic technology.

We held a European Day of Languages to get the rest of the school know our European friends better. We also had “Puppet Theatre” days, when our student-puppet-guests, presented their projects about their country and way of life, to us! It was exciting to lend them our voices and have them “talk” to us-we could also ask them questions! We later,uploaded all the photos  on our Twinspace “Puppet Diaries”, where everyone could make comments or just read, share and compare ideas, thoughts and feelings.Finally, we were invited to take part in a local Puppet Theatre Festival, where we had the chance to present our play to the local community!

A second focus was citizenship. By exchanging information about each other’s towns, lives  and heritage, the pupils  learned a great deal about each other’s environment, way of life and culture. As far as my school is concerned, I made sure that almost all our project activities were connected  to each of our English coursebook units. Luckily, our coursebooks , are based on both cross curricular and cross cultural topics quite relevant to our Etwinning project theme! Also, they are based on both creative  project work and group  collaboration which  was  highly helpful in our Etwinning project!

I  made sure that, ALL my 85  students, in different age and  language level, took part in our  Etwinning project, a fact  that  proved to be a real challenge!

Finally, our student-puppet-guests, are going to spend their Summer holidays  in our partner countries, write a Summer Diary entry about their Summer adventures and come back home in Autumn, to share it with us.

Communication and exchange between partner schools 

From the beginning, there was a strong plan which gave the teachers guidelines, responsibilities and timescale for each element of the project.

What we practically did  ,was  that, we sent our pen friends all our group projects, on a topic we had already worked on in class and we asked them to reply ,by sending us the same topic based project! The projects we sent, were  in the form of posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, PP presentations, albums , videos, etc….In class, we talked about the similarities and differences of cultures and ways of life !

The students’ very first project was their self-portraits and appearance descriptions, which were used to help their  pals create their puppet-selves!

Arts and craft played an important role in n our project work !

If the kids felt  the need to personalize their work  even more, they were  free to include little gifts having to do with themselves or the project topic, … I always printed  lots of pictures and displayed  them on our school  notice boards.Students were also encouraged to interact on  twinspace ,both at the school ICT lab and from home. This all gave a real purpose and meaning to learning a foreign language.

In these difficult times of financial crisis , our students were able to live abroad, as puppets and experience life in a different country and class for a whole school year ,sharing and comparing our ways of life and making new friends.

The most important tool of the project , was our Twinspace Forums Puppet Diaries: by visiting the Puppet Diaries on a regular basis,  the children via their puppets, became ambassadors of our school and country! The pupils shared information and experiences, and thus learned from each other and strengthened their communication skills. They were also encouraged to interact on twinspace Discussion Forums, where they had to answer simple questions about themselves and our projects, as well as to read and make comments on their partners’ replies.

Collaboration between partner schools. 

In collaboration the teachers in all countries, decided on the range of topics that we would cover and the optimum time for sending/receiving the correspondence items.

We tried together  to do some pre-matching of pupils and classes , based on their known interests.

By all means we  ‘recycled’ language that pupils have previously learnt in their English class .

We created a teachers’  e-mail exchange, too and a frequent collaboration on the Teachers’ bulletin.

We all had to make our partner’s Puppet-Self! In other words, create a puppet-pal ,with similar characteristics with our pen pal, to host in our class and country,for the whole school year!

Our puppets, would travel, play and learn, with their pen pals, in another country and class,experiencing a different way of life.

We created  our Puppet-Ambassadors Diaries on Forums , which we often updated, with the help of our puppets.

We uploaded   videos about our area ,as well as videos about our schools and puppet plays.

We also agreed on the letters and projects which would be implemented by our pupils and agreed on  wall display of correspondence received from partner schools .

We made  questionnaires, and quizzes about our common projects to see how much we had learned, about each other.

We finally, decided to have our students host our guest Puppets during the summer and write on the Puppets’ Summer Diaries which would later be sent , along with the puppets, back home!

We all agreed that, all  students’  final products -our projects,  would be achieved through group work ! No group  project was sent abroad, before it was presented in class ,with the help of our student-puppet-friends and was later displayed on the classroom walls and ,finally, uploaded on Twinspace Pages.

Use of technology 

Some of the partner schools ,had not  used most of the  web tools we had to use for this project,  before .

I had small  groups of my students, use Photoshop to enhance and crop photos and then put them into Movie Maker to produce a school video  to be posted on Twinspace for other schools to view and had them to create  a Quiz about our town. We also used Kizoa to make short videos, padlet to work on our Puppet play script, collaboratively, and a Word Cloud Generator,for feedback.

I have consulted and collaborated with partner teachers using Skype and a webcam. Outcomes and project work were saved on Twinspace ,allowing uploaded materials and presentations to be compared and contrasted easily across all partner  countries.My students, were asked to interact with their pen friends on twinspace ,using their home computers, too !   Video-conferencing, using new webcams, were all new experiences for us .Our project brought a new and exciting dimension to our work.

Actually, the ability to use ICT is becoming more and more vital in today’s modern information society. However, ICT skills are still acquired mainly outside public educational institutes, in my country.

Actually, communicating with real people from other countries appeared to motivate the learners in a very special way, also in the use of basic ICT tools, mainly with our ICT teacher’s guidance.

Through ETwinning pupils learn to use ICT tools in a pedagogically meaningful way.

They wrote letters in the forums, chatted, did interactive exercises, took and uploaded digital photos and videos, searched for information, etc. And all this took place in the pedagogical context of studying English communication

Results, impact and documentation

The pupils were inspired and motivated. They had a great deal of fun working collaboratively .

Students had an opportunity to develop a sense of pride and respect toward other traditions. Our Puppet-Ambassadors, made Europe a more real concept, especially for those students who have never traveled abroad.

The organisation and commitment of the students has been very impressive.

The children showed a great interest in exploring another country and its way of life, as well as demonstrating increased motivation in learning a foreign language. They were always eager to participate, found information themselves, drew pictures, made posters, presented the project to other classes and last, but not least, create their own puppets and write their own Puppet play!

The group  work of my students was collected, and ultimately, shared with our partners. Writing and illustrating personal responses gave students the opportunity to boost their art and creative writing skills. Reading the personal responses of their European  partners, gave students greater insight into their partners’ context and worldview.

The project also brought the class together, as the pupils were working as a team. Through these activities the children also became ambassadors for the school and country .

The pupils  learnt from each other and strengthened  their communication skills.

All in all, we achieved   :

  • to promote group activities  for tolerance and cultural understanding;
  • to strengthen my students’ intercultural competences in order to be ready for responsible understanding of Europe’s identity and common values;
  • to develop the European dimension through arts education (puppets) and creativity with the aim to promote multiculturalism and tolerance between students;
  • To develop “Out-of-the-box” activities that would encourage mutual support, team building and group cohesion ;
  • Encourage personalized learning approaches by acquiring new artistic and pedagogical skills with the aim of developing new ideas and creativity of the students involved in the project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers4Europe 2017: “The young tourist” (in Greek )

                                                                                 

                                                                                       

 

“Ο ΜΙΚΡΟΣ ΤΟΥΡΙΣΤΑΣ”

Α TEACHERS4EUROPE 2017 PROJECT

21o ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΛΑΡΙΣΑΣ

Υπεύθυνη εκπαιδευτικός: Γκιούρη Αφροδίτη (ΠΕ 06)

Η δράση  Teachers4Europe ,στην οποία συμμετείχε φέτος το τμήμα Γ 2 του 21ου Δ.Σ. Λάρισας, στα πλαίσια του μαθήματος της Ευέλικτης Ζώνης, με υπεύθυνη εκπαιδευτικό την κ Γκιούρη Αφροδίτη, αποτελεί εκπαιδευτική δράση του Υπουργείου Παιδείας & Θρησκευμάτων , με την υποστήριξη του Γραφείου του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου στην Ελλάδα, και αφορά εκπαιδευτικούς και μαθητές  της Πρωτοβάθμιας και Δευτεροβάθμιας  Εκπαίδευσης.

Το πρόγραμμα που η τάξη μας υλοποίησε, ονομάζεται “ Ο μικρός τουρίστας”.

Οι στόχοι της δράσης, αφορούν τη γνωριμία των μικρών μαθητών με τη χώρα τους αλλά και  το Ευρωπαικό τους σπίτι και τη γνωριμία διαφορετικών πολιτισμών μέσα από το παιχνίδι .

 

Έμπνευση για το συγκεκριμένο έργο αποτέλεσαν οι οι εκπαιδεύτριες Ευαγγελία Γκρίμπα (υπότροφος του Ιδρύματος Ωνάση ) και Ελευθερία Γκρίμπα (υπότροφος του ΙΚΥ) από  τη Στέγη Γραμμάτων και Τεχνών, οι οποίες και αρχικά υλοποίησαν το  καινοτόμο βιωματικό πρόγραμμα «Μια βαλίτσα ταξιδεύει », μέρος της ευρύτερης εθελοντικής δράσης “ΕΛΑ ΜΑΖΙ ΜΑΣ” του Συνδέσμου Υποτρόφων Ιδρύματος Ωνάση.

ACTIVITIES

  1. ANTI-STRESS BALL:

 

Λίγα λόγια για μένα, τα μέρη που έχω έως τώρα ταξιδέψει και τα μέρη που θα ήθελα να ταξιδέψω στο μέλλον.

2.ΥΔΡΟΓΕΙΟΣ

Τι είναι η Υδρόγειος? Τι δείχνει?

Κλείνουμε τα μάτια και με το δάχτυλό μας ακουμπάμε ένα σημείο της Υδρογείου.

Βλέπουμε ποιο είναι και συζητάμε γι αυτό. Ψάχνουμε στο σπίτι πληροφορίες για τον πρώτο μας φανταστικό ταξιδιωτικό προορισμό στον πλανήτη μας και τις μοιραζόμαστε στο επόμενο μάθημα με τους συμμαθητές μας στην τάξη.

3.ΧΑΡΤΗΣ ΕΥΡΩΠΗΣ

α)Γνωριμία με το Ευρωπαικό μας σπίτι!

Αναζητούμε χώρες και προορισμούς.

β)Παίζουμε σκυταλοδρομία σε ομάδες: ένα μέλος από κάθε ομάδα, ακούγοντας το όνομα μιας Ευρωπαικής χώρας, τρέχει στο χάρτη να το ακουμπήσει πρώτος-η, και να κερδίσει βαθμό για την ομάδα του-της.

γ) Γνωριζόμαστε με το βιβλίο μας TRAVEL BOOK! Επιλέγουμε μια χώρα-προορισμό και συμπληρώνουμε την καρτέλα της στο σπίτι, αφού ερευνήσουμε γι αυτή.

Μοιραζόμαστε όσα μάθαμε κι από αυτό μας το ταξίδι,με τους συμμαθητές μας, στην τάξη!

 

 

4.ΤΟΥΡΙΣΤΙΚΑ ΑΛΜΠΟΥΜ-ΦΥΛΛΑΔΙΑ-ΓΑΣΤΡΟΝΟΜΙΚΟΙ ΟΔΗΓΟΙ

Oι μαθητές καλούνται να φέρουν από το σπίτι τους, οτιδήποτε βρούνε σε σχέση με ταξίδια και άλλες χώρες : ταξιδιωτικά φυλλάδια, postcards, γαστρονομικούς οδηγούς, souvenirs….

Ενθαρρύνονται να συζητήσουν σχετικά με αυτά με την οικογένειά τους, πριν τα συζητήσουμε στην τάξη.

Στο μάθημα, μοιραζόμαστε όλο το υλικό και εργαζόμενοι σε ομάδες, κάνουμε σχόλια και συζητάμε τις εντυπώσεις μας ή θέτουμε ερωτήσεις και νοερά ταξιδεύουμε στον κόσμο!

Συγκρίνουμε τον τόπο μας,τη ζωή μας,  την κουζίνα μας, με αυτά άλλων λαών και κάνουμε όνειρα για μελλοντικά ταξίδια κι εμπειρίες!

5.POSTCARDS

Δίνεται σε κάθε μαθητή μία σελίδα με πληροφορίες και εικόνες από μία τουλάχιστο Ευρωπαική χώρα.

Αυτή είναι ο επόμενος ταξιδιωτικός του προορισμός!

‘Οπως όλοι οι τουρίστες, καλείται να έχει στις “αποσκευές “ του, μία postcard από το ταξίδι του εκεί. Την οποία όμως, θα φτιάξει ο ίδιος, με απλά υλικά και εικόνες και πληροφορίες της επιλογής του από το φυλλάδιο πληροφοριών που του έχει δοθεί.

Παρουσίαση των καρτών στην τάξη.

Οι μαθητές μοιράζονται όσα έμαθαν από το ταξίδι τους σ αυτή τη χώρα, με τους συμμαθητές τους!

Η κάρτα κατόπι, τοποθετείται στο ταξιδιωτικό μας lapbook.

 

  1. LAPBOOKS-PASSPORTS

Δημιουργούμε τα ταξιδιωτικά μας lapbooks!

Κάθε ταξιδιώτης, παίρνει μαζί του στα ταξίδια του, μία βαλίτσα, ένα ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ , ένα χάρτη, και φυσικά, το…laptop του!!

Mέσα στο δικό μας Lapbook, τοποθετούμε επίσης την postcard από τα ταξίδια μας, και πληροφορίες για αγαπημένους Ευρωπαικούς προορισμούς, χώρες και πρωτεύουσες!

7.ΤΟΥΡΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΑΦΙΣΑ

 

Κατασκευάζουμε μία αφίσα για μία Ευρωπαική χώρα στην οποία, νοερά “ταξιδεύουμε”,  γράφουμε και μιλάμε γι αυτή. Τοποθετούμε την αφίσα μας, μέσα στο Ευρωπαικό μας Lapbook!

 

8.ICT LAB

 

Σε συνεργασία με τον καθηγητή πληροφορικής, ,παρακολουθούμε videos στο youtube , σχετικά με την Ελλάδα και την Ευρώπη.

Συζητάμε:

Ποιο θέμα δείχνει?

Για ποιο σκοπό έγινε?

Τι σας έκανε εντύπωση?

Τι μαθαίνουμε από αυτό?

Επίσης, χρησιμοποιούμε τα Google Maps, Street view για να ταξιδέψουμε στις χώρες που γνωρίσαμε στη διάρκεια του προγράμματος! Περπατάμε στους δρόμους των μεγαλύτερων πόλεων της Ευρώπης! Ουσιαστικά, βγαίνουμε από τους τοίχους της τάξης μας και του εργαστηρίου και με τη βοήθεια της τεχνολογίας, γινόμαστε πραγματικοί τουρίστες της Ευρώπης!

Σημαντικό:  Εναλλακτικά, θα μπορούσαμε να δημιουργήσουμε το δικό μας μικρό βίντεο για τη χώρα μας, με τα κατάλληλα web εργαλεία.

  1. PUPPETS

 

Κατασκευάζουμε τον εαυτό μας σε…κούκλα! Σε συνεργασία με τον Δημοτικό κουκλοθίασο “Τιριτόμπα”.

Εμείς ως…puppets, γράφουμε το μικρό μας κουκλοθεατρικό σκετσάκι και παρουσιάζουμε με κουκλοθέατρο την εμπειρία μας από το πρόγραμμα!

 

 

PUPPET SCRIPT: Ο ΜΙΚΡΟΣ ΤΟΥΡΙΣΤΑΣ ΤΑΞΙΔΕΥΕΙ

ΟΛΟΙ:

ΓΕΙΑ ΣΑΣ ! ΕΙΜΑΣΤΕ ΟΙ ΜΙΚΡΟΙ ΤΟΥΡΙΣΤΕΣ ΤΟΥ 21ΟΥ Δ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟΥ ΛΑΡΙΣΑΣ!

ΒΡΙΣΚΟΜΑΣΤΕ ΕΔΩ, ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΜΟΙΡΑΣΤΟΥΜΕ ΜΑΖΙ ΣΑΣ ΤΗΝ ΕΜΠΕΙΡΙΑ ΜΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΤΑΞΗ ΑΛΛΑ ΚΑΙ ΣΕ ΟΟΟΟΛΟ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ!

 

1-2 : ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΠΑΑΡΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΤΑ ΤΑΞΙΔΙΑ!

 

3-4: Η ΑΙΘΟΥΣΑ ΜΑΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΠΑΡΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΜΙΚΡΗ ΑΛΛΑ ΕΜΕΙΣ ΚΑΤΑΦΕΡΑΜΕ ΝΑ ΤΗΝ ΚΑΝΟΥΜΕ ΠΑΑΑΡΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΜΕΓΑΛΗ! ΟΣΟ ΟΛΟΚΛΗΡΗ Η ΓΗ ΜΑΣ!!

 

5-6 : Η ΑΙΘΟΥΣΑ ΜΑΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΓΕΜΑΤΗ ΧΑΡΤΕΣ: ΠΑΓΚΟΣΜΙΟ, ΕΥΡΩΠΗΣ, ΚΑΙ ΕΛΛΑΔΑΣ

 

ΟΛΟΙ:

ΘΕΛΕΤΕ ΝΑ ΜΑΘΕΤΕ ΤΙ ΚΑΝΑΜΕ? ΕΚΤΟΟΟΟΣ…ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΠΑΙΞΟΥΜΕ ΠΟΛΛΑ ΠΑΙΧΝΙΔΙΑ ??

 

7-8 : ΠΡΩΤΑ ΞΕΚΙΝΗΣΑΜΕ ΤΟ ΤΑΞΙΔΙ ΜΑΣ ΑΠΟ ΜΙΑ ΥΔΡΟΓΕΙΟ ΣΦΑΙΡΑ. ΤΑΞΙΔΕΨΑΜΕ ΣΕ ΜΙΑ ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗ ΤΟΥ ΠΛΑΝΗΤΗ ΚΑΙ ΜΑΘΑΜΕ ΤΑ ΠΑΝΤΑ ΓΙ ΑΥΤΗ!

 

9-10 : ΚΑΤΟΠΙ, ΤΑΞΙΔΕΨΑΜΕ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΥΡΩΠΗ. ΠΗΡΑΜΕ ΜΑΖΙ ΜΑΣ, ΒΑΛΙΤΣΑ, ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ, ΧΑΡΤΗ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΜΟΝΑΔΙΚΟ ΜΑΣ LAPBOOK!

 

11-12 ΕΠΕΙΤΑ, Η ΤΑΞΗ ΜΑΣ ΓΕΜΙΣΕ, ΑΝΤΙΚΕΙΜΕΝΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΤΑΞΙΔΙΑ ΜΑΣ : ΣΟΥΒΕΝΙΡ, ΒΙΒΛΙΑ, ΟΔΗΓΟΥΣ ΜΑΓΕΙΡΙΚΗΣ, ΚΑΡΤΕΣ !

 

13-14 : ΑΥΤΟ ΠΟΥ ΜΑΣ ΑΡΕΣΕ ΠΙΟ ΠΟΛΥ ΟΜΩΣ, ΗΤΑΝ ΠΟΥ ΠΗΡΑΜΕ ΜΑΖΙ ΜΑΣ ΤΟ ΚΑΤΑΠΛΗΚΤΙΚΟ ΜΑΣ LAPBOOK

 

-ΕΝΑ ΔΙΑΦΟΡΕΤΙΚΟ LAPTOP ΔΗΛΑΔΗ, ΜΕ ΟΛΕΣ ΤΙΣ ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΙΕΣ ΠΟΥ ΧΡΕΙΑΖΕΤΑΙ ΝΑ ΕΧΕΙ ΜΑΖΙ ΤΟΥ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ, ΕΝΑΣ ΣΥΓΧΡΟΝΟΣ ΤΑΞΙΔΙΩΤΗΣ!

 

ΟΛA TA ΚΟΡΙΤΣΙΑ:

ΤΟ ΦΕΡΑΜΕ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ ΜΑΖΙ ΜΑΣ, ΝΑ ΣΑΣ ΤΟ ΔΕΙΞΟΥΜΕ!

 

15-16 : ΜΑΣ ΑΡΕΣΕ ΟΜΩΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΤΑΝ, Η κ. ΦΩΤΕΙΝΗ ΚΑΛΟΥΔΗ, ΜΑΣ ΒΟΗΘΗΣΕ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΤΑΣΚΕΥΑΣΑΜΕ ΕΜΑΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΙΔΙΟΥΣ ΣΑΝ… ..ΚΟΥΚΛΕΣ, ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΣΑΣ ΜΙΛΗΣΟΥΜΕ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ ΕΔΩ!

 

ΟΛΑ ΤΑ ΑΓΟΡΙΑ:

ΤΗΝ ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΟΥΜΕ ΠΟΛΥ! ΗΤΑΝ ΤΕΛΕΙΑ ΕΜΠΕΙΡΙΑ !

 

ΟΛΟΙ:

ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΤΑ ΤΑΞΙΔΙΑ!

ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΤΗ ΓΗ ΜΑΣ!

ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΤΟ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΟ ΜΑΣ ΣΠΙΤΙ!

ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΤΗ ΧΩΡΑ ΜΑΣ!

 

ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΝΑ ΜΑΘΑΙΝΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΙ ΝΑ ΔΙΑΣΚΕΔΑΖΟΥΜΕ !

 

ΑΓΑΠΑΜΕ ΤΟΥΣ TEACHERS4EUROPE!

 

(MUSIC/Choir : ωδη στη χαρα-μπετοβεν)

Project work in our English class

 

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Well, I have been teaching  through projects , since the beginning of my career as an English teacher,  in Greece! Even  when I had to work in a different school ,every single year or I had to work in 3 different schools on the same day, either by walking long distances carrying my heavy bag, or some years later, by driving to a different village school, during each break!!

When I started working on pen pals projects- via snail mail , nobody thought I was doing anything exceptional: only my students! Most headmasters used to refer to my extra working hours on those projects as ” useless, worthless and a waste of time”!

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A few years later, we were able to start working on collaborative projects , with our ETwinning partners!  A precious experience , for all of us! An opportunity, I am really thankful for! What an adventure for my students!

It has been HARD work all these years, but highly rewarding, at the same time-for both me and my students !

Arts and craft, play an important role in all our projects!

Arts and craft, play an important role in all our projects!

Few thoughts

I have come to the conclusion that, one way to get children doing what they like while still learning is through projects.  Children enjoy using their imagination – making up characters, stories; being creative – making things, drawing, colouring, cutting and gluing, using multimedia; finding out about interesting stuff; sharing, chatting, working together; talking about themselves, their friends and family, their interests; making choices, deciding for themselves, trying new things out; showing off!

I love it when my students become creative through project work! Their talents and interests, are revealed! Creativity is enhanced, too!

I love it when my students become creative through project work! Their talents and interests, are revealed! Creativity is enhanced, too!

What is a project?

In the primary school classroom, a project is usually the work leading to the production of a poster, letter, birthday card, booklet, magazine, play, sketch, puppet show, radio recording, video etc. It may be the work of one pupil, but more frequently is the collaborative work of a number of pupils working together in class.

One key element of all projects is the ‘theme’ – the basic idea. Whether the pupils are working individually or in groups they are all concerned with the same basic theme. This theme should be open enough to encourage creativity and provide a focus, but not so open as to confuse your pupils.

Some projects come in the form of a magazine or a booklet

Some projects come in the form of a magazine or a booklet

The characteristic of a project is that the learning comes from the ‘process’ – the work which leads to the result rather than the results itself. Most frequently the pupils will use a wide range of language, a variety of language skills and often knowledge which may have come from different parts of the curriculum.

Because the pupils are combining so many different skills and areas of knowledge, it is sometimes difficult to say exactly what the pupils are learning.

A flock of doves! Getting to know other children, by means of English!!

A flock of doves! Getting to know other children, by means of English!!

In any project they may be learning many different things at any one time:

• How to work with other people. • How to share work. • How to delegate work. • How to appreciate the work of others. • How to work alone. • How to take responsibility for a task.

Project-based learning prepares students for the real world.

Another english notice board in class.Here, we pin our class projects! Students are proud to show their parents and friends their work!

Another English notice board, in our classroom.We pin our class projects, on it ! Students are proud to show their work, to their parents and friends!

These are all social skills, but they may also be learning practical skills such as how to use scissors, to design a neat page, to speak clearly or how to operate a piece of simple machinery.

I do not ‘control’ every stage of the process in a project. I  suggest the original idea, assist in the planning process, and may provide advice or guidance in the actual work, but the project is essentially the work of the children – encouraging children to interact and develop independently of the teachers direct interference.

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Why I personally believe in project work…

It is all said in this article on EDUTOPIA:

“The old-school model of passively learning facts and reciting them out of context is no longer sufficient to prepare students to survive in today’s world. Solving highly complex problems requires that students have both fundamental skills (reading, writing, and math) and 21st century skills (teamwork, problem solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesizing, utilizing high tech tools). With this combination of skills, students become directors and managers of their learning process, guided and mentored by a skilled teacher.

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These 21st century skills include

  • personal and social responsibility
  • planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
  • strong communication skills, both for interpersonal and presentation needs
  • cross-cultural understanding
  • visualizing and decision making
  • knowing how and when to use technology and choosing the most appropriate tool for the task.

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PBL is not just a way of learning; it’s a way of working together. If students learn to take responsibility for their own learning, they will form the basis for the way they will work with others in their adult lives.”

“One of the major advantages of project work is that it makes school more like real life. It’s an in-depth investigation of a real-world topic worthy of children’s attention and effort.”-EDUCATION RESEARCHER SYLVIA CHARD

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What kind of end products can the children produce?

There are lots of ideas. Here are just a few I have used in my class.

a wall display e.g. posters or collages. Children all contribute a part to making a whole class end product.

a report or presentation e.g. on a survey conducted by the children, or research conducted via the Internet.

an invention  (depending on the target vocabulary)

a booklet or guide e.g. to their town or to an imaginary place

a model e.g. of an imaginary island

a photo story or video e.g. of a story made up by the children, or about a subject  researched by them

a magazine or newspaper

an event e.g. a show/pantomime, a fashion show, a party, an art exhibition –

the possibilities are endless.

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BUT

According to Scholastic, one of the biggest barriers to broad implementation of project-based learning, is fear. Some teachers and administrators are reluctant to scrap a teaching style they know to start over, especially when it means stepping into a new role as a facilitator rather than an expert in the classroom.

As Jane Krauss, coauthor of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, put it, “It’s hard to teach in a way we were never taught.”

Unfortunately, it’s the same with some parents, too: hard to accept as effective teaching ,a way of teaching they were never taught!

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In my school, I always make sure that,  almost all our project activities are connected  to each of our English coursebook units. Luckily, our coursebooks , are based on both cross curricular and cross cultural topics quite relevant to our  project themes ! Also, they are based on both creative  project work and group  collaboration which  was  highly helpful in my teaching with projects!

Some project ideas, for you to get started, can be found here….

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In good projects children benefit from the ‘process’ of preparing them, and they become a stimulus for better speaking and writing. They are also a record of individual work for display in class or at home. Children have a strong emotional investment in the best projects. They are personally interested in the topic and proud of what they have achieved.

 

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Apart from all the obstacles , there is  nothing more rewarding for a teacher than see how happy , engaged and enthusiastic her  students become when they work on something that makes sense and connects the class with the world! It’s priceless! Believe me! It’s worth any effort! It brings the class together, it helps the teacher connect with the students more and the students connect with their peers all over the globe ,by means of an international code of communication: English!

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All in all, PBL taps ones imagination, conception, subject knowledge, application of subject and generalized knowledge, creativity, dexterity, planning, doing, and completing, and when the project is completed, one will have learned much one will never forget!

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Our ETwinning “Puppets” project: promoting peace and understanding!

 

I’ve always loved working with puppets, in our  English class!

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I strongly believe that, puppets play an important part in various aspects of a child’s development. The puppet provides the child with a kind of cover or disguise to hide behind: a timid child finds the courage to speak, to express his/her own emotions and to open his/her secrets to the puppet and through it to the audience. Thus the puppet helps the child to communicate much more spontaneously, avoiding stressed relations, especially with adults. The puppet is an authority selected by the child himself.

Through my experience in working with puppets, I believe in the magical power of the puppet in all kinds of communication with children, enlightening their talents and different forms of their creativity.

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In our ETwinning project,this year, we decided to work with FLAT puppets, because, they were easy and cheap to travel in an envelope!

I also thought  that, flat puppets would be important in improving visual sensitivity and orientation in space , especially for my younger students (a translation of a drawing into movement in relation to another animated form).

The use of our ETwinning puppets, actually  resulted in a considerable contribution to a more humane and less stressed teaching environment and the socialization process, with our European peers. Moreover, puppets aroused my students’ imagination and creativity – the best dowry to a child for further development.

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Promoting Peace and understanding among kids living in different countries and experiencing different cultural backgrounds ,was also one of my main targets, this year!

Actually, promoting peace was a large part of Dr. Montessori’s career – one of her most famous quotes is “Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education.” She thought it was extremely important in her day; today it may be more important than ever…in both Europe and the World!

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To me, Peace doesn’t mean the absence of conflict. That would be an idealized world in which none of us live. Rather, it’s learning how to deal with conflict in a way that doesn’t put the rights, wants, or needs of one person over the other. It’s learning conflict resolution skills that stress respect for the individual and the group, in our class  and in today’s World.

Let me share some facts…:The European continent is culturally, economically and linguistically very varied and a survey carried out by the Council of Europe revealed an important diversity in the provision for the arts in schools throughout Europe.

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In the same study, it was found that arts education provision in these countries, in many cases, also shows an inconsistency with national policy statements. They strongly emphasize the importance of a cultural dimension in education and encourage artistic and aesthetic development in young people, while in reality the status of and provision for arts education appear less prominent. Moreover,  the emphasis on academic and technical education has a tendency to place the arts in the periphery of the curricula encouraging polarities between the arts and the sciences .

It was after I had read those facts when I thought..:Puppetry, is one such form of Art. I should use it to achieve my teaching goals in a fun and meaningful way.

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Peace education can vary by age; older Primary School children will naturally be able to get into the history of peace, understanding others  and conflict by studying different countries and cultures. In our project case, they could participate at a higher level by researching and writing about their lives, different cultures,sharing and comparing with their their European friends with the help of  their Puppets.

During our Puppets project, we emphasized respect for the diversity of traditions and customs found around the world and in our European house!

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Through the creation of several stories for the puppets theatre in class, students developed their artistic potential as a tool to explore the idea of tolerance and understanding of others.

After all, puppetry has been found to be an excellent tool for the teaching of multiculturalism to children.

First, I had to teach my young students, basic techniques used in creating live puppet theatre to be later able to  use puppetry to incorporate multiculturalism into practice.

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A few months later, as my little ones grew in understanding the feelings and needs of themselves and their European peers, their compassionate nature blossomed,too.

More, about this project:

The main goals of the project were  :
• to promote group activities  for tolerance and cultural understanding;
• to strengthen my students’ intercultural competences in order to be ready for responsible understanding of Europe’s identity and common values;
• to develop the European dimension through arts education (puppets) and creativity with the aim to promote multiculturalism and tolerance between students;
• To develop “Out-of-the-box” activities that would encourage mutual support, team building and group cohesion ;
• Encourage personalized learning approaches by acquiring new artistic and pedagogical skills with the aim of developing new ideas and creativity of the students involved in the project.

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This old time classic pen pals project, gave a real purpose and meaning to learning a foreign language and helped the students experience education in a different country through European citizenship ,using a new tool: twinspace! The project lasted for about a school year and we had to complete many individual items . We had to create common projects about: ourselves, our school, our country , our town ,our favourite sports and hobbies, our customs and special traditions, our most favourite place in our countries , our daily routine and habits and also ,exchange OURSELVES as… PUPPETS ! We “traveled” to another country as our school and country ambassadors, and experienced life in another class, far away from home, for one school year! Puppet-students, wrote on their twinspace diaries about their adventures. Our projects and letters were both sent to our friends by snail mail and uploaded on twinspace, to share and compare in a different class.

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This was a new and innovative partnership for my  school; It was the first time that we had participated in such an innovative an ETwinning project.Both group work and independent research was used  by pupils.

The innovation and creativity of the project is based on the following factors:

  • All partner  schools being inclusive of each other, working as one unit on each common project
  • That the children felt able to be creative with their audience in the partner school in mind and dare to share and compare
  • That the learning from the project was so significant that it will not be lost from children’s minds
  • The Puppet-Ambassadors, created by and for the students ,served as a  meaningful pathway towards understanding and learning more about our partners.

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Before we started, the concept of Europe was not understood by most of the children, but now they are fully aware of the other  European  partner countries and their ways of life. Citizenship has become a practical rather than theoretical part of the curriculum.

 The pupils were inspired and motivated. They had a great deal of fun working collaboratively .

Students had an opportunity to develop a sense of pride and respect toward other traditions. Our Puppet-Ambassadors, made Europe a more real concept, especially for those students who have never traveled abroad.

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The organisation and commitment of the students has been very impressive.

The children showed a great interest in exploring another country and its way of life, as well as demonstrating increased motivation in learning a foreign language. They were always eager to participate, found information themselves, drew pictures, made posters, presented the project to other classes.

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As far as my school is concerned, I made sure that almost all our project activities were connected  to each of our English coursebook units. Luckily, our coursebooks , are based on both cross curricular and cross cultural topics quite relevant to our Etwinning project theme! Also, they are based on both creative  project work and group  collaboration which  was  highly helpful in our ETwinning project!

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I teach English to  ALL classes in my school! I therefore  made sure that, ALL my 135 students, in all ages and  language levels, took part in our  ETwinning project, something that  proved to be a real challenge!

All in all, a  puppet can be their friend or their classmate, their ETwinning  friend in our case… but at the same time is the child who moves the puppet. This is going to be the key thing while practicing another language and, if we use them correctly, they are one of the best resources that teachers can find and use in their foreign language classes.Not only to teach English but most importantly, LIFE AND SOCIAL SKILLS!

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Seat arrangement -the fun way….

DSCN0094As a teacher, creating seating charts is always something difficult.  Seating charts are one of those things where there is no way to make everybody happy. In the past, whenever I created a seating chart I felt  like I was putting together a giant puzzle with too many pieces.

Therefore, a few years ago, I decided to change that, and make the monthly seat arrangement , more fun and meaningful….
The purpose of a seating chart is to group and move students so that they are in the best learning orchestration possible for that instructional time period.

What usually happens in most classes is that, students often don’t see the purpose behind their seats or read more into their assigned seat than is there.  It is important for students to understand that sometimes their seat won’t be the seat they would choose, but it will be a seat that they will be productive in and that his or her seat assignment will change again and again over the course of the school year.

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Of course, students need to be able to communicate with the teacher about their needs, when it comes to a seating chart, as well as listen to the teacher about the reasoning behind those seats. This is an important skill for students to develop as it will help them in future endeavors and realistically, seating charts are a part of their school experience the whole way through.

I personally ,assign seats and switch them every month, and rotate project  groups as well – anything to get students interacting with others outside their own social groups. Anyone with special needs is accommodated as well. It works great!

I tell them right from the beginning that I am going to move their seats around, and that they will work in teams, and that they will work with everyone at some point, and it’s going to be SUPER FAB. Then there’s some grumbling, but at least they know what to expect.

My primary reason is to ensure that the students have a chance to work with all of their peers, actually. I want to try to avoid cliques and make everyone feel welcome.

I also am a big fan of cooperative learning in general .

Also, there is good reason to randomize the groups again and again. This helps students experience different levels of group success – with most groups becoming more successful due to each student’s experiences.

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Activities for  my older students

Sharing here, some ideas I have found on  http://www.edweek.org/  , and have tried successfully!..

Each activity takes 10 to 15 minutes but there is some preparation. Before beginning, I label the tables and chairs in an orderly way and post the seating challenge prominently.Here are the ideas….

1: Greet each student at the door and make sure he or she is in the right classroom. Next, before he or she has a chance to sit down, direct the student to follow the posted instructions: “Sit in birthday order so that the person with the birthday closest to January 1 sits in Seat 1. The year you were born doesn’t matter. Don’t skip seats. When everyone is seated, the student in Seat 5 will raise his or her hand and report that the class is ready to begin.”

Observe the interactions: Look for organizers, active and passive participants, refusers and disrupters. Be mindful that some students would rather be invisible and that the activity is probably something they haven’t experienced before.

If anyone asks you what to do, redirect him or her to classmates and the posted instructions. Encourage students and remind them that you don’t know the answer.

When Seat 5 reports in, do a couple of spot checks, show them where your birthday lies (just for fun!), and begin your lesson. By the end of this activity, every student will have interacted with other students and many will have reported to the whole class in a safe, nonthreatening way. (Ok, Seat 5 is under some pressure.)

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 2: Ask the students to follow these instructions: “Line up in alphabetical order by the name you like to be called. Then sit with an equal number of students at Tables 1-4. Remaining students sit at Table 5. When all are seated, the last student raises his or her hand and reports that the class is ready.”

Adjusting to have equal numbers at each table produces a lot of interaction and some tension. Watch closely how students with different ideas negotiate. Don’t intervene with the answer, but mediate if necessary. Have students quickly report out their names. Treat alphabetizing mistakes kindly, of course.

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 3 is different. Meet each student at the door with a paper that says, “Read this card completely. Do not enter the room until you understand the instructions. You may talk about the instructions before you enter the room. When you understand the instructions, give the card back to your teacher, enter the room, and begin.” Here’s what the card says:

1) Complete this challenge in complete silence: Remain silent for the entire activity. Do not talk or whisper after you enter the room.

2) In the room, line up in order by height.

3) Then take your seats with the shortest person in Seat 1.

4) Do not skip seats.

5) When the class is seated, the student in Seat 12 raises his or her hand, and when called on reports that the class is ready.

Post the instructions in the room as well. Although the task is easy, the silent rule adds some stress, so observe which defense mechanisms students display. Note who is comfortable reading the cards and who avoids the task.

On activities 4 and 5 students sort themselves into groups and sub-groups that may be lopsided. The instructions demand more judgment and decision-making from the students.

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 4:  The instructions read: “Sort yourselves into two groups: sneaker wearers and non-sneaker wearers. Next, each group forms two subgroups: students with curly hair and those with straight hair. You have curly or straight hair if you think you do. Each sub-group finds enough chairs and sits in order from the person with the shortest hair to the person with the longest hair.”

A tree diagram showing the groups may help. Watch how they negotiate and decide where to sit.

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 5: The instructions read: “Form two groups—students who prefer to spend free time indoors and those who prefer to spend it outdoors. You may like both but choose just one. Within those groups, define your own subgroups based on the last thing you did when you spent free time the way you wanted to. Find a place to sit together and talk about your free time activity.”

Some extra fun activities I have tried with my very young learners are:

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I hand out coloured pieces of paper to each student as they enter the room. They then arrange themselves in groups according to the colours.

I hand out cards with half a word or sentence written on them and students look for their..other half to  change a seat with…

I hand out simple question cards to half the class and the answer cards to the other half. Students, walk around the classroom asking and answering questions , to find their match and change seats with them.

I also, whisper to each student’s ear a word or a number and ask him/her to remember it for a while. I make sure that, I whisper the same word to two different students. Then , I ask them to walk around the classroom and look for their partner…The student, with the same word. This is either the person they have to sit next to or the person they exchange seats with.

A favourite activity is, to have the class listen to some dance music and ask them to walk around until it stops…When it stops, they have to sit down in the nearest chair they find….It’s similar to the Musical Chairs game!

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I also, hand out papers with animal names on them. The students mill around making that animal noise or action until they find the “animals ” in their group. I used this when we were studying Animal Farm when we needed groups. Lots of fun and very funny. Most kids loved it.

These ideas do not necessarily involve a lot of cooperation by the students to arrange themselves but then I am forever telling kids that groups or partners are not a life time commitment. They last for about a month or even a bit longer, depending on the assignment or reason. Kids are generally pretty happy as they know this will change. The line of “this is not a life time commitment” must work well as I have heard students repeat it to each other and all seems to work well.

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All group arrangements take time but it is time well spent as we all have to learn to work with others. A class that learns to cooperate early in the year will learn and share more over the course of the year than one that is always fighting groups.

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Teachers4Europe:”Mini Europe in a box” project (Greek version)

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Η φετινή μας απόπειρα, να εργαστούμε πάνω σε ένα νέο έργο στα πλαίσια του Teachers4Europe project,  συνάντησε πολλά προβλήματα!…Το βασικότερο όλων, ήταν πως, δεν είχα ώρες, εκτός των ωρών της Αγγλικής Γλώσσας, για να εργαστώ! Σημειώστε εδώ πως, στα πλαίσια του μαθήματός μου, εργαζόμαστε ήδη σε άλλα δύο προγράμματα etwinning και ένα του Βρετανικού Συμβουλίου !
Πίεσα πάρα πολύ να μου δωθεί ΜΙΑ ώρα Ευέλικτης Ζώνης, ή άλλη, για να καταφέρω να ξεκινήσω, και αυτό κατέστη δυνατό, μόλις …πριν ένα μήνα!!
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Τέλος καλό, όλα καλά λοιπόν, κι εδώ μπορώ σήμερα, να μοιραστώ το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της δουλειάς μας έως τώρα, η οποία δεν έχει ολοκληρωθεί ακόμη, αλλά θα ολοκληρωθεί, στο τέλος Μαίου!
Σκέφτηκα πολύ πάνω στην επιλογή θέματος , φέτος…
Τα πράγματα, στη χώρα, είναι κρίσιμα…οικονομική ανέχεια, κρίση αξιών, προσφυγικό και τόσα άλλα……Πολλοί κατηγορούν την Ευρώπη για όλα και δεν βλέπουν προοπτική πουθενά…
Σκέφτηκα λοιπόν πως, θα ήθελα να επιστρέψω στα βασικά…τις Ευρωπαικές αξίες και τον Ευρωπαικό πολιτισμό! Τα παιδια αυτά, οι σημερινοί μαθητές μου, θα είναι το μέλλον αυτής της Ευρώπης!
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Χρειάζεται, να γνωρίσουν όλα τα θετικά της στοιχεία, όλα όσα μας κάνουν υπερήφανους και να την αγαπήσουν , να επιτρέψουν ως νέοι Ευρωπαίοι αργότερα στην πηγή του Ευρωπαικού πολιτισμού, κι από εκεί να δροσιστούν . Να εγκαταλείψουν ιδέες ξενοφοβίας και ρατσισμού και να ανακαλύψουν πως, αυτά που μας ενώνουν , είναι περισσότερα από αυτά που μας χωρίζουν!
Να δημιουργήσουν τέλος, την Ευρώπη των λαών και των πολιτισμών, αυτή την Ευρώπη που όλοι οραματιζόμαστε!
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Το μύνημά μας στην Ευρώπη του σήμερα, αποφασίσαμε να είναι αυτό:
( “Ευρώπη, ν’ αγαπάς τους ανθρώπους” ) 
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 A “Teachers4Europe” project, 2015-16
Ε Τάξη, 30 Δημοτικό Σχολείο Λάρισας
Υπεύθυνη εκπαιδευτικός: Αφροδίτη Γκιούρη ( ΠΕ 06)
Σχεδιασμός Εργασίας
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H ιδέα του συγκεκριμένου  project, δημιουργήθηκε μετά το ταξίδι μου στις Βρυξέλλες πέρσυ, όταν επισκέφτηκα την υπαίθρια έκθεση Mini Europe δίπλα στο Atomium!
Σκέφτηκα τότε πως, σε δύσκολα χρόνια οικονομικής κρίσης για την πατρίδα μας και τις οικογένειες των μαθητών μου, σχεδόν κανένας τους δεν είναι πια δυνατό να ταξιδέψει στην Ευρώπη, ή τον κόσμο!
Αποφάσισα  λοιπόν ,να…κλείσουμε όλη την Ευρώπη σε μικρά κουτιά , να τοποθετήσουμε σε αυτά όσους μικρούς “θησαυρούς” σχετικά με κάθε χώρα ανακαλύπταμε στα νοερά μας ταξίδια μέσα στην τάξη και να έχουμε έτσι τη δυνατότητα, να επισκεφτούμε με τη φαντασία μας, όσες φορές θέλουμε, την…μικρή-μεγάλη μας Ήπειρο!
Οι μικροί μας αυτοί “θησαυροί”, μπορούσαν  να είναι: γνώσεις, εικόνες, κάρτες, βιβλία, μουσικές, συνταγές, ταξιδιωτικά ενθύμια-souvenirs, χρήματα, μνημεία, λέξεις, κι οτιδήποτε άλλο ένας αληθινός ταξιδιώτης έχει στις αποσκευές του και τις αναμνήσεις του μετά από ένα ταξίδι!
Τρόπος προσέγγισης στις αξίες και τους στόχους της ΕΕ
Ο βασικός σκοπός του project ήταν να βοηθήσει τους μαθητές να εμπλουτίσουν τις γνώσεις τους σχετικά με την Ευρώπη γενικά και ειδικότερα, σχετικά με τον σπουδαίο  πολιτισμό της.
Κυρίως δε, με όσα στοιχεία αυτού του πολιτισμού , την καθιστούν μία Ήπειρο με κορμό της ύπαρξής της αξίες, δίχως τις οποίες η Ευρώπη δεν μπορεί να υφίσταται. Αυτές οι βασικές αξίες είναι : σεβασμός της ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειας, ισότητα και σεβασμός των ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων, δημοκρατία, ελευθερία.
Άλλος ένας στόχος, ήταν να ευαισθητοποιήσει τους μικρούς μαθητές , σε θέματα συνεργασίας  και αλληλουποστήριξης, στα πλαίσια των ομαδικών δραστηριοτήτων, καθώς αυτές οι δύο έννοιες ,αποτελούν τον κορμό των Ευρωπαικών ιδεωδών .
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Διδακτικές προσεγγίσεις που υιοθετήθηκαν
Η μεθοδολογία του project βασίστηκε σε προσεγγίσεις διαθεματικές , βιωματικές συνεργατικές, επικοινωνιακές καθώς και μάθησης με μέσο το παιχνίδι.
Με την ολοκλήρωση του project, ευελπιστώ πως οι μαθητές μου,  έχουν γνωρίσει καλύτερα την  Ευρώπη γεωγραφικά και κυρίως πολιτιστικά.
Κυρίως όμως , έχουν κατανοήσει τις βασικές αξίες που κρατούν τις Ευρωπαικές χώρες ενωμένες και το σημαντικό ρόλο που αυτές παίζουν στην καθημερινότητά μας. Έχουν  επίσης κατανοήσει  σε σημαντικό βαθμό, την σπουδαιότητα των εννοιών “ αποδοχή”, “ συνεργασία”,  “σεβασμός”.
Εμπλοκή των μαθητών στη δράση
Οι μαθητές μου, επέδειξαν ζωηρό ενδιαφέρον για το project!
Ήταν μία τάξη που ποτέ πριν δεν είχε την ευκαιρία να λάβει μέρος σε παρόμοια δράση και είχε δυσκολίες ,εξ αρχής ,σε θέματα ομαδικής συνεργασίας .
Η δράση, ενίσχυσε το κομμάτι της ομαδικότητας και της αλληλουποστήριξης , καθώς και την δημιουργικότητα και την πρωτοβουλία των μαθητών.

Επίσης, τους δόθηκε η δυνατότητα να έχουν την εμπειρία της βιωματικής διδασκαλίας και διασκέδασαν εξαιρετικά ,με όσες δραστηριότητες είχανε σχέση με παιχνίδι και κίνηση!

Τέλος, είχανε μια μοναδική ευκαιρία να διευρύνουν τους ορίζοντές τους στον κόσμο και να γνωρίσουν την Ήπειρό μας, το Ευρωπαικό μας σπίτι, γεωγραφικά αλλά και πολιτιστικά.

Ήταν μία πολύτιμη εμπειρία για όλους !
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Οι δραστηριότητες, σε σύντομη παρουσίαση
Δραστηριότητες warming-up
Γνωριμία με το βιβλίο “ Πάμε να εξερευνήσουμε την Ευρώπη”
Ξεφυλλίζουμε το βιβλίο και εργαζόμαστε σε ομάδες πάνω στο Quiz της σελίδας — και στο χάρτη της σελίδας —

Ενεργοποίηση «Το Τρένο της Ε.Ε.»
Ασκήσεις ενεργοποίησης και ισορροπίας των μελών του σώματος ατομικά. Καθένας είναι μια χώρα της Ε.Ε. Στη συνέχεια κινούνται ομαδικά σαν «Τρένο».
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 «Το Όχι αποκοιμήθηκε στην αγκαλιά του Ναι!»
Ζευγάρια. Ο ένας είναι το Όχι και ο άλλος το Ναι. Ξεκινούν με λεκτική επικοινωνία ο ένας λέει μόνο «Ναι» και ο άλλος μόνο «Όχι» και εξερευνούν διαφορετικούς τρόπους πχ ένταση, ταχύτητα κτλ. Στη συνέχεια οι λέξεις αποκτούν κίνηση και γίνονται χορός.
«Δράση- Αντίδραση. Λεκτικοί Ισχυρισμοί»
Σε τριάδες. Ένας είναι Παρατηρητής. Οι άλλοι δύο είναι απέναντι με απόσταση μεταξύ τους και με τον δικό του τρόπο ο καθένας, εκφράζουν εναλλάξ τις Αντίθετες Έννοιες πχ. Το έκανες!# Δεν το έκανα!, Το είπες!# Δεν το είπα! Κτλ. Συνεχίζεται μέχρι την κλιμάκωση της έντασης. Συζήτηση και καταγραφή των συναισθημάτων και των ρόλων που ανακύπτουν.
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«Ευρωπαϊκό Ταγκό»
Ζευγάρια. Καθένας είναι μια χώρα της Ε.Ε. Ο ένας κλείνει τα μάτια του (τυφλός) κι ακολουθεί τις οδηγίες του ζευγαριού του. Όταν ο οδηγός- χορευτής τον ακουμπάει με την παλάμη του στον θώρακα τότε ο «τυφλός» χορευτής πηγαίνει μπροστά, όταν τον ακουμπάει στην πλάτη, πηγαίνει πίσω και ανάλογα όταν τον ακουμπάει στον δεξί ώμο πηγαίνει δεξιά κι αντίστοιχα στον αριστερό ώμο, αριστερά. Αλλάζουν ρόλους.
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«Ε.Ε.: Η ισχύς εν τη ενώσει…» 
Ομαδικό παιχνίδι. Όλοι πιάνονται από την μέση. Ο πρώτος έχει δαγκάνες και προσπαθεί/ διεκδικεί να πιάσει την ουρά, τον τελευταίο. Δεν πρέπει να σπάσει ο κορμός αλλά να παραμείνουν όλοι ισχυρά ενωμένοι μέχρι το τέλος!!!!
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Βασικές δραστηριότητες
 ACTIVITY 1
ΠΑΙΖΩ ΚΑΙ ΓΝΩΡΙΖΩ ΤΗΝ ΕΥΡΩΠΗ
Παίζουμε δύο παιχνίδια γνώσεων που αφορούν το χάρτη της Ευρώπης και τα μεγαλύτερα μνημεία της τα οποία δανειζόμαστε από το βιβλίο “Πάμε να εξερευνήσουμε την Ευρώπη” το οποίο υπάρχει από πέρυσι, στη βιβλιοθήκη του σχολείου.
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ACTIVITY 2
ΣΚΥΤΑΛΟΔΡΟΜΙΑ ΣΤΟΝ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΟ ΧΑΡΤΗ
Αναρτούμε έναν χάρτη της Ευρώπης στον τοίχο.
Χωριζόμαστε σε 4 ομάδες. Ένας παίκτης από κάθε ομάδα, 4 παίχτες κάθε φορά, τρέχουν  απο τον απέναντι τοίχο προς τον χάρτη, με σκοπό πρώτοι ν’ αγγίξουν τη χώρα το όνομα της οποίας , κάθε φορά ακούει να φωνάζει η εκπαιδευτικός, κερδίζοντας ένα βαθμό για την ομάδα του.
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ACTIVITY 3
ΤΟ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΟ ΜΑΣ ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ
Γνωριμία με το Βιβλιαράκι μας: Το “Ευρωπαικό μας Διαβατήριο” !
Είναι για μας ένα πολύ σημαντικό εργαλείο, καθώς, δεν υπάρχει εργαστήριο πληροφορικής και καθηγητής πληροφορικής στο σχολείο μας!
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Χωριζόμαστε σε 4 ομάδες.
Σε κάθε ομάδα μαθητών , αντιστοιχεί μία ομάδα 7 χωρών, έπειτα από κλήρωση.
Διαδικασία
α) Οι ομάδες, συνεργάζονται για να κατασκευάσουν τις 7 σημαίες τους. Πίσω από κάθε σημαία, αναγράφονται 2 ερωτήσεις σχετικές με αυτή τη χώρα, τις οποίες οι μαθητές επιλέγουν.Οι σημαίες αυτές, χρησιμοποιούνται για να στολίσουν τα κουτιά κάθε χώρας και σε επόμενο μάθημα , στο “ Euro-καπελοπαιχνίδι” γνώσεων!
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β) Στις ομάδες, δίνεται ο χάρτης της Ευρωπαικής Ένωσης σε κομμάτια παζλ. Καλούνται να συνεργαστούν, για να τον ανακατασκευάσουν  σωστά , με πρότυπο τον χάρτη του Ευρωπαικού τους Διαβατηρίου, όσο πιο γρήγορα γίνεται! Η καλή συνεργασία, φέρνει και το καλύτερο δυνατό αποτέλεσμα!
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γ) Κατασκευάζουνε, συνεργαζόμενοι, το βασικό αξιοθέατο της κάθε χώρας που έχουν αναλάβει ως ομάδα, σε χαρτί και χαρτόνι. Διαβάζουνε σχετικά με αυτό στο Ευρωπαικό μας διαβατήριο και γράφουμε βασικές πληροφορίες από πίσω από κάθε αξιοθέατο.
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δ) Οι ομάδες, συνεργαζόμενες δημιουργούν σε χαρτί και χαρτόνι, κατασκευές που αναπαριστούν, στοιχεία σημαντικά από κάθε χωρα: το νόμισμα, κάποιες φράσεις στην γλώσσα της χώρας αυτής, συνταγές που έχουνε βρεί στο Διαβατήριο ή στο διαδίκτυο στο σπίτι τους  κτλ
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ε) Τους ζητείται, να φέρουν σε επόμενο μάθημα από το σπίτι τους, αφού ψάξουν και  ρωτήσουν στο φιλικό κι οικογενειακό τους περιβάλλον, τυχόν αντικείμενα, που προέρχονται από αυτή τη χώρα : souvenirs, μία κάρτα, ένα γραμματόσημο, νομίσματα, εικόνες διάσημων ανθρώπων από κάθε χώρα αλλά και  Cds μουσικής  γνωστών μουσικών , ταινίες , βιβλία, φωτογραφίες, δώρα, περιοδικά με σχετικές δημοσιεύσεις, ακόμη και είδη διατροφής, εάν υπάρξουν…οτιδήποτε θελήσουν να φέρουν στη τάξη!
Επίσης, τους ζητείται να φέρουν ένα κουτί παπουτσιών για κάθε μία από τις 7 χώρες της ομάδας τους.
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ζ) Τέλος, εργαζόμενοι σε ζευγάρια, μέσα σε κάθε ομάδα, στολίζουν με τις σημαίες των χωρών, κάθε κουτί παπουτσιών που έχουν φέρει από το σπίτι, και τοποθετούν μέσα σε αυτό, όσους μικρούς “ θησαυρούς”, έχουν καταφέρει να συγκεντρώσουν και να κατασκευάσουν στην τάξη!
Συζητούν σχετικά με τον τρόπο που επιθυμούν να παρουσιάσουν το υλικό τους και όλα όσα θα ήθελαν να μοιραστούν με τις άλλες ομάδες σχετικά με την κάθε χώρα!
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ACTIVITY 4
ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑΣΗ ΧΩΡΩΝ :EUROPE IN A BOX
Οι κάθε ομάδα, χωρίζεται σε  ζευγάρια, τα  οποία παρουσιάζουν το περιέχόμενο των κουτιών τους στους συμμαθητές τους, με τον τρόπο που επιθυμούν! Ακολουθούν διευκρινιστικές ερωτήσεις από την τάξη, σε κάθε ομάδα.
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ACTIVITY 5
ΑΝΑΤΡΟΦΟΔΟΤΗΣΗ-ΣΥΖΗΤΗΣΗ-ΕΝΤΥΠΩΣΕΙΣ
Ακολουθεί συζήτηση, σχολιασμός της όλης εμπειρίας, μοίρασμα συναισθημάτων και σκέψεων, γνώμες και εντυπώσεις.

ACTIVITY 6
ΠΑΙΧΝΙΔΙΑ ΕΜΠΕΔΩΣΗΣ 

α)TIC-TAK BOOM
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Χρησιμοποιούμε ως βάση το γνωστό παιχνίδι Tic-tak boom!
Ένας παίκτης από κάθε ομάδα, έρχεται στον πίνακα ,φορά ένα καπέλο με το όνομα μίας από τις Ευρωπαικές χώρες  και οι συμπαίκτες του στην ομάδα, του δίνουν όσες περισσότερες πληροφορίες μπορούν γι’ αυτή τη χώρα, μέσα σε ορισμένο χρόνο -ώσπου να..σκασει η  “ βομβα” του χρονόμετρου!
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Χρησιμοποιούν το Ευρωπαικό μας  Διαβατήριο για πληροφορίες .
Εάν ο παίκτης, καταφέρει πριν τη λήξη του χρόνου, να βρει το όνομα της χώρας που υπάρχει στο καπέλλο του, κερδίζει ένα βαθμό για την ομάδα του!
Το παιχνίδι ολοκληρώνεται, όταν παίξουν όλα τα μέλη και των 4 ομάδων.
Οι νικητές , παίρνουν μικρά αυτοκόλλητα με ευρωπαικές σημαίες!
β) TWISTER
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Βάση μας, το γνωστό παιχνίδι Twister.
Ένας παίκτης από κάθε μία από τις 4 ομάδες μας, εκπροσωπεί την ομάδα του σε κάθε γύρο του παιχνιδιού.
Σε κάθε έναν από τους χρωματιστούς κύκλους της βάσης του παιχνιδιού, τοποθετείται μία πλαστικοποιημένη Ευρωπαική σημαία.
Η εκπαιδευτικός, γυρνά το spinner και οι 4 μαθητές , πρέπει να τοποθετούν τα χέρια ή τα πόδια τους κάθε φορά στο σωστό κύκλο.
‘Οποιος κάνει λαθος, βγαίνει απο το παιχνίδι και νικητής σε κάθε γύρο είναι αυτος που μένει τελευταίος, κερδίζοντας ένα βαθμό για την ομάδα του.
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Το παιχνίδι ολοκληρώνεται, όταν παίξουν όλα τα μέλη και των 4 ομάδων.
Οι νικητές , παίρνουν μικρά αυτοκόλλητα με ευρωπαικές σημαίες!
γ) Το Euro-καπελοπαιχνίδι
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Ένας παίκτης από κάθε ομάδα, έρχεται κάθε φορα στον πίνακα, κρατώντας από μία σημαία από αυτές που είχανε κατασκευάσει οι ομάδες σε προηγούμενο στάδιο, πίσω από τις οποίες , αναγράφονται δύο ερωτήσεις σχετικές με την χώρα.
Ο παίκτης, διαβάζει δυνατά, μία απο τις ερωτήσεις πάνω στη σημαία του, και οι άλλες ομάδες ΠΛΗΝ της δικής του, προσπαθούν συνεργαζόμενες κι ανατρέχοντας στο μικρο Ευρωπαικό μας Διαβατήριο, να βρούνε την απάντηση πρώτες, πριν τις υπόλοιπες ομάδες.
Το παιχνίδι ολοκληρώνεται, όταν παίξουν όλα τα μέλη και των 4 ομάδων
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Η πρώτη ομάδα, σε ταχύτητα και αποτελεσματική συνεργασία , μετά την ολοκλήρωση του παιχνιδιού, κερδίζει πάλι, σημαίες σε αυτοκόλλητα!
δ) MEMORY GAME
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Πρώτο Στάδιο:
‘Ολες οι σημαίες των χωρών, όλων των ομάδων , τοποθετούνται στο πάτωμα . Επίσης, στο πάτωμα τοποθετούνται χαρτάκια στο μέγεθος των σημαιών, με τα ονόματα των Ευρωπαικών χωρών.
Ένας παίκτης κάθε φορά, εκπροσωπώντας την ομάδα του, πρέπει να ταιριάξει ένα όνομα και την αντίστοιχη σημαία με επιτυχία! Εάν τα καταφέρει, κερδίζει τη σημαία. Εάν όχι, την αφήνει στο ίδιο σημείο και επόμενος παίκτης, επόμενης ομάδας ακολουθεί.
Η ομάδα με τις περισσότερες σημαίες στην κατοχή της, είναι η νικήτρια ομάδα!
Παραλαγή -Αντί για σημαίες, μπορούμε να εργαστούμε με χαρτάκια πάνω στα οποία υπάρχουν οι λέξεις-χαιρετσμοί σε κάθε γλώσσα, τις οποίες πρέπει να τις ταιριάξουν με τα ονόματα των χωρών με τον ίδιο τρόπο.
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Δεύτερο Στάδιο:
Διαφορετικοί Χαιρετισμοί
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Εξηγούμε στα παιδιά ότι συχνά οι άνθρωποι χαιρετιούνται από τόπο σε τόπο με διαφορετικό τρόπο στην Ευρώπη. Έτσι, τους προτείνουμε να χωριστούν σε ζευγάρια και να δικομάσουμε διαφορετικούς τρόπους χαιρετισμού: π.χ. Ελλάδα, Αλβανία, Ιταλία, Σουηδία, Γερμανία, Γαλλία, Ισπανία.
Όσο διαρκεί η μουσική χορεύουν , όταν σταματά πρέπει να βρουν κάποιον και να τον χαιρετίσουν ανάλογα με την εντολή μας.
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ACTIVITY 7
H ΣΗΜΑΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΑΣΤΕΡΙΩΝ
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α)Διαβάζουμε το βιβλίο “ Τα Αστέρια της Ευρώπης”.
Στη διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης, οι ομάδες κρατάνε σημειώσεις και γράφουν ιδέες οι οποίες τους άρεσαν στην ιστορία.
Κατόπι, συζητάμε όλοι μαζί στην τάξη, για όλα όσα κατέγραψαν.
Τονίζονται οι ιδέες που αφορούν τις θεμελιώδεις Ευρωπαικές αξίες όπως η Αλληλεγγύη και η Ειρήνη!
Καταγράφουμε τις σημαντικότερες ιδέες,  στον πίνακα .
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Δίνεται σε κάθε ομάδα, ένα χαρτί Α3 στο οποίο καλούνται όλοι να αντιγράψουν  τις 12 σημαντικότερες -κατά την ομάδα τους – Ευρωπαικές αξίες, σε κάθε ένα από τα 12 αστέρια της Ευρωπαικής Σημαίας.
Στο τελευταίο στάδιο, οι ομάδες, πάλι συνεργαζόμενες, χρωματίζουν τη σημαία τους!
Όλες οι Σημαίες των Αστεριών, στολίζουν τους τοίχους της τάξης!
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β) Ετοιμάζουμε το δικό μας μικρό θεατρικό, βασιζόμενο στην ιστορία.
Οι μαθητές, εργαζόμενοι σε ομάδες των 5-6 ατόμων, γράφουν το δικό τους μικρό θεατρικό δρώμενο με ηρωίδα  την Ευρώπη,  και το παρουσιάζουν στην τάξη αργότερα, για τους συμμαθητές τους.
Χρησιμοποιούν τη φαντασία τους δημιουργικά, στη διάρκεια της συγγραφής και ενθαρρύνονται να αυτοσχεδιάσουν στη διάρκεια της μικρής τους παράστασης.
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FINAL -OPTIONAL-ACTIVITY
Με το τέλος της σχολικής χρονιάς και την ολοκλήρωση του project, στόχος μας είναι να μπορέσουμε σε συνεργασία με το Σύλλογο γονέων, είτε να αγοράσουμε permanent markers και να ζωγραφίσουμε σε λευκά μπλουζάκια την Ευρωπαικη σημαία, είτε να παραγγείλουμε σε κατάστημα την εκτύπωση των Σημαιών των Αστεριών μας, σε μπλουζάκια μέσω επεξεργασίας σε υπολογιστή.
(An English version, will follow soon…Stay tuned!)

 Mini Europe in a box: Teachers4Europe 30 State Primary School of Larissa 2015-16 on PhotoPeach

http://photopeach.com/embed/18ny1lj

Our slideshow on Smilebox

Mardi Gras: fun class games

 

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Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French. It is a celebration full of feasting and merriment just before Lent is ushered in for the 40 days of “self denial” leading up to Easter. Mardi Gras is the time to march in parades, eat treats, sing and dance, and generally celebrate good times.

This is a great opportunity to have a fabulous party for our students in the English class, too!

Here are some game ideas, I use in my class…..

We play classic children’s games with a Mardi Gras twist, such as musical chairs.

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Instructions:

I set up chairs in a tight circle, with the seats facing outward. We should have one less chair than you have children participating. I place a Mardi Gras mask underneath each chair. I play some Latin  music. When the music starts, the kids must walk around the chairs. When the music stops, they must quickly find a seat and put the masks to their faces. The child who doesn’t have a seat is out. I take away another chair for the next round. The game continues in the same manner until only two kids are battling over one chair.

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For a version of “Simon Says,” have the kids play “Mardi Gras King or Queen Says.”

Instructions:

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The leader might say, “Mardi Gras Queen says march in place,” and the kids must follow. However, if the leader gives a command and doesn’t say “Mardi Gras Queen says,” the kids are not to follow the command. Anyone who does is out.

Scavenger Hunt Games

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I sometimes, scatter the Mardi Gras bead or Pasta (!)  necklaces my students have made at home, following written instructions, all over the classroom area for the kids to find and put around their necks. The person with the most necklaces , wins.

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I also, hide a special Mardi Gras necklace, which an American friend who had been in New Orleans, sent me some years ago…. The child who finds that necklace ,earns a special prize.

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This year, we had  a scavenger hunt with carnival masks and other party stuff. I put them all in a…treasure  box. I gave  the kids a clue each time ,as to the location of the next clue card. I put the children in pairs to figure the clues to find the Treasure Box. The winners are the first children to bring back all the clue cards, in order.

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Contests

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I ask the  students, to come to the lesson  dressed  in their best or most creative Mardi Gras gear. The outfits can be anything with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold,  or not….For example, some of my students, this year have decided to improvise and wear their own clothes, upside down!!. Students, vote for the best costume. They cannot vote for themselves. The most fun thing is, that I have the students  do a …Catwalk Mardi Gras Best Costume competition! We have to describe what students who take part  are wearing , before we vote! Great order of adjectives, practice!

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For a mask contest, I give each of my younger students, an undecorated paper Mardi Gras mask. The children must decorate their masks using any art and craft items you have on hand such as glitter, paint, feathers and stickers. Each child will get to stand up and present her mask to the group. The children then vote — by secret ballot — for their favorite mask.

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With my very young learners, we played ” Carnival dictation ” on the board.

Instructions:

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1.I draw about 6-8 masks on the one side of the board and the same number of Masks on the other.

2.Assign the kids to either Carnival King or Carnival Queen  teams

3.I ask a player from each team in turns, to come to the board and write a word they are given, on one of their team Masks.

4.   If they are correct they move to the next ,mask  towards the finish.

5.If one student is not correct, their team miss a turn. If both players are not correct, the next two players proceed!

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We also did an “Orange dance” with Carnival music! A dance which requires  collaboration between the partners and is so much fun!!

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Finally, we love playing “ Mardi Gras whispers“!

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Similar to ” Chinese Whispers” , but this time, we use Mardi Gras and Carnival vocabulary! It’s a fun way to revise new words! I always ask the last person in the row, to come and WRITE the word on the board! This way, we practice spelling, too! They get a point for their team if they get it right!

We love Mardi Gras in class! What about you?…..

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Heal Spin Fly like the wind: a solidarity and empathy project!

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Teaching students EMPATHY, has always been crucial in my teaching!

Empathy isn’t always automatic. It is a practice, and one that we need to develop and strengthen throughout our lives. It is also much more than perspective-taking or “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

True empathy is not just about understanding another’s beliefs or experiences, but about valuing other people.Children learn empathy in a variety of ways, but one key way is by watching what we as their parents and teachers choose to pay attention to and care about.

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We need to actively express caring toward others—especially those whose experiences are very different from our own—and take actions that express our care. Children will notice if we “walk the talk,” and they will be far more likely to respect us and to want to emulate our values.

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Since 2011, Syria has been a country in crisis. Civil war, unrest, and violence have displaced nearly 11 million people. For students and families living in refugee camps or temporary housing outside of Syria, trauma and toxic stress are ever present. The Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge, a partnership between Students Rebuild, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Global Nomads Group, will support Syrian children by funding the IRC’s Healing Classrooms program.

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Children affected by crisis—whether war or natural disaster—need help restoring a sense of normalcy and safety in their lives. One of the best ways to do this is to reintroduce the familiar routine of school, where teachers can provide structure and stability, and can work with children to heal. The International Rescue Committee partners with schools in crisis zones to create Healing Classrooms—paired with support from parents and the community—so children can recover, grow, develop and learn.

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Healing Classrooms trains teachers in special techniques to engage conflict-affected children with social-emotional learning opportunities and to create secure, nurturing learning environments. Funds generated by the Challenge will support Syrians in the IRC’s Healing Classrooms programs in Lebanon and Iraq. The program will:

  • Equip teachers with skills to create safe, nurturing spaces where children can recover, grow, develop and learn.
  • Create learning environments that provide children with a sense of normalcy, structure and stability to promote their well-being.
  • Provide opportunities for children to build self-esteem and strengthen their interpersonal skills.
  • Lay the groundwork for refugees to eventually return, reintegrate and become peacebuilders in their communities.

Healing classrooms , is part of the Students Rebuild program….

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Students Rebuild is a collaborative program of the Bezos Family Foundation. Created in January 2010 in response to the devastating Haiti earthquake, Students Rebuild has mobilized thousands of young people in nearly 80 countries and all 50 United States and raised more than $2.5 million in matching funds for rebuilding schools in Haiti, aiding disaster recovery efforts in Asia and supporting livelihoods in Africa.

Through the  Challenges, they  tackle some of the world’s most difficult problems, issues that one cannot affect alone. They believe in coming together in order to make a collective impact. And they believe every young person should have an opportunity to help others—but not everyone has the ability to fundraise.

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Their Challenges require young people to create a simple, symbolic object which the foundation matches with funding. This approach allows students of all ages, backgrounds and in countries around the world to take action and see change on international concerns.

The pinwheel. A simply universal toy, that for almost all of us brings back memories of a carefree innocent childhood, of fun and laughter as we either blew to our hearts content, or ran breathlessly against the wind as we watched brilliantly coloured pinwheels spin!
A time in our lives that should be innocent, carefree, simple, joyful and most of all peaceful!

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In my school, we have decided to make pinwheels today and help young Syrians from conflict areas recover from crisis and grow into happy, healthy adults. We have put your thoughts, designs, creativity and energy into creating pinwheels from the heart!

Even though the Syrian struggle seems overwhelming, we can make a difference. Young people around the world can assist their Syrian peers right now by making pinwheels for the Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge.

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IMPORTANT INFO, FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED IN TAKING PART:

How does it work? For every pinwheel Students Rebuild receives, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $2—up to $400,000—to the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms program. Additionally, the IRC will distribute a selection of your pinwheels to Healing Classrooms students! The first step is a quick registration and then you can get started with making and mailing in pinwheels.

Have additional questions? Check out the  Healing Classrooms FAQ page and free resources including a helpful, comprehensive Toolkit with step-by-step instructions for participation.

With every pinwheel you make for the Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge, you’ll take a stand for children living in conflict, improve their well-being and learning—and help them gain the peace and security all children deserve.

You can also, visit the Healing Classrooms Challenge photo gallery to see photos related to the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms program.

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The steps you have to take, in brief:

1. Register your team @
http://studentsrebuild.org/register-team
2. Make your pinwheels…
& don’t forget to take photographs.
3. Send an email to Students Rebuild @
info@studentsrebuild.org
& don’t forget to include
– the name of your team, (as registered)
– photos of your pinwheel activity &
– totall of how many pinwheels your team has made!
4. Optional – Share your photos on your own social media sites
you can add tags to @Students Rebuild #SRSyria
@Heal Spin Fly like the wind. ‪#‎HealSpinFlyliketheWind‬
5. Students Rebuild will write back to confirm how much funding will be donated to Healing Classroom based on how many pinwheels you have made.

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Funds generated by the Challenge will support the IRC’s Healing Classrooms programs which:

Equip teachers with skills to create safe, nurturing spaces where children can recover, grow, develop and learn.
Create learning environments that provide children with a sense of normalcy, structure and stability to promote their well-being.
Provide opportunities for children to build self-esteem and strengthen their interpersonal skills.
Lay the groundwork for refugees to eventually return, reintegrate and become peacebuilders in their communities.

With thousands of refugees pouring into Europe every day, it is clear that this crisis will not end soon. Engaging our kids in meaningful  actions will help increase their understanding and their ability to empathize with those affected. And in the end, it will make them—and us—better people and citizens in our interconnected world.

Hope, you will enjoy this project as much as we have!!

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GOOD LUCK!

Teaching Grammar, the fun way!

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I have moved away from the traditional methods of teaching English grammar through writing, rewriting and worksheets to using a more active approach through games.

Why I teach grammar with games?

Arif Saricoban and Esen Metin, authors of “Songs, Verse and Games for Teaching Grammar” explain how and why games work for teaching grammar in an ESL classroom. They say, “Games and problem-solving activities, which are task-based and have a purpose beyond the production of correct speech, are the examples of the most preferable communicative activities.” They go on to explain that grammar games help children not only gain knowledge but be able to apply and use that learning.

Additionally, games have the advantage of allowing the students to “practice and internalize vocabulary, grammar and structures extensively.” They can do this because students are often more motivated to play games than they are to do desk work. Plus, during the game, the students are focused on the activity and end up absorbing the language subconsciously. One can also add that fun learning games usually contain repetition, which allows the language to stick.

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Also,  we can use games to add excitement through competition or games which create bonding among students and teacher.

The theory of intrinsic motivation also gives some insight as to why teaching grammar through games actually works. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal factors that encourage us to do something. Most young learners will not internally decide that they want to learn grammar. They don’t yet understand the concepts of why it’s important to know proper grammar, so these external factors won’t affect them much either. Instead, intrinsic motivation can lead encourage them to play games. If these games are good then they will be learning while they are playing.

Using some movement is crucial because movement helps activate the students’ mental capacities and stimulate neural networks, thus promoting learning and retention. If you have a large class with no space you still have options. Children can stand up, sit down, move various body parts and pass things around to each other. Movement does not only mean children tearing around the playground.

Here are just few , of my favourite grammar games…(to be continued……)

PRESENT PERFECT

Find someone who

A set of cards each of which has a task on it beginning :” Find someone who” plus the present perfect. For example, ” Find someone who has been to Disneyland”.There should be about 10 different tasks each one duplicated 3-4 times.I usually start by asking the students questions eg ” Have you ever ridden an elephant”? until I find someone who has or until it is apparent that nobody has. I write on the board ” Maria, has ridden an elephant” or ” None in the class has ever ridden an elephant”.

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“Find someone who…”

Then, I tell them to take a card each, and try to find someone in the class who has done the action indicated on it, by going round asking each other questions . They should then note down the result in a full sentence, like the one I wrote on the board and take a new card. How many answers can  they find and write down? This is a competition, so they are not to give away the answers to each other as they find them out! I check the answers at the end, by asking publicly for an answer to each task.

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Participants, get one point for each acceptable answer. Anyone who writes for any item that nobody has ever done it, when in fact there is somebody in the class who has, loses a point.

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Accounting for moods

Materials: A set of pictures showing people in different moods: individual copies .

I go  through the pictures with the students defining with them the apparent feelings of the person depicted ( worried…surprised….exhausted )-you may have several possibilities for each picture. Then , I take one picture, and ask them what they think has happened to make the person feel this way.

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“She is worried because her younger son has not come home, yet and it’s very late”

I write up a few suggestions on the board. Then, I let hem do the same for the other pictures , working individually or in pairs.

Then, we hear and discuss results.

The same, may be done in writing for homework.

Oh!

I give the students a series of exclamations (Oh!, Ah!, Great! , Oh, dear!, Cheers!, Damn!, Yes!, Yes?, Rubbish!, Thank goodness!  etc) and ask them what they think has happened to make the speaker say them. For example, ” Oh!” might mean that ” She has had a surprise” or ” She has remembered something”.

They may brainstorm their ideas orally, or write them down. They can even mime their ideas  for the class to guess!

PAST TENSE -for narrative

A story

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I tell the students a story- improvising from skeleton notes or reading out from a text ( Two of my most  favourite FUN  stories , come from my mentor Olha Madulus! I first heard  them,  in one of  her inspiring “Tesol Greece Convention” presentations, a few years ago….

The story should have plenty of action and be easily comprehensible to the students. As you can see in the photo below, I use pictures and hand-made flashcards, to help the students recall the events…

I get them to keep notes if they wish and focus on past forms, by asking occasionally for a translation of an irregular form, or by stopping and getting them to supply the verb-but not so often as to interfere with overall “pace” or comprehensibility. After I have finished, I ask them to recall some of the sentences in the past that were mentioned in the story- using one-word ” cues” to jog their memories.

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“A story “

MODALS

Guessing my abilities

The students are asked to demonstrate something they are very good at, some special ability or a special talent they have!

The class, guesses by asking questions. ” Can you …”?

I help them with vocabulary when necessary.The first student who guesses right, comes to the board and shows the class what he/she can do really well, in turn !

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What’s interesting here is, the fact that I challenge  the guessers, to try and do the same action they have witnessed, in front of the whole class!  This way, they see for themselves how difficult it may be! This activity is a great self-esteem booster, too!

Here are some more photos, of my highly talented students!

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Mystery box

This is an awesome guessing activity!The“Mystery Box” – a type of prediction game that you can create with simple items that you have in class.

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Find a box, such as a shoe box, or any other kind of container which kids can’t see through, such as a cookie tin. Introduce the empty box or tin and discuss how the mystery box game will be played. Outside of the children’s view, place an item inside the box or tin. Ask the children to predict what is inside. If you want, you can let the children hold the box, to see how heavy it is or if it makes any noise bouncing around the box or tin.

Give the children one clue as to what is inside the box. For instance, if you have a teddy bear inside, you can say, “It’s soft.” After the first clue is given, ask the children to guess what might be inside. Repeat the process by giving a second clue, such as, “It’s brown” and then ask the children to guess again.

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They have to guess, by using different modals such as “it must be..”, ” it can’t be..”, “it may be..” etc

All the students who guess right, are given special stickers! If only one student guesses right , she/he is given the item in the mystery box, to take home , as a present.

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After showing the kids how to play the game, I ask the children to bring their own  mystery boxes  from home,  the next day, with an item inside the box for their classmates  to guess what it is.

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PRESENT PROGRESSIVE

Guessing mimes

Materials: Simple sentences for guessing, using the Present Progressive. eg ” You are watching a comedy on TV”

Alternatively, similar situations depicted in drawings.

In this activity, I work with groups of students. It’s more fun!

Students are given a cue-card and mime the content for the rest of the class to guess. “Are you holding something”?

The students are encouraged to keep guessing during the mime.

This activity, is a common one , but can be hilarious!

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Guessing mimes

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Guessing mimes

The fairytale  group mime

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First , I  read them Aesop’s ” The Hare and the Tortoise”.  They are  encouraged to take notes, while listening . Then, I ask some volunteer students to come to the board and , in collaboration, start miming scenes of the story for they classmates to guess what’s happening using the Present Progressive. eg ” The Hare is sleeping under the tree”

You can do the same with any story you like.

An alternative activity is to start  reading  the class any story in Present Progressive and later have groups of students stand up,  and mime what I am  reading!

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This is an example of such a story ..

“……….Now the children are at school. Amy is sewing. She is practicing. She is sitting on a bench. She is sitting near Timmy. Timmy is at school too. Timmy is studying. He is sitting behind his desk. He wishes he could play with the other children. John and Susan are also at school. They are playing outside. They are picking flowers for their teacher. John is carrying his hat. Susan is wearing a bonnet. At this moment, Sarah is walking by the door. She is helping the teacher. She is carrying textbooks to the shelf….”

And this is another one..

“…Today, Abby is visiting her grandparents. She loves her grandparents. At this moment, she is sitting on her grandfather’s knee. She is listening to a story. She is smiling. She loves her grandfather’s stories. Jacob is Abby’s grandfather. He loves his granddaughter. Right now, he is telling her a story. He is holding her on his knee. He is holding her hands. They are sitting in the living room. Sarah is Abby’s grandmother. At this moment, Sarah is standing in the kitchen. She is baking cookies for Jacob and Abby. She is also listening to Jacob’s story. ….”

It works better with funny stories, though…

Acting the story out!

Acting the story out!

NONCOUNT NOUNS

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When you are teaching noncount nouns, you will find that many of them fall into the category of food . Rice, milk, coffee, jelly and peanut butter are just a few of the noncount nouns one might find at a picnic. Playing this game will challenge our students’ memories while also reviewing count and noncount nouns. I arrange my  class in a circle. Then start the game by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing a ________” filling in the blank with a food item, either count or noncount. The student to my left continues, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing a…” He then chooses his food item and repeats my food item. The third person in the circle chooses a food item and repeats the other two. Play continues around the circle until it has reached me once again, and I face the big challenge of remembering what everyone is bringing on the picnic! As play moves around the circle, I make  sure  sure to correct my students if they make an error with count and noncount nouns. For example, if someone says I am bringing a juice, I  should remind him or her to say a bottle of juice.

A fun homework I give them is, to go home, open all their kitchen cupboards and the fridge and write a list of all the food items they find there! I am  sure, mothers are not very happy with this kind of homework! haha…

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PRESENT SIMPLE

Guess my Summer routines

I ask them to  briefly discuss  activities they do, as part of their Summer routines .I supply new vocabulary as needed.

eg ” I play beach soccer with my friends, every day”.

I give them 5 minutes to write down as many of their own routines they can think of.

In groups, they read out their lists to one another and delete anything they have written down which someone else has as well. So that at the end, each student has only his/her special Summer routines , that no one else has. Later, a representative from each group, describes these special routines in the third person. eg ” Paul, eats 5 ice-creams  every day”

Some of these routines, may rise to interesting questions and answers-also in the Present Simple.

A fun variation  I  tried this year ,was  to have them bring items in class from home, which we used to guess about their Summer habits and special routines . eg, ” Do you listen to music, during your summer holidays”?

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Can you guess what his favourite Summer routine is??

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What about her favourite Summer pastime?…

ARTICLES

Stations

Students listen to a word or sentence and react one way if “an” is needed and a different way if “a” is needed. Possibilities include running and slapping opposite walls of the room, jumping either side of a line, slapping two pieces of paper on their table, and pretending to shoot pieces of paper on different walls. The same game can also be played with “a” and “the”, but it is quite difficult to choose sentences that are only possible with one of the two.

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A variation
Another way of using Stations, and one that it is easier to bring “the” into, is to have students do the two reactions depending on whether what you said was right or wrong (grammatically, factually or logically).

 

EXTRA: I have recently read this amazing blog, by the teacher and blogger Claudio Azevedo, which is about movie segments to Assess Grammar Goals .

It contains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through fun, challenging exercises. Here you will find the movie segments, the lesson plans, printable worksheets with answer key for each activity, and the tips to develop your own grammar activities with the DVDs you have at home. New activities are posted regularly. Teaching grammar with movie segments is inspiring and highly motivating.

Please, visit and I’m sure you’ll find loads of inspiring ideas !

Now, you can stop the eye-rolling and complaining from your students when you even THINK about teaching them a grammar lesson, and have some productive fun!