The Overview Effect is a sense of oneness, a recognition that we're all a single human family, that the little things aren't as big as we worry about, and that the world is fragile and we have to care for it. I think taking the students up briefly to view our beautiful world as a delicate sphere that we all belong to imparts a cosmic responsibility to be kinder to each other," Clay Hendrix (Lexington High School: AATG Presentation)
As you may know, it is the official start to the National German week which will lasts from September 30 - October 6. In order to celebrate the kick off of the week, I would like to share with you some awesome updates from our German program!
Meet A German!
AATG Teacher Retreat
LexOne offers its first German Honor Society
First Encounters Traveling Exhibit in Lexington!
RBHS' Sarah Buckliew hosted the AATG First Encounters Menschen begegnen sich bilingual exhibit! Within this exhibit students were able to investigate the continuing history of migration and its effects in shaping the German-American transatlantic friendship. From the beginnings of European immigration to North America, Germans have contributed to political, cultural and social aspects of the US. Students were able to investigate further the encounters between the new German arrivals and local populations.
Coming soon on Voices From the Field:
This particular activity I spotted on Sr. Redondo's Twitter and asked him to share with you all! (Hint: Tweet @LOWLT so that we can see the awesome things you are doing in your classroom!)
What I love about this activity:
- Students are using the language for real-world purposes!
- Since it is an Information Gap Activity, students have to work together to share information (Learn more about Information Gap activities below).
- Look how much fun the students are having speaking! Another example of an activity that lowers affective filters!
One student has been robbed and called the police. The victim is facing the screen, and the cop gives it the back while listening to the thief’s description that the victim will say. The victim will pick from a group of pictures that will be displayed on the screen.
When the victim has finished describing, the cop will turn around and guess from the pictures we can see on the TV following the victim’s description of the thief. They switch roles several times, so everyone has the chance to listen and speak.
Below you can find pictures of the students participating in the activity and images they used to describe!
Game of Taboo:
Students have to use circumlocution to get their partner to guess a word they are describing without saying the forbidden "taboo" words.
Here is an example for environment topic tested on High School, Middle School and Elementary Immersion. See how much fun Midway Elementary immersion had doing it at the DLI camp this summer!
See something you want help implementing in the classroom? Email email@example.com and I will help you get set up!
It was so nice to see many of you at the August Inservice and some very recently at site visits! For those of you I haven’t met yet, I am Amanda Hajji, the new World Languages Teacher Support Specialist. While I am new to this role, I am not new to Lexington One or world languages. I have taught varying levels of French I-V at Lexington High School for eight years where I was also adviser of the yearbook. Currently, I am serving my fourth year on the SCFLTA executive board where I have also had the opportunity to advocate for world languages with the ACTFL-NCSSFL team on Capitol Hill.
I believe that every child deserves to come to a class where they feel welcomed and loved. Every teacher deserves to have the resources and time to be able to provide such a classroom environment. My goal is to make sure that each of you has the support and resources you need in order to reach your classroom and professional goals. I am particularly passionate about sharing ideas and working with colleagues to come up with communicative activities that promote team-building in a multicultural classroom, using technology in the classroom, virtual exchanges, interpersonal games, and creating authentic experiences for students.
You might have heard that we hosted our very first district wide Immersion Summer Camp in July: Passport to Adventure. Special thanks to our LOWLT team who taught at the camp: Adela Rivera, Birte Wachtel, Myriam Grandjean, Cal Coggins, Martha Rapio, Neyibeth Gonzalez Briceno, Alexandra Gutierrez, Sandra Sancho Quesada, Yongmei Yang, Yi Zheng, Marcy Hite and Yrvin Canelo! We had 209 students studying all four immersion languages (Chinese, French, German, and Spanish) under one roof. There were 5 Spanish classes, 3 German, 2 French, and 2 Chinese. It was such a great success, we are already planning for next year! We'd especially like to see more involvement from MS and HS immersion students as classroom helpers. Let me know in the Spring if you have students interested in volunteering for the Summer of 2020! Check out pictures and performances here.
Please check back here for updates and classroom highlights. We want to share the awesome things you and your language learners are doing so please keep us posted! If you would like me to come out to your school, would like to submit a guest blog for Voices From the Field, or need to reach me, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in my office at 803-821-1054. I look forward to hearing from you.
When I entered the school, to find out if they needed anything from me as the set up was going on outside, I saw a ring of students, both large and small, in the atrium, right next to the front office, chanting in German at the top of the their lungs, and Frau Buckliew in the center, leading the charge. I thought to myself with a smile, "Well, she sure knows how to make her German classes visible in the school!" Clearly, they did not need my help, as the teachers and students had prepared signs and other activities to welcome the bus.
White Knoll French 4/5 students are following an intentional inquiry protocol developed by SmashBoard. According to their website, "Smashboard Edu is problem-based learning & the design-thinking process smashed into a gamified experience!" The Goal is to creatively explain a solution to a relevant, real-world problem. With the invaluable help from Tiffany Miller, our school DLC, my students and I are embarking on a new approach to studying and analyzing the news.
First, students brainstormed ideas. It’s a small class so we explored two issues: Climate change and the elections in Algeria and the unrest gripping the country. Next, the students got cards with guiding questions to lead them through the different stages of inquiry:
- Define the problem,
- Research the problem,
- Solve the problem,
- Share the information
- Reflect on the PROCESS (not the problem)
Here is a link to a brief description of the process:
It is an intense process, but they have really delved deeper into the issues than they normally would have.
An interpersonal score is given for group discussions. An interpretive score for their use of authentic French resources, and two presentational scores, written presentational for their summary opinion and speaking presentational for their reflections of the process.
Do you want to bring more L2 into your classroom? Have you heard of March Madness? In March there is a college basketball tournament in which 68 teams compete through 7 rounds and 1 national victor is chosen. During March Musical Madness students vote between target language songs.
Don’t worry, we don’t do 68 songs. I played 24 songs last year and the French teachers at my school did a bracket of 36. Each day we listened to two songs for a bell work or exit slip. Every teacher puts their own spin on the brackets. So you can set up a twitter playlist or I’ve seen a Spotify playlist and students can watch their videos for homework and vote on them before class. We had our students listen to the songs at the beginning of class and either vote on a survey on Schoology or Google Form. Each class picked their winner. I have also seen some teachers make bulletin boards and all classes decide on which song moves on to the next round.
Last year I heard about Musica Mania through Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and blogs like Mis Clases Locas. At our school we did the music bracket tournament in French Levels 1 and 2 and I showed it to my Novice A Spanish classes. Here is an example of the French brackets, Manie Musicale that Cathy Bouabre and Bonnie Tucker used last year. Bonnie Tucker said, “My students loved it! Many asked to listen to the songs many times throughout the rest of the year.”
Cathy Bouabre describes Manie Musicale by saying, “I plan on doing Manie Musicale again because it helps to get the students interested in French music. When they realize they like the music, they are more likely to look for and listen to songs in the target language. Some will look up the words to the songs and build their vocabulary that way. Once they find songs they like, they ask me to play them while they are doing individual work. I have often used songs in the past, but sometimes students are not receptive because they don't understand the words. But by playing a variety of songs and having students judge them, they find songs they like.”
For more information, check out the blogs linked above, or contact Jessica Oberly at email@example.com
Students from fifth grade LOLA classes at Gilbert Elementary School established an online hangout with students from fourth grade in Fundación Colegio Santa Maria - Bogotá, Colombia.
The Students shared information about themselves (family size and names) in Spanish and one student described a typical day at GES in English because the students in Colombia are studying this topic in their English class and wanted to hear it from an English speaker. He mentioned the subjects, schedule and school routine.
It was exciting for our students to meet native Spanish speakers from another country, this type of activity helps motivate them to use Spanish in real life
GHS has had some busy days during the past month and “Oh, the places you’ll go!” by Dr. Seuss comes to our minds when we think about it. There were lots of meaningful activities going on in all classes and it seems like “travel” was the word of the month, whether virtually or physically.
The French classes virtually travelled through the francophone countries using tools like Storymaps and Google Expeditions, but also by interacting with the two ambassadors from USC Thinking Globally, that they welcomed as guest speakers.
The students also travelled to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport for a tour of the facility where they got to see planes land and take off right next to them on the runway, and talked about possible careers in aviation, thus making connections with the importance of learning at least one more language. Then they tasted authentic French food at Crêpes and Croissants, in Columbia SC.
With the holiday season coming up, GHS can only wish for more culturally rich times, like the months of November and December were!
World Language Teacher Support Specialist (and Language Enthusiast)