Blog 2: An Amazing Hunting Game to Make Students move!

I found an interesting way for students to make the revision of a special topic. Something that could upgrade their interest at the end of the semester and the year. I think that the interesting part is the fact that they will move around the school, instead of looking over again their class notes.

The QR Treasure Hunt Generator! can be a very original option to motivate students in learning new material too, but I think that using it for revision before tests or exams could be perceived as a reward for students who have a good attitude in general.

STEPS (that are well explained on the website):

1. Prepare your question-answer in a Word document and put a * between them:

Question1*Anwer1
Question2*Answer2
etc.

2. Go on the website QR Treasure Hunt Generator! and press “get started”;

3. You enter all the information where asked;

4. The website provide you a QR code for every question;

5. You print the QR codes and put them all around the school;

6. Just before the Hunting Game, ask students who has the mobile device, to download the application that reads QR codes and you are ready for the Hunting Game!

7. Don’t forget to determine the time you let them to complete the hunting activity!

To keep control of the class

1. It will be important to choose your class to do this activity if you don’t want to loose some of the students during the activity.

2. In the way to involve students, I would give some tasks to everyone in the teams. They will insure that nobody is talking to loudly, running in the corridors, not participating, or speaking in another language than English.

3. I would inform all teachers and other school workers about this activity so everyone will be aware if something seem abnormal. I could also ask the presence of someone else who will be involved in this activity the first time that I try it.

4. I would send only half of the students at the time (some groups of 2-4 students), and prepare another cooperative activity in class with other material to revise. When everything is done, we could share the answers of both activities all together and look at new question students have if needed. The Hunting Game is certainly a good way to apply cooperative language learning if you allow only one mobile device by group and that they have to share and exchange information.

The Hunting game advantages for students

I think the Hunting Game is the perfect activity for highest levels in elementary schools or secondary schools for students who well behave in general. By looking around the school, every team member finds answers to the questions previously distributed in class. They decide if they work all together or in two teams, and who is in which team. They need to evaluate the most efficient technique to complete the task. They have to come to an agreement. They are a team and for some of them it will be a good occasion to develop their qualities as a teammate. And because the game creates a competition between teams, I think it will be a very good motivation for everyone.Very different than the regular activities, the Hunting Game should be much more exciting for the students than staying in the classroom, but mostly, they will learn how to work together in an other context than in the classroom.

At the end of the semester or the year, many students are anxious about exams. As we know that moving is a good way to reduce stress and increase memorization, I think it can help students to revise and assimilate better the information they tend to forget. I would try to create a list, over the weeks, of important information that students had more difficulty to remember in class.

Conclusion

I think the Hunting Game would make my teaching better because:

1-    By bringing a totally new style of material revision, I will motivate students throughout the year, but also before tests and exams.

2-    By making them moving and doing something different then sitting in a chair, I believe that the hunting will help them to assimilate some information, motivate them to participate in their own learning, and appreciate more the English classroom.

3-    By working in groups, this activity applies the cooperative language learning, which is an important goal in our education program that helps students to learn from each other. That will help me in my teaching tasks as stronger students will help others. (The groups will be created in this purpose.)

4-    The Hunting Game requires a mobile device, which is a good way to prove students that I am aware about their interests. It will also provide a good occasion for some students, less knowledgeable about electronic devices, to learn how they work and to get familiarized with them. As a teacher, I prepare them to the reality of electronic devices, which take more and more place in everyday life.

Lets try it and improve the technique, so please don’t hesitate to share your ideas!

He are some other game’s ideas for classroom !!

Have fun !

Ass. 1: The IWB, an Indispensable Tool for Teachers’ Classroom

In 2013, I feel very far from the time all teachers were writing with chalks on a green board all class long. For students, it was death to recopy everything in our ‘Canada book’ whatever was the topic or the project. Beside the projectors and the photocopies, it was in fact almost the only option teachers had. But, decade or so earlier, the Interactive White Boards (IWB) have made their apparition and became with years a very revolutionary tool for teaching. Even if many teachers don’t use them yet, the IWB is known by most people in education and is an important point of interest because of two principal reasons. It is a tool by itself, but also, it acts as the link that allows us to use other applications on a variety of websites. The IWB is the technology I really want to integrate in your classroom because I believe it will help me to improve my teaching method. I will give you many ideas of application and explain why I think the IWB can help me in my tasks in general.

image - blog 2

1-    The first advantage of having an IWB in classroom is that it is easy to use for everyone with some basic instructions. Thus, I can be used by student of all grades, even kindergarten. The only thing I need to determine before class is the kind of activity and tools that I can and want to use with the students, based on the age range of the group. The IWB is a very good source of motivation for learners. In fact, everybody wants to be the one who use it during an activity. I had the occasion to see students of many grades working with an IWB during class and they really enjoy using it (with tool as pens and erase, or simply with their finger). They seem more concentrated on what they are doing and learning just because of their interest in this new technology. Also, as classrooms usually only have one IWB, students see the occasion to play with it like a favor, so they usually behave well during activities to be sure to be allowed to play again soon.

Thus, I think that using IWB will help me, as a teacher, to increase the participation and interest of students during more boring or difficult theories. It will help me to manage the classroom at a certain point, as it permits to integrate new enjoyable pair and team activities where everyone can participate equally. I really think that students with concentration difficulties will be more concentrated and will remember more what they just have learnt.

2-    The second advantage of using an IWB is the fact that students don’t spend the day on sited in their chair. They MOVE! What could be better? I am part of those who think that kids never move enough. It is proved that we learn better by doing, so let them move by using the IWB. It forces them to be more active during all activities; it keeps their attention on their personal tasks and team goals, and creates an active and productive class environment.

As a teacher, I really think that a IWB will help me to keep the classroom more quiet because the students can concentrate their energy on doing class activities that request to move instead of bothering other classmates and the teacher. With an activity like ‘fill the blank’ it is easy to make all students participate actively.

3-    The third advantage of using an IWB is the important fact that it is the perfect occasion for students to benefit from cooperative learning. I imagine doing an activity of association image-word with elementary children. With a person rotation, they will have the same chance to participate. They can work together, learn to work with others, share their ideas, and have their voice and importance in a group.

As a teacher, I think that would help me because my students will become more and more sociable and active in the classroom. While they will work together, the student with a higher comprehension level will help others and that would facilitate my role of teacher. Thus, if some students act as teachers in their respective team, it helps me but also, in the same time, they increase their self confidence while helping the teammates. Also, the students will certainly assimilate everything more quickly as they share the information together using speaking, writing, listening and reading.

4-    As the IWB works with a computer, we can always show any kind of document or website on the screen, open the software that come with the IWB, and use the tools to highlight or add some information while you talk. I will be able to save my documents with this new information and keep it, instead of losing it forever. So, quickly, you can take information taught some weeks or months ago, and do a revision. The tools offer many good and useful options as using the database of images. I can write, highlight, underline, put in bold, italic, etc., create a chart, and so on. So it becomes a teaching method more efficient because, by using IWB’s tools, I can bring their attention on important things. Also, when I was in Alberta, I remember teachers using it during breaks. When it was too cold outside or when students were too active and noisy, they were using videos from Internet to make them move in the class. There are many videos created expressly for classroom. Only 10 minutes sometimes can help you to take control of their energy.

Thus, as a teacher, the IWB is a wonderful source of images. It will help me to save a lot of time doing researches on Internet as I can look by topic and find nice and colored images. I don’t need to identify the sources for the utilization of the document in classroom. The tools are very easy to use so I can do everything I think of just by using its applications. It helps teachers to create interesting visuals. Moreover, the possibility to work directly on website pages is a big evolution as it is much more easier than copy everything on a paper, do the design, add pictures, record everything with sources, etc., much more attractive and cheaper that printing sheets for all students (as we save paper and color inks by using animated websites), and much more faster as I can improvise and go on a website as we talk during classroom, without any previous preparation. It is time saver. Finally, the IWB can help me in class management when I make them move for a moment, in the way to reduce their uncontrolled excitement, by using a funny video explaining the new topic. It helps to keep or bring back their attention.

To conclude, there is no doubt that the Interactive White Board will be part of my classroom as it facilitates so much my work as teacher and brings so many good advantages for students in the improvement of personal and learning skills from day to day. If the IWB is now one of the first scholar materials that our government invests in, it is certainly because teachers who have tried it see significant improvement in their teaching method. Giving a place to the IWB in my classroom seems natural to me as it is an open door on the world of new technologies that the education system needed for the application of the new teaching convention.

Blog 1: Useful Websites for the Integration of Technology Approaches in Classroom

As a future teacher, I think it will become almost inescapable to find an interesting way to include technology approaches in our classroom schedule to increase students’ interest in their acquisition of a second language. On interesting website that kept my attention is Read180 Next Generation, that I want to introduce you in this blog. In the fist part of this blog, I give you the steps of my research because I think some websites deserve more attention and could be interesting for you in your further researches on the subject. Following that, I will describe you how Read180 Next Generation seem to be an indispensable tool for student in their English reading improvement and an incredible help for teachers in the management of their classroom activities and evaluation.

How did I find out about this website? On EDTech website, I was reading the article Website Helps Educators Make Sense of Common Core when my attention stopped on the name of the new informational website “Common Sense for the Common Core” introduced in this article. It has been launched by Scholartic, which aims to help educators and parents in integrating the educational standards in class and at home for kids of all grades in my topic of interest, English. Interesting! On the first page of the website, in the section Instructional Materials & Programs under the tab English Language Arts, a very imposing list of websites offer advanced activities of a high quality level that are based on the educational standards. On the right, dots indicate to which field of interest activities are addressed more precisely: Grade Range, Reading, Writing, etc. Thus, it is very easy and fast to look over all the websites and locate which ones would help you in specific teaching tasks and needs.

Read180 Next Generation is the first one of the list. On this site, we can find a wide range of activities that are specifically dedicated for reading comprehension improvement from grade 4 to the highest level. Based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), all activities have been precisely described in a “Text complexity key” following these three following dimensions: qualitative, quantitative and Reader and Task. Thus, once the student knows his current level in reading comprehension, he chooses a text of his choice and works with it. Over time, he will upgrades his level of competency through the website which always provide him the perfect level of difficulty to improve himself in his interest field.

I see many very convincing elements in this website. First, what I think is fabulous is how student’s interests are highly considered. It seems obvious that the student will learn much faster by choosing topics for his practice in reading comprehension. Second, it is much faster to use this website for the teacher than find a book or an article with the topic, make photocopies, prepare a questionnaire, etc. All activities are presented in colors, which is visually interesting for the students. Third, as the student is registered on a website and that the teacher control the access permission, the teacher, as well as the parents, can easily follow the evolution of the student, by seeing his last works, results and level on the website. The teacher doesn’t have to worry about the next activity, the website will always offer activities perfectly adapted to the current capacity level of the student, and most, the activities are all based on educational standards to correspond to the current scholar criteria. Four, he also has the opportunity to continue his work everywhere he has a computer and an Internet connexion. Thus, no need to bring books or other scholar material. It is simple and practical for everyone implied in the process.

The use of new technology approaches in classroom is perfectly adapted for the new generations of kids as it is already part of their life and that they need to stay up to date and knowledgeable about this tool of the 21th century. Read180 Next Generation is a good example of technology approach perfectly adapted to teachers and students’ needs and will certainly take more place in the planning of our future classrooms.

Head image source : http://altnewsmedia.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/kevin-kelly-and-generatives/