Sunday, April 27, 2014

Google add-ons- Lucid Chart

 
I recently discovered Google add-ons. My 7th and 8th grade students only have Chromebooks, so I was looking for a way to allow them to create mind maps without having to purchase a subscription to an online mind map site like Mindmeister. I was thrilled to have discovered Google add-ons. It allows you to add additional software programs to your Google Docs account.

 In the example above, students were asked to create a mind map using the Lucid Chart. We are currently covering family members in my Spanish class, so adjacent bubbles needed to describe the family member in Spanish.


You first open a document and select Add-ons, followed by Get add-ons.


You then select the add-on that you want. In my case, I used Lucid chart, but I am looking forward to trying all the other add-ons out.
 
Students are then able to create new documents using the features of the specific program. It opens another window and it saves your work as you go.
 


Friday, April 11, 2014

Duolingo


Duolingo reminds me of Rosetta Stone, but without the costly price tag. In fact, Duolingo is free! Students can create an account using their email address. Once logged in, select the language that you want to learn and it will give you the option of testing to see where you are at or going through all the basics. This is great, because it allows higher achieving students to jump ahead and work at their own pace.

Duolingo provides opportunities to improve reading, writing, and speaking skills. Pictures are used as a way to help the student understand the content. Voice recognition allows the students to repeat or answer a prompt. Written exercises encourage proper spelling. In Spanish, accent marks are provided on screen for the students to choose from.

Duolingo provides a game type feel. Students have a certain amount of hearts at the beginning of each lesson (much like life). If the students gets a problem wrong, they lose a heart. If they lose all their hearts, they need to re-do that lesson. If they get a certain number of problems correct in a row, they get a jewel. The students can later trade those jewels for items in the virtual store.

My students love working with Duolingo. They all seem to feel that they are learning and that it is also fun.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Personality and Teaching Style


For a recent class I was asked to complete an online personality test and a teaching style inventory. The results of the personality test indicated that I was 69% ESTP. I can see the connection between this and my work as an educator. ESTP is described as being an “action oriented problem solver”. As a teacher, I’m constantly thinking on my feet. When the lesson doesn’t go as planned that day, you need to be able to move on with the show. I also enjoy doing various crafts, and I have used my talents to help the school at fundraising events.

 

ESTP 69%
If your closest personality type is ESTP then you are an action oriented problem solver. You enjoy getting things done, and taking action to solve practical problems. You are in your element when there is a crisis requiring urgent action, which you are able to resolve. If you have any particular skills (e.g. sports, crafts or sales) then you enjoy applying those skills to reach a tangible goal (winning a game, making a sale, or building something tangible).

 

How did your personality affect your choice of content area?

I did not choose my content area based on my personality traits. However, I can see how much subject area requires someone that is outgoing and not shy. Teaching a foreign language involves talking and engaging with the students in order to make the material relevant and meaningful.

How does your personality affect your relationships with your students?

My personality allows me to relate to understand my students better. I am always the person in charge, however, I treat my students with love and respect and they usually will do the same. I’ve had other teachers comment on the rapport that I share with my students. I use humor in my classroom to lighten the mood, but students are aware that there are limits.

How will your teaching and learning style affect your teaching and your students’ abilities to be successful?

Being aware of your own personality and teaching style is important. It allows me to better understand myself and therefore, help my students better understand what I need them to be able to do. I’m a highly visual and creative person and I am always looking for new ways to make the lesson more interesting and engaging. The teaching style inventory indicated that I was high in both formal authority and personal model. I make my rules and expectations clearly known to my students, because of this behavior problems are rarely an issue. I also try to provide students with examples from my life as they relate to my topic and hopefully help them see a connection between the content and real-life.

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The results of your teaching style survey are as follows:

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expert

formalauthority

personalmodel

facilitator

delegator

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