Thursday, August 9, 2012

Final Post

Level: Français 10

Unit 4: Mes Souvenirs, Mes Trésors

Strategy 1: Quizzlet

There is a lot of vocabulary to learn in beginner french classes and quizzlet is a useful tool to help students memorize words and learn pronunciation. This unit in particular had a lot of difficult vocabulary to learn and this program provides them with an instant study tool. What I like about the idea of quizzlet is that the cue cards are already made for students and they can print them or they can access them online. In addition to this, there are many different ways to present the information on the cue cards. Students can choose to see both english and french or just french. There is also an audio function for students to hear how to pronounce the words.  I really like the audio function in this program because students are able to practice spelling and audio at the same time if they wish to do so.

I was able to find an existing quizzlet document to use, and make changes as needed. This is a very useful function because you can adapt other teachers work in order to meet your specific needs. I was also able to create a quizzlet classroom where students can view all quizzlet documents I have made.

Join Français 10 Quizzlet Group

Strategy 2: Chirbit

In my french classes, I try to create as many oral activities as possible but it is very difficult to monitor and correct. This is a very easy tool to use and it allows for students to practice speaking skills. They also learn to auto-correct because they are receiving immediate feedback. I played a "Qui suis-je?" game with my students where they had to go around the class and guess who's photo it was based on a picture and a short description. I thought it would make the game for interactive and educational sound by having students record their voices to give clues. In the class, I could have labtops set up around the class and students have to listen to the chirbit to guess who the person is.

Here are some student samples...

Personne # 1:

Personne # 2:

Check this out on Chirbit Strategy 3: MixPod

During practicum I went to a french conference where I was introduced to the idea of "Music Friday". Students are to find a song and do a short write-up about the group and what they like about the song. I thought it would be interested to listen to french children songs and have students compare them to their own childhood songs. To help with their understanding, I have tried to find songs that have words to go a long with the song.

I have only shown a few songs here, but when I introduce this to my class I would ideally like to have a song for every student. Although I am introducing it with this unit, I would use the same concept throughout the year using a variety of different music. This tool will allow me to introduce french culture in my class.

MusicPlaylistView Profile
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I have embedded a presentation from sliderocket. I think this is a great alternative to using powerpoints in the class. It was very user friendly, and does not require a lot of time to prepare. There are plenty of templates to use, and there are also a lot of functions to create a unique presentation.

Reading Ten

Cell phones in the classroom, really? Although I do believe that technology allows for more interactive and engaging lessons, cell phones do not fit under this category. I have seen the program being used as a teaching tool in various high school classes and there was little success in its implementation. In one class I observed the teacher thought it was a success when only eight students responded meanwhile the others were texting, playing games etc. I understand that it is nearly impossible to achieve 100% participation, but I don`t think that the use of cell phones would contribute to this achievement.

Cell phones are distracting devices that disrupt the learning environment. In the article a teacher suggests that it will help regulate the use of cell phones, because students won`t be sneaky with their cell phone use. I find it hard to believe that if a student sees their phone blinking from the corner of their eye they are not going to check it. I find it very discouraging that this is suggested as a classroom tool.  The problem is once you use it as a tool it as seen as being an acceptable device in the classroom making it impossible to regulate. Students live in the cyber world for the better part of their day and I think that is important for their personal health to unplug.

Although I have been quite negative towards the use of cells phones, I do believe that there is one benefit in its use. Cell phones in the classroom allow students to have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. Students use their cell phones in class for online translators, though they are not supposed to. I always encourage the use of dictionnaries in classroom because it provides a more accurate translation of words. In addition to this, I think we need to teach students the «traditional» way of learning through paper texts etc. because this is still a strategy used in every day life.

Every teacher will have their own views on the implementation of cell phones, but I think that there needs to be common rules on its use. During my practicum, I often heard students complaining about teachers taking cell phones, while other teachers encouraged the use of cell phones. I don`t think it`s fair for students to be able to rely on their cell phones in one class and then get in trouble in another class. 

Reading Nine

Powepointless? There is much to be learned in creating a powerpoint even if it isn`t the most effective way to present. Students learn to summarize information and highlight the most important points. In addition this, they learn how to present their ideas by providing visual aids. I understand that slides have a tendency to be full of information and distracting to the audience, but I think that this is part of the learning process. Another thing to keep in mind is that students are uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience so bombarding their slides with information helps them simply read off the slides.

If I look back at my own presentation boards, I can remember them being filled with texts too small to read and being overloaded with images. It is the same mistake presented in a different way. I think it`s important to provide a template for students to use no matter what activity is being developed. This will help students understand the format and how to properly deliver the information. I often use powerpoints in my class and it serves as an example for students when they do their presentations, but it is a learning process. The guidelines proposed will certainly help students create more effective powerpoints, but I think other skills will have to be taught in conjunction with this such as summarizing, word use etc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Exploring Google

Google Docs, Google Powerpoint and Google Form;

All of these technologies will be useful in teaching. I really like the idea of a google powerpoint, because I can post the powerpoints to my blog. Students often ask to see my powerpoints for study material and this program will make it possible. I also think that the google form is an easy way to collect and organize student information. I normally give paper copies to students and then have to transfer the information onto a word document. This will make it more accessible to students and parents, and requires less time to organize on my part.




Friday, August 3, 2012

Reading Eight

I think that collaboration itself is a valuable tool to learn. Students will have to learn to work cooperatively with classmates, employers co-workers etc. therefore making it a relevant topic to teach. Collaboration can encourage the development of communication skills because student will have to articulate their ideas so they are undersood. It can also encourage students to think at a higher level by being questioned by their peers. Although, there are many benefits to group projects, it's important to monitor group progress and ensure that all members are contributing equally. I think this is the danger in having projects online because I think it's harder to manage. In a comment posted below the author discusses the value in having projects based on the web rather that in paper because students can comment on each others journals. The web does allow for a faster exchange between students, but I do think it's important to have a mix of "paper" collaboration projects as well online projects. In future, students will have to collaborate with people in person and through e-mail, phone etc. therefore I think that are benefits in using both methods. There are many pros to this authors idea of collaborative projects, but I don't think it should be the only method. There are a lot of valuable lessons for students to learn through individual projects. Students will learn to problem solve on their own, time manage, make executive decisions, and the list goes on.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This program will be useful to any of my future students and their parents. I don`t know how I would utilize this technology in my class because there are many ways that it could be exploited. An idea that comes to mind is to have a site where students can have extra help on learning content and also to expose them to the «french world». On the scoopit page I created there are several sites to practice grammar and reading as well as investigate different francophone countries. The benefit of this is that students can go visit the scoopit site and find information that suits their needs. There are a lot of websites that present similar topics, so students can pick and chose. In terms of engaging parents, I think that it would be beneficial for them to see what their children are learning. The one concern that I have is that there is a lot of information available on this website. It is easy to click through the available resources and press scoop-it but realistically do I have time to check if these are the best resources...probably not. I think it could be a simple way to expose my students to more french. In additon, some of the technologies and ways the material is presented might be more engaging than one of my lectures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reading Seven

I understand as an educator we need to make our lessons relevant to our learners needs, but I feel that inventing new strategies is becoming a trend. As the article suggests there are a lot of buzzwords in education, and it`s hard to keep up with all of the new ideas. Similar to what we talked about in class today regarding the twitter feed, it is difficult to be constantly reading all of these educational journals. It is quite overwhelming and makes it stressful when trying to find a strategy that will best suit students. I do believe that teaching needs to change because the demands that students face on a day to day basis is changing. I do however worry with this idea of curation education that students who do not have the intellectual capacity to evaluate and synthesize will be left behind. We learn in this program that we shouldn`t «reinvent the wheel», but simply adapt current methods. I think that we can promote higher level thinking in the classroom without having to create a whole new way of teaching.


I will be able to use podcasts in any class that I teach. In french specifically, I think it is very useful for students to practice their oral skills, because they are able to listen to their pronunciation and re-record if needed. In my opinion, students will benefit from this immediate feedback to help them learn to self-correct. In a way I think it almost acts as a teacher because all students can be recording at a time and be receiving feedback without needing a teacher to constantly correct pronunciation. This program allows for students to be exposed to various aspects of the language. Students are able to listen to different students podcasts providing them with information on various topics.