Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Wed 15th July: QR codes and creative writing



First we were told to install in our mobiles the App QR Code Reader
Some pictures with QR codes were hung on the walls so that we could walk around and guess what the pictures could represent

To do the activity we made a chart with three columns. In one of them we wrote “My guess” in the other “New idea” and in the third wrote the real information after reading the code

First we walked around and guessed what the pictures could represent
Then we discussed in groups of six the possible ideas
Finally with the help of our QR reader we really found out what the objects were and led us to further information of them. In this way you can be sent to a pdf or a video instead of giving the students any text.

We also analysed and discussed the relationship of the objects to categories such as writing, farming or Art and Music. We could also discuss as archeologists if the objects found belonged to the same civilization
When reading the code it gives key words and clues, so we use inferential language to understand then we search for more information.

Activities that can be done with mobile phones
They are Jigsaw activities

We worked with the passages called the “silent movies” and the “the perfect phone”
In the silent movies students have to make a silent movie of 2 minutes of their houses going around it and describing what they see.
Also the teacher makes a recording and prepares some questions so that students know what to do.For example, on your tour, what is the second room in the video? What is the last room?

Work in groups and answer the questions. Then make comments of the videos.
It is a kind of homework

With the perfect phone text students work in groups of four and discuss the best features a mobile should have. For example writing statements like saying It might be water resistant, It might do this or that

Students then discuss with new partners and decide which are the best features and discuss with the whole class things like the battery life or prize.
Finally create a poster of an advert to sell the phone. Students after watching all of them vote and decide which the best advert is.

We also worked with the “Time will Tell” text to show that it’s also interesting to make a collage with App. Students can create a collage of photos of objects for a time capsule. This idea can be motivating for students.

You can find more ideas in the book “Use of Technology in the classroom” by Gavin Dudney and Nicky Hockly

With our eyes closed we had to visualize ourselves when we were 6 years old at a festival and write down facts about the people we were with, the place we were and events that took place.

We then created a web with sensory images ( sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste) that came to our mind.

You can get into deeper visualizations by focusing and describing in detail your feelings by making a mind map

You tell to a partner your experiences who asks questions and in this way you get more ideas to start writing your piece of creative writing.

Some pieces of writing were read aloud about “a prisoner’s diary” which we wrote after our visit to the castle dungeons and also about the festival.

Group work used for creative writing
Students are told to read either a passage or part of a book. They are given roles and work as a team. There is an analyser, an artist, the connector and an organizer.

Working with the book “the Giver”
First we watched a trailer of the film based on the book and try to answer the who, where, when, what, why questions about the characters and plot.

Then we had to read the “Writing from imagination” extract from the book. Usually this type of texts such as “the hunger games” or “the maze runner” would encourage them to write a piece of creative writing.

To finish it is important to say that what we do in the classroom is wrong because writers spend a lot of time making graphic organizers, mind maps, brainstorming ideas, then they do drafts and get feedback. It has to be read by others before being sent to the editor.

Handheld devices in the classroom language by Thom Kidle
Nowadays Technology is part of us and part of our teaching. We have to use it.
Everyone has thousands of photos in their mobiles to show and talk about them. You can have a look at others contact list and talk about the people and share the information by asking and answering questions or show and talk about their favourite Apps.

He talked about a useful link “” and about “ the value added teaching through technology”
Every smart phone has a camera to take pictures or record videos and have a sound recorder.

How to exploit images: PHOTOS
Students can talk about family photos or take photos of parts of their school or make pairs of pictures about a topic to do contrast and compare activities for official exams or work with linguistic landscapes (included in nile-elt blog).

Working with videos
To follow progress in speaking a language is difficult to see in short courses but it is possible to see it by recording them at the beginning and at the end.

You can also make a video walking around your home and describing what you see.
Doing short interviews using “vox pops” or watching videos to teach you different abilities like dancing or cooking with “ video jug”

There is another App to watch and show a picture instantly using your mobile and i-pad  called “chirp” because of the sound it makes
Another useful App is the QR codes that have already talked about and can be also used in treasure hunts instead of using paper

Apps for language learners
There are App to work with phrasal verbs, vocabulary, quizzes or speaking and intonation such as “ speaking pal”. Others based in literature activities like “Shakespeare in bits”

Apps for descriptions and directions
An App to do mind maps “popplet” and a translator that works with mobiles even without wifi to scan a sign called “wordlens”
Most of the links to pages about all the tools covered on this platform are found in Nile-elt blog.

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