March 23, 2011

The Butterfly Project

“In an effort to remember 1.5 million children killed in the holocaust, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for spring 2013, for all to remember Butterflies may be of any medium the artist chooses, but two-dimensional submissions are preferred. Glitter and all glitter-related products should not be used. Food products (cereal, macaroni, candy, marshmallows or other perishables) also should not be used. “

I heard about this great project through Ms Debora Ryther, a teacher from Texarkana, Tx, who did a great job informing teachers- members of E-Pals, about the possibility to join with their classes, and collecting the butterflies from all over the world, which she is going to pack and ship to the museum before the end of the school year.

I immediately joined forces with an Art teacher in my school, Mr. Ivan Lasic. He did a great job giving instructions to the children about the artistic side of the project – the creation of butterflies.

This slideshow contains the most beautiful butterflies, already sent to Texarkana, to be part of the great exhibition next spring. Looking at them makes me really proud of my students – both for supporting the idea and for creating such beautiful works of art.


March 18, 2011

I've started exploring different fun ways of telling stories I can use with my students.
What I want to do is:
- visualise phrases or sentences,and make them a better start for a discussion, or more easy to remember,
- turn sentences, dialogues or lessons from the course book I use with students into cartoons or similar fun stories, to motivate my students to spend more time learning.

I'm looking for different tools that I can use to prepare the materials for lessons as well as some that I can recommend to my students so that they could create their stories - during lessons in pairs or groups, or individually for homework.

Toondoo

I've chosen a topic I discussed with my students today - endangered species in Croatia: the brown bear, and created a very short comic, just to check how it is done.
The Bear Stays

March 16, 2011

WeeBehave

WeeBehave makes it possible for a parent or a teacher to add children to the account and create a list of “to do“ tasks for every child.




The motto of WeeBehave says: “Manage. Motivate. Measure“, and WeeBehave does exactly that:

• you can put all the tasks you assign to your own children or students on the lists with their names,
• you can let children suggest some tasks or chores they volunteer to do or they think they should do, and so you motivate them even more to do a better job completing them
• children feel motivated to complete all the tasks, knowing they are on the list and to be checked at the end of a lesson or a day
• you can ask children to help you decide if the tasks have been done well enough to gain a green point (completely), a yellow point (only a part) or are still in red (not done)
• you can easily compare the amount of work every child does, and the progress over time of every child by comparing a child's work on different days of the week, or even see the previous week and plan next with the same or different tasks.


I showed the site to my children and they were motivated both to help me create the lists for them and to give me arguments for a more precise assessment.

This is what my younger son's list looked like when we first tried the site:



I think the tool can be very well used in small groups of students, for children's behaviour at school as well as for tracking progress with the foreign language they learn.
I plan to give it a try with a group of fifteen students to see if I can motivate them better this way and make them more aware of all they do and more responsible for their own success.