Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Planning ahead...

December 3, 2008

Cathy, Our classes here start in February, but as Escola Parque is a special one, I mean, it is not a regular school, I can't say to you precisely when classes are going to start. Maybe in March. I'll ask my coordinator about that tomorrow. I hope we can be in touch during this time! Let´s do our best to see each other via Skype next week!

I agree with you about high graders' independence. I think as they are more responsible, they can have their own blog and Orkut accounts next year.

I appreciated that you liked the idea of working with movies and commenting about them afterward. As you told me, we can do lots of things when we have 17 to 18 year-old students. I know lots of movies regarding ethnic and social matters, most of them are American. Afterward, we can analyze some of them and decide those ones we want to work with. The only thing I want is having an aim to our project together. For instance, we could be free to work with things we want during the teaching process, but we should have a clear focus, such as, let’s suppose: "We are going to work with movies establishing links between American way of life and Brazilians"; how teens live in both countries, etc, but parallel to that, we want to do this and that as secondary activities in this process". Understand what I mean? I need to prepare my 2009 Unit plan and as we are working together, I will have to know what our focus will be.

Anyway, I think working with you gives to anything I do with my students a new meaning. For instance, I am not teaching English for nothing; I am not going out and taking pictures of known places for nothing: everything has a clear aim now. Students notice that; and I, as a teacher, have the opportunity to find a meaning to my activities in class. I am like a child now that wants to learn and create more and more due to the outer stimuli he receives! ---Tyrone

Em 03/12/2008 20:55, Cathy McDonald escreveu:

Tyrone, We tried to call and all we got was that you were not online. Perhaps the problem was ours. We have had trouble with the internet.

We will miss the students during January. Our Christmas break runs from Dec 19 thru January 5. When do you start back for the new school year?

I think when you get back we might pair up the students for some synchronous chats even if all cannot use a webcam. What do you think?

The kids really enjoyed the albums and will be looking at them more. I am still at school for a basketball game. I will try to get pictures, but our gym is so dark that it is hard to get them to turn out. ---Cathy

tyrone.santiago wrote:

Cathy, Thanks for your praise! I also missed you this morning. I was online waiting for your call, but nothing happened. Did you have any problems calling Skype today? Anyway, these have been our last days at school - we are going to have classes until December 17; afterwards, students will be on vacation. Maybe next Wednesday is the last possible day for a Skype call. I will ask my coordinator about that tomorrow.

Going out with my students was something very interesting. I learned a lot with them! I hope your students can see all of the albums concerning the museum visit; students' neighborhood; the center of
Salvador, etc. I mailed you today the postcards with Christmas messages and some brochures. Each one of them was addressed to each one of your students. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone of them!!

Em 03/12/2008 14:09, *Cathy McDonald * escreveu:

Hi, Tyrone, Hope all is well. We missed you this morning. The kids had a great time looking at the pictures and postcards. It took us a while to get to them. Most could not access the pictures because they were not "friends" yet. They have each set up their own Orkut account and have accessed yours and requested to be a friend. You will have several to accept. When you have your high school students they may want to create their own accounts so that many can be on at the same time.

Perhaps we can do the same with the blogs. It may take a few days to get everyone accepted as each other’s friends; but at their age, they like to have their own site.I like the idea of watching some of the same movies and discussing them in the blogs.

I have groups that are working on a book they will call the ABC's of Brooklyn. You may want to use it -- we are trying to keep it very simple. They may even put the Portuguese word for some of the words they select. They are taking pictures. We are behind on this project so it will not be done until after Christmas. My seniors are required to do a research paper this semester. They are all doing theirs comparing Brazil to the United States. Some of their topics are teen pregnancy, abortion, violence, sports, etc.

You and the kids are doing an awesome job. ---Cathy

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adding more structure…

November 25, 2008

Great news!!! I have some suggestions that I will give you in details afterward. Let me just to tell you that as next year I will have high school students, I am thinking of having classes with movies that could be both seen by my students and yours. One week they would see, for instance, All the Invisible Children, and on the other, they could discuss about what they had seen, by using Skype, blog and maybe Orkut. What do you think about it? – Tyrone

I love it!!! There will be so much more we can do with high school -- but I still think this has been an awesome year. I have two teacher sisters in Georgia who tell their schools about what we do.
I correspond with the professor who was my advisor when I was in college. He thinks it is great. Plus the facilitator for the online class that I am taking will be sharing this with the International Society for Technology in Education. -- Cathy

Friday, November 14, 2008

Centralizing student work...

November 14, 2008

Lovejoy students, being older, were delighted with the new and different Orkut -- many had MySpace accounts, which, of course, are blocked at the school. Consequently, it became difficult to track what everyone was doing. Not only that, but I was a little concerned about the number of requests to be friends. This prompted the following e-mails:

Cathy, Although your students are in high school and are able to be independent at school, having their own blogs and Orkut, etc, I think that for the proposal of our activities together, they should use just an account such as a single blog account: a Lovejoy one, and a single Orkut account -- Lovejoy Class of 2009. By doing so, everything becomes more practical: we can access both blog and Orkut, and we are able to see everybody together with their profiles, photos, texts, comments, etc. Even if they create their own blogs and Orkut accounts, there are the Lovejoy blog and Orkut that can be used for everybody. In this sense when we access here, instead of accessing one by one blogs and Orkut, we access Lovejoy ones, comprising in it students' profiles, comments, etc. For instance, my students have their own Orkut, but at school they just use CECR Parque to be in touch with you for pedagogic proposals.

I think it is very nice, your idea of not accepting lots of "friends" at Orkut. If some of my students or strange people ask you to be accepted, you don't need to do so, as some of them, for instance, can upload videos we both wouldn't like. ---Tyrone