Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Skype accounts and our classes

April 2, 2009

Cathy, I created 10 new Skype accounts. Please, add them. I intend to make my students use them during their conversations. I asked the tech guy today to make everything so that it is possible in order to allow your students to see mine. We were able to see yours, but yours weren't; and for me, it is very important when they see each other: they start making several questions about the people they are seeing. (I couldn't help listening to their comments on who were more attractive: AfroBrazilians or AfroAmericans.... You know how people of that age are....

I am also worried about how they are going to use Tapped In and Skype. Today was my teachers' meeting day with our coordinator. I wrote about 20 questions in English that my students will be able to use during Tapped In and Skype times. These questions have to do not only with personal questions but also with the movie Freedom Writers. Of course, they will also be free to make any questions they want by writing them in Portuguese and translating them through the translation site.

I think your students can go on writing in English and my students can go on using the translation in order to know about what they are saying. Don't worry about that. I think it is just a matter of getting used to the translation during the conversation.

I think your idea about a "Toast for Change" is very nice. It is a way to make them contextualize the movie with their own lives.

As you must have noticed, my students have already answered a questionnaire on Freedom Writers in our blog. I think I will ask them to translate these questionnaires into English and send to your students during their conversation. What do you think of this idea? Another suggestion is: making your students read such blog questionnaires and ask them to make comments on them. It is up to you.

Yesterday, I received several TappedIn e-mails with the transcriptions of our students' conversation. I read what they wrote. I could notice that majority of them were really interested in interacting with each other. I will ask the less interested ones to be more present during the chats, though, and I will tell them that I could read what they had written in TappedIn. So, I'll advertise for them to talk about things related to knowing each other and to the movie.

The staff of the school is supposed to have sent you the two DVD’s I had promised you. As soon as I have the confirmation of it, I will let you know. Have a nice weekend! God bless you!!! ---Tyrone

April 1, 2009

Tyrone, My students were so excited to be talking to you again. I see a problem with Tapped In. It will move slow because all of my students and most of yours will have to use translation sites. So we need to tell them to write in the translation site first, then copy and paste to TappedIn.

Next time, we need to decide on certain questions we want them to answer when they are in the TappedIn site. It will help them to know what to talk about. For example, which character in Freedom Writers do you relate to the best? Then they type it in the translation site and post it. It is good for my students to use the translation too. You will have to decide whether you want your students to write it in English or to write in Portuguese and translate to English. If at some point you want us to write in English so that your students can use it as an opportunity to use the language, let me know.

I forwarded all of the transcripts that are automatically sent to me. I went in and made you a moderator, so you should also get these in the future. You will also be able to add any students that I may have missed. I think this will work out very well.

I see the kids caught on real fast how to use TappedIn. They always amaze me. The staff at TappedIn wants to know how well this goes. I will ask them how to copy and paste – I was surprised that we couldn’t.

May I make a suggestion at our blogs that we sometimes post a question, and the students have to go in and answer the questions. For example, if you were to make a “Toast for Change” what would it be and why? I will post it at our blog and students from both classes can comment. What do you think?

The blog gives more time to think out an answer and write about it. ---Cathy

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