Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coffee Filter Poems

I tried a new project with my 4th year students this year, and I was very pleased with the results.  Students cut individual words out of French magazines.  After we had a large assortment, I spread the words out on cookie sheets so it was easier to see the words.  I gave one cookie sheet to each student.  Students used the words to write a whimsical poem.  After arranging their words into a poem, they checked their poem with me.  Then they glued the words to construction paper.  This project also had a simple art component to it.  Each student was given an coffee filter on which they drew a design with water-based markers.  They laid the coffee filters on their construction paper and used paintbrushes to moisten the filters with water.  This process transferred the designs to their construction paper.  The result looked a lot like water color.  Here are some examples:

Translation: My Boutique
I have a little boutique in the ocean
It's a little paradise
The design is special 
and chic
with color.
(coffee filter design shows an island with a palm tree) 

Here's another.

Translation:  Summer
It's comfortable
We don't think.
Time for a picnic,

I did this in the first week of school this year.  My students really enjoyed it, and I think it was a creative way for them to play with words.  The poems looked nice on my classroom walls, too.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Using iPad to review

If you've been reading this blog you know that every student and teacher in my high school has the iPad2 this fall!  I've been using an app called Doodle Buddy quite frequently in many of my classes.  It works well to review any concept quickly.  This app is essentially a whiteboard that students can use to draw on in different colors and styles.  They can vary the thickness and style of their line (brush, chalk, etc.) and they can add effects such as glitter or they can smudge a line they've drawn.   

Today I was reviewing for a unit test that students will take tomorrow in French III.  One of the things they learned in this unit was to describe a person physically.  To review this vocabulary with them, I asked them to open their iPads to Doodle Buddy and draw a face that matched the description they heard me give in French.  Here's what they drew (this is a screenshot of a drawing in Doodle Buddy):

You can see they learned words like: freckles, eyeshadow, scar, lipstick...etc.  After students were done drawing, I asked them to turn their screens toward me.  I chose a student who had an accurate drawing to connect her iPad to my video projector so that everyone could see what the correct drawing should have looked like.

Could this have been done using pencil & paper?  Yes.  But the accurate colors could not have been added easily with pencil & paper.  And the vocabulary we were reviewing included eye colors, hair color and make up.  In my opinion, the fact that students could use the correct color on the iPad added value to the activity, and students also found the app fun to use, which helped to raise their motivation.

What do you think?

P.S.  Warning:  if you use Doodle Buddy, make sure to ask your students to mute their sound button before you start the activity.  Otherwise they will quickly find all the annoying noises that this app also provides. :)



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