A huge thank you to the Languages teachers who joined us at PEPS for the inaugural Languages Teachmeet. We were a large group of Indonesian teachers, a Japanese teacher and her Japanese Assistant teacher (what an awesome program that would be), a French teacher, Sandy, (a PEPS classroom teacher wanting to experience a teachmeet & in doing so was of immeasurable help & support not only before with the setting up but also during the teachmeet with the timing & taking care of the smartboard & pc) and Kris Paul, a French & German Language teacher with a passion for ICT. We were a good mix of primary and secondary which was lovely.
Even though the teachmeet was scheduled to start at 4pm, teachers were still arriving at 4:20, a testament to just how busy our lives are and how we all managed to squeeze this around other commitments. As a result of the staggered arrivals, we introduced ourselves numerous times before watching a short English youtube clip which explains what a teachmeet is. I chose to do that so that we are all clear on how they run and that we all have the same expectations, especially in relation to the time limit that each person gets to share.
4 people came prepared to share which was brilliant considering we were all experiencing our first teachmeet and in most cases meeting each other for the first time. An instant PLN session!
Kay was the first to share. She explained how she uses set phrases related to her themes (in this case, going on holiday) and has the students chanting them while simultaneously making robotic actions with their arms
– thus combining action with speech to help the vocabulary settle into the long term memory. She then builds on the sentences and eventually students are able to use the phrases to write several sentences, in upper primary, up to a paragraph.
Annie shared next, showing us the iPad covers she bought recently. She particularly likes this design due to their durable shape and the fact they have a handle. She also recommended getting a variety of colours as this helps student remember which iPad they were working on in previous lessons. On Annie’s recommendation, I also bought one of these to trial and I totally agree with her, they are an ideal design for schools added to which the price is very reasonable- about $15 each.
Emma next spoke about animoto and the Storykit app. We were able to connect her iPad to the smart board with a VGA cord, thus alloowing her to show us the project she has made with storykit.
Kris was next and she shared with us all her wikispace specifically for using ICT in the Languages classroom.
https://web2-4languageteachers.wikispaces.com It is well worth a look. This followed on nicely from Emma’s presentation as the wiki contains heaps and heaps of information about the many apps suitable for use in the Languages classroom.
This finished up the main part of the teachmeet. We have agreed to meet again week 5, term 4 at PEPS again and in the meantime, I will email participants information about our wikispace and how to become members.
It was amazing meeting everyone and in some cases putting a face to a name and visa versa. We also had quite a few other interested Languages teachers who didn’t join us purely because of distances they would have had to travel, so I will be having conversations with our amazing ICT person about using Skype next time.
I hope everyone else got as much as I did out of this first teachmeet and I am already planning what I can share at the next one!! Should we have a theme???