Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Digital Trifecta for Common Core

First let me start by saying that I LOVE MY JOB (I teach high school Spanish)! I love it even more now that our high school is 1:1! There are now endless digital options at our fingers tips for communicating in the target language!  You may be thinking "BUT I'M NOT A FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER." Fear not! I am certain this post will get your creative juices flowing as to how you can incorporate the digital features mentioned here into your own content area.

The last four school days my students participated in activities to support Common Core & ACTFL's 4 skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking by using multiple digital tools.
Click HERE for Alignment of ACTFL & Common Core Standards

Part I:  Listening for Understanding (Google Docs, Vocaroo & Padlet)

I started with using  Vocaroo to record four separate listening activities.  I then copy/pasted the four listening activities onto a Padlet wall I created.

Students accessed a Google doc in which they used a graphic organizer to record information they heard.  The listening activities were presented for 4 levels of understanding (basic, proficient, mastery, advanced). While each of the listening activities spoke of the same alien description, as students moved through the levels of listening more details were heard.  If students found the basic level too easy they moved on to the next level of listening.  However, if students found a level too difficult then they could listen to the levels prior to the level they deemed difficult.  As students listened, they filled in the graphic organizer according to the directions seen below:

Part 2: Writing for Understanding (Google Docs & Comment Feature)

Students were then presented another graphic organizer on the Google Doc.  However, for this activity students brainstormed Spanish vocabulary for their own alien creation.  Students then composed Spanish sentences from information in the organizer.  Students SHARED their Google Docs with me so that I could add descriptive feedback as they wrote using the Comment Feature.  This allowed students to immediately catch errors and correct mistakes.  Here is an example:

Part 3:  Speaking for Understanding (Vocaroo & Padlet)

After revisions were made students created their own Vocaroo recordings of the writings they composed.  Students embedded their Vocaroo links onto the class Padlet wall.  Before I proceed further, here are some helpful things to consider when using Padlet for students to post:
  • create one padlet wall per class so that your recordings are grouped by hour
  • use the Privacy features to assign a unique code and/or limit functions to:
    • can view
    • can write
    • can moderate (use this feature if you want to share editing features with another teacher)
  • also don't forget to check the feature that allows you to "approve" all submitted recordings before they are made available others to see/hear (you never know what crafty kid might get silly and post something unrelated to the project)
Part 4:  Listening for Understanding

Once you listen to the recordings and approve them for your class to listen then consider replacing student names with assigned numbers (as seen below). You can have classes listen to recordings of other classes so that students do not know what class they are listening to as well as who they are listening to since only assigned numbers appear instead of a name.  Again, as students listen they can fill in a graphic organizer or try to draw what they hear!

A picture says a thousand words, but even better I have embedded one of my class walls so that you can see it in action!

Potential for Other Content Areas:

  • Social Sciences & Communication Arts:  Students can write from the perspective of a character, famous person or tell about an event in history using Google Docs.   Then use Vocaroo to record their compositions.  Other students can listen to the posted recordings on the Padlet wall in order to compare/contrast characters or learn about other people or events.
  • Science, Family Consumer Sciences & Math:  Students can compose a writing regarding a process using Google Docs.  Then they can record their composed writings using Vocaroo and post them to the Padlet wall.  Other students can listen to the posted recordings on the Padlet wall to learn about a new process and/or follow process in order to create a product.
The ideas are truly endless!

In short, Google Docs, Vocaroo & Padlet is a Digital Trifecta for implementing Common Core's four anchor standards of listening, reading, writing and speaking.