Posts, posts! I’ve been not here a lot, and I wish I had been. Not having wireless connection right now in my classroom during the week puts a real crimp on my ten-minute musings. I’m sure it will improve when I finally get a wireless bridge that’s been missing since the beginning of the year.
First: Wordle…I was reading an article about Facebook impact on language learning, and as a way to measure acquisition, in a journal that arrived at my house this week. The researchers combined all the posts that students had written and made a Wordle out of them. I thought that would be a really interesting way to let students investigate their own linguistic use, and then they could share with teachers as an assessment tool. I have been meaning to use Wordle with on-line texts so that students could predict what texts would be about, as well as ask questions about any words that are most heavily used.
Next, I had to share my funny backward-backward planning with you. As I may have mentioned, one of my classes is doing a virtual move to St. Petersburg. We’ve gone in fits and starts, mostly because of my wireless issues. I started trying to find songs about St. Petersburg, or Piter, as Russians affectionately call it. One of the sets of songs that I found was those dedicated to the Zenith soccer team. Who knew that a team would have a bunch of chants and songs? There are lots of YouTube videos of various groups singing these songs. I liked one, and found a nice-sounding rendition (many of the others were very boisterous). Then I went to the team’s website and found some interesting articles, one about a Dutchman who used to play for the team. I compacted it into pieces that the kids would understand best, and added that and some information about uniforms and players and logos for the team onto a powerpoint. Then I talked to the kids about how, if they were in Piter, they would almost certainly know about the team, even if they weren’t fanatics, and they’d probably have heard the song…
They’ll have forgotten about this after a three-day weekend, and I’m going to spring some of the structures from the song on them, asking them who it’s sung to (I’m sure they’ll guess it’s romantic, until the part where the song exhorts the team to beat the others).
I think it will be fun for them to keep learning about this team. Right now a European soccer championship is in full swing, and the team is part of it.