Here we are again, dear colleagues, in front of our computer screens for hours, trying to do our best to cope with technology issues, as well as provide the optimum learning benefits in 30-minute synchronous online sessions with our learners. Although most of us have been through the same procedure last spring and are familiar with a variety of webtools and lots of theories regarding distance teaching and learning, most of us seem to feel drained after having racked our brains on how to be creative, present engaging tasks and accomplish our teaching goals in different classes for 15-24 sessions per week.

Networking with colleagues that experience the same situation has been uplifting and encouraging last spring and it proves to be valuable this time, too! Thanks to some online groups, sharing work and experiences has been led to levels that have been unfamiliar to our department – or at least how I experienced it back then! Being a warm supporter of sharing, here is part of a teaching scenario for the 1st and/or 2nd graders that has been applied and supported with positive feedback from learners, parents and myself who actually enjoyed it very much!

Subject:

English as a Second Language with a cross-curricular approach by means of ICT.

Connection with the curriculum:

Topic C4/C5 for the 1st grade / Topic B1 for the 2nd grade

Teaching context:

This scenario has been designed for synchronous online teaching to a class of 24 learners (1st grade) and a class of 24 learners (2nd grade) who are 6-7 years old and attend a rural Greek Primary School that has been shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions. Most of the learners are of Greek origin, come from mixed socio-economic backgrounds and there are no learners with diagnosed learning difficulties. None of the learners has any previous experience with online learning and parents have been advised to assist.

Level of Competence:

A1- level, according to the six-point scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Duration:

30 minutes of online learning and extra practice through asynchronous learning via e-class.

Transition:

This part of a teaching scenario has been designed for synchronous online learning by means of the webex platform. The particular learners have been taught in class the words “mummy” and “daddy” during the previous lesson and the activities of this part of the scenario have been designed for their first online session. All learners have no previous experience with webex online meetings; however, they have had sessions with their teacher the previous day. All learners have signed in the e-class of the Panhellenic School Network and have been using it since the beginning of the school year. They are not familiar with the web tools employed for this scenario (Thinglink, LearningApps, Video.link), but they are going to be guided into learning how to use them. Learners are supposed to own the necessary technological equipment for the session (internet connection, device, camera, microphone, speakers) and are invited to work as a group in order to complete the tasks.

Anticipated learning outcomes:

Learners are expected to achieve the following (based on the analytical indicators of communication competence):

A) Regarding English Language Competence

Listening skills:

  • To answer simple questions in the foreign language (or more complex questions in Greek) concerning the content of a short speech, such as e.g. questions and answers (“Who’s this?” “Mummy”, etc.). (A1/22)
  • To be able to understand very basic and standard expressions used in everyday interpersonal communication (eg greetings, such as “Hello, mummy!”, etc.). (A1/23)
  • To be able to understand specific information (personal data of the speaker or information related to their immediate family environment), formulated with simple vocabulary and standard sentence structures. (A1/24)

Speaking skills:

  • To be able to follow written or oral instructions in Greek to answer simple questions in the foreign language using standard expressions and simple vocabulary. (A1/39)

B) Regarding the use of technology

  • To develop information and digital literacy through the process of locating, analyzing and, finally, utilizing information found in digital environments.
  • To become familiar with the use of modules within the Electronic Classroom (e-class).
  • To become familiar with new digital environments.
  • To develop a responsible digital behavior through online collaboration with their peers (waiting for their turn, turning on and off their microphone when necessary, etc.).

C) Regarding the learning process and knowledge about the world

  • To achieve linguistic literacy while receiving and producing in the target language.
  • To develop visual literacy through digital visual stimuli.
  • To encourage digital literacy through the navigation in the modules of the Electronic Classroom (e-class) and further familiarization with the use of particular web tools.

Detailed description:

1st activity: Introduction to the topic

Type of activity: Listening comprehension, speaking by means of singing and moving

Duration: 5’

Classroom organization: Working online as a group through webex platform.

Teachers’ role: Supportive, encouraging and coordinating.

Learners’ role (according to the Four Resources Model that was originally developed in 1990 by Peter Freebody and Allan Luke): The learner is invited to work as a text decoder, deciphering the code in written and visual stimuli, and as a text participant, in the sense that s/he attempts to comprehend the input and relate it to his/her previous knowledge.

Teacher’s actions: The teacher welcomes the learners to the new digital environment and introduces a picture in Thinglink, saying that it is going to help them revise what they had done during the previous lesson. The teacher clicks on the first red button at the bottom and starts with a video, in an attempt to link what has been taught with everything that is going to be introduced throughout the session. The learners watch part of a video with the heroes of Disney that refers to “mummy” and “daddy”. Learners are encouraged to sing along and move their hands and body in the way that has been introduced in class (they dance, wave hello at “hello” and shape a heart with their fingers at “I love you”).

Learners’ actions: Learners are welcomed in the new digital environment, watch the video, revise the words “Mummy”, “Daddy”, “I love you” and sing along, while moving their hands and body to the rhythm.

Digital educational content, web tools, resources:

Thinglink

Video.Link (16:27 – 18:38)

2nd activity: Vocabulary development

Type of activity: Listening and repeating

Duration: 5’

Classroom organization: Working online as a group through webex platform.

Teachers’ role: Supportive, encouraging and coordinating.

Learners’ role (according to the Four Resources Model that was originally developed in 1990 by Peter Freebody and Allan Luke): The learner is invited to work as a text decoder, deciphering the code in audio and visual stimuli, and as a text participant, in the sense that s/he attempts to comprehend the input and relate it to his/her previous knowledge.

Teacher’s actions: The teacher introduces the main picture of Thinglink and explains the use of the plus buttons (they have to click on the plus buttons and listen to how we say in English the members of the family). The teacher clicks on the plus buttons and encourages learners to listen and repeat.

Learners’ actions: Learners watch the picture and understand the content. They are introduced to a new web tool and they try to comprehend how it works. In the meantime, they listen and repeat, developing thus their vocabulary.

Digital educational content, web tools, resources:

Thinglink

3rd activity: Vocabulary Consolidation

Type of activity: Listening and choosing the correct word

Duration: 6’

Classroom organization: Working online as a group through webex platform.

Teachers’ role: Supportive, encouraging and coordinating.

Learners’ role (according to the Four Resources Model that was originally developed in 1990 by Peter Freebody and Allan Luke): The learner is invited to work as a text decoder, deciphering the code in audio and visual stimuli, as a text participant, in the sense that s/he attempts to comprehend the input and relate it to his/her previous knowledge and as a text user, as s/he uses it to complete the task.

Teacher’s actions: The teacher introduces the main picture of Thinglink again and explains the use of the red buttons at the bottom. Clicking on the second button, the teacher explains that, in order to complete the activity, learners have to listen to the words and choose the correct one for each pin on the family members’ faces. Learners are informed that they are going to do the task in turns and are encouraged to repeat the words as they listen.

Learners’ actions: Learners watch the picture with the pins and understand the procedure and target of the activity. They are introduced to a new web tool and they try to understand how it works. In the meantime, they listen and repeat, developing thus their vocabulary.

Digital educational content, web tools, resources:

Thinglink

LearningApps

4th activity: Vocabulary Consolidation

Type of activity: Matching the sound with the correct picture

Duration: 6’

Classroom organization: Working online as a group through webex platform.

Teachers’ role: Supportive, encouraging and coordinating.

Learners’ role (according to the Four Resources Model that was originally developed in 1990 by Peter Freebody and Allan Luke): The learner is invited to work as a text decoder, deciphering the code in audio and visual stimuli, as a text participant, in the sense that s/he attempts to comprehend the input and relate it to his/her previous knowledge and as a text user, as s/he uses it to complete the task.

Teacher’s actions: The teacher introduces the main picture of Thinglink again and explains the use of the red buttons at the bottom. Clicking on the third button, the teacher explains that, in order to complete the activity, learners have to match the sounds with the correct picture (memory card game). Learners are informed that they are going to do the task in turns and are encouraged to repeat the words as they listen. The teacher uses the annotation in order to number the cards and make it easier for the learners to choose a card (numbers can be introduced in English).

Learners’ actions: Learners watch the game with the memory cards and comprehend the procedure and the aim of the activity. They are introduced to a new web tool and they try to understand how it works. In the meantime, they have fun while trying to remember the images, the sounds and while listening and repeating, developing thus their vocabulary.

Digital educational content, web tools, resources:

Thinglink

LearningApps

5th activity: Vocabulary Consolidation

Type of activity: Singing and doing

Duration: 8’

Classroom organization: Working online as a group through webex platform.

Teachers’ role: Supportive, encouraging and coordinating.

Learners’ role (according to the Four Resources Model that was originally developed in 1990 by Peter Freebody and Allan Luke): The learner is invited to work as a text decoder, deciphering the code in audio and visual stimuli, as a text participant, in the sense that s/he attempts to comprehend the input and relate it to his/her previous knowledge and as a text user, as s/he uses it to complete the task.

Teacher’s actions: The teacher introduces the main picture of Thinglink again and reminds the use of the red buttons at the bottom. Clicking on the fourth button, the teacher explains that it is time to sing and dance. The teacher introduces the shark family and the movements they do with their mouth. Learners are invited to watch the video, sing and imitate the movements. The teacher plays the video at least twice and reminds the learners that everything they have worked with will be uploaded to their e-class for further practice.

Learners’ actions: Learners learn about the shark family and rehearse the movements sharks do with their mouth. They eventually watch the video, sing and imitate the movements presented. Throughout this activity they have fun while trying to remember the sounds and moving their hands and body.

Digital educational content, web tools, resources:

Thinglink

Video.Link

Normally, scenarios are described in a way that presents all anticipated outcomes of each activity and the presentation of the activities is followed by the evaluation of the scenario and its impact. However, at this point, I wouldn’t like to tire you with the norm and would prefer to share with you my thoughts and feelings, as a teacher!

Prior to evaluating my role throughout the activities, I wish I could share with you the enthusiasm of everyone involved throughout the lesson, the level of participation and the excitement, especially with the song that was presented in the end! We had our lesson on Friday (16:50-17:20) with A class and we actually said our goodbyes and wishes for the weekend at 17:35, as we played the song again and again! As for me, the teacher, all I had to do during the session was to sound encouraging, pay attention to the way I deliver instructions and make sure that microphones were on and off at the right times! It was a lesson I tried with both A and B classes and enjoyed very much and receiving emails and messages through social media from content and satisfied parents was the unexpected feedback that literally made my day!

We, teachers, spend a lot of time designing, creating and delivering in front of a computer screen these days and having a great session with our learners makes it all so worth it! Sharing this part of my teaching scenario with you, I want to contribute to this energetic community of admirable colleagues out there that burn the midnight oil with me these days and express my gratitude for all the support I get from groups of people that share the same experiences with me! I hope this teaching suggestion will be as useful as your contributions and sharing have been to me! Keep it up, dear colleagues and friends, and remember that teaching is our superpower and sharing is our secret weapon!

1st graders

1st graders

Everybody knows it, 1st graders in Primary Schools are heart stealers! It is unavoidable, teachers, no one can resist bright eyes, smiley faces, lively creatures,cheerful attitude, positive aura and readiness to be part of a team!

This year, at the Primary School of Efxeinoupoli, Magnesia, Greece, after discussing with the 1st graders about what is the English language and why it is important to speak it well in the future, they realized that they already speak English without ever knowing or noticing it! Having recognized all of the words included in the following presentation, we started pronouncing them like English people do! And they did so well!

Δείτε το στο slideshare.net

A fruit and vegetable salad!

A fruit and vegetable salad!

My 1st graders and I have thought that learning the names of fruit and vegetables in English has been fun, until last Monday that we really believed that we can make it, having even more fun than before! Last week, we saw the fruit and vegetables in flashcards, we practiced the pronunciation of the words and we played our favourite game, BINGO, drawing the fruit and vegetables we had learnt. This Monday, however, we took learning and having fun to a different level, as we thought we should combine the carnival period with what we have been trying to learn!

Each 1st-grade learner chose a fruit or vegetable mask to paint, cut and wear! Then, they introduced themselves as the object presented by theim mask! Unfortunately, some of the learners were absent, so you cannot see the whole collection of available healthy food, but we intend to complete it, as soon as they are back! We are also keeping the masks, so as to practice other structures, such as “What’s this?” “It’s a …”, and colours! Here is our colourful fruit and vegetables salad:

Δείτε το στο slideshare.net

If you are interested in using the masks, you can download them from here:

Δείτε το στο slideshare.net

Ήρθε η ώρα να χαιρετηθούμε και να συστηθούμε στα Αγγλικά με τους μαθητές των Α΄ και Β΄ Τάξεων του Δημοτικού Σχολείου Σούρπης! Βοηθός και σύντροφος στη νέα μας αυτή προσπάθεια, η μασκότ μας, η Miss Piggy!

Miss Piggy - A and B Class Mascot

Miss Piggy – A and B Class Mascot

Miss Piggy - A and B Class Mascot

Miss Piggy – A and B Class Mascot

Αφού χαιρετηθούμε και συστηθούμε στη Miss Piggy, χορεύουμε και τραγουδάμε όλοι μαζί “Hello, Good Morning, How are you?” Ακούστε δυνατά το τραγούδι στο 4:22!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJw2xX6LsPI

Δείτε εδώ την προσπάθεια της Α΄Τάξης να τραγουδήσει και να κάνει τις κινήσεις του τραγουδιού! Χαιρετάμε, κάνουμε χειραψία και χορεύουμε! Σε λίγο καιρό θα το δοκιμάσουμε και όρθιοι!!!

Και εδώ η προσπάθεια του τμήματος Β2, της B΄ Τάξης!

Με μεγάλο ενθουσιασμό και χαρά ξεκινήσαμε για πρώτη φορά φέτος στο Δημοτικό Σχολείο Σούρπης να μαθαίνουμε αγγλικά με τους μαθητές της Α΄ και Β΄ Τάξης! Αρχικά, μιλήσαμε για το … τι είναι τα Αγγλικά κι έπειτα γιατί είναι τόσο σημαντικό να τα μάθουμε! Παρακολουθώντας την ακόλουθη παρουσίαση, συνειδητοποιήσαμε όλοι μαζί ότι ήδη μιλάμε αγγλικά και ότι πολλές αγγλικές λέξεις προφέρονται με τρόπο που μας είναι εύκολο να καταλάβουμε τι σημαίνουν!

Ήδη μιλάμε αγγλικά, λοιπόν, αλλά τώρα το κάνουμε όπως οι Άγγλοι! Χεράκια μπροστά στο στόμα, βγάζουμε αέρα στους ήχους που είπαμε, δεν ακουμπάμε τη γλώσσα στον ουρανίσκο όταν λέμε το ‘ρ’ το αγγλικό και … φύγαμε για εξάσκηση από το σπίτι!

Δείτε το στο slideshare.net

http://rcel.enl.uoa.gr/peap/

http://rcel.enl.uoa.gr/peap/

Μια καινούρια σχολική χρονιά ξεκινά και οι φετινές αλλαγές είναι πολλές! Μία από αυτές που φαίνεται να απολαμβάνει την αποδοχή μικρών και μεγάλων είναι και η ένταξη του μαθήματος της Αγγλικής Γλώσσας σε παιδιά Πρώτης (Α΄) και Δευτέρας (Β΄) Δημοτικού. Είναι μια αλλαγή για τα σχολεία της περιοχής του Δήμου Αλμυρού που την εφαρμόζουν πρώτη φορά, αλλά στην ουσία πρόκειται για μια αλλαγή που εφαρμόστηκε αφού ήδη δοκιμάστηκε σε πολλά σχολεία της χώρας μας!

Η ένταξη της εκμάθησης της Αγγλικής Γλώσσας στην πρώιμη παιδική ηλικία συνοδεύτηκε τότε από την λειτουργία του ιστότοπου για το Πρόγραμμα Εκμάθησης Αγγλικής σε Πρώιμη Παιδική Ηλικία ΠΕΑΠ, που είχε και έχει ακόμα σαν σκοπό την ενημέρωση γονέων και εκπαιδευτικών για το θέμα. Παραθέτουμε εδώ ένα ενημερωτικό απόσπασμα για το θεωρητικό υπόβαθρο της αλλαγής αυτής που θα βιώσουμε πρώτη φορά φέτος στο σχολείο μας:

“Η ένταξη της ξένης γλώσσας, και ειδικά της Αγγλικής, από την Α’ Δημοτικού δεν έγινε αυθαίρετα. Αντίθετα, η εισήγηση αυτή απασχόλησε αρκετά το Υπουργείο Παιδείας, το οποίο πριν αποφασίσει σχετικά με το θέμα αυτό ζήτησε τις επιστημονικά τεκμηριωμένες απόψεις μελών ΔΕΠ του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών.[4] Ο προβληματισμός δεν αφορούσε την επιλογή της ξένης γλώσσας, αφού η Αγγλική έχει γίνει αποδεκτή εντός και εκτός Ευρώπης ως η κατεξοχήν γλώσσα διεθνούς επικοινωνίας, αλλά το εάν είναι παιδαγωγικά ορθό να ξεκινήσουν την εκμάθηση της ξένης γλώσσας οι μαθητές σε τόσο μικρή ηλικία. Το ζήτημα αυτό απασχόλησε και την εκπαιδευτική και κοινότητα, καθώς και το ευρύτερο κοινό (γονείς και κηδεμόνες μαθητών στα σχολεία με ΕΑΕΠ). Μάλιστα, οι ποσοτικές και ποιοτικές μελέτες των επιστημονικών ομάδων του Έργου, έδειξαν ότι υπήρχαν αντιρρήσεις και αμφιβολίες για την εισαγωγή της ξένης γλώσσας από την Α’ Δημοτικού την πρώτη χρονιά που εφαρμόστηκε το νέο εκπαιδευτικό πρόγραμμα στα ολοήμερα Δημοτικά. Βασικά, εκφράζονταν φόβοι ότι οι μαθητές αυτής της ηλικίας «που δεν ξέρουν ακόμη τη δική τους τη γλώσσα θα αρχίσουν να μαθαίνουν την ξένη και θα μπερδευτούν».

Στη διάρκεια της επιτυχούς εφαρμογής του «Προγράμματος Εκμάθησης της Αγγλικής στην Πρώιμη Παιδική Ηλικία» (ΠΕΑΠ), η γνώμη των δασκάλων και των γονιών άλλαξε. Το αρχικό κλίμα δυσπιστίας έχει εντελώς ανατραπεί. Είναι εντυπωσιακό πως το 80% των γονιών που ανησυχούσε για τους κινδύνους που διέτρεχε το παιδί του από την εκμάθηση της ξένης γλώσσας, τώρα ανησυχεί μήπως δεν συνεχιστεί το ΠΕΑΠ, ενώ επίσης ζητά να αυξηθούν οι ώρες διδασκαλίας της Αγγλικής στις τάξεις αυτές από 2 σε 3. Η ανατροπή οφείλεται εν μέρει στο ότι οι συνεργάτες του Έργου συναντήθηκαν με τους δασκάλους των μικρών μαθητών και τους γονείς τους, προκειμένου να τους εκθέσουν τα επιχειρήματα υπέρ της εκμάθησης γλωσσών από πολύ νωρίς και να τους διαβεβαιώσει πως σε όλες τις υπόλοιπες Ευρωπαϊκές χώρες η ξένη γλώσσα εισάγεται στην εκπαίδευση όλο και νωρίτερα, πως σε ορισμένες χώρες μάλιστα η ξένη γλώσσα εισάγεται και από το νηπιαγωγείο. Ωστόσο, υπάρχουν σαφή στοιχεία ότι η αλλαγή γνώμης οφείλεται και στο ίδιο το πρόγραμμα – στη φύση του, τα προϊόντα του και τον τρόπο εφαρμογής του.

Το ΠΕΑΠ στηρίζεται στις αρχές του πολυγραμματισμού και εισάγει σταδιακά μια σύγ­χρονη γλωσσο-παιδα­γωγική προσέγγιση με μαθησιακό υλικό που είναι κατάλληλο για τους μικρούς μαθητές και μαθήτριες που προετοιμάζονται από το ελληνικό σχολείο του σήμερα για να αντα­ποκριθούν στις ανάγκες του αύριο. Οι παιδαγωγικές πρακτικές τις οποίες προωθεί το ΠΕΑΠ αποβλέπουν στην ανάπτυξη στην ανάπτυξη της κοινωνικότητας των μικρών μαθητών και στην αφύπνιση της δημιουργικής έκφρασής τους μέσω της Αγγλικής γλώσσας καθώς και στην ανάπτυξη του σεβασμού για τον εαυτό και τον Άλλο και εν τέλει στην αγάπη για τη γλώσσα –είτε είναι η ξένη και είτε η μητρική του γλώσσα.”

Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες, επισκεφθείτε τον ιστότοπο ΠΕΑΠ και ενημερωθείτε από τη Γωνιά του Γονιού που διαμορφώθηκε με στόχο την καλύτερη ενημέρωσή σας σχετικά με το Πρόγραμμα Εκμάθησης της Αγγλικής σε Πρώιμη Παιδική Ηλικία (ΠΕΑΠ) και με το πώς μπορείτε να υποστηρίξετε το παιδί σας στην πρώτη του επαφή με την ξένη γλώσσα, βοηθώντας το να θέσει γερές βάσεις στη μελλοντική του πορεία στη γλωσσομάθεια.

The Greek carnival is usually celebrated at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, Halloween, though, is celebrated on October 31st! There are major differences between the Greek carnival celebration and Halloween celebration, but there is surely one thing they have in common: dressing-up!

In terms of dressing-up, Halloween seems to be all about spooky costumes, whereas the Greek carnival appears to fulfil our dream of transforming into anything we desire! Whether it is Halloween or Carnival, every year, we, teachers, try to find crafts we can do with our learners in class! Here you will find an assortment of sites that abound in crafts, decorations, coloring pages, costume ideas, treats recipes and printables! Have fun with your learners at school and don’t forget your kids at home! You can have so much fun with them!

Ματιά (Carnival crafts and costumes ideas!)

Hartaetoi (Carnival crafts with pictures!)

EnchantedLearning.com (great, easy to make crafts!)

AllCrafts.net (Halloween crafts, decorations, even treats recipes!)

DLTK’s Holiday Crafts for Kids (Frankenstein, ghost, vampire, witch, owl crafts …)

ActivityVillage (Skeletons, witches, bats and cats, pumpkins of all sorts, candy corn, monsters and ghosts too, so with well over 80 craft ideas here you should find something that is just the right amount of spooky for you!)

AllFreeCrafts (Here you can find crafts and decorations, Halloween recipes, party ideas and Halloween games, Halloween costumes and makeup, as well as printables!)

FamilyCorner.com (Crafts, decorations, recipes … you can try them at home with your kids, too!)

FreeKidsCrafts.com (Halloween printables, recycled crafts, costume ideas and food crafts!)

CraftBits.com (Halloween crafts, project ideas, decorations and wreaths!)

AllKidsNetwork (Halloween crafts for kids of all ages!)

42 Super Easy Halloween Craft Ideas (Wonderful and easy-to-make crafts for classrooms and families!)

20 Kid-friendly Halloween decorations (last-minute crafts, perfect for at-home or in the classroom)

Here is the video we normally watch at school to find out how Halloween is celebrated in Britain:

 

English Exercises is a website full of exercises to practise English online. The exercises have been submitted by English teachers from all over the world and they are categorized as VOCABULARY and GRAMMAR exercises. Your learners will have the opportunity to practice English developing thus their vocabulary, grammar and listening skills (a lot of the activities include songs and videos!).

The world wide web abounds in printable worksheets related to Christmas! Here are some links you may find useful:

Christmas Worksheets

Christmas Teaching Resources

Christmas Printables

Christmas Printables

Gift tags, gift certificates, Victorian Santa cards, lists and more for the Christmas season!

Christmas printables for kids

Printable Goodies for the Christmas Holidays

Christmas Ideas for school use

Christmas / Winter ideas for school Use

Christmas Crafts for the classroom

Christmas Teaching Resources

Christmas Teaching ideas

Learn English with Christmas Songs

Christmas Lessons, Songs, Worksheets, Teaching Resources

Thanksgiving Lesson Resources

Here you will find a collection of online word games, activities and quizzes that can help children learn and practise English vocabulary related to Christmas in a fun way. Also, we offer a variety of printable exercises and activities for young ESL learners, including Christmas word games, picture quizzes, vocabulary tests, board games and crafts.