Course Two: Final Project

 

Photo Credit: Anirudh Koul via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Anirudh Koul via Compfight cc

For my final project, I worked with Laura Blair, the middle school tech integrator at our school, to create a unit in which students create a tourist website for a Francophone city or region. AISC has increased the amount of material that middle school language students cover at every level this year, and I have found it challenging to finish the materials that I am supposed to cover with my students this year. Although I think that our students do need a rigorous curriculum to be prepared for high school world language courses, I find myself trying to teach so much vocabulary and grammar that learning about Francophone regions has taken the backseat. My students do absolutely need to be able to conjugate verbs in order to be successful at more advanced levels of French. However, they also need to learn more than just the “foundational skills” of vocabulary and grammar that are the cornerstones of our language program. As a new teacher in this program, I am still working on finding that balance. I wanted this unit to address some of the AERO World Language Standards for Cultures, since I am sometimes feeling that I am not devoting adequate classroom time to these standards in my rush to cover enough grammar to prepare my students for high school. Laura and I designed this unit together, and then she also shared this unit with a friend of hers, and this other teacher is planning to use it in her classroom in Florida.  I always enjoy working with Laura, since her technology background is so extensive! My original thought was for students to create an online travel brochure via Prezi or a comparable site, and to collect notes on Diigo (Laura’s friend suggested also creating a Diigo group to aid in the organization of that material). Student will collect the images they use via Compfight, since the NETS-S Standards we included emphasize the importance of digital citizenship. Laura suggested that instead of doing a Prezi-type brochure, my students could make a website. She said that the former French teacher at our school had created websites with students successfully. Personally, after having seen how difficult it was for many of my students to do their VoiceThread projects as my Course 1 Final Project, I am interested to see how this goes. I admire Laura’s ambition on the project, and I am glad that she is back from her pregnancy leave, so she will be in my classroom to support my students when we do roll out this project in the upcoming months. I’m really fortunate to have a tech integrator who also speaks French!

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