language

Slowly-Penpals

Slowly – Write a letter to the world! (more…)

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New York Times

The New York Times App offers quality articles that can be used in class, be it in arts or science classes. The download is free of charge and includes FIVE free articles per month. These can be shared, thus used in class.

The articles are possibly relatively long for students with English as a second language. However, the topics cover a wide spectre, from art, human interest, politics to technology.

 Purchase Basic subscription $1.88 per week for education
(students and     teachers)
Free App with 5 free articles per month
 Hardware iOS, Android, Kendle
 Requirements App

Riddles and Puzzles

DiScoro writes about inquiry-based learning, digital resources, and ways to encourage higher-order thinking. We focus on STEM education and the use of technology.

Puzzles and riddles that are fun. They require language skills, understanding, logical thinking and can be solved individually or in groups. The Brainzilla website offers a number of ‘Zebra’ puzzles and riddles. An easy one to start with is Movies Night and a pretty difficult one to solve is Einstein’s Riddle. Brainzilla puzzles and riddles are suitable for K4-10.

It is advisable to print out the riddles and puzzles, as the solutions can easily be found online. You can help the pupils to organise their thinking by providing a card for every clue and a stack of cards for the values given. Allow pupils to work together, because not all will enjoy the puzzles if they get stuck.

More similar puzzles can be found on Math is Fun under the so called ‘Einstein Puzzles’. The vocabulary used in the clues here is more suitable for K8-12.

Visualisation of so called ‘Einstein’s Riddle’ which can be found on many websites.

 

Train your Phrases Verbs

DiScoro writes about inquiry-based learning, digital resources, and ways to encourage higher-order thinking. We focus on STEM education and the use of technology.

This time we write about an App that may be useful for learners of English as a second language. The App The Phrasal Verbs Machine (Cambridge University Press) enables non-native speakers to learn and train the use of Phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are two part verbs. They consist of a verb + an article and or preposition. The article/preposition often changes the meaning of the verb. Read more on the Brititsh Council website and on wikipedia.
The latest version supports 17 different languages, which means that the phrase is translated and the explanation is given in that particular language. The App has a strong visual component with a short animation showing the meaning of the phrasal verb. A disadvantage is that more advanced students of the English language will quickly master all the 100 phrasal verbs.

Examples:

  • run into
  • look after
  • dress down
  • hand in
  • look forward to

Screendump of the viewing part
 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad, Android tablet and smartphone
 Requirements  iOS 6 or higher version,  Android 2.2 or higher

Effective talk in the classroom

The Edutopia.org website offers great examples on pedagogy and didactics that build on concepts like growth mindset, ownership, effective learning, social and emotional learning, collaboration.

One topic is on Strategies for Effective Talk in the Classroom. This is not about the teacher talking, but about pupils/students talking and communicating. The approach supports learning in all subjects. It shows clearly how important it is that all pupils learn to communicate and express themselves clearly in different settings. The guidelines provided can be applied by any teacher.

Curious App

curious1curious-iconThe Curious App combines life-long learning with personalised learning. Thus aiming at adults. You get a daily learning workout with facts and information presented through texts, videos, pictures, stories etc. Before you start, your profile is created based on what interests you, on what you wish to learn and on how much time you wish to spend daily.

You can try out the App 7 days for free, thereafter you have to pay. This gives you a good idea about what to expect when you buy the App for use during a longer period. It is claimed that with the daily workouts, you grow your CQ, Curiosity Quotient. Curious is supported by Prof. Carol Dweck known for research on the importance of a Growth Mindset for success in learning.

The Curious App reminded me of the Who, What, Why books I read as a child. Facts and information on whatever topic you can think of.

Curious areas of interest

Curious areas of interest

 Purchase  $ 9.99 (a months !)
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad
 Requirements  iOS 9.0 or higher

Tall Ships Race: Signal Flags

Every month DiScoro writes about resources that can be used in schools and about inspirational issues. See Services in the Menu for workshops, training etc.

logo TSRSee Tall Ships Race for an introduction and links.

SIGNAL FLAGS is the second activitiy within the theme Tall Ships Race.

Introduction:
Language can be spoken and written, but there are many other forms of language and communication. Many of them make use of universal codes:

  • Morse
  • Maritime Signal Flags
  • Braille
  • Buoys at sea

We will focus on the maritime signal flags. Every letter in the alphabet and evey number 0-9 has a flag. This way you can create and spell words using these flags. However, out at sea it would be too cumbersome and time consuming to send messages to other ships while spelling whole words or even sentences with flags. Therefore, every flag also respresents a signal or in other words a message. For example if the crew on a ship hoists the T-flag they send out the signal  “Keep Clear”.
The combination of two flags gives another set of messages. See BoatSafe.com or SailorsChoice.com.
Additionally. the flags are being used in regattas to signal the start and to signal a fault.

Task 1: Make the words ‘Tall Ships Race’ with the (maritime signal) flags below.

vlaggen TSR

  • Before you look up  which letter the flags represent, you can group the flags into two groups. What are the two groups?
  • Use the internet to find out which letter the flags represent.

Task 2: Make your own name using the nautical flags.

Task 3: Design your own signaling flag using the rules given on the website BoatSafe.com

  • Explain the choices you have made in the design.
  • Add a signal/message to your flag.

Task 4: (Work in pairs) Make a short conversation using the flags. For example a question and reaction.

Alpha Bravo

Introduction: 
When spelling words and thus using the letters of the alphabet in communication on board, at sea, in the air and in the army, people use the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet can be found on the pages on flags: BoatSafe.com and SailorsChoice.com.

Task 5: Spell your name using the phonetic alphabet.

Task 6: Explain why this alphabet has been developed and why it is being used?

Task 7: (Group task)

Spell the name of someone in your group without looking at that person. If the person hears his/her name he/she takes over and starts spelling the name of someone else. If nobody reacts, you spell another name from someone in your group.

Aternatively: Spell a difficult word and let others react by saying or writing the word you spelled.

 

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