Sharing is Caring

share-1039045_960_720There is a lot about Social Media which brings out the worst in people, but sometimes I absolutely love learning about new ideas, activities, websites, games, on and on, from folks I only know and interact with through Social Media.

Social Media can be the greatest of salons:

salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry, “either to please or to educate” (Latin: aut delectare aut prodesse). – from Wikipedia

Recently on the CI Liftoff Facebook group, three new (to me) websites were shared with the group members. As usual, I clicked on the links and saved them to my phone to check out later. I do this all the time and usually decide that the new site isn’t as useful as something I’m already using or I decide it isn’t as user-friendly as I’d prefer. Not to imply the sites aren’t great, they just aren’t for me. Still, I always take the time to check each site out.

You never know what you’ll find! Here are the three sites recently shared and why I think these are worth the effort of integrating into my classroom next year.

Handspeak

I will begin by stating that the “acting” of TPR (Total Physical Response) within the CI community is not my cup-of-tea. I’m not the gregarious, extroverted teacher-type. I have my moments when storytelling mythology stories, but that’s about it. So, the whole idea of teaching student movements to go along with meanings to help students listen to understand and connect meanings in context is something I’ve been actively avoiding – taking class time to discuss and decide on a movement for each verb and/or relying on me to come up with ideas is just a bit too much for me to consider.

Until now… Handspeak is a site of short videos to teach ASL (American Sign Language) vocabulary. It is a little clunky to navigate, but didn’t take me too long to figure it out. I typed in the verbs of the Quaint Quintum just to see how the signs looked, their ease of use and clarity (different looking signs). I found all but esse. After a bit of practicing, I’m comfortable with using these signs. In fact, they might become second nature as I’m a huge “talk with my hands” person anyways.

So now I’ve “bought-in” to the TPR of CI. I am going to teach my students ASL along with Latin. Considering the number of comments I’ve overheard in the past seven years, I’d say my students will be thrilled with the chance to learn some ASL, even if it is in Latin class.

Handspeak was shared on CI Liftoff via a blog post by Andrew Stephen Olimpi, a recap of his takeaways from the iFLT conference this summer.

Wakelet

Because someone asked about ways to organize, save, or store all the cool information shared on CI Liftoff to reference during the school year, Madeleine Sexton shared her choice of online organization: Wakelet.

Until now, my online organization of choice has been bookmarks. I just created a folder called Latin Resources, then saved sites there. It worked, but I always forgot why I saved certain sites and would frequently forget, entirely, that I had saved the site somewhere.

I have also dabbled in Pinterest, but unlike the vast number of people across the world, I found it difficult to navigate and even harder to use. I can’t seem, for the life of me, to figure out how to access the sites or pages I’ve saved. And, it is impossible to save text or documents through Pinterest.

So, imagine my surprise when Wakelet seems to be the best, easiest, and most natural combination of bookmarks and Pinterest. With the Wakelet Chrome extension, I can just click on it whenever I find a site I want to save, just like a bookmark, but also organize the sites I find into different “folders” or collections so I remember why I saved certain sites. Like Pinterest, I am allowed to make public and share some or all of my collections for others to use and access. But, different than both, I have so much creativity in the type of resources I can save, organize, and share.

Best of all, I discovered a perfect use for Wakelet beyond just the originally shared purpose of resource organization. In the last two weeks, I’ve found a solution to my Bell-Ringer conundrum, the Choice Board. I’ve adapted a Bell-Ringer Choice Board from Elisabeth aka Spanish Mama to use in my Latin class. Because of its inherent differentiation, I’m going to use this Choice Board across all levels. That means all I have to pre-plan is one text/story or song/video a day to cover all classes. And, where am I going to store these for future use/reference? Check out my Wakelet collection Age Nunc! to see. Perfect!

WordWall

Shared on CI Liftoff by Kimberly Lackey.

I love vocabulary review games! In fact, I may overuse them a bit. My favorites are: Quizlet, Gimkit, Duolingo, Memrise, and (especially for Latin) Magistrula. But, best of all are Quizlet and Gimkit because I can easily make one list in Quizlet and use it for Gimkit without having to do extra (though I do do extra to make it more exciting and fun).

WordWall is new, but like Quizlet and Gimkit, I can make one list here and then use that one list to play a great multitude (in Basic there are 48 different activities!) of different games. There are online games and printable games. All using one list of words. Activities can be assigned to complete in class or as homework. Students can play anonymously or I can require them to sign in with a name. Either way, results are recorded.

See an example here: (if the embedded image doesn’t load, click here)

Really, what could be better!

Sharing is caring… Keep on Sharing!

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