Monday, June 16, 2014

Effective Communicators and Responsible Participants in a Global Society

At Country Day World School, where I have the privilege to work and teach, stakeholders buy into the Mission Statement:

Our Mission is to educate children within a supportive environment to become confident lifelong learners, intellectually discerning thinkers, effective communicators, and responsible participants in a global society.

One of the most important duties I have as an educator is to develop particular skills in my students. The skill of communication and the art of flexibility and responsibility are top priorities in my World Language classroom, as they should be in all schools across America. 

I personally take language learning beyond the classroom "walls" and expose students to experiences with diverse cultures and networked collaboration. By integrating innovative World Languages pedagogy with 21st century technologies using the iPad, my course meets the evolving needs of students in a global society while catering to their individual needs. My Spanish students have "found" international students with whom to speak, question, collaborate, produce and celebrate. Through technology tools and creativity, CDWS students have demonstrated their flexibility, cultural awareness and innovativeness, even in another language!  

The unique experiences of a CDWS student prepare them for that connected world in which they will live and work. They are learning the skill of adaptability. How will the rest of the students in the local community compare?

~Fran Siracusa

For more inspiration and expert advice, please see this wonderful article by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Favorite New Apps for the World Language (& others too) Classroom

Integrating Technology to Enhance WL learning:

My all-time favorite apps for the WL classroom:

Notability app
Nearpod app
Keynote app
Haiku Deck app
iMovie app
Google Drive app (Google docs for synchronous & collaborative work)
VoiceThread app
Skype app
Google Earth app
GarageBand app

Instant Player vs. Player game (it reminds me of Trivia Boxes at local bars):

Finding/Creating Digital Imagery:
Haiku Deck app
Flickr app
Word Collage / Word Cloud / TagCloud apps
Fotobabble app
Face in Hole apps
Brushes app

Creativity & Productivity with Video:
iMovie app (or using iMovie trailers)
iMotion HD
BuddyPoke app
Puppet Pals HD
Sock Puppet

Voice Recording:
GarageBand app
ooVoo app
Voice Changer app
Voxer Walkie-Talkie app

Google Drive app
Dropbox app
Shutterfly (for pictures)
Schoology (LMS)

Goggle Docs (app)
Aurasma app
Duolingo app
Cat Spanish app
BrainPop Español
Book Creator

For more related ideas, please see this article in Edutopia written by Vicki Davis:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Facilitation of student learning and creativity in the Spanish classroom in 2014

Powerful learning took place this school year inside and outside of my Spanish classroom! My students amaze me each and every day, and I could not be more proud of them. They have learned so much in Spanish, and I have learned so much from them. Their creativity and energy inspire me! Here is a glimpse of the phenomenal work they completed and accomplished:

--"Farewell to Seniors" Auras activity with the Aurasma app (accuracy in switching between three tenses plus formal command form) - Students wrote 3 sentences about their assigned "senior," and then offered him/her a piece of advice using Formal Commands. May 2014
     Step 1:  Create Aurasma overlay
      Step 2: Shoot film to use as "aura."
       Step 3: "Follow" the student on Aurasma by entering the student's name.
      Step 4: Scan the trigger image overlay, and watch the item turn into a video.
     Step 5: Share with friends, and help them find your aura!


--"Top Chef" Recipe Project with the iMovie app (using Formal Commands) April 2014

--"Dalí inspired Surrealist Art" digital paintings and museum labels with the Brushes and Pages apps (Spanish history, geography, art and culture) May 2014

--Celebration of Learning 2014, Middle School Spanish course students showcase their work.

--Padlet activity (Future Tense practice) - completed and shared in one class period April 2014
      -8th grade

-7th grade

--Spain or Largo Trip Summary (written & oral communication, using the preterite tense) April 2014

 --Global Happiness Project (written, oral and visual presentation, using the GarageBand, iMovie, Keynote, Haiku Deck, Skype and Google Docs apps)     January-May 2014
Watch video at this link:


--"Washington, DC Monument Docent"  (preterite tense)  November 2013


--"When I was a Child" (imperfect tense)  April 2013