Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Starfall-a website to use to younger children

www.starfall.com is an American website with a lot of different things to do. It has got 4 levels, ABCs, Learn to read, It´s fun to read and I´m reading. There are printed materials , online stories, games, drama, dialougs and songs. It is to be used from kindergarten to grade 2 but also for struggling readers. In Sweden I suppose it is meant for children in pre-school and grade 1-3. This website reminds me a bit of a of the Swedish programme called "Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter" which made a lot of children learn to read during the 1970s.

The starfall reading programme seems to be funny and easy to use. The children can do the reading exercises on the computer on their own, together with other children or with the teacher. There are lessons and samples to use which are made for kindergarten but some of them could be useful in the lower grades in a Swedish school.
You get precise information of what grammar the task includes.

Most tasks are free but there are also more to do if you are a member but this will cost. I think there are enough tasks that are free, there´s no need to become a member. The pupils can listen to voices (other children) who give the information about the tasks and they can read short texts, write words, make drama, make finger dolls for the drama and much more.

There are also a printout function where you can get a lot of exercises to do. These printed materials are effective tools for learning and as I can see it, it can be used to check what the children have learnt. You can download and print out simple books to make. It´s the same books as you can read on the computer monitor.

There are also some tasks in maths too. You learn the numbers 1-100 for example and you learn to write the numbers in letters.

What the website do is to learn English to children as we learn young Swedish learners Swedish.

If you miss anything, you can buy things in the starfall-store but then you must be a member.

Titti Eriksson

Monday, 19 December 2011

UR - Språk

http://www.ur.se/sprak/engelska/  as a source for ICT.
This is a great site for the languageteacher to use. Often we search for good things to listen to with the pupils. This site gives you a big opportunity to listen to different variety of speaking English and do different thing afterwards. 
For to use this site of course you need a computer and Internet. If you have a cleverboard or a projector that’s nessecary to use when you want to show any film or something like that. The first thing you need to do is to choose which level you want to work on. There are four levels to choose between. The levels are graded in A1, A2, B1, B2. On this site you find links to same activity or almost the same but in Germany, French or Spanish.
You could listen to someone who talks about her country and guess which the secret country is, listen to children songs, someone talk about a book or listen to news that are easier for the children to understand. It’s called newsreel junior. I’ve used newsreel in my 6Th grade. They understood these news more than the news from SR even that these aren’t about Sweden. There is also a game about decoration to play. 
There are also a radiotheater- Blaze. The theaterparts are about 5 minutes long and suits for year 4-6. It’s easy to listen to it. They talk not to fast.You could also watch shortfilms about different things.
You could get worksheets for the activities if you want. You could search for something in ur.play but you need to know what to search for otherwise you can use the link for ur.play. 
There’s a Tv- serie about a English Speaking Countries for year 7-9 and it’s about two young people who travel around the word and meet people with second name Foster. There is also a link to Anaconda. There you find games and activities for year 7-9 about fashion and music.
There is a special link to a pedagogical site. On this site you find a lot of things that’s useful for a language teacher. There are games for year 1-3 ( go yoyo go) and games for 7-9. 
Ingela Hammarsten

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Photo story

Photo story is a software where you can make a slideshow with photos. You can take photographs yourself or use photos from internet. But remember that you have to know if you are allowed to use the photos you have downloaded from internet. You can also choose if you want to put words to the photos and even use a microphone recording your own voice narration to the photo story. If you want you can put background music into the presentation.
This software is free to download and it takes only a few minutes. You only need a computer with 400MB available hard disk space and of course a microphone to record narration.
As teacher you can make an inspiring photo story you can show your pupils before starting a new theme or project. You can also use photo story to make a presentation to learn the pupils something in a funny way. I think this is a good possibility to show the parents what`s happening in school. You can show it on a parent-teacher association meeting or the pupils can send the story by mail to their parents. You have to be careful when you will present the stories. It´s important to have permission showing the pupils in the photo stories for other people.
The pupils can make stories about what they are doing in school. They can tell stories about their lives, interests and so on. This would be a different way to report to their classmates, and maybe an easier way for the more shyer pupils.
I think this is a funny and delightly way to work in school. It´s simple to use both for adults and children. You need to know some English, but have you done it ones you are able to make it the next time without difficulties. You can do a photo story in about 15 minutes, depending on how big and extensive story you want to make. You can save it and come back later finish it.
Photo story doesn´t contain many different funtions, but it´s enough making a very nice presentation.