16 April 2010

How to transform a class....(forever I hope!)

Friday classes are always the most difficult here in Seville because most of the students don't want to be there.  Things are even worse in the weeks between Semana Santa and Feria and attendance can be a bit sporadic to say the least.  Today, when only 4 of 9 students turned up I decided to use the computers.  Not having anything planned for low level, badly behaved and boisterous teen/pre-teen boys I knew that more than 20 minutes doing grammar and vocabulary exercises on the computer would be too much.  I thought of bookr and this is what I did:

1.  Distributed the netbooks (and got them hooked up to the network which always takes time!)
2.  Got them on our school website and a couple of grammar exercises
3.  While they were doing that, I went into www.pimpampum.net/bookr and started creating a book about Feria.
4.  Slowly they started looking up and watching with interest.  They asked me a few questions, I showed them what to do.
5.  They eagerly typed in the URL and started creating their booklets - they wanted to choose their own topics.  No problems there - they all had very clear ideas about what they wanted to create!
6.  When they had done a couple of pages, they published their books and emailed them to me.
7.  Here is the end result http://kidsefl2stuff.blogspot.com/2010/04/our-online-books.html

This lesson, totally unplanned, was one of the biggest successes I've had with this class.  They created these books in less than 30 minutes - two of the boys had to restart from scratch because of loss of internet connection - and were completely engaged and focused on their work.  The language is simple, but they had a lot of things to contend with because of technical issues, as well as time constraints, but I would say WELL DONE BOYS!!!


  1. I like it! I wish we could use the netbooks :-(

  2. Hi Clare - just spotted your comment. Well... there should be no problem just taking the netbooks over the road and using them by connecting to your local network! Good news eh?