First Week Tools

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The first week of the semester just wrapped and it was a great five days of community-building, goal setting and new learning.  My class is a mix of lo-tech kinesthetic activities and social media tools, all with the same purpose of promoting language acquisition and building student confidence. In addition to my usual repertoire of yoga, vocal warm-ups, bhangra dance and post-it activities, I experimented with some new tech tools, and we all really enjoyed them. I'd like to share 4 easy-to-use platforms that made it a satisfying first week of classes. They are Animoto, Remind, FlipGrid and Kahoot.

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1. Before classes started I created a simple Welcome Video on Animoto and shared it with them in the first day. It gave the students a visual of who I am and what I care about. And on "Chocolate Friday" I quizzed them on some details in the video. The winners got a chocolate treat. 

 

 Remind announcement from me to my students, with a homework reminder and a photo from the class.

Remind announcement from me to my students, with a homework reminder and a photo from the class.

2. On the second day of classes I had students join our Remind group. Remind us a great tool for staying connected with students individually and as a class. It's a quick and easy way to share announcements, send links, and share photos, without needing emails or phone numbers.

 

 The Flipgrid interface for mobile phones.

The Flipgrid interface for mobile phones.

3. Flipgrid is my new favorite tool. It seems teachers everywhere have got #flipgridfever ! This online tool allows students to easily record and share videos of themselves on a topic created by the teacher, creating a video grid of the group. The students took to it right away, assisted each other and found fun features within the app that I hadn't yet discovered! We'll be using this weekly in our class, maintaining a video library of student progress. 

And also fun: I was selected to as a Flipgrid Certified Educator. This means I'll be in a cohort of other educators, from around the country, even from other countries, sharing innovative ways to use the tool with our learners. 

 

 This week's Kahoot screen.

This week's Kahoot screen.

4. Since I now have a "smart classroom" I can easily use Kahoot, an educational online gaming platform. It's super easy to create your own games to review material covered in class. This week's Kahoot was a quiz about their teacher, based on my Animoto video. They competed in teams. And the top 3 teams got...chocolate, of course!

How was your first week? What tools did you use? How did you buiid community with your learners?

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