My digital portfolio Technoclil evo 2017

Hello! This is me

I am a primary school teacher and I really love my job. I am teaching in two different schools which are part of the same institution I.C.Galvaligi in Solbiate Arno and I have eight classes.

I teach English and Music in English.

I had the great opportunity to teach for two years in A.Diaz school, a Bilingual school in Milan where I learned a lot about CLIL.

My CLIL glossary entry:

Topic: Each and every content faced by students which develops their knowledge and their language

CLIL strengths and weaknesses

In my working experience I had the opportunity to teach in a primary school where it was implemented the IBI/BEI project. I was teaching Science, Art and Geography in English in two different classes. The year after I had Music as well.

It was a great opportunity to understand the advantages of such approach, mostly on the level of preparation of the pupils which was considerably higher then ordinary especially in terms of confidence in speaking and understanding both the oral and the written language. The implications on the school organization were unfortunately quite relevant as well, because part of the teachers were unfortunately against this project and that made difficult at times organizing and attending weekly meetings for BEI teachers for instance, or offering the right amount of time in the timetable to the subject to be taught in English.

My colleagues involved in the program had a very good preparation because they started the project and they followed all the steps required to be in the project. Personally I had only a 12 hours course at the beginning of my first year (which was already the last one of the experimentation) and an observation in class from a tutor which I found precious!

I had a fourth and a fifth grade which had already a very good level of English. Most of the material I used was from American and British websites for teachers and so there was plenty! I had of course to work quite a lot on the material to implement the activities in order to make it approachable to my 9 and 10 years old pupils, but as already mentioned, their level of English was amazing so I had almost no problem: they were very happy to study and learn in English as well, I think because of the approach, which was student centered.

I had to help particularly pupils with special needs and those who joined the class lately, mostly after the second grade because they lost the basics.

The path suggested for the first two years of literacy indeed was PHONETICS. This way the kids really start approaching the language in a way which will enable them to read and understand the language in a way which is closer to their native language.

Due to a family problem I had to move in a different province and to change school, but I carry this experience with me and I see that it completely changed my view on teaching not only English, but all the subjects.

I am currently teaching English in two different schools, since I am competent in music I offered to teach Music in English in three classes and I am doing some units in Science in order to spread among my colleagues the awareness about CLIL potential.

In conclusion the strengths of the CLIL approach are the level of language acquisition, which is considerably higher than usual, the enthusiasm in learning and the concentration capacity shown by the pupils.

The weaknesses are, in my experience, the impact on the school organization which is not always positive, the teacher training which needs to be consistent and the lack of already prepared resources for weak students.

Webtools & Co

My song for teaching Primary colours

Technology in CLIL

Technology is definitively an effective mean for CLIL. From planning to task design, the use of techno tools is essential because it maximises the potentialities of this approach.

First and foremost the web with its enormous amount of information is an incredible source of inspiration for choosing topics, which is the base of the CLIL approach. In my experience hings such as videos, articles, and other media available on line have always been the perfect starting point for all the topics.

Proceeding on the CLIL Pyramid I do find that task-design stage is very well supported by techno tools which can help teacher in customizing activities, focusing on target language and supporting the students giving the right amount of scaffolding needed. In this case tools like Hot Potatoes or Kuizza could be very useful in order to activate pupils’ thinking skills.

Even at the end of a learning unit, technology comes handy because the output can be for instance video recorded and shared and that adds motivation among the pupils.

In conclusion I think that technology plays a crucial role in planning and applying the CLIL approach in a way which makes compelling for teachers to become techie.

Plan your work and work your plan

My first learning Designer

I experimented this lesson with my pupils as a first step of of a path about colours.

This lesson aims to introduce the idea that there are colours which are the base for any other colour.

The following lessons will se the kids busy in mixing those colours and in finding out the secondary colours.

The third and the fourth lessons will be focused on some famous painters who decided to use only primary colours to paint. The kids will then have the opportunity to copy one of their paintings starting from a simple template.

This first step aim was to focus the pupils on these three colours and where you could find them in nature.

During the PPT I asked them questions trying to elicit the target language. They liked the pictures and guessed the answers to the questions.

In addition to that they listened to a song which gave them the instructions on how to colour the worksheet and in the meantime gave them the target language as well. Repeating the song with actions and gradually learning the lyrics they had the opportunity to practice the target language.

The final activity allowed team work and the poster is a an affective outcome and it is displayed in class.

Extensive Reading

Reading is dreaming with open eyes

Being a primary teacher I think that books and stories are one of the most important part of my teaching experience. Through a book or a story it is possible to give a message to the pupils and make them reflect upon something which happens in their life at school or at home.

Storytelling is a wonderful way to introduce almost anything: from literacy to maths, passing through geography, history and technology. Giving the chance to read a book in class, during recessions or even during the lesson is a great opportunity to the kids. They spend long hours at school and sharing eight hours a day with other twenty pupils can be tiring.. This could also be seen as a moment for themselves.

I personally tried storytelling many times but last year it had been particularly meaningful. It was in Diaz school in Milan, one of the BEI schools and I had a fifth grade. Thanks to this bilingual approach their English was very good. We had the opportunity to have a Canadian mum available for storytelling and I decided to read the book “Wonder” form the author Palacio. It is a wonderful and meaningful story about a boy affected by Treacher Collins Syndrome TCS. It is told as a diary written by a ten years old kid. The language was simple and direct and the book offered a lot of themes for discussion. The pupils loved it and even though it wasn't a simplified version, they didn't have the text because they where only listening, reading in class gave us the opportunity to focus on the message and to understand even those passages which seemed more complicated through my presence as a “text simplifier tool”.

They were involved and interested. We spent the entire school year on that book, reading it once a week for an hour. The benefits I noticed were not only on their vocabulary, but on their approach: trying to get the meaning of what was read, not focusing on every single word. This is something that I am sure will help them in the future.

My lesson plan is based on a graded reading for your learners “Peter Pan” and for a second grade class. I am now working in a school which has a traditional curriculum and a way to enhance the pupils competences given the little time dedicated to English is through meaningful and interest stories and” things to do”. The idea is to read the story, work on phrases with Phraseum tool, explore London and especially the Big Ben through pictures and video. Look at Neverland map and considering different lifestyles. Talking about housing and in the end building a nice diorama of their ideal bedroom. This can then be the opportunity to talk about their home and their bedroom to the rest of the class or even write a short presentation for a school display of their works.


Research is creating new knowledge

Thanks to the Course Moderators Letizia Cinganotto and Daniela Cuccurullo for the precious work and support!

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