Sunday, February 21, 2010

Elem. Reading and Photostory

My reading this week was about using computer drawing programs to support student achievement. The reading argues that allowing students to use drawing programs on the computer supports non-lingusitic representation skills (creating visuals to represent things like vocabulary or curricular concepts). At first, I was hesitant to agree with this argument because I believed that students could simply create these visual representations using paper and crayons. To me, letting students create their drawings on paper saves me the time and energy I would have to use to explain how to use programs like Kid Pix or Microsoft Paint. However, after I read further, the argument was made that the computer motivates some students in ways that drawing a picture on paper never will. I had to agree. I know from experience that for some students, getting to use Kid Pix is a real motivator for them. The reading also gave examples of how I could use drawing programs for things like drawing illustrations, creating a hundreds day chart, and making portraits and tessellations.

My photostory project is going well. I just added my commentary to my pictures and I think it looks and sounds pretty good. I am still trying to figure out how to add music over my voice. Every time I try to add a music clip, my commentary disappears. Any help on this would be appreciated!

Reading, project 2

My reading for this week was an article about the incorporation of instructional "soaps" into the classroom to help in language acquisition. I think this is a great idea and I know throughout my Spanish learning experience I have had to watch several soaps, including the one discussed in the article, "Destinos." I didn't really like this show, but I 5 years later I can still tell you the main characters names and the basic plot line...so I guess it was doing its job! It was really helpful in learning vocabulary as well and in offering a first hand view into a part of the Hispanic culture. Another show I watched was "La Catrina," which I found a lot more interesting. That is where I learned that "estoy embarazada" does NOT mean "I'm embarassed," it means "I'm pregnant." I'm happy I learned that through the show rather than making the mistake myself! Overall, both of these shows were useful and educational...but they were also extremely cheesy and lame. I haven't seen any recent soaps, but hopefully within the past few years they have come up with some better ones that seem to flow a little bit more naturally. I think that is the only thing the soaps I saw were missing.

I'm excited to work on the photostory...but I think it is going to take me a lot of time. I'm really not good at all the intricacies of creating a photostory. Also, my voice is not the best for doing all the narrations...so I am not looking forward to that part, so we will see how it goes!