February 22, 2012

Creating Q & A for a Youtube video

GROCKIT is an interesting tool  which allows teachers to create questions and answers for any youtube video. Each question can be added to the right spot of the video and the activity can then be shared with your students via a link or sent to twitter or facebook. Unfortunately , I believe it's not possible to embed the activity. I've learned about it via David Kapuler.

How to create your activity:

  1. Create your free account.
  2. Select the video from youtube and copy the URL.
  3. Go to  https://grockit.com/answers/ and paste the video URL.
  4. To the left of the video thumbnail image, click MODERATE A PRIVATE Q & A.
  5. Click on the play button below the video and pause when you want to insert a question. Repeat the procedure, play video, pause, type question and click SUBMIT.
  6. Click SHARE to grab the URL to share it with students.

February 9, 2012

PROJECT: An image a week (with EFL learners)

Let me share a project which has  started this week, the "AN IMAGE A WEEK " project.

Some weeks ago, while reading about the 365 Project  I started playing with the idea of having my students share images and write texts about them. However, I thought a photo a day would be impractical for my reality. Then, why not AN IMAGE A WEEK? 
Each student would take a photo to represent their week, write a 50-word text about it and send it to an assigned e-mail. My second thought was: why not invite other teachers from different countries to participate as well? I wrote some messages to teachers I know who teach students of similar ages and was thrilled all of them accepted the challenge.
We'll have two groups from Uberlândia (Brazil), a group from Croatia, two groups from Italy, a group from Belgium and a group from Chicago. Click on the play button to watch the presentation Daniela Tomatis has created to introduce the project to students.

The first step was to set up the main page (a posterous blog) for the posts.Then, to help our group work develop better I created a facebook group where teachers involved have been exchanging ideas.

The project will take place from the 8th February to 22nd June, which make 20 weeks altogether. Therefore, by the end of the project each student will have shared 20 images along with 20 short texts.

If you're interested in following our project this semester, please visit the AN IMAGE A WEEK page and leave us comments; every week lots of different posts will come to life.

Thank you, Guido , Daniela Tomatis, Camila Sousa, Grace, Daniela Becchio and Arjana for joining the project.

February 7, 2012

Creating with HELLOSLIDE

HELLOSLIDE is a site I heard about very recently and was meaning to try out. The site allows you to add voice to your presentations, but NOT YOUR VOICE. What you do is: you upload your presentation in PDF, type the text which you would like to hear with each slide, save and play. It's as simple as that. The good thing is that you don't need to worry about your voice or recording, you can edit it later if you need to, and then easily share it by grabbing the URL or the embed code.

This was my first trial:

I've also made a tutorial if you need help.


  • You can use the site to prepare presentations of lesson topics using ppts you already have . Then all you'd need to do is to save it as pdf and then upload it to the site.
  • You can create stories introducing vocabulary.
  • You can have students create their own stories and then present it in class.

February 4, 2012

Draw and record your voice

Drawing and recording your voice is not an easy task. What I've discovered is that once you start drawing, and your focus shifts to the image, there are few barriers to speaking.

The tool I'd like to share today is EDUCREATIONS . I haven't explored it to its full potential but what I've seen so far is good enough. The free tool allows you use your mouse or your finger (ipad) to draw stick figures while you record your voice. You can also upload an image and draw and record your voice at the same time. Once finished, look at the right side below the twitter and facebook buttons for the URL and the embed code which allows you publish the recording.

This is a tutorial I've created showing how to make your Draw + Speak recording.

These are some example recordings made by EVO participants:

February 1, 2012

From my treasure trunk: WARMERS for 2012

Next week, I'm starting my classes for 2012 and we always want to start the new year with fresh ideas.

I've put together a LIVEBINDER with fantastic resources picked throughout the web.

Warmers and Ice breakers 2012

These are someactivities I learned from Shelly Terrell last week:

  • Alphabet Race: 2 lines of students, teacher says a topic (Ex: verbs, emotions, animals) and the first student from each line says a word in that category starting with the letter A, then the second with the letter B. As soon as each student says a word they should run to the end of the line. When the first student once again comes to the beginning of the line, that group wins.
  • 30 Second Debate: 2 lines of students facing each other, teacher suggests a topic, line A has to talk about his opinion in 30 seconds. The teacher blows a whistle at the end of the 30 seconds and student B has to refute the argument. Ex: If student is FOR, student B has to be AGAINST it. The teacher can keep changing the topics.
  • Yes, and ..... or Yes, but: 2 lines of students sitting down or standing. Student A starts the conversation with a sentence, then student B continues starting with "Yes, and ...." , then Student B continues with "Yes, and ....."  . The same can be done with the prompt "Yes, but ....." . Watch a video demonstration.

    • Show and Tell: Teacher asks students to select a picture from their cell phones and put the device in a bag. The teacher then, shows the device and the image to the class and students try to guess who the cell phone belongs too. Then, the owner of the phone talks about the photo chosen.
    • Chain story: Groups of 3 or 4. Students have to create a chain story and use their mobiles to record it. Then they have to send it to the teacher.
    • Guess the picture: Students go round the school with their cell phones and take a close-up  picture of any thing at the school. Then, after returning to class, the teacher collects the phones and passes the phones around the class for students to guess what object it is and where it is located.