Archive | February, 2012

That’s bananas!

21 Feb

Bananagrams is a game similar to Scrabble but uses no board and has no limits to words. There are a myriad of ways to play, and I have found it is one of my student’s favorite games to play. The nice thing about using Banagrams in the classroom, is that no matter WHAT language you are teaching, the students can arrange the letters in a bunch of ways.

The Bananagrams company actually makes a number of non-language specific and challenging games. Check them out online.

For only $9, I’ve bought a few Banagrams for the classroom as well as my house.



Silence is golden…

14 Feb

I’ll be the first to admit that cartoons are my favorite form of media. They are easier to direct, and in a cartoon anything (ANYTHING) is possible. Reality is not constrained to a certain landscape or CGI possibility.

In the past few days, I’ve been researching the nominees for Best Short Animated Film for the upcoming Oscars and decided something that I didn’t realize before: silent cartoons are great teaching tools.

For us who enjoy storytelling, silent cartoons or silent films are great jumping off points for conversations, ways to create/invent dialogue, or ways to practice telling a story. We can be so much more expressive when no words are said because we can invent them ourselves.

Here’s the best nominee, and my hope for the win, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, or Los libros fantásticos que vuelan de Mr. Morris Lessmore, or Les livres fantastiques volants de Mr. Morris Lessmore, or sometimes I libri fantastici vlanti di Sr. Morris Lessmore.

This story is about a man who loses everything, his words, his ability to read, and therefore becomes gray. His books show him that we keep the books alive by reading them and we in turn become alive with the knowledge we gain from their stories. Bring tissues.



Classroom Architect

7 Feb

Thinking of rearranging your classroom for maximum effect and management? Environment can be absolutely crucial to a child’s learning. Take a look at Classroom Architect, an online tool that let’s you virtually rearrange your classroom without any heavy lifting. Just type in the deminsions of your room and move away!



2 Feb

People have been suing this for a while and I just discovered how easy it can be.

Dropbox is a website that allows you to very easily store any documents you want in a folder on your computer. Anything put into that folder can then be accessed in any way through the Internet. Your phones, laptop, home computer, etc. can all open the exact same files. For example, if you click this link HERE, it will take you to a story we read in Italian 1.

This is invaluable to me, as I’m constantly posting online the documents and WSs we do in class for students who need extra copies, home copies, or for students who need extra help.