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Seeking general advice about building website for use in and out of English class.

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by FenellaIce, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    I'm a conversation assistant working in Spain in a primary school, which means I deal with ages 3-11 and assist in conversation practice, encouraging them to talk and generally express themselves in English.

    I believe, however, that the standard of written English is important, too - also that English should be continued and shared at home with the parents. It's not my job to be a teacher, but the school seems keen for me to give my own input and value my ideas. I take some classes and it's letting me find my roots, as it were, in teaching. I recently had the idea that I would like to start a website/online blog for the older children - that is, ages 8 and up. I thought that it could include exercises of different levels that would be set for each year, some listening practice, songs that the children could enjoy with their parents, links to games or printables in English, and a reading exercise. This would change weekly and would allow the children to interact online and show their parents what they are doing in English class. I find the children are easily bored with English and would like a way to bring technology into their experience of English, seeing as they all enjoy using it so much. I would also encourage the children to write a short paragraph and post it on a communal blog, about a different topic each week/month or so, depending how easy it would be for them.
    First things first, is it something that sounds like it could be a good idea? And is it feasible? I know that I can build a website, but not sure how to let the children interact with it and have their own login, etcetera...

    Are there any teachers/support that do this sort of thing already with their classes? What web platforms do you use, if so? Any tips or hints as to how I could get this off the ground?
    Help and advice is most welcome - I don't want to start something badly: I'd rather do it well!
     
  2. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    I'm a conversation assistant working in Spain in a primary school, which means I deal with ages 3-11 and assist in conversation practice, encouraging them to talk and generally express themselves in English.

    I believe, however, that the standard of written English is important, too - also that English should be continued and shared at home with the parents. It's not my job to be a teacher, but the school seems keen for me to give my own input and value my ideas. I take some classes and it's letting me find my roots, as it were, in teaching. I recently had the idea that I would like to start a website/online blog for the older children - that is, ages 8 and up. I thought that it could include exercises of different levels that would be set for each year, some listening practice, songs that the children could enjoy with their parents, links to games or printables in English, and a reading exercise. This would change weekly and would allow the children to interact online and show their parents what they are doing in English class. I find the children are easily bored with English and would like a way to bring technology into their experience of English, seeing as they all enjoy using it so much. I would also encourage the children to write a short paragraph and post it on a communal blog, about a different topic each week/month or so, depending how easy it would be for them.
    First things first, is it something that sounds like it could be a good idea? And is it feasible? I know that I can build a website, but not sure how to let the children interact with it and have their own login, etcetera...

    Are there any teachers/support that do this sort of thing already with their classes? What web platforms do you use, if so? Any tips or hints as to how I could get this off the ground?
    Help and advice is most welcome - I don't want to start something badly: I'd rather do it well!
     
  3. I have a website that I did myself. I also have a secure blog which is linked to and embedded in the website. If you just need a blog I would take a look at http://kidblog.org/home.php . It's extremely easy to use and the kids love it. I often use it for extension of classes, mostly Science and Social Studies. I post questions in a post and the kids have to go through their textbooks and find the answers. I also use it for personal writing and to keep the kids informed. It's really taken off. The kids even use it in the evenings as a social outlet. I use it for 12/13 years olds, but I'm sure it would work from about 8 years upwards.
     
  4. What a fabulous idea! Thank you. My year 4s will love it. Can't wait to tell them tomorrow.
     
  5. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    Perhaps I am being a complete idiot but how do the kids post on the blog? I can admin it myself, but how do they login or create a username to post on the blog themselves? Oh, dear. For something so simple perhaps I am missing something.
     

  6. Our kidblog is up and running and the chn are loving it. Read some very impressive recounts this evening besides the usual chatty stuff. There was a terrific text type on how to log in using their own username and password as they were logging in using mine.[​IMG]
    Not one spelling mistake (arriba synthetic phonics) but some dodgy syntax which was expected. Same in Espanish![​IMG]
    Even got some smiley faces AFL style. Don't know how they did that so have asked for instructions.
    Great idea! I strongly recommend it.
     

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