Course 5 Final Project

A few days ago a sent an email to my COETAIL cohort leader asking for an extension on my course 5 project.  I honestly felt that there was no way for me to ‘do’ my project with so much happening in my professional and personal life.   I kept coming to work, meeting with my students, supporting them in their language learning… and all the while, in the back of my head thinking “Tomorrow! I’ll roll out my project tomorrow!”

But in the last 72hrs I’ve had some special moments with my students that have made me reflect on my practice and the effect COETAIL has had on me.  I’ve been seeing these huge steps (leaps!) being taken in their language development. I’ve had conversations with their teachers about ‘how they’re doing’ and their expressions of pride and relief have been more than evidence of the real impact this transformation and redefinition of my teaching has had.  And then I realized that I’ve been doing my C5 project all along… And it didn’t start when course 5 started, it started when I became a learner again.  It started back in course 1.

Support4ELLs
Screenshot of the iTunesU course

My C5P is essentially about flipping support for ELLs.  I have a strong belief that “by flipping ELL support, students take charge of their own learning.  They become engaged and make a symbiotic connection between what they learn at school in their L2 and how they reinforce it at home in their L1, resulting in the equal development of both”.  My project was originally based around an iTunesU Course that my students could access at home to support what they had been learning in class.  This was the part that didn’t take off as I had hoped or expected.  My students are not very familiar with iTunesU and I realized I would have to guide them in how to use this platform as a way to get support when I wasn’t physically there.

As I struggled these past few weeks to add material on the the iTunesU course, went through all my resources and strategies that I wanted to make sure they were on there and accessible to my students, I realized that while I was trying so hard to ‘get my act together’, I was giving my students the resources anyway!  Via email, Dropbox, and even some old-school printouts.  Apps that I had planned to add to the course, students were already using (last week a student showed me the shortcut to a synonyms app I had showed him months ago!) to enhance their learning, both in class and at home.

And the parent support?  Our team led a Parent Information Session which centered on how we support their children’s language development and school and how they can support them at home.

EAL Parent Information Session, 2014

The most amazing thing about this parent session was also how we transformed it.  Not just our presentation style but also in our delivery and content.  Our main objective for this information session was not to regurgitate what our Parent Handbook (!) said about our EAL program.  We wanted parents to walk away with a toolbox, an empowering toolbox.  When their child asks for support at home, they would know exactly how to help.

Yes, flipping was happening and continues to happen in so many ways.

So without further ado, here is my project video.  I apologize for the hoarse voice (I’m getting over a cold) and for some mispronunciations, I’m an ELL myself after all 😉

8 Replies to “Course 5 Final Project”

  1. I’ve always wondered why you thought you couldn’t post your C5 project yet, b/c I know for a fact that you live this stuff. You were the person to hold me together when I freaked out over tech integration at the start of it all, of our school growing into #SISRocks and of our COETAIL journey, the two that meshed together so beautifully. So, this barely shares what you do, but I’ll take it. 😉

    Remember when you also presented in Bangkok your ELL tools? When you went through brainstorming strategies with me? When you taught your kids how to do research online real-timeinstead of being confined by bizarro restrictions? I do. Don’t sell yourself short, even with the strange way you pronounce “recommendation”. 😉

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback and encouraging words Liz! I too have enjoyed going on this journey with you and know for a fact that this is only the beginning of another great journey 🙂

  2. Thanks for the reflection Ceci. I would be interested to learn more about the specifics in terms of the tools you used/encouraged. I have many EAL students myself who could benefit from what you have done.

    Cheers!
    Ian

    1. Hi Ian,

      Thank you so much for your feedback 🙂 I’m happy to share specifics on the resources. Please check out my iShare posts where I share specific tools, as well as the posts on the conferences I have presented. I’ll continue to update my blog this summer with other resources. I’m also open for collaboration, I’d love to see what you are doing with your ELLs as well.

      Will you be attending Learning2.014 in Bkk in October? Maybe we can continue this convo then 🙂 Or email/Twitter can also work.

      Thanks again!

  3. Thank you for this honest portrayal of your journey. You have inspired me.. I am really struggling to finish my project but I think now I will be able to.

    1. Hi Heather!

      Thank you for your feedback 🙂 I’m excited about what you’re doing as well, can’t wait to check it out!

      x

  4. Hi Ceci,

    You know, I think one of the nicest things about COETAIL is the fact that while we were all looking for some grand and fabulous way to share a huge project, it had seeped into our everyday lives. We have all been using technology in transformative ways every day, often without noticing it happen. This was a nice reflection on the way this happens. Like Ian, I’d love if you’d post some of the specific tools and apps you used with your students. I know our PYP teachers would love to know ways they can use iPad apps to support their EAL students.

    Cheers,
    Katy

    1. Hi Katy,

      Thank you for your feedback. It’s so true that the biggest effect of COETAIL is shown in our every day teaching rather than just in one big project. There is not one project I have seen that doesn’t show more about what’s going on around it rather than one single product. It really is redefining teaching/learning on a grander scale.

      You’re welcome to explore my blog more for resources. I’ve been sharing tools on a separate category (iShare) and I’ve also shared some reflections on conferences I have presented at. Please feel free to see what there is and what can work for you.

      Like I told Ian, I would also love to see what you’re doing with your ELLs, and to continue collaborating via email/Twitter. I will be at Learning2.014 in Bkk in October, maybe we can catch up there if you’re also attending?

      Thanks again!

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