Thursday, July 20, 2017

Flüchtlingskind Tiba

The eighth episode of Flüchtlingskind Tiba is up on Die Seite mit der Maus, and I can't believe I haven't blogged at all yet about this great video series!

One of the best resources I discovered last school year was the video series "Flüchtlingskind Tiba" on the children's TV show Die Sendung mit der Maus, and I can't recommend it highly enough to other German teachers.

The series follows a 9 year old girl, Tiba, and her family, who have fled the Syrian civil war for Germany.  Each episode is 7 or 8 minutes long and shows the next step in the family's journey from Syria to a temporary refugee camp to a permanent apartment in Germany.  It's great for discussing the topic of refugees in Germany and bringing it to a more personal, individual level.

Die Sendung mit der Maus is designed for elementary age children, so the language is fairly simple and straightforward and deals with familiar topics like family, school, hobbies, and food.  

Last school year I watched the series with my German 4 class, and they really enjoyed it. Both the hardships experienced by Tiba's family and the services provided in Germany made a big impression on my students.  

Next year I will only be teaching German 1 and 2, but I still really want to use the series with my students.  

I've taken the first episode, which is also available on YouTube, and inserted comprehension questions using EDpuzzle:

I think my German 2 students should be able to handle these questions, and now I'm thinking of making a family tree activity with Tiba's family for my German 1 students to use in our second semester unit on family.

I highly recommend that you take a look at this great series!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Prepositions Learning App

While browsing Learning Apps the other day, I found an app for prepositions of movement in English.  

One of the great things about Learning Apps is that you can modify an existing app to make it fit your students' needs.  I started with the English app and changed it into German prepositions for my German 2 students:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Backe, backe Kuchen

One of the best parts of the German Instructor Summer Program that I attended last week was talking with and sharing ideas with other German teachers.  One of the other teachers said that she sings classic German children's songs with her students every Monday.  One of the songs she mentioned was "Backe, backe Kuchen," which would fit in really well with our foods unit.

There are lots of videos of the song on YouTube.  One of my favorites is this one

I created notes to go along with it.  Before students watch the video and hear the song, they will work with the text, finding words they know and hunting for particular grammar forms.

Next, students will watch the video and sing the song.  

Finally, they will label the numbered items in the picture from the video.

For enrichment or bonus, I might have students watch another version of the song and figure out which of the ingredients has been changed:

I hope to do something similar with other children's songs.  Here's the file if you'd like a copy: Backe, backe Kuchen

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

German Instructor Summer Program at I.U.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the German Instructor Summer Program at Indiana University Bloomington.  It was a week-long workshop for high school German teachers, with professional development activities and the chance to connect with other German teachers around the state (and two from out of state!).  

The workshop was super convenient for me, since it was right here in Bloomington and we live very close to campus.  I will need to renew my teaching license next summer, and the workshop gave me enough professional development hours to be all set with that.  

The best parts of the week for me were the chance to hear and speak German and to get to know other German teachers who I'd never met before.  I got some good teaching ideas from them and from the workshop sessions.  I'll be sharing some of them here on my blog once I get them ready to use in my classroom.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Landeskunde Bayern und München

I like to incorporate culture and geography into our units as much as possible, rather than making it a separate stand-alone topic.

In German 1, we begin with an overview of German-speaking countries, then look at Berlin in more detail and finish the year studying Austria.

In German 2, we start the year looking at Bayern (Bavaria), which fits in well with the topics of Feste and Feiertage (Festivals and Holidays) and Kleidung (Clothing).

I've been working on some introductory activities for students using EDPuzzle and Learning Apps.

First, I have a Discover Germany video in English with German conversation questions about Bavaria:

and another video about Munich, without questions:

After watching this video, students are ready to complete two activities on Learning Apps: 

I'm working to update my guided notes to go along with these activities.  Hopefully they'll be ready soon!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Assessments on Canvas

I've been enjoying a relaxed summer schedule to work on things for next year at a comfortable pace.  

One of the things I'm working on is moving our assessments from paper to our learning management system, Canvas.  I was hesitant to test on Canvas when we first started using it two years ago because it was all so new and there was so much for both me and the students to learn.  

This past year we gave our semester exams on Canvas successfully, and I've been using it more for assignments as well, so I think I'm ready to put regular quizzes and tests on Canvas as well.  

It takes some time to input the quizzes, but then the grading is quick and there's no paper to deal with.  I only have German 1 and 2 next year, so it seems like a good time to switch those classes over.

Here's what a vocabulary quiz will look like:

Nouns have two boxes, one for the article and one for the noun, so that students can get partial credit if they miss the article.  Verbs have just one box.  These questions are graded automatically by the computer.  Other questions are teacher graded: 

I am requiring that students type ß and umlauts correctly.  It's something that we practice in class, and I include the special characters in the instructions for students to copy and paste if they have difficulty with the character codes.  On the first quiz of the year, students still receive full credit even without the umlaut but get a reminder that they need to use umlauts correctly on all future assessments.

All of the vocabulary questions are in question banks, so students' questions will not be in the same order as their neighbors, and it makes generating a parallel quiz for a retake a snap.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Ordinal Numbers, Feste und Feiertage - Updated Notes

Aaaah, summer!  Time to relax and think about changes I'd like to make for next year.  

Yesterday I updated my guided notes for ordinal numbers and holidays.  Here's what they looked like this year:

And here's the new version:

There are a couple of good videos on the topic of ordinal numbers:

And a Deutsche Welle video about folk festivals:


The notes file is here.