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.