Friday, September 19, 2014

European Day of Languages EDL 2014 in my classroom


On 30th September 2014 we celebrated our first EDL ever at our school. A lot of classes and a bunch of teachers met by internet using videoconferencing to express the cultural diversities and the spirit of an European union.

Usually the EDL, which is launched by the European Community years ago already,  is fixed on 26th September every year. Because it had caused a lot of trouble at our school that day, I decided to schedule our EDL on 30th September this year.

It took a long time to prepare this first EDL at school. After I had set up a virtual schedule for that day I started to search for further European partners who wanted to attend that event. Because most of the connection we have already had are from outside Europe.

Students from Prague during their German presentation about their capitol city.
Our youngest participants: grade 2 class from Bulgaria.

I wrote a lot of emails to teachers, schools, classes, who were searching for international collaborations in Europe. The Epals- and Etwinning- databaes were my main sources. All ages were accepted. I also tried to involve new partners from the European Overseas Territories. Finally schools from Latvia, the Czech- Republic, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Serbia, Russia, La Reunion, Martinique and Greece registered to the schedule. Also guests from outside Europe, India, Argentina and Sudan, registered for this event.

Students from Latvia reporting about their country.
After registration I connected the registered schools to offer technical support how to attend a videoconference. Some teachers from abroad had never used this powerful tool in their lessons before.

We discussed what to present to express the cultural diversity. Most of the classes prepared a slideshow with pictures of their city or region. Every participant prepared a little presentation in their local language.

Siran, Christina, Ali and Celine from Sundern reported about Germany and our school.

We presented the poem "The Squire von Ribbeck of Ribbeck in the Havelland" from Theodor Fontane and a slideshow about Germany,  about Northrhine- Westfalia, the Sauerland, about our town Sundern and our school, named Realschule Sundern.

Students from Cyprus presented beautiful surroundings and songs

The classes from abroad prepared some poems and short stories from their country.

I cannot forget these pictures from the beach on La Reunion.

The classes from the French Overseas Territories La Reunion and Martinique expressed their cultural diversities from their French homeland by Creole music and dance as well.
The students from abroad could ask questions about what they have seen.

German ladies presenting Mr Ribbeck

There were 6 time slots of about 30 minutes each, where students met up to five classes at each slot from abroad. Two of these slots were in German, four slots were in English language. Several classes from abroad were attended by their school's administration or educational administrations.

We have found new friends and got several invitations to visit our friends in the near future. Thanks to all of you who had taken great efforts to let this event came through.

I am sure that we will schedule our next EDL 2015. See you soon.

(PS: Because I use the pre- announcement post to update it with text and pictures from the event, the publishing date of this post is still the 19th September. I am sorry for that!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Italian delegation from our partner city Calopezzati (Calabria) attended my maths lesson

It was an unusual event on 12th September 2014: a delegation of eight members of the Italian city named Calopezzati visited our city Sundern in Germany. Calopezzati is a small town at the seaside in the northeast of Calabria. They were invited by our local municipality to join our great feast in the city. The delegation visited a lot of sights which are related to the youth in our city. In Sundern there live people from 64 different nations. The number of people who originally come from Italy is the highest. More than 3000 people (from about 28000 inhabitants) have Italian roots, most of them from Calabria, which is in the very south of Italy. The Italian guests got the opportunity to visit a German secondary school and to attend a lesson live.

This year it was my school - and this year it was one of my classes- and this year it was me!

Joined by members of our local municipality from Sundern, my principal, my vice- principal and the vice- principal of our neighbour school the delegation attended my maths lesson in class 7b sitting in the back of the classroom. They were interested in how to use a SMART- board in different ways.

I started with a PPT as a picture quizz to find out the name of that beautiful city shown on the board. Checking the correct answers of their homework the students were able to connect the correct result to each excercise. The name of the city  they saw on the board was Calopezzati, the name of the city where the delegation was from.

Later I demonstrated a maths videoconference with Steve Sherman from Cape Town, South Africa, introducing the International Maths Olympics 2014 to the students and the guests. Inviting the guests into some maths problems all attendees (adults and students!) were involved into this excercises. The number of "students" rised from 28 up to 40! The guests got a view into far distance learning and got to know only one web tool that can be used for this kind of learning.

Using the internet web tool "Kahoot" the attendees were able to make suggestions about the correct answer.

While the guests used their smartphones to answer the students used the board to point out their decisions.And finally they got a feedback about the number of points they got for a correct answer.

The guests and the students liked it and the guests honoured our common work mentioning the fruitful collaboration of the whole group.

Thank you very much, Steve Sherman!!!