Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Hartelijk welkom in Sundern aan de Sorpesee" at Pleincollege Nuenen, The Netherlands

Video conferencing in the internet is one of my favourite tools I use in my chemisty lessons giving my students the chance to communicate around the world about global issues. Or they just tell teachers, classes or librarians around the world what they have learned so far about a certain topic.

After I had the chance to meet my internet colleagues from Sweden, Russia, the USA, from Austria and Hungary personally the years before I got the chance to meet another fellow teacher, Bart Pardoel, and his students "live". I travelled to my neighbour county, the Netherlands, to teach German in two German language classes at the Pleincollege in Nuenen.

I prepared a slideshow about my hometown. I named it "Hartelijk welkom in Sundern aan de Sorpesee" (Welcome to Sundern at Lake Sorpe, in Dutch) and we discussed some local German cultural traditions at a grade 8 GFL class and a grade 9 GFL class, learning German by a mother tongue speaker. After the presentations we played a Kahoot! game in German about the presentations to make sure what they have learned that lesson.

After the lunch break I had the opportunity to attend and help Bart and four colleagues at this school in a PBL "OPEDUCA" pilot course. The European OPEDUCA concept means "... developing Open Education regions for future- oriented learning and teaching." A concept which is very new to me. The main topic was "buildings" and the students started to prepare a moodboard after they had created a mindmap at home. This project is a moodle based project at Pleincollage and the students have to digitalize and upload all material and must type in at a virtual diary. They have to fix in a protocol what they have done that day and what they plan to do next time. The students left the room that day to extract some research questions from their moddboards. The teachers adviced them about how to evaluate different reliable and non- reliable sources to get sufficient answers to their questions.

In the late afternoon I left the Pleincollege after lots of gainful discussions with the German language teachers and the school`s principal.

Thank you very much to Bart, his colleagues, especially Hermine, and to the principal to be a guest at Pleincollege in Nuenen, the Netherlands. I hope to welcome them at our school as well sometimes.

"Do you always eat bread in the morning?" Students from around the world exchange the content of their lunchboxes

In January my students had some experiments in their 7th grade chemistry classes about food and what it may consist of. Some tests using medical dipsticks were done to find out which ingredients were in the lunch of their lunchboxes. They assayed their lunch searching for glucose, protein and ascorbic acid gathering all their results in a certain test protocol.

Taking pictures from their lunch in their lunchboxes was the first step to show the audience what they like to eat and they informed them about some ingredients.

Talking about food and meals is a wonderful opportunity to exchange traditions like "Do Germans always eat bread in the morning?? We eat warm rice and chicken then".  Comparing the lunchboxes from different countries you can talk about
- when you eat at home or/and at school.
- how the school's time table impacts the eating habits.
- what your cantine offers for the students ( as far as a cantine exists at all).
- if it is allowed to take sweets to school or not (and what will happen with uncomprehending kids).
- who is next to them while they eat their lunch.

To cover time differences some single teachers presented and commented pictures and videos late in the evening (or early in the morning, local time) their students prepared in advance. Here is a 50 mins video from one of these meetings:

(Thanks Lin-Lin for recording this session!)

A lot of teachers and students met during January and February 2016 to exchange all these aspects and to let the students from abroad get an opportunity to have a view into foreign, German traditions from the distance. They met in several video conferences to exchange their habits from all continents around the world. And the Germans got a view into different European, Asian, Australian, African and American traditions. It was a good way to combine chemistry lessons with English language and social studies.
This was the first time for my German students to do such an international presentation. I had to guide them a little.

Finally we exchanged recipes (by the cantine managers) from different school cantines to celebrate a special day at lunch in the cantine. The recipes had to be translated both ways: from German into English and from English into German: an exercise for the students in their foreign language classes at our school.

Thanks a lot to all participants, students and teachers:
Athalo Carrao, Global English School, Brazil
Stine Waage, Bokn Skole, Norway
Govinda Panthy, Nepal
Cliona Brennock, St. Molaga's Sns, Ireland
Lin-Lin Tan, Sih-Wei E.S., Taiwan
Mike and Anna Bukhtoyarov, SibFU, Russia
Huy Tran, Japan
Begaim Adilkhanova, Shymkent, Kazakhstan