I have chosen to add a Cultural Connection UbD to our current unit of study on Flavors in the Language Department. I feel that the creation of this unit as my final project is the best way I can implement my learning from COETAIL’s Course #1.
Being a Middle School language teacher outside an IB MYP curriculum has allowed me to be more creative, more sensitive to the individual needs of students, and given me the freedom to implement greater student agency by allowing the student to be part of creating task rubrics and choosing how they would like to demonstrate their learning. We have so much fun producing language through Comprehensible Input, Storytelling, MovieTalks, student-generated games to review content, that we tend to not leave enough time for element such as Cultural Connections.
A different learning experience
It is super exciting to connect the student to many of my travel experiences to Latin-American cities as well as within Spain. Telling students my stories is my way to bring these places to life in the classroom. Students often tell me how much they would like to visit these places and experience the food, dance, music, nature trips, and more. Before this course, my use of technology to develop cultural connections was through a Google search on images and YouTube videos.
The knowledge gained through creating this new unit plan for our World Language department gives me a sense of refreshment. I will be able to share my new technological understanding of Google tools I was not aware of before this course: Google Scholar for cultural facts, Google chats for student curiosity questions and inquires, Google MyMaps and Google Maps for virtual visits and creation on student personalized visits to a city or country as a whole, Google Docs, Slides, and/or YouTube for documentation of gained knowledge.
Learnings from Course #1
Fundamentals such as student agency, student self-efficacy, effective application of technology, moving away from technology consumerism to an active role of creating, suitable use of networks as a resource tool, and the shared knowledge from our Cohort #13 blogs have helped guide this new learning practice and purpose for the creation the new unit planner.
A new experience and outcome
By the end of this Cultural Connection unit, I hope that students will have more control over their learning, make better use of their technological resources and become creators who steer their education. I would also love to see students strive for effective communication when giving feedback as well as making the most out of the received response. I want them to be open to failure and know that I will be their support to help build on what they strive for.