MY FINAL PROJECT
UbD is a philosophy for teaching and learning. Once I understood this philosophy, I started to use it as an everyday practice; it influences my learning as well.
I checked my assessment and rubrics before opening the first Unit 1 of Course 1 and decided that I want to improve the Unit School for my grade 4 students.
My grade four students are at the Intermediate Low-Mid level in Russian and I needed to create an authentic environment for students to be able to make connections and comparisons between different school systems and recognize the cultural aspect of each system and encourage students to use different types of technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals.
As a language teacher, I always had in my mind that the main focus is communicative competence, I focused on developing the ability to use language correctly to communicate appropriately and effectively in a variety of social situations. However, nowadays, students are influenced by new media forms that allow them to socialize and learn differently.
It is genuinely intriguing to see how education has been moving forward. A vivid example that comes to my mind is how students use different forms of resources to do their presentations. I remember in the early 2000s, students of my school (Anglo-American School of Moscow) would always submit something unique and creative on paper. They would always ask me or seek resources that would help them. However, everyone would usually work by themselves, or they were not fully engaged in the process. There was also a limit to the resources they could use. I do remember that some students were not fully engaged because they could not come up with something unique or a result that they would be proud of in the end. Nowadays, it is different, since the students mostly use online programs to present their projects. Since there is a variety of online applications, such as Google Slides, PowerPoint, iMovie, etc. It allows them to explore and develop new skills in the process. I can see in my classes that the students are more engaged when it comes to presentations. They are willing to work in groups to create an online presentation or present any other online project. Each project that the students create, I can tell how much effort and dedication they have put into the online projects. Each student can set different IT tools into the online project (such as video, drawing, an activity to engage their audience and many more). What is added through this group work is that each student can create or build their character and perception through the different online projects that are expected from them when learning.
I was amazed by the results. Each of my students shoots a short video advertising our school. They were fully involved in the process, they tried different apps, they helped each other to take a photo, to record the sound.
I was thinking to add criteria to evaluate IT standards as well, but we have the common rubrics as a team. I have realized that it will take some time when I can sell this idea to my colleagues.
Students’ self-reflection improved they started thinking not only about their language competence but also about their IT skills.
MY STUDENTS’ REFLECTIONS