We are 20 pupils from Vinslöv, who are working with our teacher Sara Bruun. We started working with the flipped classroom and digital tools in January 2014. We love it!
Our school has about 300 pupils and hardly anyone comes from another country. That is why our teacher chose to take us on a trip around the world – to show us the world outside our small village. We have learned about Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Indians, everyday life in the USA and so on. We have watched movies, read books, worked with Skype in the classroom, listened to podcasts and a lot more.
The aim of this project is ”learning English for real”. We only use authentic material and we focus on communicating in English. Our teacher has told us that:
”She wants to lift the roof off the classroom and bring the world into it.” We do think that we succeed!
This school year we started with a book project. We worked together with two authors from the United States: Jessica D. Cheramie and J.D Robinson. We told our teacher that we wanted to read about love and fantasy. She found these authors through a Facebook group and asked them if they wanted to work with us. We have read, discussed and written about their books. We communicated with the authors in this blog. We gave them feedback and they read and commented the texts we wrote about their books. It is very easily done since we write in Google Document and share our texts with them. We also ”met” the authors through a Google Hang Out event. We were on a live show! People were actually watching our show! Awesome! You can find the show on Sara’s Youtube channel, but also here in the blog.
We work with the flipped classroom and we really like when we get to teach each other. That’s what we did during our history project. We made flip films and quizzes ( Kahoot) about different historical events. Great fun!
After Christmas we have started a project where all students in grade 9 participate.
We have created male and female characters, dated each other and are now married!
We are going on our honeymoon! We will document our wedding trip so You easily can follow us! Don’t worry – we will not use the camera during the wedding night!
You might not believe us, but we do like reading! We read a lot of books and we combine reading with blogging, using the internet and different apps. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian written by Sherman Alexie is a book that we recommend. When we finished that book we combined it with Skype in the Classroom. We listened to Virgina Historical Society who taught us about the life of the Indians then and now. You can watch it in the blog! Awesome!
What do we learn?
Through this project we are not just learning English. We also learn how to build a blog and how to behave on the internet. Our lessons are 60 minutes two times a week so we really need to work hard when we meet. We only use authentic materials like real books and material on the web such as Youtube videos, news programs, articles etc. We really enjoy working without text- and workbooks and would like to inspire other teachers and pupils to work like this as well. We only have a blog and sometimes 7 iPads and we make it! We are all authors in this blog. We all have access and can publish want we want. Sara trusts us, which feels very nice!
We also learn that it is important to think about what you write and comment on. Someone has written comments on our films with bad language. We have talked a lot about why someone would like to do that and how we can handle it.
In this blog we use Youtube a lot. We also work with different apps such as Puppet Pals, Videoscribe and Explain Everything. It is great to be able to speak through a character instead of standing in front of the whole class. When you use the character you can relax and focus on the language instead of yourself.
When we write we use Google Drive. We share the document with our teacher and our friends in our base groups. We then give each other comments on how to improve the texts.
We focus on communicating in English and through this project we get the opportunity.
By reading the text above you realize that our project is very well linked to the Swedish curriculum. If you don’t know what the Swedish curriculum (LGR 11) says about English – do what we do when we need to know more about something: Google it!
We have talked a lot about copyright, Creative Commons and the importance of both knowing what you use from the internet and if it actually is ok to use a special picture, movie or song in the blog. We were happy when we found this web page: Gettyimages. On this page, we can easily find pictures that are ok to use.
When we have used something we link to the original page where we have found the information. We think it is pretty tricky to know what is correct and not, that is why we mostly use our own material. Please, feel free to use our material as long as you link to this blog and tell the world that it comes from us.
The flipped language classroom
The flipped language classroom is not just about films, speaking and writing. It is also about reading and listening. We, sometimes, get a chapter of a book or a music video to prepare at home. In the classroom we analyse it and the teacher helps us. The important thing is that we are prepared before we enter the classroom so that we can start working at once. Sometimes we hate it, since it is much harder for us than working with text- and workbooks, but life isn’t always chill!
We get our instructions from Sara’s blog. There, we find out what to do. In this blog, we publish what we have done. It is like a window to the world. Through this blog, our parents, friends and others can follow us and see what we do in class.
We are so happy to realize that other pupils watch, read and comment on what we do. That makes our communication true and for real.
We only publish things we have found on YouTube and things we have made ourselves.
The winner takes it all!
We are going for gold in this project. The reasons why we are the winners are that we combine so many things: we get to know different parts of the world trough Skype and literature, we learn how to create a blog, how to behave on the internet, how to take care of each other, how to cooperate, how to be responsible youths, how to write different texts, how to create a speech, how to use the iPad and we are at the same time learning how to communicate in English.
We have taken the world into our small village and classroom and are soon ready to take a jump out to explore it!
An important thing with The Same Colour of the Human Heart is that we focus on communicating in English. But most important is that we are also having a lot of fun while we are learning!
When we see each other in Stockholm you will understand that we do have the same colour of our hearts and we don’t care if someone is black or white or gay or straight. We are all humans with the Same Colour of our Human Hearts!
We are looking forward to seeing you in Stockholm!
9C and Sara Bruun