lunes, 9 de mayo de 2016

The power of music and songs in the classroom!

Hi everyone!
Today I just wanted to speak about music but why is it important?
The role of music and the arts in child development have  many benefits in children, some of them are:

  • General cognitive development.
  • Language development, reading-readiness and reading: listening to music can faicilitate learning to read, probably by increasing children's awareness of speech sounds.
  • Improve pronunciation, phonic awareness, intonation, rhythm, etc.
  • Facility for recall and retention.
  • Verbal abilities: Learn new words and ideas.
  • Abstract conceptual thinking and reasoning: creativity and originality, play improvisation.
  • Motor development and coordination.
  • Positive attitudes toward school.
  • Improve personal and social adjustment.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Release energy and channel it in creative, productive directions.
  • Gain confidence in themselves as they realize they can use mind and body together. Children learn that, with practice, their bodies will do almost anything they want to do-even leap across a room or tun cartwheels in time to music. 
Music and CLIL
One step further would be to consider the importance of music and CLIL. It's important to seek integration with other subjects when possible; in our reality, this means, Knowledge and Understanding of the world, Literacy, Art and some other subjects like PE or Geography and History.

Vocabulary helpful to singing songs:
- Dynamics, e.g. loud, quiet, guetting louder, getting quieter.
- Tempo, e.g. fast, slow, getting faster, getting slower.
- Pitch, e.g. high, low, getting higher, getting lower.
- Timbre, e.g. descriptive words such as: light, heavy, bright, dull, cold, warm.
- Structure, e.g. beginning, middle, end.

Music and Science
Songs in Science is a very helpful tool which must never be understimated. Concepts in Science when put into a song teach the children to memorise and approach what may be a difficult concept in a non-threatening way. Look at one example:

Water cycle song


Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
             (make circles with your arm, then a
      thumb's up)
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
It goes up for evaporation  (raise hands above         your head)

Forms clouds for condensation (make a circle with your arms above your           head)

Then comes down in precipitation, yes it does!(use fingers to imitate rainfall)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
Water goes for collection (make a circle in front of you)

To rivers, lakes, seas and oceans (ask children what gesture they would use        for each)

From plants and trees are transpiration (make like a tree and then make            fingers gesture rainfall towards the sky)

Yes it does!

Very important before teaching a song:
- Set your objectives.
- Look for cross-curricular links.
- Analyse vocabulary.
- Master the melody.
- Be clear with the TPR.
- Be enthusiastic! Your energy level is contagious!
- Think of variations to singing it (changing volume, tempo, pitch, feeling, word substitution, guessing the word by actions...)
- Have fun!

In short, if you want to engage your students in a CLIL classroom, music is an amazing way of getting it!
I hope you like it and find it useful. Feel free to use it if you believe it is going to be helpful for you and don't forget to leave me a comment! I'll be pleased to hear your opinions.

martes, 3 de mayo de 2016

My learning journey throughout the ICT course! In five words: Stay connected to stay inspired!!

Hello everyone!!
 Today, I just wanted to tell you that this is the final post related to the ICT CLIL subject that my peers and I have been enjoying during the Masters degree at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid. This brief but intensive period has been very valuable for us for many reasons, for example we've discovered amazing ways of enhacing learning! All of them have been by trial and error -a very positive aspect that doesn't happen every day-.
This fantastic and worthy experience wouldn't have been possible without my peers and my mentor @mjsm. I've learnt much more than I expected at the beginning and in a very engaging way so thank you very much!! Although the process has been hard in specific moments and a bit stressful, I am proud of it because I have been able to achieve almost all the challenges in time and I think that my final products have improved along the course at the same time that my learning skills, so in the end it has been an enriching experience in which there have been more positive things than negative ones.

Here you can see a presentation about my learning progress using the ICT: Click here!
To create that presentation I have used Capzles. It is a nice free online tool which allows you to create very visual presentations using a timeline template. As it is an online tool, we need to “log in” (as we have been doing in previous challenges with other tools). After that, we are more than ready to create presentations!

With Capzles it is possible to include our own materials: pictures, videos, music, podcasts and so on. Thanks to that, you can personalise your presentations according to your needs.

Thanks for reading me and see you soon!!

domingo, 24 de abril de 2016

Augment world book day

After completing some group challenges, we came back to work individually. The new challenge @mjgsm had prepared for us was related to the Book Day, which is the 23th of April. Because of this event, we were requested to created an aura. I want to say that this is the first time I try Aurasma and I think it's fantastic! With this challenge I have realised that we can celebrate the book day at school in a very fun way thanks to this app. The students are going to be more motivated with the aumentaty reality as it differs from traditional ways of celebrating this day such as making bookmarks or other boring things.
First, I will explain what Aurasma is. Aurasma is a HP Autonomy's augmented reality platform that can deliver any content (videos, audio, pictures, animations...) in real time. The final artifact is called ''aura''. If you want to learn how to use Aurasma step by step, you can read this interesting and detailed post of one of my classmates with an explanatory slideshow: 
Once I had everything prepared I entered in Aurasma Studio to create my aura. It is increadibly easy to use since all the steps are clearly explained in the website and it is very intuitive. However, if you have any problem, you can see the steps in the blog's link I put above or watch this tutorial (also created by my peers):

So, first I had to decide what kind of content I wanted to upload: a videoclip or an audio track. I chose the videoclip because I wanted to do it more varied by adding different images. I recorded my voice with my mobile phone and created the video with Camtasia, a tool used in the previous challenge.
Then, I had to choose an image for my aura. At the begining it was going to be the cover of my favourite book, "The little prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery. However, after giving it a thought, I decided to choose an image that cought the audience's attention.
If you feel curious about my reading experience, you can follow me on Aurasma app: GMEstrellaa and then, scan this image to find what is behind:
I also pin my aura on the Pinterest board A Wall of Books. There you will find also more auras created by my fantastic peers.
I hope you find it interesting!!

sábado, 23 de abril de 2016

My e-project rubric

Hello everyone!
Today I'm going to talk about the assessment of my e-project that is explained in the previous post.
This project is designed to be assessed following this pattern:
  • The Teacher will evaluate the challenge (Comic) and the search of information. It will be 40% of the final score.
  • The partners will carry out peer assessment on the blog and grade about how their teamwork has worked. It will be 20% of the final score . The students can generate the different criteria or items to be assessed.
  • Students will self-assess the final task using the rubric. It will be 20% of the final score.
The final score will also include a 20% for the teacher to evaluate how the students have been involved in the project or tackled the different activities.
Both teachers and students are suggested to use the available rubric to assess both the process and the outcomes.
When assessing, we need to consider four basic principles: Why, What, When and How to evaluate?
Why? We evaluate both the students and our teaching to detect the successes and the deficiencies to address the problems before they become serious.
What? We assess the teaching-learning process as well. The teacher can modify the planning as needed in order to maximise the results and the learners can use critical thinking to reflect on what they have achieved.
How? Through daily observation in class such as group projects, pair work and individual work and exams, surveys and interviews the teacher and the students will get feedback.
               Assessment is an integral part of the learning process and a very useful tool when it provides positive reinforcement. Not only does it provide information about the student’s progress, but also with significant data about the effectiveness of our didactic planning. This reflection will allow us to make changes in its design for the next year.
            Assessment will be a continuous process that will be undertaken throughout the whole learning process, and will include factors such as general progress, effort, attitude towards learning. Besides, we will deal with summative assessment and formative assessment and the “Can do” statements will be used to describe the assessment criteria for both summative and formative assessment. It is essential that we assess the 21st century' skills.

To see the rubric I've created you can click on this link Project: Save our planet!
To create that rubric I've used QuickRubric that is an online tool that allows you to create rubrics easily.  Once you are logged in, you have to click on "Create a rubric" (orange square in th image below). Then you can start filling the information: a tittle, a description, different criterias or topics you want to assess and the scale of rating you want to use.
Here you have a screenshot of a blank Quick Rubric:
You can simply add a new criteria/topic clicking on "add row" (green) and also a new scale of rating clicking on "add column" (red). Then, if you click on Score, you can change the maximum and the minimun score when rating. You can also click on "No score" in case you do not want to add a cuantitative rating.

Once you are happy with your result you can click on the green box at the bottom of the page to "Save Rubric". Then, when you have saved your rubric, you will have new options at the bottom of the page.
- Click on View/Print Rubric (yellow) if you want to print your rubric or if you want to share it online, because by clicking here you will obtain a public URL to your rubric.
- Click on Copy Rubric if you want to duplicate your rubric.
- Click on Delete Rubric if you are not happy with the result and you want to delete your rubric.

From my point of view, this tool allows you to easily create a rubric by only filling a present template, which you can adapt to your own needs. However, there are some things that I did not liked it about the app. The first one is that you cannot obtain an embedded code to share it in a more visual way. Also, it would be great if the web could provide you with a share button to directly share it on twitter, facebook or wherever you want. 
In any case, I think it is a very useful tool that can save a lot of time too.

I hope you find this post interesting!

miércoles, 20 de abril de 2016

Piktochart slideshow

Hello again!

Today, I would like to explain you the new challenge my group and I faced from our ICT subject. 

I have worked with the same group as in the two challenges before. In case you don´t remember, they are:  @celiagon92 @gonzaalo10@lainez_ortega  and @cristinarisueno.

For this new task, we have decided to make a tutorial about how to use Piktochart in order to help our students to take advantage of it. We are not going to extend more talking about Piktochart because you can see all its details in the tutorial. However, we have to say that we have chosen Piktochart since we claim that our children might be able to create their own infographic and we have used it before successfully. 

First of all, we screencasted our computer screen while we were recording orally step by step the process to use Piktochart. We think that, in this way our pupils will be familiarised with it better. To do that, we have used the free tool called aTubeCatcher. We found this program suitable for this task because it is very easy to use and it has all the features we were looking for. 

However, a disadvantage that we have found is that aTubeCatcher doesn´t allow us to edit videos. For this reason, we used the program Movie Maker and we also added a final image with our Twitter handles in order to give the viewers the possibility to contact us with their doubts and questions.

You can see the tutorial here:

Our video challenge with Tic!

Good morning!

This time, for this group task, we had to become both writers and film directors! We were requested to create a clip about our common e-project but, first of all, we had to plan what it would be about. Therefore we started to create a storyboard with our main ideas. As our topics were about the Earth we decided to create a character based on the universe. What could be better than an alien? Everybody wants to know about life from outer space! That’s how TIC was born, our main character. Can you guess why he is called TIC?

To create our storyboard we chose the web tool Storyboard That. Since the moment we started to use this tool, we were surprised how amazing the pictures were: backgrounds, characters and different shapes, which allow you to create exactly what you want. What we liked the most was the possibility of modifying the position of the main character, which makes the story more real.

However, while using the tool, we discovered that a normal account doesn’t allow you to create a board with more than six scenes. This is why we had to shorten the story. It was not a problem because the final clip will include the whole story.This storyboard is a guideline for the video challenge and it is meant to be a tale the teacher could tell their students at class.

Here you have our storyboard! Are you ready to meet TIC?

Made with Storyboard That
From the storyboard, we brought TIC to live! First, if you want to film a movie you need to write a script so we became writers! Our clip was divided into eleven scenes in which our alien would travel through the Solar System to discover the magic planet. TIC was dying to find it out!

Second, we started to film the scenes, but… We needed an actor! Gonzalo @gonzaalo10 became TIC thanks to our make-up team! Look at the awesome result!

Then, we were ready to record the video challenge. For this purpose we use decided to use the chroma key technique. By using Camtasia and this technique, we could substitute the green background for a picture of our choice. Regarding Camtasia, it seems quite difficult to use at rhe very beginning. However, after practicing with it for a while we discovered all its possibilities. We downloaded the free version with a free trial for 30 days. Thanks to Camtasia, we have learned how to use chroma key and how to organize the video clips, the pictures and the audios in order to get the final video. The only problem we didn´t like about this tool was the fact that, because of the free version, a watermark appeared in our video and the quality of it decreased.

Despite this little problem, the result was fantastic! We created a video in which TIC travels through the solar system and discovers the Earth and its layers. Tic also has doubts and makes questions during the video in order to encourage participation in our pupils. The teacher could stop the video whenever TIC makes one question to let the pupils to answer him. This video can be used to introduce a topic, so the teacher can know about their prior knowledge, or to make a review at the end of the topic. Hope you enjoy it!

sábado, 16 de abril de 2016

A live CLIL chocotalk

Hello again!
  On the 7th of April, at 19:00h Spanish time, some of my peers went live on Youtube to carry out one of our group task for the present e-project. This task consisted of participating in a collaborative project called #chococharlas. This project fosters the participation, opinion and inclusion of the entire educative community by organizing online meetings on Youtube or similar video platforms. In these meeting, people discuss topics related to inclusive education, special needs, new methodologies and so forth while eating sweets.
  The first thing we had to do was assigning roles. One of us would be the speaker (the one who will talk in the live debate), other two members would be the ones in charge of disseminating and commenting the event in the social networks before and during the live, and the other two people would be the content curators, what is to say the ones who collect all that happened during this activity.

 The roles in my group were the following: 
@celiagon92 was the speaker. 
@lainez_ortega and @cristinarisueno were the ones who disseminate the information.
- Finally, @gonzaalo10 and I (@GMEstrellaa were the content curators.

  Secondly, in order to prepare this task, each work group had to think of how CLIL can contribute to having happier bilingual learners.

  The speakers of each group were: 
@rpeinadog @patimasie@nepeuspu@lolaberralraya@Alvaro_Gope,@teacher_inma@GLHmaster and @celiagon92.
  They met on Google Hangouts, along with @mjgsm two hours earlier before the event to prepare the live. They went live at 19:00 pm and the chocotalk started. They talked about four main topics regarding CLIL methodology: 

  1. Advantages and disadvantages of CLIL: the main conclusions were the need of working cross-curricularly, despite the difficulty of it (specially in Secondary Education) and the possibility of solving this problem by working with projects in collaboration with the entire educative community.
  2. Social and emotional benefits of CLIL: Patricia remarked the importance of Krashen Theory based on language acquisition, that establishes the need of motivating students to learn. Besides, emotional intelligence plays and important role in education since we, as teachers, are working with humans, as Rubén highlighted.
  3. ICT in the CLIL classroom: they talked about some tools that can be used in the classroom, including video games. However, the main conclusion was that the most important aspects of ICT are the purpose they are used for and the students' learning process rather than the tools. Moreover, Inma added that using ICT is not time consuming but just the opposite.
  4. The last topic was relating to our e-projects: we described briefly each project in order to give ideas and examples of how ICT could be incorporate in the CLIL classroom. 

  While the speakers were debating, our peers were disseminating the event on Twitter, sharing our comments and conclusions and giving their opinions. You can see a summary of our tweets and the entire process made with Storify here:

miércoles, 13 de abril de 2016

The Earth's adventures interactive infographic

Hello everybody!

For this task we had to work in groups to create an InfoEdufoGraphic. The members of my group are: @lainez_ortega@cristinarisueno@celiagon92 and @gonzaalo10. To do this we surfed the InfoEdugraphic Project Site to look for tips, instructions and ideas. 
Since all our e-projects (LandscapingPlanets in the solar systemThe Hydrosphere and The mysteries of the Earth) are connected with Social Science (planets, Earth, landscapes and so forth), we decided to make an infographic as an introductory tool for a common topic. Our main learning outcome is for our students to know about the planets of the Solar System, The Earth`s layers (Hydrosphere and atmosphere) and landforms as well as environmental care.
First, we assigned the roles:
- @gonzaalo10 was the supervisor and he was in charge of controlling the creation process and remembering each person's task. They also had to take notes of everybody's ideas. 
- @lainez_ortega and @cristinarisueno were the secretaries. They made and create the InfoEduGraphic using Piktochart and Thinglink.
- @celiagon92 was the speaker. She spread our work by Twitter and blogging.
- Finally, I (@GMEstrellaa was the coordinator. I had to direct and check that each member did his part of the job. I also encouraged them to keep working on the infographic.
To accomplish this, we had to face two problems:
  1. How to link all our e-projects' contents: After thinking about it for a while, we decided to structure the infoedugraphic from the most asbtract content (the space) to the most concrete one (landforms). This way, we could include all our Social Science contents in a structured and well-organised way. In order to motivate the students, we added a badge that they could get once they finished the learning process.
  2. How to adapt the contents to the different school's levels: this challenge was harder to face but finally we though of making an interactive InfoEduGraphic. What does this mean? We did not only a infographic (which is an image) but also an interactive image. By doing this, we foster an active learning and allow students of different grades to access to different activities of different difficulty. The teacher could guide all this learning process to do the activities corresponding each course. 
How did we create our InfoEduGraphic?
We decided to use Piktochart due to the fact that some members of our group had already used it and they said that it could fit the purpose of the project perfectly well. It gives you the possibility to create infographics, posters, presentations or reports depending on what we need. The one we chose is an infographic as it is divided into different blocks which were suitable for each difficulty level. The quality of the pictures and icons that the tool offers is quite high and very attractive, exactly what we were looking for: to captivate students’ attention. Finally, we would like to highlight that Picktochart would be perfect if it offered the possibility of making those graphics interactives (pictures with movements, sounds, link to other webpages and so on) instead of being just an image. 
Once we had our infographic finished we went to make it interactive to promote active learning and to increase pupils' motivation. We did this part of the project using the online tool ThinglinkWith this tool you can make an interactive image by putting links in small spots inside your picture. Therefore, we included a video to expand knowledge, interactive activities to review each content and an Arts and Crafts activity about environmental care.
As you can imagine, this tool is inreadibly useful to create you own CLIL materials because, by linking resources, you can work the 4Cs. However, I think this tool would be nicer if they offered a wider variety of forms to insert the links, not only spots. 

Our final artifact is this amazing interactive InfoEduGraphic to introduce and learn different contents about our planet. Click on the spots to see the activities:

jueves, 17 de marzo de 2016

My CLIL eproject Prototype

Hi bloggers!!
I have news for you!! As you know, we are going to create an eproject but first of all we need to have in mind the CLIL syllabus for Primary Education, a Table of Skills our students must accomplish and the Goals they must achieve.
Based on these guidelines, I have created a basic prototype of what information, topics and activities I'd like to include in your CLIL eproject. Please, take into account that this draft is not definite, it is a first approach,
You can find the prototype of my eproject in the following link in Google Docs where I explain my unit briefly.
I have followed the pieces of advice given by María Jesús (@mjgsm on Twitter) regarding the outline.
I would like to say that as you can read in previous posts, I was thinking about storytelling for my eproject a few weeks ago  but I changed my mind because I think that recycling and the maintenance of our planet is an essential issue that students of all ages must keep in mind. That topic has to be comprehended as a continous learning and carried out in a cross-curricular way at schools. For that reasons it has to be present in formal education as well as informal education. By doing so, we will also help our students to be autonomous learners.
The videoclip that presents my outline has been created with PowToon. This tool offers many possibilities to design videos using a variety of pictures (you can also upload your own images), text effects, animated characters and images, backgrounds, music... Also, you can use a template from a list of different ones, as I did with my video, or you can start creating it by yourself. Here you can see my presentation:
I hope you like it!

My edesign evaluation of a CLIL eproject

Hello everybody!
Before creating our own CLIL eprojects is essential to know some examples created by other teachers and evaluate their work to appreciate what are the strong and weak points ot them and what would we do to improve them. The ebook design that I have evaluated has been one of the previous students of this Master (@somar0209 in Twitter) because when I did that I was thinking of doing my eproject about storytelling or something similar to that and that person had dealt with it before. We can find content related to the mobile e-library that he created with other companions here:

This person has selected different stories (some of them are well-known stories, other are invented) and has presented them in different ways. All of them are related to ICT. I have enjoyed exploring that blog because I think that all the posts are meaningful, enjoyable and very well developed.
You can find my ebook designs’ evaluation in this presentation:
 Finally, I have created my edesign evaluation of this CLIL eproject with Genially. This is the first time I use genially but I have chosen it because this tool supports teaching materials which include elements that catch the audience’s attention (i.e. we can add audiovisual features, etc.), and that is one of the reasons why teachers are encouraged to use it in class, simply to engage.

domingo, 28 de febrero de 2016

My webmix for CLIL e-projects!

Hello everyone!

I am here again with a curating mission! It is essential to curate in order to have materials at hand at any time. To do that, I have choosen the website Pinterest because I am familirizated with it due to the previous challenge.
I have created a board with the title Storytelling resources taking into account that the title is part of the URL, so it must be illustrative of the resources and topic I am compiling. Finally, I have filled my board with useful links, for my eproject or for anyone who is interested in that topic, taken from the collaborative bank we compiled together in the previous mission, and adding additional content that I feel like it.

I find this challenge really useful because I usually find resources that I would like to use in class but perhaps, I don't find them at the right moment so having a place to compile them around different topics can be the perfect solution for me!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

My viewpoints on the Bank of Common Knowledge

Hello everybody!!

I am here again to talk about a new mission that we have had!! We have created a bank of common knowledge for CLIL e-projects on Pinterest!! Each of the 32 students of my Master's class has posted 6 free resources and without copyright on a common board of Pinterest. 
It has been a really good way of knowing a bit more about Pinterest. I hadn't seen a bank of common knowledge like that before, so, in my opinion it has been a meaningful challenge and I like it! We have also taken into account that the resources we post don't have copyright and we can share them as we saw in the previous challenge.
I think it is good to give it a try at school and we, as teachers, create a bank of common knowledge with our students. By doing that, they will have the opportunity to add resources as valued as the teacher's ones.
The six resources that I have chosen to post are:
How to make a minibook: "The very hungry caterpillar". A good story to review the days of the week, the fruits or the life cycle of a butterfly in Sciences. The kids will retell the story with their own minibooks!
Click here for more details

- The ultimate list of Educational websites! You have there a list of links about courses, language learning, books, videos, programming, music, documentaries, random knowledge and so on and so forth.
Click here for more details

6 Storytelling Apps That Get English Language Learners Talking. Digital storytelling can be an effective way for ELLs to practice speaking English without the stress of being  “on stage.” Apps and tech tools allow students to practice in the comfort of their own home by themselves or with a caregiver.
Click here for more details

Create Interactive Stories in Book Creator. This video demonstrates how students can 'gamify' a story in Book Creator where the reader can choose the plot. Find more tutorials at
Click here for more details

- Organize research while creating slides on Buncee! A good way of integrating ICT and CLIL.
Click here for more details

- Learn English Idioms: hey you! are you As Cool as a Cucumber? Enjoy Arfur the Cucumber.
Click here for more details

Thanks for reading me!

sábado, 27 de febrero de 2016

Creative Common License

Hello again!!
I have a question for you! Do you know why should we write a © copyright notice? Other more specific questions related with the present learning process that we are having as we go with our e-portfolio are:

- What does our license allow others to do with our CLIL e-materials?

- What are good ways to motivate our students to use Creative Commons material and attribute properly?

I have created a Creative Commons License for my e-portfolio which will cover my CLIL materials and eproject too. You can see it at the bottom of my blog. 

All the terms and conditions of it are available in

You can also create your own licence with the conditions you think that are more suitable for you. Just click here: 
The reason why I created it is because I think it's good to share on sites free and people are welcome to download resources for their personal and/or classroom use only. However, design and all contents shouldn't be reproduced in any format or placed on another website without permission. 

As for the question what does my license allow others to do with my CLIL e-materials? The answer is my licence allows people to adapt my work and share it with others but they can’t use them for comercial purposes. In my opinion that’s fantastic because we can save much time by using lesson plans that people have already created but, as in everything, we have to recognise people’s effort and work so if they don’t allow us, we shouldn’t use their work to earn money.
Regarding the last question, what are good ways to motivate our students to use Creative Commons material and attribute properly? I will work on the importance of respecting other people in a cross-curricular way at school. We will read a story about feelings and the students will create their digital stories based on the story read before but they will have to create a new end too. After that, we will discuss and we will share opinions about how we would feel if someone use our stories to earn money. Finally, we will learn how to cite, attribute the information and create a Creative Commons license for our digital stories too.