Daria Prozorovschi teaches her students the value of tolerance with the "Talking Kites around the World" iEARN Project
The second iEARN project a group of students from Theoretical Lyceum “Mihai Eminescu” participated in was the "Talking Kites Around the World”. It is dedicated to celebrating peace, co-existence, tolerance, and acceptance of the "other". Students created and flew kites as a symbol of cultural and social dialog, as a symbol of bridge that must be established between people, communities, nations and countries. We also had lessons dedicated to peace and discussed about tolerance and integration. We learned how to celebrate our differences and share our similarities.
Prozorovschi Daria collaborates with educators from US and Taiwan to put together a digital book for the "Our Story Book" Project.
The first iEARN project our students participated in was “Our Story Book”. The project aimed to collect different ideas from diverse culture and countries to complete one amazing story. It was a fruitful teamwork between Moldova, USA and Taiwan resulted in an adventure book about a “The Girl with Her Dog”. We had the great opportunity to start the story and “create” the book cover. Students enjoyed a lot the possibility to collaborate with children from other countries and communicate with them on iEARN forum. This project made students from our community (Theoretical Lyceum “Mihai Eminescu”) to understand the importance of English language and motivated them to do their best in mastering a foreign language. It also helped them to experience the joy of international collaboration.
My students and me have recently participated in an amazing event. We flew kites on March, 21st. It is an international project dedicated to the Polish doctor and writer Janusz Korczak, who was a staunch advocate of children's rights. He is editor of children's newspapers and the founder of the orphanage. Students were happy from the very beginning and they came to school and made their kites. Some of the kites could not fly very well because they were not well designed. But students enjoyed the event. They wrote messages about peace, friendship, about their dreams on the kites.
Some of my students are being engaged now in ”Our story book” Project. It is a project that gathers different ideas from different cultures or countries to complete an amazing story. We are the first group and we have to design or draw the cover and write 2 pages. Then come the other groups from the USA and Taiwan. The story's title is "Good Things Come from Doing Good" The students develop the abilities of writing an artistic text in English, applying their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, arranging a text and images on the page. They will also practice reading and recording a text using the digital tools. They formulate and express their opinions, both orally and in writing, take photos and draw pictures. All these activities will contribute to the development of linguistic, communicative, cultural, interdisciplinary, civic and methodological (digital) skills, leading to the increased of students’ imagination, creativity and critical thinking.
Tatiana Bîrzoi and the students from the American Language Center participate in the Children’s Rights Learning Circle Project
Having learnt about the iEARN Community made me join this educational resource network without hesitation because of the variety of online educational projects it offers on the international level. I was glad to involve my students from American Language Center to take part in a couple of iEARN Projects which encourage them to become global citizens since iEARN tackle important global issues and seek for definite solutions from the youth part across the globe. Furthermore, it may be a strong basis for students in communication skills and in improving their English language skills as they engage in cross-cultural dialogue with their peers from different parts of the world. They can also get valuable insights into various cultures.
We have registered for the following iEARN Projects:
iEARN International offered to us a great platform for digital learning. By participating in these Projects students enriched their potential and acquired important 21st Century skills such as:
Mariana Ursu brings global learning in her classroom by joining four iEARN projects: "My name around the world", "A day in my life", "Our story book" and "Holiday Card Exchange".
I have already joined 4 iEARN projects this year:
1. My name around the world
2. A day in my life
3. Our story book
4. Holiday Card Exchange
Most of all my students enjoyed ”Our story book” Project. It is a project that gathers different ideas from different cultures or countries to complete an amazing story. About 14 willing students from the 5th, the 6th and 8th grades were involved in this project from October 1st to November 30th, 2015. Students have proposed ideas and titles for the book, at last the title one of my students proposed was selected “I just think and I am There”. The first three parts of the book were written in two institutions from Macedonia and one school from Pakistan. The last part was created in Moldova by 3 willing students who wrote the content of the last part, selected images and drew pictures for the book. The rest of the students read all the parts the story and performed various tasks based on speaking, listening and writing. They also contributed with ideas to continue the story, proposing and describing the sights of Moldova that deserve to appear in the book [http://magicenglishmagicehglish.weebly.com/our-story-book]. After the book was finished, one of the students created a movie based on the part they wrote. The students who created the book joined a webinar of participants in the project, which took place on November 25th, finishing the project.
Being involved ”Our story book” Project, the students gained knowledge about the culture of the partner countries (Macedonia and Pakistan); developed the abilities of writing an artistic text in English, applying their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, arranging a text and images on the page, reading and recording a text using the digital tools, selecting the main ideas of a read text; learned formulating and expressing their opinions, both orally and in writing; took photos and painted pictures; created a movie, selecting the suitable images; learned how to use a blog. All these activities contributed to the development of linguistic, communicative, cultural, interdisciplinary, civic and methodological (digital) skills, leading to the increased of students’ imagination, creativity and critical thinking.
For me as a teacher, ”Our story book” iEARN project was a great experience. It was very easy to implement it as it is well-planned step by step and its facilitator, Vinny Tsao from Taiwan, was always in touch with the participants, informing us about everything happening in the projects and supporting us.
Another project I implemented with success was “Holiday card exchange”. About 30 willing students from the 5th, the 6th and 8th grades have made about 70 Winter Holiday Cards that were sent together with information about Moldova, its geographical position, capital, sights, culture, customs and traditions related to religious holidays (New Year, Christmas, Easter) and national (Independence Day, Our Language) people from Moldova, recipes of our traditional food in 7 partner institutions from 6 countries (USA, Russia, Ukraine, India, Lithuania and Taiwan) from which we received in exchange greetings and other interesting information about their culture.
Making the cards, students practiced using various techniques and tools (working with paper, cutting, drawing, decorating, color matching).The project gave students the opportunity to develop their imagination, responsibility and critical thinking in the process of making the cards. They also gained knowledge and formed attitudes towards the culture of the partner countries, developed their abilities of writing various types of texts in English (descriptive, narrative, artistic, scientific, congratulatory messages, writing address), reading and using various online communication tools (blog, Skype, E-mail).
Moldovan students collaborate with peers from USA, Belarus, Colombia, Romania and Russia as part of the “Places and Perspectives” Project
Dumitru Grusca, iEngage teacher from Falesti:
"I decided to join the “Places and Perspectives” Project because it encourages students to explore regional history, culture, government, and geography by sharing their knowledge with people from different locations. 8 international schools involved in the exchange: Kumertau, Bashkortostan Region, Russia, Mogilev, Belarus, Norwood, Massachusetts, United States, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Malmyzh, Kirov Region, Russia, Roldanillo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Everyone from the group chose a project to sponsor and wrote a detailed Project Idea for the group members. Most of the members were creative, provided suggestions, and generated ideas. One of most important thing in this project was the international collaboration. All participants submitted their Project Ideas for the other participants of the Learning Circle. Discussions were provided in the forum. Topics included flowers and their symbolism in various traditions, traditions and customs of European countries and around the world, superstitions of different countries, housing traditions, free time activities in various communities. These themes formed the core of the project work. Every school had to work on its projects and partners’ projects. The teachers encouraged students to fulfill the task, to create and share information about projects’ themes with the partners of the project. It is was my responsibility to include the received material, connected to my theme, in my final project publication.
12 students from the 12th form took part in the project. Because of the highly interactive, project-based partnerships among a small number of schools students got interested in fulfilling the project’s tasks. The opportunity to study customs and traditions in different countries, to build, share, and express knowledge though a process of open dialogue and deep reflection around issues or problems with a focus on a shared outcome motivated them to work eager and with responsibility. To acquire a deeper understanding of areas of shared interest students used also IT technologies.
At last, by being engaged in these activities, students developed and improved following abilities: trust, respect, open and flexible approach to thinking, individual responsibility and group reciprocity, that to my mind are keys to a successful carrier for my students."
The ”Holiday Card Exchange” Project brings together teachers from Moldova, USA, Netherlands, Belarus, Russia, Taiwan, Romania, Pakistan and Slovenia - impressions from iEngage teachers Olesea Jechiu, Dumitru Grusca and Mariana Boldișor .
Olesea Jechiu is sharing her impressions on participating in the ”Holiday Card Exchange” Project:
”First of all it was a challenge for me, as a teacher, to present the idea of the project and to impress and motivate the students. They turned out to be very impressed thanks to the opportunity to get in touch with their peers from abroad, that means we have one more motivating tool in the teaching-learning process . At the same time, my colleague teacher got interested as well. As a whole, I think this could be a start line for a different approach to English Language Teaching and Practicing. I hope this could be a useful experience for other students and teachers as well.
About 14 willing students from the 5th and the 6th grades were involved in the project. We have schools from 6 countries as partners: the USA, Romania, Bielarus, Russia, Packistan and Taiwan (two schools). Through our group ( nr.24) from the Project Forum I could get in touch with some of our partners, namely from Romania and Bielarus. Aliaksandra from Bielarus helped me with her previous experience in the project. She gave me some tips and explained how it works, by what time we should send the cards. Again I was glad people were eager to help.
In their cards pupils wrote about the way we celebrate Christmas, Mothers' Day, Martisor. As concerning the money aspect I am very grateful to their parents, who were eager to support them. We also got a lending hand from a NGO, that supported the mail cost of the cards for the students that were willing to participate, but couldn't afford it.
So far, I noticed curiosity in my students' eyes. It was the first time they could make use of English in a real life situation. They were enthusiastic about the idea we collaborate with an English speaking country- I mean the USA and did their best to write coherent messages and decorate the cards. Of course I helped.
The most precious outcome of the Project Based Learning is that together, my students and I, could see one more reason, may be the most outstanding, why English is to be loved, learned and spoken - that is interaction with people like us. In the same time, we have learned that diversity means personality and our traditions are worth promoting! We are looking forward to receiving cards from our partners as well, and intend to enjoy reading them during the round table we're planning.”
Grușca Dumitru also participated in the project:
”The project “Holiday card exchange” was implemented in my school with success. The project gave the opportunity to the students to develop their imagination, responsability and critical thinking in the process of making the cards. The chance to get in touch with the peers from abroad motivated them to speak freely about our local celebrations 18 willing students from the 6th and the 8th grades were involved in the project. We have. schools from 7 countries as partners: the Netherlands, Belarus, Russia(two schools), Taiwan (two schools). and Slovenia. In their cards pupils wrote about the way they celebrate Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter. In our cards students wrote about the way we celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day. The enthusiasm and curiosity were felt in the class. It was another opportunity to use English outside the classroom, in a real situation-writing letters.
The project “Holiday card exchange”proved that the Project Based Learning can be implemented in our curriculum. The results of it are amazing. Students could answer at the question, why English is to be loved, learned and spoken . Interaction in English with people like us but different from the point of view of culture and traditions.
Mariana Boldișor - My first international project: “Holiday Card Exchange”
At the beginning I was afraid but I was encouraged and everything was ok. I planned to involved 15 pupils from the 7-th and 5-th forms till the end I had 17 pupils from the 5-th form. I remember the day when I announced the 5-th form that we’II take part into an international project, they were confused, surprised and happy. We had 7 partners : Taiwan (2 schools), Belarus, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, United States and Russia. We were classified in group N 20 and the teacher from Russia created Google-map for our group, it was pleasant to admire the joy and happiness in pupils’ eyes when they found our school on the Google- map. We received cards from 4 partners and I want to organize an exhibition”Cards from different parts of the World”.
SWOT-analysis of the project “Holiday Card Exchange”
*Pupils are motivated to study English
*they have the possibility to see the result of their work(when we received the cards from our partners)
*they use dictionaries to write the messages
*they want to know more about other cultures
*they become more responsible
*they wrote about the way we celebrate Christmas and New Year
*they wrote letters about their school, family(at the stage extension)
*pupils understand the meaning why it is important to know English
*can be involved a great number of pupils -we need money to send the cards(To be sure that our partners will receive the cards it is necessary a special letter and it is expensive.)
Parents helped us.
+a good collaboration between school and parents
+after the end of the project, pupils continue to write through e-mail -some pupils have gaps in their knowledge and they are afraid to make mistakes. We as teachers should always encourage them.
The conclusion is “Everything is possible if you want”!
Congratulations to Tatiana Dragan, our iEngage Moldova educator who has already shared from her experience as a member of the iEngage Project with her colleagues from "Mihai Eminescu", Floresti.
"I'm very pleased to announce that the workshop ''PBL- an efficient way of XXI century in Education, Improvement and Assessment'' has launched on November 19. The 18 high school teachers from the regions that have attended the event had the opportunity to get acknowledged what is iEARN and the effectiveness of project based instruction. My students and I were very glad to share our impressions and small experience in iEarn projects. Thay also were were proud to show their class survey in My Hero project and post their opinions onthe school blog. I hope this training inspired and motivated the teachers to get involved and join the iEARN community. I also would like to express my gratitude for your wonderful ideas and forwarded materials."
On September 26, 2015, iEngage participants from various regions of Moldova attended the first project workshop in Chisnau to learn about the opportunities offered by project based instruction. iEngage trainers Olga Morozan, Corina Ceban and Daniela Munca-Aftenev moderated several sessions on how to use iEARN forums, how to find international partners through the iEARN network, how to plan and implement a successful online project and how to use all the iEngage project resources in an efficient manner.
Ludmila Bilevschi, Alumni and Speakers Programs Specialist at US Embassy to Moldova, attended the event.