Doral teachers connect their students with students in Sweden
Teachers can make all the difference in a person’s life.
And even though we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day this week – Tuesday, May 3 this year – we truly appreciate them every day. Their challenge is to make learning interesting, creative and fun.
At Doral’s Divine Savior Academy, teachers connect their students with other seventh and eighth graders halfway around the world in Sweden.
In an ongoing project, Phil Kurbis, the Director of Technology Integration, is co-teaching English lessons with Ola Brorson at Thoren Framtid in Växjö, Sweden.
They met through global EdTech company SMART Technologies and decided to explore co-teaching.
At first, the students living 8,000 km apart started their conversation with a simple question: “What do we eat for breakfast?” »
This first live learning event, at the start of the school year, quickly led to a discussion about food, traditions and more. They also discussed what it’s like to be teenagers in their respective countries.
World Languages Program Director Gabriela Vargas said she jumped at the chance to incorporate the modern pen pal relationship into the Divine Savior Academy curriculum.
She said it goes way beyond a simple lesson plan.
“This connection will help our students become more aware that they are just citizens of the world,” she said. “It always creates more empathy for others because you realize that there are people in the world who are different from you, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
The Doral and Swedish schools are SMART Exemplary Schools. They use a variety of technologies, including Lumio, Flipboard, and others, to create an interactive environment where students have the opportunity to connect their lives, schools, cities, states, and countries to each other.
In classes, students share interests, culture and climate. They practice written, spoken and visual language. And they learn to respect others in a digital environment, including with students who practice English.
Their teachers use strategies such as small group discussions and multimedia presentations to explore the cultural connections they have found between the two schools. Some students even maintained their friendships by associating on Playstation and Flipgrid. “Integrating technology into the classroom as a way to enhance learning is only effective when it is age-appropriate, helpful, and given by teachers who have the skills and knowledge needed to make it meaningful and engaging,” said Tim Biesterfeld, Director of Schools, Divine Savior Academy.
Ana Ongarato, a student at Divine Savior, said Swedish students “are still the same kind of teenagers that we are here. They laugh with each other and act like us.
Vargas said his students gained a broader view of the world.
“They could see that the world doesn’t stop at the community where they are.”
Girl Scouts search for souvenirs for the centenary
If you were in the Girl Scouts, were a Girl Scout parent, or served as a troop leader, the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida want to hear from you.
One of South Florida’s oldest nonprofits asks community for help as it counts down to 100and anniversary of the group which started in 1923 with Alligator Troop 1 in Coconut Grove.
It takes scouting stories and artifacts in Miami and the Keys to mark the big occasion this fall.
“We have great plans underway to paint the city Girl Scout green as we celebrate 100 years of fostering female leadership,” said Chelsea Wilkerson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. “Girl Scouts have impacted this community for nearly a century, and we want to feature all of our amazing Girl Scouts and Alumni as part of our celebrations and storytelling.”
Centennial celebration plans include a historical display, commemorative crests and special events. To connect, share and contribute, go to www.girlscoutsfl.org/share and to find out more about getting involved, contact [email protected]
Pops music concert in Gusman
The Greater Miami Symphonic Band will perform their 22nd annual May Pops concert, “A Little Bit of Everything,” at 8 p.m. May 10 at the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall.
Music director Robert Longfield and guest conductor Steven Moore, associate dean of undergraduate studies at UM, are planning a marching program; Broadway songs; the second 40th anniversary performance of a play commissioned by the group; and works by Richard Wagner, Gustav Holst and Longfield.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students. More information at www.gmsb.org or call 305-273-7687.
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