Saturday, 19 March 2011

Seeta:Reading Challenge Feedback!

I entered the Seeta Reading Challenge e-course with great excitement. An educator whom I have admired from afar for a long time was to be my tutor. This wonderful tutor was Marisa Constantinides. She organised a fantastic 7-day course on Moodle. It proved to be a real challenge for me and one which pushed me in all the right directions. It was lovely to be a student once again amongst members of my PLN. By chance, the week in question was a good one, because on a few of the days, I had slightly more free time than usual. This was a very fortuitous sign. I approached the course with gusto. This means "with pleasure and enthusiasm".

I would like to share the 3 main activities for reading lessons that I created during the course. I don't think I've worked as hard as this in a long time (lol), and it is all thanks to the excellent motivational skills of Marisa. At one point due to other pressing engagements that cropped up, I wasn't sure if I could do everything. My way to get round the lack of time was to stay up burning the midnight oil and I was able to achieve the tasks.

Day 2 Seeta Reading Challenge: The Man with the Golden Voice
Ted Williams below was part of my reading task for Day 2 of the Seeta Reading Challenge. You may be thinking why is he here? Well, I had to find a text and then devise a series of pre-reading tasks to use with the text. Photo below edited with photofunia

You can read the set of activities that I have published via It's a free and very fast tool, which converts your pdfs into nice-looking "books". These booklets can then be easily embedded on a blog or wiki! Please click on the book to view the activities inside.

The Man with the Golden Voice

Day 5 Seeta Reading Challenge:The Cat that got the Cream
Cats seem to follow me wherever I go online. It can't be helped, I suppose. 3 of them are a part of my life and one of them is my dedicated and trusty logo. The Cat that got the Cream comes as a direct result of a very challenging piece of homework that was set for Day 5 Reading Challenge. We had to devise a set of creative activities for an authentic reading text of our choice.

Below is part of my lesson plan.

I was informed yesterday that my slideshare of this particular lesson plan was a "hot Twitter topic" of the day!

Day 6 Seeta Reading Challenge:Physical Training in Your DreamsPlease see below a list of activities that I created for the Day 6 reading challenge task. Marisa asked us to create some pre-reading, while reading and post-reading activities to share with the group. We had to use the techniques that we had read about in the resources and reading materials that Marisa had included as reading matter every day.

I actually thought of all these activities in the car during our weekly expedition to Penne for our shopping. I was exceptionally quiet and very focused. I just brainstormed a list of things to do with the text that Marisa had kindly supplied us. I really enjoyed having to think up the following tasks, which are, I hasten to add in mixed up order.

I caused my dear tutor a bit of a headache by submitting this homework in this mixed up format. I owe her a few drinks in Brighton as a most humble apology!!

Final Thoughts
I wish to thank Marisa for a wonderful course, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Marisa was able to skillfully select the right level of stimulating reading tasks, and I felt refreshed as a teacher after the course had finished. It made me question some of my methods and it made me want to incorporate new ideas and strategies in dealing with reading skills. A lot of web 2.0 tools were incorporated into the Moodle platform by our expert tutor. It was a great experience for a lot of us to try out new tools in a relaxed and stimulating environment.

I have only included a taster of the course content. There was much, much more!! A lot of superb materials for teaching effective reading skills were shared on the course, and I can't wait to try them out in my upcoming lessons!!

In particular, this post on Advance Organisers was very practical and good background reading matter.
This post on "Tech Tools & Pedagogy 2 - Word Clouds" was great as a review of all the different word clouds that are available.
I also enjoyed this post on "Embedding Creative Thinking Skills Training into our EFL Practice."

Although the Reading Challenge course is officially now over, it is still open if you would like to find out about the reading challenge. All you have to do is register on the Seeta site! There are some more fab courses coming up as well!

Finally, I would like to say many thanks to my co-participants on the course. Together we shared a lot of experiences, resources, ideas, techniques, advice and it was amazing. Most of all, it was great fun learning together!!


Marisa Constantinides said...

Dear Janet,

What a great review and show of your materials production during the course!

You are the kind of participant that makes me wish there were a certificate!


Well done!

Your (ex) tutor


Janet Bianchini said...

Dear Marisa

Thank you very much for your very kind words!

I'm thrilled that the Seeta Reading Challenge course pushed me to create some new reading activities and made me reflect more indepth about the whole process involved with each stage.

The course was also able to unleash my creative thinking skills in a very positive way, and that is all due to my lovely expert tutor, who led by example.

Once again, I would like to express my appreciation for everything you did for us Marisa :-)