Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group Newsletter no. 5 - July 2015 - Page 94

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2015 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Teaching English through creative story writing by Loredana Popa We all know that nowadays children would rather spend time online than read or write, which makes it that much harder for English teachers, like myself. Students no longer feel motivated to read a short story, to write a few paragraphs and the reason why had eluded me for a while… but when it did reveal itself, it was like a friendly slap on the back of my head. Now, would you write something if you knew the only feedback you were going to get would come from your teacher and your peers? Would you read a story just when you are not invested in it? No, you would not. My plans for the future are certainly to continue improving my eTwinning projects, to follow eTwinning webinars and Learning events, to promote and disseminate eTwinning in schools in the region and on social networks. I'll certainly pay special attention to pedagogical aspects of TwinSpace and to the greater involvement of students in direct communication with pupils from the partner schools, which is proved to be the most impressive segment of the projects in practice for them. So, there it was one day, at the beginning of October 2015… an invitation to an eTwinning project called “Let’s write a story”. After discussing the idea with all my 6th graders, that is 3 entire classes, we decided to take a leap of faith and try it out. We would work during the classes, after school, from home and put all our talent to the test. Each school would send one list of 20 words monthly, 10 nouns, 5 verbs and 5 adjectives and all the other schools would write and illustrate stories with as many lists as possible and post them online. The best part was that the lists we would send our partners contained words the students had come across in class or outside it during that month. And so it began… a project that would alter our take on reading comprehension, writing and teamwork. 23 schools from Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Georgia, Spain, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Italy, UK, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine, Netherlands and the Republic of Moldova got to know each other first by means of videos and pictures. Next, each school created the teams that would work together on the stories. Each team had between 4 and 8 students. Finding the ideal team configuration was a hard one to crack. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We all have those students who prefer not to get involved but get credit, and those who do all the work so their team wins, those who like bossing people around and those who would love to work but lack the confidence. No matter how you create the teams there will always be complaints. So, we had to change the teams as we went along. First, I let my students pick their own teams, made sure they all understood that each one had a specific role in the team, according to his/her strengths. I also asked them to write a sentence or two on what every member of the team did and give that to me together with the story at the end of the month. 94