Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Meeting the Winning eTwinning Pupils: St.Ignatius College, Blata il-Bajda Girls’ JL

On Monday 30th May 2011, Ms. Amanda Debattista from the eTwinning National Support Service visited St. Ignatius College, Blata il-Bajda Girls’ Junior Lyceum to present tokens to the winning eTwinning pupils.  The students of Ms. Josephine Ebejer Grech, Biology and Science teacher, took part in the eTwinning project Caustic.  The project placed first in the Secondary schools section of the eTwinning National Awards 2011.

The project Caustic was a Biology-themed project, where each partner country – Malta, Romania and Italy  – looked at their syllabus in order to find common topics and experiments they could work on collaboratively. Students from each country filmed their experiments, shared them on the TwinSpace and commented on each others’ work. Towards the end on the project, students also had to vote for their favourite video clip.

Meeting the winning eTwinning Pupils: Gozo College, Victoria GS

On Friday 27th May 2011, Ms. Jeannette Cardona and Ms. Amanda Debattista from the eTwinning National Support Service visited Gozo College, Victoria Girls’ Secondary Schoolto present tokens to the winning eTwinning Pupils.  The students of Mr. Mario Xerri, Computer Studies and ICT teacher, participated in the eTwinning Project Eurobots. The project placed third in Secondary schools section of the eTwinning National Awards 2011.

During the course of the project Eurobots, students learned how robots are being introduced in different spheres in life, even in schools.  This project allowed students from different European countries to share their ideas, knowledge and experiences concerning robotics with fellow students from across other European schools.

eTwinning Project of the Month: Bonding with Nature

Bonding with Nature is a project between the Year 2 class of Ms. Marika Vella Montebello of St Margaret College, Zabbar Primary A and 7 other partner schools from Turkey and Romania.  This project focuses on the beauty of nature and how everything in nature bounds together in perfect harmony.  Ms. Vella Montebello was aided in the realisation of this project by the class LSA, Ms. Elaine Camilleri.

All things are bound together…. all things connect… Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky. We do not ask what useful purpose the birds do sing, since they were created for singing. The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment. Yet, we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space, and of an over-all environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight. The survival of the world depends upon our sharing what we have and working together. If we don’t, the whole world will die: first the planet, and next the people.

The aim of this project was to increase children’s awareness and knowledge, as well as entertain: a  fun way to educate and inform children and their parents about the environment. This was carried out by investigating the children’s local nature, complemented with visits and talks about the local Fauna and Flora. Children learnt about different types of trees, flowers and living creatures. They used technology to capture videos, photos and explore through the use of hand-held digital microscopes.

Exchange of ideas, drawings, crafts and other creative work was shared through the TwinSpace with other schools from Romania and Turkey. The exchange  started with each teacher  introducing their classrooms and schools through photos / video or PowerPoint.

The Maltese children discovered their Local Fauna and Flora  during a school outing – fieldwork at Buskett, where children used Tuff Cams and Digital Cameras to take pictures and videos. They also used the Easi Scope to examine living creatures.  Students also had a booklet to fill up with information while observing nature.  This activity was followed by a visit at the school of the Nature Trust Malta, whose members delivered a talk to the children.

Back at school, the children also created a variety of resources on their classroom computers using the online slideshow maker Slide.com.  Their various creations were also uploaded and shared on the TwinSpace.  Below are the links for the children’s work:

Field Work at Buskett –    http://www.slide.com/r/EekeXmrB4D-oMHNrFgi96YtSRlg=cyBY2

 Maltese Nature – http://www.slide.com/r/gpcJ8GCd4z_UreGmAksS6GVlF2ghcT3D

(Students took some of these photos themselves with Tuff Cams)

 Different Leaves –  http://www.slide.com/r/gB6uFEckmD_MK3SW1iATtC4TtTbLW9kd=

(Students took these close ups with the Easi Scope and saved them on teacher’s laptop)

 Class Activities –  http://www.slide.com/r/BEIyOSlP7j-_wVFbx5V-btPCz3RVSAD8

Children learnt more about the effects of  global warming and also how they can help to keep the environment clean and maintain the local fauna alive. Children created sentences and made bookmarks to save Nature.  A poster was also created.

An illustrated ebook was created with the students’ story to show how to look after nature and appreciate what they have.  They also inserted their own drawings.  The ebook – Elina u Ġanni fil-Kampanja – can be found here: http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=75090.  This is a story combined with a lesson – how we should look after our nature and enjoy its beauty.

 Children learnt not to abuse the land and living things since nature is a community in which we belong.  They began to use it with love and respect.  Nature is the source of solace, inspiration, venture and delight, a home, a teacher and a companion.  Therefore this project promoted a greater understanding and respect for animals, plants, water, soil, air and energy systems. Children comprehended the positive and negative environmental effects of their actions.

This project was very well received during the eTwinning National Awards 2011 and received the first prize in the Primary Schools Category.

Meeting the Winning eTwinning Pupils: Zabbar A and San Gwann B

On Wednesday 25th May 2011,  Amanda Debattista from the eTwinning National Support Service visited two schools which placed first and third respectively in the eTwinning National Awards 2011.

The students of Year 2 in Ms. Marika Vella Montebello class, of St. Margaret College, Zabbar Primary A,  placed first with their project “Bonding with Nature”.  In the course of this project, the students visited Buskett for fieldwork exercises, and created some interesting e-books.  Ms. Elaine Camilleri who is an LSA in Ms. Vella Montebello’s class also helped the teacher and the students in their project.

St. Margaret College, Zabbar A Primary School

The students of Year 6 Owls in Ms. Marouska Azzopardi Duca’s class of St. Clare College, San Gwann Primary B, placed third with their project, “Intercultural Dialogue Through Fairy-tales, Drama and Art“.  During the course of this project, the students selected a favourite Maltese legend, translated it for another partner country, and in turn, the Maltese students read and performed a play based on a legend from Cyprus.  A DVD with the performances from all the 35 partner countries involved will be created and distributed.  Ms.  Catherine Filletti,  who is an LSA in Ms. Azzopardi Duca’s class, also helped the teacher and students in the realisation of the project.

St. Clare College, San Gwann Primary B School

eTwinning Project of the Month – Caustic

by Ms. Josephine Ebejer Grech, St. Ignatius College, Blata il-Bajda Girls’ Junior Lyceum

The name “Caustic” refers to an eTwinning project where students from 3 different countries shared their experiments. The students who took part in this project were Biology and Science students from St Ignatius College GJL Blata l-Bajda Malta; Science students from Sibiu in Romania; and Chemistry and Science students from Antonio Paccinotti, Taranto Italy.

At around September the three teachers discussed the topics that they teach. At first they were going to share only those topics that are common amongst the three, but then they decided that they would share any interesting experiments that they were going to do along the scholastic year.

The second step was to invite students into the TwinSpace. They started introducing themselves, their countries and their schools by video clips, picturetrails, word documents and power points.

After the ice breaking exercises, the teachers started working on the first topic “Acids and Alkalis” which was a common topic amongst the three countries. It was very interesting to see the different approaches that different teachers take to teach the same topic. It was also very interesting and innovative for the students to take a video camera in their hands and film each other doing the experiments. Now it was their responsibility to understand well the procedure of the experiment as it was their turn to explain well to the students in the other countries. This was the first advantage achieved by this eTwinning project – motivation. The students used to look forward to see themselves explaining on the TwinSpace, and they looked even more forward to see the comments written about their explanations.

The project proceeded by sharing more and more experiments – not only by sharing video clips, but also sharing the write ups, comments about how to improve the practical, critical notes, prezi presentations, power point presentations, picturetrails, slideshows, etc.

Sample of videos:

Towards the end of the project the students had to vote for their favourite video clip.

This project was awarded the national quality label as well as the first prize during the national eTwinning awards on the 13th May 2011.

Project of the Month: Let’s Make the Best out of Nature!

by Ms. Nathalie Scerri and Ms. Romina Briffa, St. Theresa College, Mriehel Girls’ Junior Lyceum

The aim of this project was to make the students aware of the beauty of nature around them, by focusing mainly on locally growing flowers. The students were expected to observe flowers, photograph them as a whole or to focus on various parts of the flowers. Such photos were used to create paintings, a wall mural, framed posters, photobooks and calendars. Besides, all the students acquired knowledge about the different flowers, mainly their names and characteristics. Such characteristics were then uploaded in a website which was developed during this project. Anyone willing to view the website, its URL is: www.magicofnature.weebly.com.  The students worked as a team, sharing ideas and information.

How did this project interact in our syllabus? The environment around us is a very important aspect in the Biology syllabus. In this project, we tried to focus on Biological topics which are definitively not the students’ favorite! Since environmental aspects tend to be discussed in other topics too, students consider them as boring and repetitive. But, since they researched the topics themselves, and due to the fact that they were presented in an innovative way, the students seemed more confident in these topics.

Nature and the environment is also a very important topic in the Art syllabus. Thus the focus on flowers has helped to show that Modern and Contemporary art is not just about geometric shapes or abstraction, but can be very delicate and detailed. The importance of photography in our subject is an essential tool and this entire project has enabled the students to become very resourceful with digital technology and computer aided software.

The advantage of this project was that both Art and Biology students learned to work in a team, and to share ideas and information. One benefit of this project was that students learned part of the syllabus in a completely innovative way…..learning was student-centered: the teacher just handed them the topic, and sub-topics to the different groups, and from then onwards, students used different technological means to research, present their work and share it with their colleagues. Learning these topics became an interesting and enjoyable one! Another important aspect is that a few of the school’s walls have been decorated with colorful images of flowers. Thanks to this project both we teachers and our students have learned to stop and admire nature. Others not involved in this project are stopping to admire students’ work on the school walls, browsing our website and our Facebook page. All in all, eTwinning has been a wonderful experience.

The following videos shows some of the beautiful photos Biology students took during their fieldtrip at the Red Tower area, Mellieha.

The next video shows the process of the making of the wall Floral Mural:

eTwinning National Conference and Awards 2011 in Video

Watch this short video about the key moments of the eTwinning Conference and Awards 2011:  you can find out about the students’ workshops, the teachers’ work on the stands and the eTwinning Awards Ceremony.