So, in order to optimize the time and space in my EFL course I decided to take explicit grammar instruction outside of the classroom by creating and assigning peer instruction videos to students (A post on this particular topic coming soon). In EFL contexts, time is usually spent going over grammar minutia leaving little room for language use and spontaneous production. So, what I did was to "get rid of" the grammar in the classroom and free up the space for experiential and active learning.
Unit two dealt with storytelling. The book invited students to think about different aspects of storytelling and to "write a story" as part of the unit's contents. The supporting grammar structure for this unit was a review of past tenses. However, I wanted to take the unit a bit further and added a task: creating a story on Storybird (thanks @martharamirezco for the suggestion).
In the interest of working in a flipped fashion, I had students read stories for homework to discuss their features in class. They did. We then worked on the grammar structure though a video and students started thinking about the topic they wanted for their story. We went to our computer lab to work on the pictures provided by Storybird. That's when we ran into our first roadblock. The internet connection was dreadful and students could not easily browse the site to find the images they wanted for their story. If you know storybird, you might be aware of the richness in imagery offered by this site. That's why I thought of working with the images first and then on building the story from the images chosen, but it didn't work quite well that day due to the internet glitches. Anyway, students prepared their story at home and posted them to our class website (Coursesites).
Here you have a couple of samples of students' finished products (stories shared with permission from the students):
1. A very tough life
2. Where fear ends
3. The tree of my life
Unit 4 was about art, in general, but I emphasized on street art, hip-hop, rap, graffiti and related topics. My students live in backgrounds where walls are plagued with graffiti and murals, thus, this was a very meaningful topic for them. The class project was to create a street art video presentation. We had one class session for walking around the downtown area taking pictures of murals and graffiti on the walls. Students later used Power Point combined with Screencast-o-matic to create their videos and shared them with us in the class site.
What made this workshop flipped was that because of the freed class time and space we had, I had the opportunity of bringing a real muralist to our clas to talk to my students. Kaleto Taki, a local street artist came to my class to talk to my students about his painting techniques, his inspiration and the materials he uses.
We also had time to go to the Centro Colombo Americano Art Gallery, where my students had the opportunity to see a local photographer exhibit (for many of my students, this was their first visit to an art gallery ever).