The following is a guest blog post by Shelly Terrell; a worldwide educational innovator, author, edtech influencer, and inspirational leader. We are beyond honored to have her words and perspective on the Buncee Blog. To learn more about Shelly, read her bio at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
Buncee is an incredible tool for supporting English language learners (ELLs). ELLs have unique needs, which include the need to enhance reading, writing, listening and speaking skills; as well as the opportunity to introduce their culture, and assimilate into new cultures. ELLs learn through visual aids and multimedia. They also learn with various instructional strategies that include: dictation, Total Physical Response (TPR), a culturally responsive curriculum (CRT), phonetics, modeling, games, contextualization, modeling, labeling, graphic organizers, diagrams, flipped instruction, schema-building, storyboarding, story sequencing, and reading strategies. Buncee has many features to help teachers integrate these strategies and more in lesson plans and student projects.
Buncee allows teachers and students to create digital slide presentations, digital posters, greetings, and images to support language learning. Some of the features it provides are the ability to insert Youtube videos, insert images, add text, play audio clips and podcasts from Soundcloud, and also record audio.
All of this is accessible from the creation canvas. Buncee also has a library of templates, lesson plans that are copyable, stickers, fonts, and backgrounds for students and teachers to choose from, which facilitate various activities. Buncee is great for language learners from Kindergarten to adults. Buncee is accessible on a mobile device, and on the web.
Buncee is also COPPA compliant, which is especially important for teachers in K to 12 schools. Below are a list of various activities with examples for English Language teachers to use. Some examples include ideas for teaching Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) classes, which involves teaching geography, math, biology, chemistry, history, and other science courses to English language learners.
- Teachers can use Buncee to teach chants and fingerplays to young language learners. The teacher can embed a Youtube video with the song played and a person showing the hand gestures and movements. Next to the video, a teacher can have the lyrics; this way students are able to see the movements, read the words, and sing along. This is very useful if blown up on a slide projector with the students facing the teacher who is reinforcing the movements and standing next to the Buncee on the board. See this example:
- Teachers can teach songs with the lyrics and music featured on a Buncee. See this example.
- Young language learners can create an alphabet book or learn from an Alphabet book with Buncee stickers. See this example.
- Teachers can use Buncee to teach vocabulary. Teachers can have images with the vocabulary, the word, and an audio clip of each word pronounced. The teacher can add additional slides to encourage language learners to create their own Buncee or do activities to learn the vocabulary. See this example:
- Teachers can create visual writing prompts. See this example.
- Teachers can keep language learners on task by creating visual calendars. Click here for an example.
- Students can create an about me Buncee where they add images, text, and slides to describe themselves. They can present these posters in class. See this example.
- Students can create a timeline of any event in history. Each slide is the date with text, video, and audio to describe the event. See this example.
- Students can create a slideshow presentation reporting their research about animals, nature, or any other topic. See this example.
- Students can share the ingredients and instructions for creating a recipe. Their peers try to follow the instructions at home to make the recipe. See this example:
- Students can create a digital scrapbook for a character from a book. The students can draw the character or add an image of the character and have various slides. Each slide represents a time within the character’s life. The slides contain images and diary entries of that moment in time. Students are basically visualizing the information they read about the character from a book. Students replicate a digital scrapbook similar to this example.
- Students can create digital stories with their own drawings and writing. Each slide could also contain an audio recording of students narrating their stories to enhance their speaking skills. See this example:
- Teachers can create Buncees of phonemes with examples and students have to record their audio sounding out the phoneme and example vocabulary. The teachers can add a Youtube video showing the mouth and tongue movement made when pronouncing that phoneme. See this example.
- Students can create presentations about the country they come from to introduce others to their culture, customs, and traditions. See this example.
- Students can create a digital nature book. Students walk outside with the teacher and take pictures of different leaves, rocks, or plants to upload to their Buncees. The students then use reverse Google image search and encyclopedias to identify the species and find some facts. Each slide should include the image, species name, and important facts.
- Students can create a digital book identifying and classifying rocks. The students can take pictures of the rocks they’ve collected, record videos showing how they conducted the hardness tests to classify the rocks, and provide information on each slide of each rock identified.
- Students can create a digital book identifying various bugs and insects. Each slide includes an image of the insect, the scientific name, facts, and can even have a labeling of the bug. Students can also include a video of the bug in its habitat.
- Students can keep an observation log. Each day they add to the log what they observe from a habitat or experiment.
- Students can create visual graphs to learn math. See this example.
- Students can create reading logs. See this example:
- Students can diagram cycles or processes. See this example.
- Students can learn from peers worldwide and practice language learning with the Buncee Buddies global collaboration projects. See this example:
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an adjunct professor for the Alamo Community College District, an instructional designer, a teacher trainer, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology). She has been recognized by various entities, such as the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as a leader, innovator, and visionary in the use of education technology to support the needs of English Language Learners and English Language Teachers. She is the co-founder of the award-winning #Edchat movement, #ELTChat, theReform Symposium Global E-Conference, The Virtual Language and Technology Web Conference, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, and the Crafting an E-Textbook Massive Open Online Course. She has trained teachers and taught language learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations such as UNESCO Bangkok, The Ministry of Education in Spain, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and the British Council in South East Asia. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars, an instructor and instructional designer at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y Formación del Profesorado. She has also worked with professors and English Language Teachers in Venezuela to build their first online university program for language learners and teachers. She also is an ESL Specialist for Georgetown University and travels to countries to help their language teachers create materials, lessons, training programs, and professional development courses.
Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award for #Edchat, and recognized by Edtech Magazine as one of the Top 50 Edtech Bloggers.