Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Magic Moments in Mixed Ability Classes - Report on Despina Karamitsou's Session

Dressed as a witch who just arrived from an origami conference in Japan, Despina Karamitsou welcomed her fellow educators to  the workshop”Magic Moments in Mixed Ability  Classes” by using her theatrical skills to take everyone by surprise.I must admit her introduction was more than what I had expected and was even more eager to see what was to follow.
“Have you seen my book of spells.. ? I seem to have lost it! “she said looking all confused.
“No”  was our immediate response without a second thought, not  having realized that was part of her act .

                                                                               Photo by Cathy Salonikidis

That is how the magic all started on Saturday morning on the premises of Anatolia College and the story only gets better …
Applying  her  good sense of humor and passion for creativity and fun is what definitely Despina knows how to do  as a an educator in this particular workshop.

 Secret Doors was the activity in which  we all got involved  by using scissors,colored markers and colorful cards  after following  carefully her instructions. As she explained the Secret Doors cards can be used with any level and any topic. They can be used for riddles and mysteries, vocabulary definitions grammar transformations (active-pasive voice/used to/too-enough/reported speech) recipes( ingredients/instructions), story book (who is who), non fiction texts (questions and answers), cartoon captions , travel info (countries -nationalities-capital-sights etc) weather predictions, problem and advice and many more...
To be honest, I do not remember the last time I did craftwork and it felt really good to use my artistic skills again but even more, I enjoyed the sharing I did  with my classmates as we had to help one another because the task seemed easier than it was.

Collaboration, sharing , laughter turned  this activity into  a memorable experience .
If we could  have so much fun  creating in English, imagine the joy and the smiles the kids will have!
I must admit that I had a minor difficulty starting off my Secret Doors as I did not know how to fold the paper or how to cut the flaps; somehow though we all managed to finish the task with a smile of satisfaction on our faces.

                                                                                                                     Photo by Cathy Salonikidis

The following are the instructions on how to make the Secret Doors given by the presenter:
1. Start with one and a half pieces of construction paper . 
2. Fold the full size sheet in half four times (this creates a cutting grid).
3. After unfolding the full size paper, fold it again, hamburger style.
4. Cut along the grid lines-toward the center fold (half-way up the sheet).
5.  After cutting your flaps, place the full sheet aside. 
6. Take your half sheet of construction paper and fold in half-hotdog style. 
7. Cut along the line.
8. Now use one of the quarter sheets you just cut, weaving it into the full sheet of  construction  paper (where you created the slits).
9. Weave the other quarter sheet into the full sheet on the opposite side-make sure to  weave in  the opposite direction of the first weave (under-over, over-under).
10. Once you've finished weaving, flatten your sheet and fold it so it creates two doors!

It is certain that our witch stirred up  her supernatural  powers to make impossible things happen and to cast a spell of enchantment.
Magic moments really took place in our mixed ability class!

Report by Cathy Salonikidis

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