Tuesday, December 20, 2016

IJWC qualified for Great Global Project Challenge

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) has officially been qualified for the Great Global Project Challenge for this school year 2016-2017. Sponsored by Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) and VIF International Education, the Great Global Project Challenge is an initiative of the Global Education Conference Network that challenges teachers and students all over the world to engage in globally connected learning opportunities, meeting Asia Society's Pillars for Global Competence, International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) Standards, or P21's Global Education Framework. The objective is to create and present as many globally connective projects for students and educators as possible from December 1, 2016 to April 1, 2017.

IJWC’s participation in the Great Global Project Challenge signifies Alternative Education Center's commitment to promoting globally connected learning. Win or lose, IJWC commits to sustain international writing partnerships among its participating schools. Neither lack of technology nor language challenge can hinder Alternative Education Center and its international partners from providing their students with opportunities for international learning collaboration.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Philippine Access scholars support AEC Xmas project

Access scholars from Dapitan City, Philippines literally supported students at the Alternative Education Center (AEC) in completing their Christmas project called Santa Claus Editor before the Christmas break this year. Alternative Education students created a face of Santa Claus using cardstock paper. Each of them edited 25 sentences printed on strips from the previous essays of Access scholars and made paper chains out of the sentence strips as the beard of Santa Claus. This seasonal arts-based editing project was one of the activities AEC students did in preparation for their 2016 Fall Final Exam in English Language Arts (First Semester Major Exam).

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Spanish students improve AEC writing classwork

Students from Murcia, Spain improved selected writing classwork of Alternative Education Center (AEC) students early this month by revising and editing the classwork and adding an artwork that depicts its message. Spanish students specifically improved the ideas of AEC writing pieces and mechanics in terms of grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. The activity was a great practice for the Spanish students to improve their English writing skills. Discovering some mechanical corrections from an English speaker's writing output helps boost the self-confidence of non-English speakers like the students from Murcia, Spain. This opportunity surely motivates non-English speaking students to practice writing in English even more. Ms. Maria Aranzazu MouriƱo Loretto, the Spanish students' teacher, claimed that it was not easy for her students to accomplish the English writing task, but they were really motivated to doing it, knowing that their learning partners from the US were waiting for their response.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Alternative Education students edit Philippine reflection essays

Alternative Education students edited the reflection essays from the Access scholars from Dapitan City, Philippines as their editing and revising activity last week. The students specifically looked for corrections in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. The essays, assigned as one of the Access scholars’ final activities for their first semester, were reflections of the scholars relative to their participation in the US Embassy-sponsored Access Program. Significant points Access scholars discussed were about their understanding of American culture, improvement of their writing skills, and their collaborative writing activities with US students. Majority of the scholars specifically mentioned that their collaboration with US students raised their motivation to attend their Access classes each week.

Monday, November 7, 2016

AEC students integrate aerospace education into literature studies

Alternative Education Center students started integrating aerospace education into their literature studies these past weeks as part of their entry to this year's Aerospace Education Excellence Program (AEX). Students actively engaged in designing paper airplanes and testing the variables affecting the distance of the flight, before they analyzed a poem titled, Post Early for Space using the strategy TP-FASSTT (Title, Paraphrase, Figurative Devices, Attitude, Shift, Speaker, Title, Theme). Students used sensory details as they described the variables tested.

Moreover, before analyzing a drama titled, Dragonwings using a drama analysis chart, students designed a foam replica of the Air Force Academy TG-4 A Glider. They described their experience designing their sailplane using figurative language. At the conclusion of both activities, students wrote summaries of their poem and drama analyses. Their writing outputs were sent to their international learning partners for further feedback.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Alternative Education Center ‘invades’ Panama Canal

Alternative Education Center ‘invaded’ Panama Canal as it ventured last week an ambitious school-wide project-based learning (PBL) lesson titled, Panama Canal Roundtable. While PBL is becoming a culture of every classroom at AEC, this is the first time the institution attempted to implement a schoolwide PBL. The initiative provides the students with a great opportunity to experience how the standards they are learning from their various subjects are interrelated and applied to real life.

In English, the project was called Panama Canal: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Students acted as investigative journalists of The New York Times, tasked to research and publish about the history and updates of the controversial Panama Canal and its current and future impacts on people and the world. The journalists investigated and gathered information about the Panama Canal from various sources (Social Studies -- history and social impacts of the Canal, Science -- water elements and buoyancy to figure out the boats allowed to pass through the canal, Math -- dimensions of the canal and goods volumes and costs, etc.). Before they were approved for publishing, the journalists were tasked to consult with their international partners as consultants and present their investigative reports to their co-staff journalists for feedback. The presentation of their investigative reports, integrating ideas from their international learning partners as consultants, was the project's finale.

To provide them with background knowledge of the canal's update, students, in their English class, read and analyzed a nonfiction story about the Panama Canal Expansion using SOAPSTone strategy integrating season-based arts. The class called the strategy as SOAPSTone Turkey. Students traced their hands on a colored paper as the turkey's wings and their feet as the body of the turkey. They wrote on the wings the title and author, the components of SOAPSTone (Subject, Occasion, Audience, Person, Speaker, and Tone), and three big facts from the nonfiction text. On the body, students wrote either a summary or a reflection.

After analyzing the nonfiction story, students responded to a Padlet activity about whether they favored the Panama Canal Expansion. International partners as consultants also participated in the Padlet activity. They researched how the Panama Canal impacted their own country before they responded to the Padlet activity. All students were expected to comment on others’ responses.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Alternative Education students connect to Spain

Alternative Education students of Odessa, TX recently offered friendship and international collaboration with high school students from Murcia, Spain. After sending friendly letters to their new international learning partners, Alternative Education students received replies from Spain on October 4, 2016. Alternative Education Center's partnership with a school in Spain is a great avenue for the students from both countries to learn their respective cultures and traditions. This partnership is particularly beneficial to some Alternative Education students who speak Spanish and whose ancestors hailed from Spain. It opens the door to in-depth understanding of their own history and appreciation of their rich heritage.

With IJWC, Odessa and Murcia students save at least $2,590 worth of learning partnership.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Alternative Education students edit Philippine essays

Alternative education students edited essays from the Access scholars of Dapitan City, Philippines, as part of their major assessments in their English Language Arts class for the First Six Weeks that culminated this week. The students specifically looked for corrections in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. The essays from the Philippines were about the comparison between the healthcare services of the two countries: Philippines and USA. Majority of the essays recognized that US health services are more advanced than those in the Philippines. One interesting observation was that in the Philippines, patients are not admitted to hospitals or clinics if they cannot afford to pay the required hospital deposit or clinic fees, while in the US, everyone receives health services first regardless of financial status and can always arrange payments after the hospital or clinic visit. One Alternative Education student, however, commented that Filipino health workers are genuinely caring; in fact, his doctor since he was a child has been a Filipino.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Philippine students improve US poems, dramas

Access scholars from Dapitan City, Philippines, as their group activity in their English class, improved the poems and dramas written by the Alternative Education students. The poems and dramas are outputs of the Alternative Education students from their project-based learning (PBL) lesson in their English Language Arts class, Saving Permian Basin through Literature. Aside from revising and editing the papers, Access scholars added pictures depicting the messages of the poems and dramas. They then presented their group outputs to the class.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Alternative Education students 'save' Permian Basin through literature

Alternative Education students completed their small-scale project-based learning (PBL) lesson in their English Language Arts class this week: Saving Permian Basin through Literature. In this PBL lesson, students acted as a team of staff writers of The Odessan Magazine (http://www.theodessan.com). Worried about the news concerning the current oil industry decline in Permian Basin, their Editor-in-Chief assigned their team to research about the situation and individually publish a literary piece of their choice that encourages investors to stay and invites other businessmen to invest in the region. Using local newspapers or internet, students researched about the oil industry situation and other possible investments in Permian Basin. They reviewed elements of selected literary genres using workstations. Students ended up producing poems and dramas and presenting these outputs to the teacher who acted as the Editor-in-Chief. Their writing outputs were sent to their international learning partners for further feedback. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

IJWC participates in 2016 Global Collaboration Day

International Junior Writers Club through the Alternative Education Center, Odessa TX participates in the 2016 Global Collaboration Day today, September 15, 2016. The Club is excited to be a host of an international event in 2017 Global Collaboration Day. Whether or not you are participating this year, we are cordially inviting you to help IJWC improve by responding to our very short survey. Please click here.

Philippine students edit US fiction stories

As their group activity in their English class, Access scholars from Dapitan City, Philippines edited the fiction stories written by the Alternative Education students. The theme of the fiction stories was "Friendship sees no color." The activity allowed the students from both countries to realize that the international collaboration they have just started puts life to the theme.

AEC students write fiction stories

After their fiction lesson in their English Language Arts class, selected AEC students wrote a fiction story with the theme, "Friendship sees no color." The theme was deliberately chosen to extend students' understanding of international learning collaboration. Their stories were sent to Asia for collaboration.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

AEC students receive letters from Asia

In response to the letters they sent early this month, AEC students recently received friendly letters from Asia. Each student was happy and excited receiving more than one reply. It's a very historic event to start AEC students' collaboration with Asian friends.

One Alternative Education student commented, "Do Asians really write in English?" The question was a great cultural teaching moment for the teacher and a great cultural learning moment for the students. The answer to the question was "yes" although not all Asians speak English. For Philippines alone, according to Census 2010, 63.71% of 66.7 million Filipinos, aged 5 years or more, could speak English. More likely, these Filipinos surveyed were those who had gone to school because the medium of instruction in the Philippines has been English since the country was conquered by the Americans.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Alternative Education Center goes international

To officially launch the International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) on September 1, 2016, some students at the Alternative Education Center (AEC), Odessa, TX wrote friendly letters to their new learning partners from the other side of the world, the Philippines. An AEC English Language Arts class is partnering this school year with the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) recipients from the Schools Division of Dapitan City, Philippines to provide participating middle/high school students with opportunities to collaborate with each other year-round in any of their class writing assignments and projects.

Access is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State. The program, which is managed by the US Embassy, operates worldwide. IJWC's collaboration with Access scholars is officially acknowledged by the US Embassy.

With IJWC, participating Odessa and Dapitan City students bypass at least a $1.461 worth of collaboration.