“The Microsoft Educator Community wouldn’t be what it is today without us educators.” – Bisera Ristikj, Macedonia
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language
Goce Delcev Primary School
Two years ago, Bisera Ristikj was asked to speak at an international conference in Macedonia where she shared her experiences as an MIE Expert and the advantages that came with the designation.
“I felt that I could provide so much encouragement to all the educators, so that they too can change education with their work,” she tells us. “I also felt it was important to add that the Microsoft Educator Community wouldn’t be what it is today without us educators. For me, it was an even bigger challenge to follow my dreams and make connections.”
As a primary school English teacher, making connections and learning new ways to engage her students has been a huge part of Ristikj’s success. In fact, the technology she’s adopted has completely changed the way she helps her students to study and learn the English language.
“I can count many activities I love, but the one I enjoy most is the creation of stories with Office Mix,” Ristikj tells us. “My first-grade students learn English mostly through short stories and chants. To develop receptive skills, I took advantage of Office Mix (transitions, effects, slide recordings) to make the learning process even more fun.”
Third-grade students participate in creating Office Mixes by recording in class and giving feedback with quizzes and polls. Here are just a few of the stories Ristikj’s students have created:
- Telling the time in English – a grammar tutorial
- The Orchard Talk – a story for learning new vocabulary
- The grammar umbrella – a grammar tutorial on plural
- The Pirate who made friends – first grade story
- Help the monster – a class project assignment
- Clown’s body and face – tutorial for learning parts of a body
- I can – practice with the modal verb Can/Can’t
- English Alphabet – students pronouncing the letters
And when it comes to project assignments or newsletters, and rich media content or collaboration, Sway is the tool Ristikj relies on:
- Spooky Halloween-a project for giving insight into culture
- Animal Sounds-guess the animal activity
- The Boxtrolls-students describe using adjectives
- Crafts in our classroom-a newsletter from our classroom
But Ristikj doesn’t stop there. “Almost every day in our classroom, we use OneNote Notebook,” she says. ”The activities include drawing on the smartboard or screen-clipping a book page, so students can write on it and yet keep the books new. I often give students audio notes and they play and demonstrate understanding, whether through dictation or a direction to do something in class. We also use Cortana to learn facts and even to learn the meaning of unfamiliar words.”
And while she has worked hard to make sure her students are engaged in 21st century learning, it hasn’t come without challenges.
“The biggest challenge for me is to raise the quality of teaching and to develop teaching as a knowledge-based profession,” says Ristikj. “It’s important to be aware of the advantages technology offers today, since technology is here to make things easier for us and our students.
You can connect with Bisera Ristikj on her Microsoft Educator Community profile, or on her blogs: http://biseratolovatefl.snack.ws/ https://myenglishworldbt.blogspot.mk/ https://docs.com/bisera-tolova
About Bisera Ristikj
- Educational background: I graduated in 2009 and started teaching the same year. I have taken many courses and learning paths on the MEC and MVA. I have participated in trainings, conferences and have been selected as a MIE Expert in 2016 and passed the MOS exam for Power Point.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Office Mix, OneNote Notebook, Sway, Cortana and Forms
- What is the best advice you have ever received? To always follow my dreams and never give up on something.
- Website I check every day: Office Blogs https://www.awwwards.com/
- Favorite childhood memory: Making myself a teacher every single day.
- Favorite book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde