12 Dec 2017

I can / I can't

Hi there,
this video shows an interesting way to work habilities. 
Some superhumans are shown on how they overcome barriers.
As teachers, we can make that whenever our students think that they cannot do what they want, they must believe in themselves and they must try to do.
I'm sure that they will forget their sorrows.
 

7 Dec 2017

Wonder, the movie.

Hi there! Yesterday I went to Verdi Cinema in Barcelona and I enjoyed a lot watching Wonder.
The book made a difference on me and I prayed for watching the movie as soon as it arrives at Barcelona. Every teacher must read and work the book in the classroom. All the characters are important in Auggie's life but also it's amazing to understand the reasons for acting how they do. Here you have a trailer of the movie. Worth watching!






1 Dec 2017

Alice Advent Calendar

Hi everyone! December is here and, as most of you know, I love traditions and Alice in Wonderland. For that reason, I decided to mix Alice with Christmas and here you have the result: Alice Advent Calendar. Hope you like it! By the way, do not open all the windows. Just one by one.

30 Nov 2017

The use of classroom space

Young children need to move about, so activities which take part in different areas of the classroom and require the children to be sitting or standing in different places are ideal: standing in a circle for a song, sitting at their tables to complete a worksheet, standing next to their chairs for a chant, etc.
That's the reason because I prefer to have less furniture and more space. I mean, I use the English Classroom with a split group, and when I have the whole group, I use students' classroom. 
Tables in my English space are always in movement. Sometimes they are laying like a U, sometimes in groups of four and sometimes in pairs. Depending on the needs. Ideally, some readings about this topic say that the children should be able to sit on the floor in a semi-circle or in rows in front of the teacher, who may be sitting on a chair, very close to the children. If you have enough space, a large rug or an old blanket spread on the floor will help the children know where to sit.

23 Nov 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Day!


Thanksgiving is here! 
I want to take a moment to thank all of your support, whether it’s helping children, FOLLOWING this English blog, or giving your support. It means so much for this teacher of English!
Although this tradition is not a catalan one, I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving!
Whoops! I forgot it! If you click on the picture below you will find a present for TEACHERS: an activity for working phonetics!


22 Nov 2017

Healthy diet

Some of my students are studying food categories. After going to "Fageda Factory", they did a research learning the names of some food terms and grouping them into categories. They did a great job!
By the way, if you click on the food pyramid, you will find a game. Drag each food into the correct group it fits the best. 


I also prepared a ppt with healthy advices. That is a guide of a healthy diet divided into sections to show the recommended items for each food group. Also we have learnt what our body needs

15 Nov 2017

Spelling card game


When children have some spelling difficulties, maybe the best way to improve them is playing games. This post is an example to engage students in spelling success.
You can play the SPELLING CARD GAME in different ways. Here you have some ideas:
  • The teacher decides the topics for each group of students.
  • Select those words in which students have problems (the photo above)
  • Give kids the opportunity to decide the topic and to create the cards.

RULES OF THE GAME.

  1. It's very important to use English (it's my/your turn, whose turn is it?...)
  2. To start, a player needs to put the first letter of a word on the table.
  3. There is a responsability to shuffle the cards and to give 5 of them to each player.
  4. If a player doesn't have a card to continue, he/she has to take one from the middle.
  5. When a player takes a card from the middle, he/she cannot use it until the next turn.
  6. If in the same turn the player has several cards, he/she can put these cards on the table.
  7. The game is not finished until all the cords are completed.
  8. If a player has no cards, he has to continue playing taking a card from the middle.
  9. The winner is the player who has no cards to play.


9 Nov 2017

Similes


In fact, similes can be fun.
Look at this poem!


Finally, I want to recommend "Everything at once" by Lenka to work similes with children.

5 Nov 2017

What is gamification?

"Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems" (wikipedia)
In the video below, you will listen to Jane McGonigal, a game designer who will be asked about the effect and the advantages of using games at schools.
She comments that the clue for learning when playing consists of the kind of engagement when playing. 

In the video below, you have a real sample. You will see that children are not afraid of making mistakes, and they keep trying until they get it correct. They have fun, they are more motivated and they use the language in a natural way.
I can conclude that students that are allowed to fail, experiment, try on different social roles and  participate more in their own learning, learn more than students who are taught in a more "traditional" way.

29 Oct 2017

How the brain works

Hi everyone. As a teacher of English  I reinforce the foreign language in different ways. One of them is to listen to somebody who speaks English as his/her first mother tongue. That encourages me to improve the language I teach. Anyway, I'm telling you this because I'm a follower of Ted's lectures and I want to share the last I have watched and where Joe Dispenzam, who has a Bachelor of Science degree, gives a TED talk about the brain’s composition and the role of its parts in building our experiences up and creating emotions.
He begins by giving us an overview of the functions of the three independent brains we have, which are composed by billions of connected neurons. First of all, he states the neocortex is the most evolved part and the seat of conscious awareness. It gathers information and, as a consequence, this part of the brain changes physically due to the production of a new connection between neurons. Then, we have acquired a new experience. He goes on talking us through what is the limbic brain (emotional brain), which receives the response from different patterns of neurons and regulates internal chemical order. When chemicals are realised in the emotional brain, we get an emotion, one that will be still remembered after some time. Moreover, he claims that routine lulls the brain to sleep. Mr. Dispenza mentions the cerebellum, which is the seat of subconscious mind.
It is surprising because, although the three parts of the brain work individually, they give us memories of our experiences! 
Here you have the lecture.



It reminds me to a mindmap I made with year 6 students last school year. 
Here you have:

28 Oct 2017

Jeff Kinney's books





This is Greg. The main character in the "Diary of a Wimpy kid".
I'm a big fan of Jeff Kinney, and this post is a tribute to his books and characters. They are lovely.
I recommend visiting his site where you will find some resources to work his books in English lessons.
 Jeff Kinney didn't think of being a writer. He wanted to be a cartoonist but as he didn't have a job at any newspaper, he started working on Wimpy Kid in 1988. The first book was published in 2007.



27 Oct 2017

Multiple intelligences

Hi everyone! I'm following a training on-line course and we are working around the eight intelligences. Here you have a meaningful PowToon showing the main features of each intelligence. Also , you can follow the link MI Test and take the online test to determine which is your unique multiple intelligences profile. If you want to comment yours, I will be very happy to read your answers.

By the way, I have classified the activities we can do in our lessons.
I must say that depending on what we are focusing during an activity, it can work more on a specific kind of intelligence or another.

24 Oct 2017

Introducing ourselves

WHAT DOES IDENTITY MEAN FOR YOU?

Now, it's your turn. 
You have to write a text giving some information about you. 
Here you have a model:



22 Oct 2017

T-shirts everywhere

Some children find frustrating and annoying when teacher force them into activities that require thinking, plan and writing.
The question is: is there anything that will make them feel writing is something interesting? So, I tried to engage students with an amazing activity I want to share with all of you.
The aim of this activity is to design a T-shirt with a message and a picture. First, they must observe the language of the messages: short, direct and understandable (but not always correct!). Then, they have to draw, paint and write a message. Finally, they have to write a description of their T-shirt design and present it in front of the class.

Let's find out some examples and understand their messages. Maybe children will find some grammar mistakes. We must be aware!





more










When children decide their message and they finish the activity, they will answer some questions about it:
1) why did they choose it?  (you can give some examples to them)

  • because I like it, 
  • because it makes me feel happy/proud of me
  • because it reminds me an advert...
  • because it reminds me my favourite pet....
2) Do you think is a good message? yes, I do/ no, I don't
3) Why? Because it is about friendship/ kindness/ freedom....

19 Oct 2017

Changing expectations

Things have changed around us. I am researching the use of internet, specially the benefits for primary children. For that reason, I try to update my teaching methodologies to the present moment.
Watch the video and tell me what your expectations are.


3 Oct 2017

Human rights

My heart is broken due to the facts that are happening in Catalonia. Catalan people are peaceful citizens who want to be heard. Personally, I think that States and Institutions must change their roles and open their minds negotiating the best for living life in peace. I don't lose hope!

By the way, here you have one of my favourite activities and pages. This is lyricstraining. This time, you can practise your English with Imagine by John Lenon. Click on the pic below and fill in the gaps.


21 Sep 2017

Welcome Autumn

Autumn is easily my favorite time of the year.
Fall is such a wonderful time of year, isn't it? 
Although we are still enjoying a summer weather, some leaves are turning into warm colours. The weather is getting cooler, but it is still fun to play outdoors. 
Today I want to share "Autumn leaves" by Eric Clapton with all of you. 
This is one of my favourite songs. I'm sure your parents, teachers, friends and everybody who loves jazz, will like it.

2 Sep 2017

Thinking about...

I have done many reflections about my job as a teacher through the summer. Each time I think about it I consider that my job consists of building a rich environment that facilitates the kind of learning that will benefit my students. It is not to reproduce the lesson but to develop concepts, think critically, and apply and evaluate what they have learned, by providing opportunities and experiences that are relevant to such goals. Because of all of those reasons, I prefer to work through projects rather than to have a book and follow the units without any motivation. 


30 Aug 2017

Mindfulness

Hi everyone! How was your summer? Mine has been amazing because I could organize it so that I had time for different activities. One of those was to deep into an excellent technique for teachers and kids. Have you ever practised Mindfulness? That is
"to pay attention, on purpose, to the present moment" (Grossman, 2016). 
Some months ago I listened to a lecturer (Emma Reynolds) to talk about Mindfulness and the positive effects it has over our lives. From that moment, I tried to read some books about it and I learnt more over the summer. Once I have seen that we can obtain lots of benefits in our schools, I decided that one of my resolutions for this new school year would be to use this technique with my students. There are many ideas and activities in the internet but here you have an easy exercise to practise with kids, as an example.

27 Jul 2017

Summer holidays!


Hi there!
How is your Summer going? 
I have been in Menorca with my daughters for some days. We went walking "Camí de cavalls" where we met English people who asked us different things about the place. 
English is important wherever you go or travel!
By the way, here you have some activities to help you with English.
But remember...it's always up to you!
By clicking on the links below you can download and print some activities to practice a bit of English.




I want to wish you a Great Summer and....don't forget English! 

See you in September.

17 Jul 2017

Kideos

Hi there,
here you have an incredible web page where you can find different songs for primary children (kids+videos=kideos ;D)
It offers your kids fun and safe videos with themes and music they love.
Click on the pic below and sing with children!


15 Jul 2017

On line activity

Hi there, 
this is a good on line activity to review grammar. 
Click on the picture, read the question and choose the correct answer!

13 Jul 2017

A magic tool

makeagif.com offers you a tool which makes your photos alive just adding some movement. Look at the example below, I just wanted to add two different images and "voilà" they became a gif in just 15 seconds.
You have to register if you want to tidy your creations.


This is my nephew last July 5th, when it was his 14th birthday ;D 

12 Jul 2017

A game & song for these days

This is a super simple, super fun colors song for kids. They can play it at home or when they travel by car. It's a great way to pass the time and talk about all of the things they see around them. They can look for the coloured objects with their family as they drive through the countryside. 

11 Jul 2017

Some thoughts about dubbing films

Hi there,
as a teacher of English I recommended to my students to listen to English music and to watch original films in Summertime. However, an essential element that acts against the whole educational system is the systematic practice of dubbing into Catalan and Spanish languages of ​​almost all audiovisual material, mainly cinema and television. As there are no movies or programs in original subtitled language for them, children do not have to make any effort to read in their own language and it is said that, because of this, children do not learn easily foreign languages. 
Although economic and social needs have communicated that it is necessary for the population to master languages ​​especially English, the authorities have collected the glove and the educational policy is to define the school as the responsible of this issue. I mean, the school will have the obligation to teach a second or third language, but the socio-cultural context will act against this obligation, because the student will not be immersed in that new language in a continuous way throughout the day, just only the English hours at school. Then, how can the school deal with this situation? Personally I speak English 100% at school and out of it if I have kids around me (p.e.Colonies period) because as always we say, we have to teach by example. How can I say to a kid that English is a communicative language if I don't use it to talk with the school community? In fact, I pretend that, whenever students see me, they use the foreign language to talk with their English teacher. I have to say that it is easier with the big ones because they have more structures in mind to use but you will be impressed listening to the youngest students asking to me different questions or just saying hello or good morning. But not only students practise English but also families and colleagues try to use it.
I have to say thank you to those mates and families who have encouraged themselves to use English with me and with kids because we can lead by example and feel that English is around us! Well done! It is a good way to go. A big hooray for all of YOU and ME! 
WE ALL ARE CHAMPIONS. WDW


10 Jul 2017

Quality Label

Hooray!
I have participated in different eTwinning projects and I have just received a Quality Label from the one I shared with Italy, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Albania (tapping on the pic below you will see it). Really proud of my students and school. We have worked hard along the year and this is a present for our task. I cannot be HAPPIER ;D


If you want to read our writings and ebooks, click here.

9 Jul 2017

Colleagues

Hi there,
along the school year my colleagues and I are very busy because, as other teachers, we plan, organize, prepare, have meetings and inteviews, coordinate, discuss and agree different issues about our job among other tasks. We link together students, other mates, school administrators, families and community members to foster the learning process of our students. However, we must not forget our relationships as teachers and colleagues and, personally I think that we have to include activities that build and foster our relationship in our plannings. As it happened yesterday. It was fun to do a trip to Viladrau with colleagues and live with them in a different context from the school one.
Look at the photo below. It was taken yesterday when we organized a warm farewell to three colleagues who are going to retire next August 31st. Building relationship between teachers is important but it is much more when we have to say goodbye to so outstanding professionals. 
Thank you to Carme, Lourdes and Eulàlia for sharing your last school years with us.
For sure, we will miss you a lot!
                             Some of the colleagues and "Les Agudes, El Turó de l'home&Matagalls"

5 Jul 2017

PBL, Project or Problem?

Hi there,
if you usually visit this blog, you will know that I often work through Project Based Learning and many times I have read some articles about Problem Based Learning (Leggett, A. (2014). Active learning pedagogies)
Both have the same acronym and sometimes I confused them. Because of that, I decided to find information out about the second one and I found this easy and clear video where it is explained. 

After watching the video above, I would like to conclude with some ideas as far as I am concerned:
Both focus on an open question or task.
They are authentic because both are real content.
They build 21st century skills.
They emphasize student autonomy

So, the main difference between them may be lengthy because problems tend to be shorter that projects. Moreover, they follow specific steps meanwhile Project BL follows different steps. 

I hope that these conclusions will help you to difference them.

4 Jul 2017

Favourite activities

Hi there,
before introducing children's favourite activities, let me say to you that this school year I taught English from 2nd to 6th grade and the foreign language participated in different classroom projects. Moreover, English was the language to develop more activities, so in June, I worked with the classes asking them which skills, games, songs, chants, readings and role-plays (among others) they liked most.

I list them in this post so that you, as a reader or teacher, consider that they can be useful for your future lessons. Here you have them:
- 2nd grade_ chants and froggy the frog story
- 3rd grade_ the animal alphabet and Please Mr. Crocodile game
- 4th grade_  the Shirt of a happy man Story and the activities we developed after going to the theatre and the hot potato game (look at the end of this post*)
- 5th grade_ The research about sharks and songs, specially You've got a friend in me. Students were so enthusiastic that they wanted to illustrate the song as an activity inside an English space
- 6th grade_ to write different stories coordinated  with another school using Story Jumper




* How to play Hot potato.
You need a ball or a soft toy for this activity. The class forms a circle and you give out a ball, which they pass from one person to the next. After a few seconds you shout "Hot potato" and the class start to count down from ten to one. The person who has the ball (potato) when you reach number one has to go down on one knee and say a word related with the topic you decide. If this person is caught out again, then he/she goes down on two kees.

1 Jul 2017

Classroom layouts

Interesting brief overview of seating arrangements and how they define teacher's 
personality , by tes

I'm an inspirer teacher:
Means that I'm a natural public speaker (I can't believe it ;D)
Big groups are my thing!!!
I get people excited 

30 Jun 2017

Phonics

Hi everyone!
Before I switch my "school activity" off, I want to update you on the last activity about phonics I worked in an English lesson. Phonetics are sometimes dull to work in our lessons but I think that the activity I introduced to children, was a way to have fun with them.
At the beginning, the activity consisted in following the sounds by colours. After that, children had to identify in groups each word with a sound. At the end of the activity, kids realized that they had played with phonics matching them with colours. 

27 Jun 2017

Another challenge achieved!

Hi there,
the post today is not about English resources or activities. The one today is a personal post.

Like any mother, I am very proud of my daughters and yesterday was a magic day for one of them. Maria finished her microbiology degree in 2016 and  she has been studying a master about clinical microbiology along this school year, developing an incredible task at a lab in BCN where she has been researching different phenomena.
One of them, it has been the "Acinetobacter baumannii", the aim of Maria's investigation. As you can imagine, I have no idea about the methodologies and experiences in a lab, but I had the opportunity to listen to her yesterday morning. She told the "tribunal" what the hypothesis, the process and the results had been. She faced the challenge bravely and it was incredible being there and listening to what Doctors in the tribunal commented about the research. They congratulated her for doing an excellent work and, as a mother, I felt really happy and very proud of having such an outstanding daughter, as I am of her sister. I wanted to congratulated Maria and say her that I hope she believes in herself as much as I believe in her. 


23 Jun 2017

Alice everywhere!

Hi there,
most of you know what I love Alice in Wonderland 's book by Lewis Carroll.
In fact, I worked around the story with 4th graders some years ago and the experience enriched me a lot. After that, the world celebrated the 150th anniversay of the famous book's first publication in November 2015.
Someway, that famous story is always with me. When I walk a long my town, there is always something that reminds me something from the story. Nowadays, we have Alice everywhere. Last Sunday, as an example, I went to Salessians' School in our town where Alba Serrano and her mates made an incredible version of the story.
Thank you very much Alba, Dori and Toni for thinking of me.


and now, we have a new book with new characters which is highly recommended:

The Rabbit is David Cameron Camerabbit, who on June 23, 2016, on the day of the referendum in Great Britain, hides into a hole, the Brexithole. The Caterpillar is Jeremy Corbyn, Corbyn-pillar, who from the top of his mushroom is giving lessons and advice to everyone. Humpthy Dumpthy is Donald Trump Trumpty Dumpty. He is at the top of the wall that splits Mexico from the United States, and from that point he is affirming that he is delighted with Brexit. The Cat of Cheshire is Nigel Farage, who is drinking English beer and he is against those who make Britannia no longer as before.
When Alice leaves the tears' sea and comes to the coast, they ask her where she comes from and what she is wearing, and when she says she does not know it, she has nothing, and she has never worked, they try to immigrate and illegal (: D) who comes to take the jobs from the English.
The Queen of Hearts is Theresa May's parody, who wants and does not want to be in the European Union. In the end Alice is in Parliament, where she begins to grow, she destroys ... and she wakes up a few years before today,
The author is Leavis Carroll (what a coincidence!) , pseudonym of Lucien Young.


Thoroughly enjoyable! My only regret is that unlike Alice we can’t all wake up and discover that Brexit was just a bad dream :(