domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2012

School Trip to Scotland?

  • A cruise on the Mediteranean? 
  • No way in March. 
  • A packed tour to Italy? 
  • Pss... maybe, but it's so expensive...
  • What about a trip to Scotland, tailored to everyone's wishes, with no need to sell "mantecaos", super cheap and including all the fun your imagination can reach?
  • Cool! But, where's that?
  • On the web. Where else!

That's right. Like it or not, this year you're going on a School trip to Scotland; or at least you will have to organise everything as if you really were going to do it. Same dates, same budget and same rules as with the official and real one, but with the plus of being able to improve your marks in English.
Who would reject such a plum? :-)
This time, as it is the last project of the term, we will work in groups and will try a new tool: The WIKI. (don't forger to include it in your PLE). So, if you want to know everything about this exciting adventure, just clic HERE, and follow the instructions.
Check your passports, pack your baggage and ...farewell!!

Already back home?  did you like the trip?
Prove your Scottish knowledge by answering this quizz:

martes, 23 de octubre de 2012

Can I help you?

Sure you can.
Think about everything you know or can do well, if you have a special ability or are specially good at something beyond the typical classroom activity.
If we put together what we all can do and teach our  classmates -or to the rest of the school- we'll check that there is a lot of 'capital to start with our Bank of Common Knowledge (BCK)
To start with, have a look at this video which tells us about this topic -we are not going to invent anything-  and then follow the teacher instructions about what to write on the  post-it notes provided

Here, as a classroom task, we will just make a small trial of what this topic could be if taken to a larger contest, but if you want a deeper knowledge of the topic, visit the web of PLATONIQ or follow them on twitter

And after a first brainstorming, we already have a starting point. Have a look at our shared document on G-Drive, check it out, find your appropriate partner -if you can- change your topic if you want... this is just a start...
OK. We already have a LIST OF TOPICS to work with, and a DOCUMENT with an outline of the procedure to prepare our talk. Now, it's time for research, drafts, rehearsals, trying with different programs...  
...  (Some 10 days later...)
Well, here we are again. We've been choosing our topics, discussing about the best options to show them (slideshow, video, podcast...) We've surfed the Internet for similar activities, and finally, we have written our drafts and shared them with the teacher on our G-Drive so he's been able to give us some advice... 
Now, "la hora de la verdad" has arrived and the final products are being uploaded to our blogs. Have a look at them and judge by yourself !! 
(nice and possitive comments are welcome, as usual! :-)

Some Aikido Techniques

Cooking "crêpes"

Cooking "migas" Motril style

Learn to sing!!

Basic piano lessons

Skateboard Masters

Best typing tricks

domingo, 7 de octubre de 2012

What to read??

Ok. It’s time for us to start with the so called “Extensive Reading”. That is, reading longer texts, texts beyond the normal daily classroom activities.
Some of you are probably experienced readers in both Spanish and English and some others may not be so keen on books. The point here is not that everybody has to read such or such book in order to be able to prove that they have understood its meaning, but to ENJOY reading a story and share that experience with, first, the rest of the class and then, with… who knows?
So, the process we will follow in our ‘Reading Project’ will be as follows:
  1. Choose a story that you find interesting to read (it can be a book, or a chapter of a book, a ‘short story’, a comic book, a magazine…). At this point you can:
    1. Choose one of the titles from the school library: most of them are ‘Graded Readers’ or texts adapted to the language learners and they may include ‘language activities’ but you don’t have to do them if you don’t want to.
    2. Ask Jade. She’s a keen reader and she’s got quite a few books in English. She can give you some advice and maybe she’ll lend you a title…
    3.  Consider reading an e-book. Either if you have a specific reading device (e-reader) or just a computer or a tablet PC, here are some places from where you can download:  
  1. Read your story using any tools and/or techniques which  guarantee a Basic understanding so you can take the most out of  your choice. If you read online or in an e-book, check that you access to a bilingual dictionary
  2.  Tell us your opinions, your feelings, etc. about your book and, if you think it is good enough, tell us something about it and recommend it to all your classmates. In doing so, you can make use of your PLE. Think of some creative ways of telling others about your book... Would you make a PREZZI presentation, or perhaps a GLOGSTER? You might just want to record some words on IVOOX or leave them in a WORDLE... or preapre a BOOK TRAILER,  or even take part in the KUENTALIBROS project??  (Find up to 40 more ideas HERE
  3. When all this is finished, just choose another title and start the process again…  
Take your time to choose an interesting title. It's better to spend une day searching here and there than spend a week complaining of a wrong election. Just in the meanwhile, you can read "Las Crías" ("The Babies"), a  multi-language story that I've shared with you via google drive. 
Hope you will enjoy!

Wordle: Cover for "Las Crías"

domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2012

My name, my address, my PLE

That's it. Your Personal Learning Environment, together with your Personal Learning Network, will, from now on, hopefully be part of your identity as well as an efficient way of controlling the lot of learning possibilities that the Internet offers you.
During the next few days, we will start building up our own PLE/PLNs but, as we usually do with other topics, first, we'll try and put together what we already know about the topic. Then we will read and do some research about some of the basics of PLE and finally we'll work on a template to be able to make our present PLE which could -and should- be completed afterwards...
To begin with here are some links that you can surf in pairs in order to be able to tell the class what you consider that a PLE is. Some of the links are in Spanish, but never mind, I'm sure you will understand, 'cause I've seen you speaking Spanish in the breaktime :-)
So, first, have a look at this:
- The PLE Explained to 10 year olds by Lola Urbano
- PLE at School
- The Teacher's PLE

Do you still have one minute? Have a look at this:

Now, you can start making a first draft of your PLE. Look at the previous examples and ask for anything you don't understand. Then, you can download this TEMPLATE  and start filling it (don't worry if there are too many 'boxes'. This is a long-term task) or use an online mindmap builder like BUBBL.US to start braistorming about the whole topic.
As I said, this is a 'long term' task. About one month after writing the last para graph, I've discovered THIS WEB full of links to applications that can be used to create and visualise our PLE from different points of view. Choose your favorite and..
... Good luck!!  

miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2012

Decorating the classroom

Before going on with more "serious" things, it's still time to keep working on the preparations for the course. All in all, we've been together for only a few days and I don't feel like starting with exams yet, do you?
I've thought that one thing we could do is to decorate our classroom, because we are going to spend quite a few weeks there and a pleasant environment is always a positive thing, isn't it?
Well, I've talked to the School Board and they have allowed me to print UP TO FIVE large A-3 full color posters to pin in our classroom walls. The condition is that they must be related to the work we do in the classroom and must have some kind of text in English (sorry, but Justin Bieber posters won't be financed :-((
I have already chosen one (it's a teacher's privilege...) so, there are FOUR left.
In order to do a fair selection, I have open a board on PINTEREST  called "Classroom Posters" where we will upload the posters we want to print, and then we -and some invited teachers-  will vote the best ones.
I will tell you different ways to upload the posters to the board, but in order to make all the process easier,  it can be a good idea if you become a user of PINTEREST by filling in a few registration details. Then, I'll tell you how to keep connected and share the pins and so on...
I know you know how to find images on the web, but just in case, let me suggest you a place to start with:
- Englishteach8 board
- You can try browsing Google images or flickr, or... using the words "inspiring posters" or "motivating posters for the classroom" or...
- And, of course, any personal, hand-made poster will always have the categorie of "Winner" and will be displayed in the classroom.
Good luck!

lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2012

Knowing me, knowing you...

Well, you've already been together for over three years and you think you know each other very well (we'll check that later) But, how much do you know about your new teacher?
To start with, you can take the following TEST and try to guess the right answers without asking anybody. Just follow your nose. Then I will tell you about myself and you could ask me questions, discuss and check the answers.
Good luck!!

Now, watch this video and check your answers: