29.5.13

William Shakespeare

Idyllically
William Shakespeare is one of the best-known, if not the best, writer of the whole world. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in the year 1564 and died in 1616. He moved to London and became an actor and playwright, that is, he wrote the plays in which he acted. If you want to know more about his life, you can watch a series of videos at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

At that time, theatre, or drama, was person-based and some scenes were based on monologues or speeches of certain characters which have become very famous ("to be or not to be, that is the question" from Hamlet), another anecdote is that there were no women on stage; the clothes, tapestries and curtains were splendid and there were machines to move up or down things. We can see this is The Globe, the theatre were he played most of his plays.

Why is Shakespeare so important?
For me, he is so important because he was an expert in creating plays that treated many different topics (love, war, betrayal, foolishness ... and many more) and he did so in a way that he achieved to address to the inner emotions of people and they are as up-to-date now as they were when he created them.
He also wrote a lot of poetry (great sonnets), and invented many words of the English language.

Have you read anything by Shakespeare or attended to any of his plays? Do you know the names of his most famous plays?

26.5.13

The future in 2nd of ESO

Lake Supérieur, by Ana Garcia.
We are going to work on the structure "be going to+infinitive" to talk about plans and intentions in the near future. It is very simple, you only have to remember to use the correct form of the verb to be and write the infinitive form after "to".

Remember that we also use the present continuous to talk about fixed plans, plans that have been arranged.

You can practice more:
  • Going to structure in the affirmative, negative and interrogative at Ego4you
  • Games on going to at mes-games
  • Revision of present continuous and difference between present continuous and going to at English Exercises.
I hope it helps!!!


23.5.13

My first MOOC.

Coursera
I am going to show you my last new adventure (two in a week, not a bad one, is it?). On Monday I started my first MOOC, it stands for Massive Open Online Course and they are online courses proposed by prestigious universities which are held online for thousands of people.

The course I am taking is called "Tecnologías de información y comunicación en la educación" and it is from the University of Mexico. It started on Monday and it finishes on the 23rd June and the work is divided into 5 weeks at the end of which we, the students, will have to have read some documents and fill in an autoevaluation test. There are also forums and 5 live sessions on YouTube. We also have a hashtag on Twitter: #ticunam

At the end of the course, our final project will be evaluated by 5 mates of the course and that result (80%)  together with the sum of the autoevaluations (20%) will be our final result. We are recommended to write a blog with our personal thinkings which I will link when I have something written, it is called Formación Docente (fuera de horario).

I think MOOCs are a perfect way to develop a personal learning environment for teachers for some reasons:

  • We do have time and willingness to learn; but certainly we cannot take lessons in the morning or the afternoon.
  •  We can choose among thousands of courses from all around the world which will certify our learning. 
  • We get certified for free (which is excellent now that our pays are getting reduced). 
  • We get to create a network of professional teachers who have the same worries and interests...

Have you ever taken part in one? Share your experience with us and wish me good luck!

20.5.13

Don't be afraid of being who you are!


Today I am presenting you with a  new blog which will be written by my 1st Bachillerato students.
In your entries you have to look for one thing you are very good at or you think you may be good at and use that as a blog entry answering the question:

  What are you an expert in?

The blog post should be from 100 to 120 words, not longer and it should include:
  1. When and how you discovered you were good at what you are talking about.
  2. What you are doing now to get more experience in that field.
  3. If you think you will be able to work on that and how do you see yourself in the future (relating to your expertise, not other things).
In this way, you will be able to use all of the issues that we have been working in class throughout the year, besides all your knowledge about editing a text in a blog. You should post it before the end of May and make use of an image or video which is appropriate with the topic you are dealing.

As always, you can ask me as many questions as you like via Twitter or leaving comments here or asking me in class. I hope we all like this experience!!
Don't be afraid of telling what you are good at!!

17.5.13

International Day Against Homophobia

"Flowers" by Lucía R.B. to whom I talk about homophobia
On the 17th May 1990, the World Health Organization took out homosexuality from the list of illnesses, that is the reason why today we celebrate today the International Day Against Homophobia.  There are still some countries in which it is a crime to have homosexual relationships and in many others, they feel bullied or discriminated.

I am a bit fed up of listening to people saying that everything should be treated in schools, but I think this topic should and this is why:

 I see them everyday, 
even though they are a minority, they do exist.
 Most of them, both boys and girls, 
do not want the rest of the people to know, 
so,
 while the rest of their mates are experiencing their first intimate relationships,
 they cannot.

 Even if they are brave enough to have a relationship during their high school years,
 they do not kiss each other, 
they do not hug each other,
 they do not hold hands in public.
One day they will.
We won't even look back.
They will kiss,
they will hug,
they will hold hands...
And I will love to teach in that high school.

We have to acknowledge them in high schools, give them our support as teachers so that they are as free as the rest.

14.5.13

11.5.13

Learning vocabulary: Cooking with Jamie Oliver

In this unit, we are reviewing food and how to talk about it. We are also introducing the vocabulary you need to talk about the process of cooking (add, bake, boil, chop, fry, grate, grill, mix, peel, pour, put, season, slice  and wash).
 Many of these words appear on this video by Jamie Oliver, one of the most famous cooks in the UK at the moment. He has done many  TV programmes and is famous also for promoting quick healthy meals almost anyone can do in less than half an hour.

What verbs of the bold list does he actually say?
Do you think it is an easy dish to do? Would you like giving it a try?

If you want to read about how to talk about quantities and food go to this and this post.

7.5.13

Teacher's Appreciation Day in USA

My notebook By Ana García
In the USA, they celebrate a whole week to ackowledge their teacher's work. It is called Teacher's Appreciation Week and the first Tuesday of a full week in May, they celebrate their National Teacher's Day.  They have a hashtag to thank a teacher that you want to say Thank You #ThankATeacher. I have had many English teachers I could say thank you to, I remember deeply my primary teachers (also the English one, who would be with us for two hours per week, not more). But I remember a lot my Spanish Literature teacher, Rosario Carreras, who made me read many books and developed in me the thought that I could read whatever I wanted and, consequently, do whatever I wanted. Thank you Rosario.

Even it is not the day to do this, I also want to thank my students, for listening to me and teaching me while I am teaching to them. I feel lucky to be a teacher, love this work and enjoy it everyday.

Have a look at this funny teacher's Harlem Shake:
So, tell us, what teacher do you want to say thank you to?

4.5.13

Motivation: Validation by Kurt Kuenne

Validation (2007) is an optimistic short film and love story by Kurt Kuenne. It only lasts for almost 16 minutes and was released on the YouTube platform, making it clear that things are changing in the film business. I really like this story because it shows how you can focus on the nice part of life and not on the bad and the world would be better. As a teacher I try to do this with my students and I think this really helps people to feel better and more motivated to produce and create.

I recommend you to watch it, it will cheer you up!!
What do you think of it?Did you like it?

1.5.13

Worker's Day, Why today?

On 4th  May 1886, in the city of Chicago, workers were demonstrating to make working days last only up to 8 hours. Amongst them, someone threw a bomb (the first dynamite bomb in the USA)  and the police thought it was a reaction to them -they were trying to dissolve the demonstration- and started shooting to the strikers. This was called the Haymarket Affair, Massacre or Riot.
For this affair, eight anarchists were blamed and sentenced for conspiration, this was understood as an attack to the working movement. The trial was soon argued because some of the accused were not even at the place!!
As a commemoration of this strike and other movements organized among others by Lucy and Albert Parsons, the 1st May is the day to ask for better working conditions in many parts of the world and it is even a holiday in many countries. In USA and Canada is widely celebrated in September.

Did you know this?