{June 27, 2009}   Story Telling

We all enjoyed when our teachers told us stories, and our students love stories. The British Council has selected and adapted well know stories to the needs of children learning English.

Check it by yourselves! Go into this link and get into the world of fairy tales and traditional stories.


An English professor wrote the words :

“A woman without her man is nothing” on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:
“A woman, without her man, is nothing.”

All the females in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

How would you punctuate that same sentence?

{June 8, 2009}   Being a teacher

Some time ago, I came across this text by Frank  McCourt, who at almost the end of a thirty year career teaching in the New York City public high schools,  related the following conversation he had with a beginning teacher:

“A young substitute teacher sat beside me in the teacher’s cafeteria. She was to start her regular teaching career in September and could I offer her any advice?

Find what you love and do it. That´s what it boils down to. I admit I didn´t always love teaching. I was out of my depth. You´re on your own in the classroom, one man or woman facing five classes every day, five classes of teenagers. One unit of energy against one hundred and seventy-five units of energy, one hundred and seventy-five ticking bombs, and you have to find ways of saving your own life. They may like you, they may even love you, but they are young and it is the business of the young to push the old off the planet. I know I´m exaggerating but it´s like a boxer going into the ring or a bullfighter into the arena. You can be knocked out or gored and that´s the end of your teaching career. But if you hang on you learn the tricks. It´s hard but you have to make yourself comfortable in the classroom. You have to be selfish. The airlines tell you if oxygen fails you are to put on your mask first, even if your instinct is to save the child.

The classroom is a place of high drama. You´ll never know what you´ve done to, or for, the hundreds coming and going. You see them leaving the classroom: dreamy, flat, sneering, admiring, smiling, puzzled. After a few years you develop antennae. You can tell when you´ve reached them or alienated them. It´s chemistry. It´s psychology. It´s animal instinct. You are with the kids and, as long as you want to be a teacher, there´s no escape. Don´t expect help from the people who´ve escaped the classroom, the higher-ups. They´re busy going to lunch and thinking higher thoughts. It´s you and the kids. So, there´s the bell. See you later. Find what you love and do it.

{June 8, 2009}   Little Tip on Posters

Something I have learned this year and that is proving really useful is not to fill the classroom up with posters and pictures. They can be nice and useful, but sometimes too much is not the best.
I decided to change my classroom posters once a month, so there is variety and I can show the students’ creativity too, and something I started loving is glitter glue and markers that resemble metal. You can be very creative with those two things! (I’ll try to take some pictures tomorrow!)

{June 8, 2009}   Peace & Love

My boyfriend showed me this video and I wanted to share it with you.

It would be lovely to work with this video with our students!

In order to improve the quality of the material we use in our classes, using authentic material as cartoons and comics may enrich a variety of groups in many teaching environment.

There is no person who doesn’t like reading something funny or that is appealing, and those learners who are usually reluctanct to participate in the classes are the first to discuss comics.

Comics require students’ thoughts, feelings and opinions about the situation portrayed through visual and linguistic elements and codes.

You can not only teach vocabulary and language structures through comics, but you can also help students:

– describe pictures making using adjectives recently learned,

– learn synonyms and antonyms to expand vocabulary,

– practice formation of different verb tenses,

-practice story telling,

-write a story using a comic as a starting point, etc.

There are thousands of activities you can create using comics. I found these  activities on Spiderman and I’m really eager to use them! There are also thousands of websites with useful information you can profit from, for example:

Using Comics

Comics and Cartoons

Teaching with Comics

100 Top Cartoon Sites

Education Cartoons for Teachers (oh, the one on icons, my old favourite one!)

Amazing Kids

et cetera