Geekyteacher











{June 4, 2011}   Books for Everyone

Doing some googling, I came across an EXCELLENT website where you can get public domain books just FOR FREE.

The site I’m talking about is FeedBooks, and I’ve already selected some books for my students to read. Which ones would you choose?

(To be sincere, I also chose one for me: “Little Dorrit” – just because I found the title really amusing and I know the tv series :-P)

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{March 22, 2011}   Storytelling

A friend of mine asked if I knew of any good courses on storytelling. My answer was the one you are thinking of:

“Why do you want to do a course of something that you know naturally? Why don’t you do a web search to clarify your doubts, and enlarge your knowledge?”

And as she was working, I did a google search for her and send her some links via e-mail. The first link I came across is a “manual” for beginners in storytelling. The information you will see there perhaps is not new, but it is clearly organized and it gives a general idea of what storytelling is. The second link, a set of resources for storytelling, was chosen simply because I found it really interesting!

As I always say, what works for one person perhaps doesn’t work for another. The truth is, all of us know naturally how to tell a story. We all have little brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, nephews, nieces and neighbours to tell stories to; and as teachers, we have our own students. Also, children are the best judges who are going to tell you what works and what needs to be changed. We all have our own techniques for storytelling, but we all change our voices to represent different characters and we all “make faces” for children to become really interested in the story. I, for instance, use puppets whenever I don’t want to use a book. And children laugh of my faces, and voices, and movements. A friend of mine likes acting out the stories she tells, so if you peek into her classroom, you will see a clown and not a teacher! 🙂

To end this post, I leave a question to all of you: Which do you think is the most useful technique for storytelling?



{September 19, 2010}   Reading Recommendation

Some years ago I came across a copy of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.It includes a “new, twisted version” of some the the classic fairy tales we were told when we were kids.

What is best about it: it’s an EXCELLENT book to work with preteens and teens! I’ve chosen these two stories to work with my 15 year olds at school, and they loved them!




{March 15, 2010}   Stories, stories

Every single student likes stories. We, teachers, love telling stories since we can feel like actors on stage. But we also like stories to analyze and work with the language in a different way.

Here is a list of sites where you can find lots of short stories to work with your students.

http://www.rong-chang.com/qa2/

http://www.world-english.org/stories.htm

http://www.short-stories.co.uk/

http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/childrenindex.html

http://www.humor-short-stories.com/

http://www.humor.freeuk.com/

http://www.ivyjoy.com/

http://www.electricscotland.com/kids/stories/animals.htm

http://library.thinkquest.org/3500/arctic_animal_stories.html

http://www.americanfolklore.net/animal-stories.html

http://www.rong-chang.com/qa2/

http://www.pocanticohills.org/5thgrade99/animals.htm

http://www.mkm-haifa.co.il/schools/habonim/lemida/animals_sviva/animals_%20in_danger.htm

http://hca.gilead.org.il/

http://www.magickeys.com/books/

http://www.vtaide.com/png/stories.htm

http://www.longlongtimeago.com/

http://www.electricscotland.com/kids/childrens_stories.htm

http://www.popularchildrenstories.com/

http://www.magickeys.com/books/links.html

http://www.4to40.com/fables/list.asp

http://www.kidsfables.com/

http://www.indianchild.com/short_stories.htm

http://www.pacificnet.net/~johnr/aesop/

http://www.kids-pages.com/folders/stories/Aesops_Fables/page1.htm

http://www.storyit.com/Classics/Stories/aesop.htm

http://www.kidsites.com/sites-fun/stories.htm

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/

http://www.storylineonline.net/

http://thestoryhome.com/tag/fairytale/

http://www.storyarts.org

http://www.infinite-story.com/

http://www.thecolor.com/Category/Coloring/Alphabet.aspx

http://www.magickeys.com/books/patrick/index.html

http://www.magickeys.com/books/index.html#books

http://kids.nypl.org/reading/Childrensebooks.cfm

http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/index.html

And my well known bonus is for….

http://www.jokesaboutteachers.net/



{January 4, 2010}   Using Drama in your classes

English teachers are actors by nature. We are always on stage, performing for our students, trying to find better ways for them to learn. Many of the activities we commonly use are related to drama. Think about this:

We work for an audience, with mostly imaginative activities. We make positive comments to our students, enhancing the attention of the audience. We frequently role play situations with our students so they practice newly acquired structures and vocabulary.

I came across a book called 101 Drama Games and Activities where many interesting activities are pointed out. One of the EVO sessions I will be attending this year is related to drama. I hope I get many new ideas to share with you!

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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

Comix.com

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



{May 22, 2009}   Twilight

I’m really commited to my reading of Twilight.  As I work from 8 to 7, the only chance I get for reading is travelling by bus. I still doubt how long will I resist the long bus trip having colleagues near home to travel with.

twilight

On Monday, I started reading Twilight. I was reluctant to read it at first, but when I saw it at the book fair I decided to give it a chance. I read two hours a day, as I go and come back from one of the schools I work. And I’ve read almost half of the book. I’m planning a trip to my favourite bookshop to get the other three books in the saga. I am eager to get on the bus tomorrow morning. I desperately need to finish the book tomorrow.

(The same happened to me when LOST came into air tv. I didn’t want to watch it because average Joe watched the series. One day, I got the dvds from season 1, and now I’m desperate for season 6 to start next year!)

And now, as I’m writing this, I find this link full of excellent materials on Twilight to use in the classroom. What else could I ask for? 🙂

PS: My boyfriend got me the movie (:

twilight1

More Info on Twilight here and here



{March 25, 2009}   Working with stories

As I was checking files on my pc, I came across a guide I compiled last year to work with The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Most of the activities were found on the Internet, in different educational sites).

I found it really useful to hand it in to my students to complete some activities at home after we read the story and worked with it in class orally. Some of the activities were also carried out in class, and the students had lots of fun with them!

If you want to check the work we did in class, please go to 1stChildren2008

You can download the guide here. Hope you find it useful!

ericcarle2



{February 19, 2009}   “Gran Slang”

I came across this link which I thought was interesting to share with all of you since it talks about a mismatch in language between two different generations.



{October 12, 2008}   Do you like grammar?

After two subjects on English Grammar at university, I’ve definitely learned a great lesson: Never in my life would I re do those subjects. However, almost seven years later,  I’ve been reading “Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies” by June Casagrande.

Do you remember those long hours reading essays and papers on grammar? Are you fed up of listening to those grammarians that emphasize the “correct” use of grammar?

Asking “dumb questions,” as she states, the author of this great book went through her university studies, defying grammar snobs – those who, in her opinion, are the “know-it-alls” of grammar.

I simply love this book so much I’m reading it again 😛

Personal Rating: 5/5 stars =)

More about this book



et cetera