{January 31, 2011}   Homophones and Homonyms

As Suber & Thorpe state, homophones are words of the same language that are pronounced alike even if they differ in spelling, meaning, or origin, such as “pair” and “pear”. Homophones may also be spelled alike, as in “bear” (the animal) and “bear” (to carry). But this list consists only of homophones that are not spelled alike.

Homonym is a somewhat looser term than homophone, sometimes referring to all homophones and only homophones, and sometimes referring to the subset of homophones that are spelled alike.

Here you can find Suber & Thorpe’s dictionary of homophones, where the members of each homophonic set are listed in alphabetical order.


{September 26, 2009}   Friday Night…

And I’m filling reportcards -.-
(What I should have done some days ago, but NOONE informed me we had to present them TOMORROW)

{September 22, 2009}   Helping Students Talk

Perhaps the most difficult thing that teachers face is making students develop their oral skills properly. Sometimes, we have few practice opportunities to offer, other times, students may not be so interested in talking in the target language. So, what can we do to help our students talk in English?

  1. Be a model. Use English in the classroom, when talking to fellow teachers and students.
  2. Place visual aids in your classroom. You can use pictures, common phrases, etc. to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  3. We must count on the idea that they must have some kind of opinion on simple issues such as food, music, TV. Work on those topics for some weeks to help the students gain confidence in themselves, and then, switch to more difficult topics.
  4. Try to give them striking topics to talk about. If you have tweens or teens, you may enjoy listening to their opinions on Internet usage (fotolog, facebook and all those social networks they like) and on urban tribes.
  5. Help them activate their prior knowledge through brainstorming exercises, through texts, etc. Be ready to collect any ad you find in magazines!
  6. Why don’t you use a video or a listening text as a starting point? There are many resources on the Internet that you may find interesting for discussing with your students!
  7. Remember that, speaking and listening go hand in hand! Provide as much opportunities for listening activities as you can!

Here are some links that may provide some leads.

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?

{May 22, 2009}   Be ready!

If you live in Argentina, be ready for future events!
I’ll update with news really soon!

{March 25, 2009}   ABC for Child’s Day

If you work with children, you surely are working with the alphabet. Some days ago, I came across a beautiful poem that is really suitable for children all ages! Hope you like it!

{March 16, 2009}   Want some?

{December 29, 2008}  

I promise I’ll update soon. Being on holidays, moving, and celebrating Xmas (and New Year) among boxes full of books -which I should have unpacked as soon as I moved- leaves me a bit lazy 😛

See you Next Year!

{December 10, 2008}   Professionalism

After reading the article by Ms María Lidia Camporro, “A Toast on Professionalism” in The Teacher’s Magazine #109, many questions came to my mind.

Why do 18 year olds choose the teaching profession? Is it because it’s the easiest choice or is it because they really want to make a change in the lives of younger generations to come?

Why is it that in such courses of studies as English Teaching there are so many registered students and so many drop outs?

As it was said in the previously mentioned article, this last years were witnesses of a draw back in registration for the teaching courses everywhere.

In my opinion, and due to certain recent events I’ll mention later here, I think that perhaps this draw back in registration may lead to best quality teaching.  Those who are working as teachers nowadays know what I’m talking about: extra time for PTA meetings, extra work for holidays and national days, presents for child’s day, quality activities, and the most important of all: commitment to your work. Quoting Ms Camporro, “it is always easier to see, analyse and judge others than to actually go over one’s own decisions, revise them and spot where they went wrong.” The problem appears when teachers are fulfilling roles they are not expected to, and when those who are in the teaching profession are not professional enough.

Why am I talking about this?

Some months ago, I was assigned some extra work for the end of year party at school. Three teachers, including me, were supposed to prepare a video with pictures of those students who were graduating from 9th grade. (Here in Argentina 9th grade signals the end of the primary level of education)

As I knew from the very beginning of the year I’d had to prepare this video, I started collecting and scanning pictures from this students…

Teacher number two told me he was preparing a video as a gift FROM HIM for this students…

And teacher number three never got to know he had to work with us… (or did he?)

The problem started in June, when the former head master told teacher number two he would like HIM to make the video for the prom, and not me… so I told him “Ok, I’ll give him the pictures for the prom’s video”

This extra work was due last Friday.

I came to school earlier and one of the secretaries told me “what happened with the video? I heard somewhere teacher number two didn’t make it” (or something like that, I was so mad I can’t remember the exact words). And here comes the most important detail: I’m an obsessively responsible teacher. If you ask me on Monday to do something for Friday you’ll have it on Tuesday. I don’t like to make people lose time. Neither do I like to lose my time.

So, after talking to the head mistress, we agreed on the irresponsibility from the other part and she asked me to prepare a video like the one I made last year. I agreed and went to my classroom.

When I handed it in today (after a long weekend away from home, preparing a video which had to be ready WEEKS before…) someone went with the news to teacher number two. He said he couldn’t believe how I made the video when he was going to give it in blablablah… To what I said “Hey, you were supposed to hand in a 10 minutes video or powerpoint presentation LAST WEEK and you did nothing but make me do MORE extra work because of that…” And when I turned back to the head mistress office, he asked “what did you do? A powerpoint presentation?”

“Not exactly… I made a whole DVD”


Thanks to those who read this. School year is finishing this week (next one is final exam’s week) and I’m going madder every time something goes wrong for the end-of-year event.

{November 9, 2008}   Thanksgiving in the classroom

It’s well-known that we generally don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom as it is a religious holiday (or at least the idea of thanking god it’s religion-related)

But couldn’t we just make some kind of activities to show students how one of the most important celebrations in the US takes place? I guess that if we handle the topic really carefully, we can share lots of wonderful activities with our students.

A personal idea I hope to make a reality this year

is to organize a kind of “open class” where parents will be invited to share group activities with the children. (Hope I can do this, too much events this year made me go nuts with my year planning)

As Thanksgiving is not a celebration here in Argentina, I’ve looked for material on the topic – and I must say that there are tons and tons of interesting texts, activities and resources to teach your students about this cultural celebration. Some of them I list here:

How Thanksgiving Works

Thanksgiving History

Thanksgiving 2008 – resources, information and everything you need to celebrate Thanksgiving

History.Com – tons of information and resources on this holiday

Teacher Planet

Thanksgiving Resources on the Web for Educators 1

Thanksgiving Resources on the Web for Educators 2

Kiddy House – all about thanksgiving for kids and teachers

USA Official Website

Thanksgiving Resources

Family Education

Teaching Heart

Teachers First

Kiddy House

Teacher Help

Thanksgiving Resources @ Local

101 Kidz

Adopt a Turkey

Thanksgiving Resources and Lesson Plans

Thanksgiving Activities for the Elementary Classroom

Flint Public Library


The Holiday Zone

Thanksgiving and Pilgrims
Hope you find this useful!

et cetera