Sunday, December 23, 2012

#10 My PLE

Hello everyone! This subject is coming to its end and this is going to be my last entry before the conclusions. 

I want to talk about my PLE. We had the oral presentation last Friday and while I was watching the ones of my classmates I thought: Ohhh I should've include that or I like that page too, why I didn't post it? But at the end, your PLE is always changing, I will be including new pages and I am sure that in few months my Bymballo would be bigger that what it is now.

In the following image I would love to share with you my Symbaloo page, I've drawn circles in order to separate the sections it has. 

As you see easily in this picture, the colors help to understand better how I did organize it. I check all those pages at least once per week and some of them everyday and more than twice in a day.

I hope you like my webmix, if you want me to share it with you, don't hesitate in sending my an email or a message so I will do it as soon as I'm able to. 



Friday, December 21, 2012

#9 What about Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)?

Von Humbold said one century before I was born “You cannot teach a language, only create the condition under which it might be learning”. Therefore, as a teacher I ask myself which tools do I know to create this condition?
We studied more than once what CLIL means; we also said it must be done correctly in order to make it useful and effective. But I can't keep asking myself HOW am I going to do it?

After reading Do Coyle's article I could organize my knowledge about this topic a little bit better. But I thought I had to do more research in order to create a meaningful concept about it.

Our main goal as teachers is to developed our students skills so they will be ready for their future in this changing century we are. This world is in need of creativity, problem solving and innovation to face the challenges in the global economy. Some young people are creating new platforms and schools to help other young people to develop their creativity. This is the case of The college of everything, I met the creators in Madrid some months ago and their task is being so effective I am trying to organize something for teachers with them so, we will work on this in the classroom.

But going back to the CLIL topic, I think what makes CLIL so useful is that it involves memory, speed, attention, problem solving and flexibility. Working in teams or groups, the students develop social skills as well as they build their own knowledge. 

What has to do the teacher? The teacher makes the correct questions that make the student to feel like learning. The activities must connect with the real world and the relationship between teacher and students should be equal. 

Using different tasks make the learning look like scaffolding, a way of learning in which the student is the center and it goes through all the steps, building his/her learning. Using English or any non-native language in a subject lesson gives meaning to the foreign language.
In words of Chris Lehmann, CLIL turns information into meaning and meaning into wisdom. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#8 School-Home Relationship

We’ve been talking in class about the relationship between the school and the family. I think as teachers we should work in this relationship as much as possible because running with the same purpose than the families should be a priority. All we know that is there are discordances between what we do in the school and what the parents say at home (and vice versa) our students won’t achieve the same goals as if we were following the same objectives.

I tried to simplify my entry about this topic answering these questions.

  • What? Constant information is given from the school to the families and feedback. The students explain what they have done, what are they working on…
  • Who? The School (teachers, students, head of department, head teacher…) to the families and also the family informs to the school about news and relevant important.
  • How? Sending letters (like the one we did in class), a class blog, inviting the parents to daily activities, sharing experiences, etc.
  • When? ALWAYS or at least one time per week. Parents love to know what their children are doing in the school.
  • Where? Physical meetings, letters, magazines, pictures or online contact.
  • What for? In order to keep a good environment between both spaces and also to make the students feel confident and loved.

{Pictures from SweetFineDay}

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#7 Classroom management

Today in the day of my 23rd birthday I decided to keep working in all my projects and do my uni homework. Some people would say I should be doing nothing, but there are some things you cannot stop doing because it is a special day. 

{Christmas is almost here, enjoy the best of the seasons}

Here I want to write about the article ‘Rethinking Classroom Management’. I found it very useful because it connects with the reality of our schools. It is not an article about a school in Finland, England or the States.
As many articles we have been reading the main characteristic of a good classroom management would be to make the student the center of the learning, so they are the responsible of it. The teacher provides the conditions needed for learning to take place. As we always say the teacher as a guide and not the one who recites concepts.

Here I write some of the most important things I underline and rewrite in my notebook.

    • Behavioral issues should be addressed through teaching and learning considerations based on the idea of behavior for learning rather than behavior management.
    • Managing teaching and learning is not a task for an isolated teacher (shared responsibility)
    • Not only a good student’s behavior, but a successful teaching experience.
    • 3 interrelated ideas (organizational, curriculum and social)
    • Organizational: setting rules or dealing with discipline
    • Coherent decisions
    • Broader level (department, cycle, school)
    • Rights and duties: rules should be the result of a process of negotiation and the role of the teacher in the process should be clear. (INVESTING TIME)
    • Respectful ways to solve conflicts.
    • “The best tool for a good management is not the reaction to conducts but proaction” (proaction= creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it)
    • Differentiation to respond to groups and individuals.
    • Use the cooperative learning as a teaching strategy (individual accountability, equal opportunities, group goals)
    • Students must be taught how to participate in a group situation.
    • From instructors to facilitators

      Sunday, December 2, 2012

      #6 Questions and Wonders

      Hello everyone!

      The other day in class we're talking about which questions can we do to our students about the lessons. I also connected this with the questions we should ask ourselves as teachers. It is very important to get to know our students,  their objectives and asking ourselves how are we going to do this is the only way to achieve the goals we'all have.  But it's not a question we can ask ourselves once and that's it... no! We should ask ourselves every day, after every single lesson or session with our students. 

      - Are we doing it the best we can?
      - What else can I do as a teacher/guider to help them?
      - Am I understanding their needs?
      - Is this the correct path to follow?

      These are some of the questions I thought about this topic. 

      Because we chose this marvelous profession we should give everything inside of us to be the best teacher we can. We all had a grumpy teacher who looked 'burned' of his/her job. Do not let yourself to get tired of this profession, love it every day, with its best and its worst moments. 

      {A beautiful quote I thought you'd like + great picture from The Daybook}

      Wednesday, November 28, 2012

      Why did I post that?

      I decided to post this entry because after reading the document our teacher gave us about the blog, I understood the 'Free entries' should've a connection with the topics we are working in class.

      Through this new entry I will explain why did I write about those topics and which connection I think they have with education and  teacher training.

      Entry #1: It was about Halloween, the reason I wrote about it was because I was in the United States in that moment and Halloween is such an important holiday there. Well, it is not a holiday because they do work that day buuut I wanted to share with my classmates and the cloud how was my first real Halloween experience.
      As all you know, English teachers always prepare special activities for Halloween in the Spanish schools and we all love this fun topic.

      Entry #2: Why kids close their eyes when hiding? I've been a blog reader for years, I follow some blogs that I read everyday (or week) no matter what. Cup of Joe is one of these blogs thats I love and since the author has become a mother she has this Motherhood Mondays and all topics are pretty interesting for parents and teachers.
      There's some investigations about kids that you'all may like. Like the one I posted here and that one about the mashmallow test, did you watch that video? Click here if not.

      Entry #3: Yoga is one of my favourite things in the world, most yoga teachers would agree with me when I say yoga can help children in so many ways. Not only to get focus on something, to be patient, to have a routine (you can get this with many sports too), to know how to calm down, to learn to breathe...
      Yoga and meditation are good for everyone, we can use some yoga techniques in class to help our students to relax and concentrate.

      Entry #4: What to say about this... for sure affection is something we always talk about in class. Knowing our students not only in their academical issues is very very important.  In fact, children spend loooots of hours with us and they need to trust us and if you are good with/to them, they will love you as much as you will love them. It is impossible to divide love from the relationships between kids and their teacher.

      #5 Meeting individual needs

      I couldn’t help myself thinking in my own learning while reading this article. When I was in Primary (and of course in secondary or superior education) none of my teachers organized different kind of activities to reach every student, at least I do not remember it. Maybe they’ve done it, but I was not aware.

      About the article what I found most important was what we always say in class, taking into account of children’s current levels of ability, prior knowledge, strengths… I think it’s really important as a teacher to know the specific reality of every student, their situation at home with their family, the way they learn, etc.

      As we’ve been talking since last year. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Model can help and guide teachers to understand better their students and also to plan different activities to help each learning style. 

       In the article ‘Learning strategies’ by Susan House, that we read last year, it is said «we try to provide the students with various models to choose from […] they must choose for themselves».

       {Funny nepali kid in class}

      I think this is really important, giving students the chance to choose what they prefer to do gives them a kind of freedom they enjoy and at the same time they’re working, even more if we just give them a worksheet.
      It connects with those videos we watched at the beginning of the course about symbaloo and that girl that showed how she organize her own time and choose how she wants to do the task.  

      Of course it is not easy to do this, buuuut at the same time because we care about our students we should all do a big effort and try to achieve our goals (in this case, to reach every student and their learning style)
      Did any of my classmates have the opportunity to do that when they’re in school? I don’t think so. But now it’s our time to do things differently, to decide what we want to do and share with our students to provide them the best guide that we’re able to. 

      {I would like to finish this entry with this quote of Dr. Seuss, we still have to learn many many things from him}

      Wednesday, November 21, 2012

      #4 How important is affection?

      Some years ago my friend Jared told me that in American schools and kindergartens, teachers are not supposed to hug and kiss their students. As well as people shouldn’t give affection to other kids in street or shops. 

      For years I’ve been thinking about this and I couldn’t imagine it was true. Last month, when I went to Arkansas I had the change to meet Miss Charlotte (Jared’s mum), who is a primary teacher, she explained me that it was true but she gives love to her students anyway because they need it. Even thought, she knows she could be fired because of this.

      I know so many bad things happened lately, but we can’t forget the needs our children have, how many hours they do spend with us and that some children don’t get the affection their parents should provide.
      I also have the opportunity to meet a little girl called Katherine. I went trick-or-treating with her and her parents. At the beginning I was a bit nervous, not only because it was my first trick-or-treating, but also because I wasn’t sure about how to act.
      After few minutes I saw and felt Katherine very comfy with me and even I am an adult, she wanted to share that moment with me and she tried to make me experience that special moment.

      I would never forget when she asked me “Would you like to knock that door with me?” and also “but… you don’t get candy for Halloween in Spain?  Ohh That’s horrible!”

      I didn’t act the same way I would’ve done here but I understood it was not that strict as I thought it would be.


      In my opinion, us as teachers should be allowed to give love, hugs and affection to our students, because they need to feel we are there for them and that they can count on us.
      What do you think about this?

      Tuesday, November 13, 2012

      #3 Something I like

      by Adriana
      Today I want to share with you what I like the most, YOGA.

      Since the moment I started doing yoga (2 years ago). This has changed my life in so many ways that I find hard to tell when it is not present in my daily life.

      The style of yoga I practice is Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga. Vinyasa is very active and I like doing it in the morning, so my body is not rusty the rest of the day. When I am really busy that I don't even have time for this I do not work as well as I would.
      Before bed I like to meditate and do a bit of Hatha yoga, it allows me to relax and to have a better sleep. 

      It is also present during the rest of the day, it helps me to keep focus and balanced. I take care of myself, what is the only way to take care of the others too.

      Yoga is union and it is everything, so I can't imagine my life without it now.

      Thursday, November 8, 2012

      #2 Why do kids cover their eyes when hiding?


      Some days ago I read in one of my favorites blogs, CUP OF JO, a post that talked about a research done by the team led by James Russell at the University of Cambridge. Their work tried to answer to the question Why do children hide themselves covering their eyes? 

      Did you ever ask this question to yourself?  I find this is such an interesting topic and children is just fascinating!

       "In both studies so far, when the children thought they were invisible by virtue of their eyes being covered, they nonetheless agreed that their head and their body were visible. They seemed to be making a distinction between their 'self' that was hidden, and their body, which was still visible. Taken together with the fact that it was the concealment of the eyes that seemed to be the crucial factor for feeling hidden, the researchers wondered if their invisibility beliefs were based around the idea that there must be eye contact between two people—a meeting of gazes—for them to see each other (or at least, to see their 'selves')."

      I loved the quote Jonna posted so I want to share it with you. And I also invite you to follow her blog, I've been following her for years and I can't stop reading her and her husband. 

      You can read what they found out here.

      Friday, October 26, 2012

      #1 Halloween is coming!


      As some of you would know I am missing some lessons because I am in the States right now. I am having such a great time here in Arkansas.

      Halloween comes next week and all around here is about it. Last night I went to the a very cool cinema called 'MovieLounge', this is a cinema where you can order food while in the movie with a botton in your chair, it made the movie a less worst because it was reaaaaally scaring! Check the place out here.

      In an hour I am going to Oklahoma for the weekend, there's a Halloween Fest there called THE CASTLE! I hope it's not too scary :)

      We also did other Halloween activities, like watch It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; The nightmare before Christmas and of course we all carved our pumpkins!  

      Here you have some pictures, do you like our Jack o' Lantern?

      Saturday, October 20, 2012

      #0 MYSELF

      Hello everyone!

      My name is Adriana and this is my blog for the subject 'Didàctica de la Llnegua Anglesa II'.
      I live in Barcelona and I love to travel and visit new places. What I also like is to practice yoga every morening before Uni or my job.  Yoga helps me to focus and to be my best in every moment.

      I would like to share with you my SPAAZE page, so you will know me a bit better. The videos and pictures I have posted there are about things I care about education.

      I will keep posting so you will follow my progress in this subject.