quarta-feira, 25 de março de 2009

Spring Watch - Cbeebies

Enjoy Spring!!!
For a better quality video and a Karaoke version just click http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/springwatch/song.shtml
I love this song!!
Take a look at Autumn Watch as well. It's a great song to use at the beginning of the year with 4th grader for example!!

terça-feira, 24 de março de 2009

Another Spring Worksheet

This one I've used this morning with my 1st grade!
First I used flashcards to teach these words. After some oral games the students had to draw these new words in the right place.
I used the "portuguese manuscript font" (the one we teach in primary schools). If you want you can change it. My Idea is to make the english lessons a part of the curricular lessons of the class. I want them to feel that all teachers work for the same purpose, teaching and educating them.

domingo, 22 de março de 2009

Demi Lovato Reading Comprehension WS

Demi Lovato is one of the "teen stars" who catches the attention of my students. They suggested that I should make a worksheet about her. Here it is. Just like the one I've made on Hannah Montana, this one is a Reading Comprehension Worksheet that requires only to write the words true or false according to the text. My students are at primary level so I do not focus on what they can produce, I rather focus on what they should understand and assimilate before they produce their own sentences.

A lot of good reading and good listening will most probably lead to good speaking and writing!

Spring Worksheet

Next week, as it's the last week of lessons before Easter holidays, I'll be doing some activities about Spring and Easter. For a start, after the warm up and after teaching some vocabulary, I'll use this worksheet with my younger students. It is full of spring pictures and the activities differ from colouring to joining dots or drawing.
I hope you like it!

quarta-feira, 18 de março de 2009

segunda-feira, 16 de março de 2009

Father's day - reflexion

I've written about a Father's day activity which I'd developed with the kids.

All along the day, I was thinking about those activities and I think I'm having a problem.

Here in Portugal we celebrate father's day, mother's day Christmas (and a long list of special ocasions) at school. the problem is, what do we do when we are asking the kids to colour a "best dad's certificate" when his/her father doesn't live with him/her or has passed not so long ago?

I'm teaching at the very south of Portugal. There are kids from everywhere in my school. Polish, Bulgarians, Angolans...Many of them come from broken families or have different religious beliefs...

My questions are: Should we protect these students and not celebrate these ocasions ever??

Should we celebrate anyway but have special attention on these lessons? Or should we simply go on like if all the kids have just the same life stories behind them?

Father's day - suggestion

For the Father's day, I've made this certificate with my 1st grade students. I would like to make something more elaborated or even use some recycling for the activity but my lessons are only 45minutes long which makes it hard to do some kind of crafts.

I found the original "Certificate" online by searching on google. Then I just made some changes on the text. Instead of a Portuguese "Best Dad's certificate" I made an english version.

Either way, I leave here both versions of the certificate. If you still have time, you can use it with one of your classes!

sábado, 14 de março de 2009

The importance of learning english

Watch, Listen, Laugh and THINK about it...

Frisbee - Course book

I think I've never written about this book.. Well, I'm not really a fan of english course books for primary school. Most of them are restricted to a few short topics and activities. I really like it better to create my own lessons most of the times with my own materials and Ideas. However, this course book as caught my attention three years ago. Not by the book itself but by the audio CD that comes with it!

The songs and chants are really great! The kids learn them fast and they always ask me to repeat them. It is a combination of nice songs with comic and dramatic voices.

I do think it is worth buying the project just for the CD! The activity book is also good. If I was forced to pick a course book for my students this would certainly be my choice.

Here in Portugal we can order the book from Santillana's site www.santillana.pt . I guess in spain it's the same... I don't know about other countries but I can tell you that the original publisher is Riachmond.

sexta-feira, 13 de março de 2009

Pair work - Likes and dislikes!

Dear everyone,

I've recently been teaching Sports and Hobbies.

As those are topics which pupils learn really fast, I've decided to develop some pair work activities to practice speaking.

I've elaborated a table where the students would mark the answers they got from their friends.

The questions would always start with "Do you like...?" and they had to ask a list of 10 sports or hobbies to their partners. They would take their table and write "Yes" or "No" according to their answers.

I've noticed that most of them respected the rules and spoke English all the time.

The environment in that class was very pleasant. I could see that they were actually working and having fun at the same time.

My idea was to follow this activity by making a graphic in class showing the most "liked" sports among the students but unfortunately time was too short for all ...

Do you usually use pair work and group work in your classes?

I do use group work a lot and I think it's the best way to make the kids comfortable to speak as they don't feel as exposed as when they work individually.

terça-feira, 10 de março de 2009

Hannah Montana - Reading Comprehension

This is my last worksheet. I've prepared it for my elder students (4th grade). I wanted to see how far could they go with real texts in English.
The topic they are studying is Sports and Hobbies so, after teaching vocabulary, singing songs and playing games, I tried to make them do a different task.
The fact that I used Hannah Montana for the text was a great motivation for itself.
I read the text out loud and (always in English  asked questions about the text which they answered very well.
After that I've made the whole True or False exercise with them.
At the end of the lesson I've asked the students to put hands up if they thought the text was easy to understand. I got 90 % of votes which makes me think I'll start using simple texts like this more often!!

Sports worksheet

This is a worksheet about sports.
The first part is a wordsearch with vocabulary I had taught my students and the second part focus on building sentenses with "I can..... but I can't".
Just like all the others, just click on the picture if you want to dowload!

domingo, 8 de março de 2009

St. Patrick

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders
It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)
Guided By Visions

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)
Bonfires and Crosses

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.)

quinta-feira, 5 de março de 2009

Memory Balloons - activity

Whenever I'm finishing a topic and starting a new one, I usually make this activity with the kids.
I draw several balloons on the blackboard and ask them to try to fill each memory balloon with one word from the last topic we've learned.
For example, yesterday I wrote Food on the board and started drawing the balloons. It didn't take to long before the kids filled all the balloons.
After we do this together on the board, the kids copy it to their Portfolios. With this activity they recall vocabulary and they keep an organized bank of words on their Portfolios.
Mice digital design by Lauri Furnell