Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thinking about blogging

From time to time I come back to my very first blog, this one. Every time I do so I think I need more time to write about so many things I think about, things that happen to me while teaching... 

This time is just that, a new promise to myself to come back. Soon. I even have the topic I want to deal with in mind: Professionalism. I witness so many things on a daily basis which make me wonder what professionalism implies! I do not know whether teachers care about that or not. Many of those close to me seem not to care, or at least they have a different idea of what it is...

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Back again!

This blog should be renamed 'A post a year'... Just by chance I came across it some minutes ago, only to find out my last post had been a year ago!! This time I'm not promising to write more often... I'm just going to say I've been reading about assessment and I would like to post my views on that... or at least some aspects of it! I could even say I do need to write about something! You know? I love writing and I haven´t been able to do it lately... duties, duties and more duties!!! 

I know I'm not 'one of a kind'... but I also know there may be no one else who spends more hours than I do in front of the computer browsing for resources and ideas for my lessons. Unluckily, (there's always a kind of 'however'...) those hours are mainly devoted to imagine an ideal class far from reality!

Being later than 4 a.m. I have to go now... not without wondering why our brains need so many sleeping hours... :( I wish I could spend more time here... Am I nuts? 

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

After a year...

It's been a year since my last post... Today I just logged in just because and to my surprise I've been visited more than 2.500 times!!! I remember my first post. At the very beginning I was so enthusiastic about blogging... Then, I just wasn't motivated since no one posted replies so I thought nobody really cared. However, those thousands of visits mean something! I think the problem with teachers here may be that they prevent themselves from writing something which - they think -could be not relevant at all... I really don't know... I'm just thinking...

Throughout the year I've been through many things. I've changed a lot. I've even hated my students! :( (I really do not know whether that "hate stuff" is grammatically correct... but it's exactly what I've felt!) Right now, I need to know there is hope for us teachers struggling in this so demanding society which blames us for every single little thing that goes out of control... I try to "keep on track" and more and more often I need someone to share what I feel. Someone to whom I could tell the truth about my feelings towards teaching and policies. Unluckily, I've noticed I'm in the middle of the spider's web and there are many things I cannot share because I do know I'm surrounded by prejudices...

I prefer finishing this post right now... writing has to do with a particular state, difficult to describe. At this moment, everything is so confusing! I guess, teaching is so confusing at times!! This post may be revealing something I'm not fully aware of... so, bye for now. I promise to get back to my blog and write more often. I need it.

Thursday, 3 June 2010



I taught my first lesson more than a decade ago and I still cannot understand how students cannot remember question words! There are many things they don't remember... I know... but question words are being constantly used throughout the year...

This year I'm teaching 1st, 2nd and

3rd grade and none of them really know/remember the meaning of question words (1st graders aren't supposed to know that, though…) Anyway, I decided to do some "cut 'n paste" work IN the classroom! I wrote some question words on the board and asked them what they (mainly) referred to. So, the question board ended up something like...

I divided the group in 4 big teams. Each team would make a poster with each word to hang it on the classroom wall. Students were asked to bring some specific pictures for the following lesson considering the team they were in. They had to bring magazines, colour pencils, scissors, glue, paper and anything else they considered necessary to make the posters. I must confess I didn't expect them all to bring what I had asked... However, most of them did and we could work without problems!!

It took them a little bit longer than a single period but they managed to do it and... I SURVIVED!! That day they laughed, shouted, teased each other, chatted more than ever during the (MY) English lesson (!!), stood up more than necessary... The classroom was a complete mess, I must say! BUT THEY WORKED!!! And at the end of the "lesson" they had finished with their posters. They had managed to organize themselves and I have to say... they had worked collaboratively towards the same goal!

I'm very happy with the result and for that reason I decided to share some of them with you all. (I didn’t bring the ‘WHEN’ poster home since it was the only one which wasn’t finished but I promise to post more pictures when all the groups finish doing them)

Monday, 7 September 2009

After such a loooong time...

My goodness!! I've been sooo busy I haven't posted anything in a whole month!!! I've been working and studying quite a lot... Among all the things I've re-read I found something worth sharing.
Many times when planning reading activities we end up writing questions since they are one of the most traditional ways to 'test' our students' comprehension of a text. However, and in order to 'help' our students, we tend to make questions which are easily answered with factual information... but are we really helping them to develop reading comprehension skills as well as critical thinking skills? In my opinion, we aren't. Bloom suggested 6 levels of understanding and with careful planning they could be implemented in our lesson on a daily basis. Let's have a look with some examples....
TEXT (I wrote it for 2nd grade students in the mid-term test)
My favourite celebration is my party! I love birthday parties in general. Mostly because people get together and have fun but my birthday is the most important day in the year for many reasons.
First of all, I enjoy all the preparations. I generally get up early in the morning and I go to the supermarket to buy everything I need. Then, in the afternoon, I spent my time cooking. I love cooking and preparing the house to receive my friends! Generally, I prepare sandwiches, different kinds of pies, cookies, some pizzas and a pair of delicious cakes. The birthday cake is a ‘must’ since no birthday party is such without a birthday cake with candles and so on!
Then, I love birthday presents!! I mean, I love getting wrapped boxes. It is so exciting when you get a present and it’s a complete surprise. I don’t like when people ask what I want as a present… I prefer not knowing what it is.
But what I truly love is having all my friends with me at the same time! My birthday is the only possibility I have to see them all having fun with me and that is part of my most precious memories.
1. What's Alice's most important day during the year?
2. Does she like cooking for her birthday party?
3. When does she see all her friends together?
1. How do you think Alice feels about her birthday?
2. Would she feel sad if she didn't get presents at all? Explain.
1. Write a list of the things she probably needs for her birthday.
2. Write the dialogue between Alice and her mother they day before her birthday.
1. What do you think will happen during the party?
2. How do your birthday and Alice's birthday differ?
1. Imagine you're one of Alice's friends but don't know what to give her as a present. Write the telephone conversation between you two, a couple of days before the birthday party.
2. How would Alice react if her friends call and tell her they are not going because they are studying for an important exam?
1. Do you think Alice has good friends?
2. What do you like the most about Alice's story?
Well, I'm not sure whether you agree with the kind of questions... they're just examples for future discussion and sharing of ideas... I certainly would like to know what you think about this topic!! So I'll be waiting for your comments!! :)

Friday, 31 July 2009

Something to share!!

I wanted to share this video which I took from eslprintables forum. A teacher posted it for all of us members and I couldn't wait to post it here for my friends! It even made me cry a bit!

God and an Angel talk about teaching

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Back from holiday!!

Hi, everyone!! I'm back! This post is to my 1st grade students!! Again, they have done a GREAT job! When I finished my holidays, the first thing I did was correcting tests... and guess what?! My students are getting excellent results! I've noticed certain things such as they don't have problems confusing the verbs have and to be when expressing age (which is a dilemma for many, many teachers...)
I've never had such good results and I mean it! From a whole group I have 95% - 100 % of good results... I feel really proud of them!
And I must confess I don't feel a good teacher from time to time, but after this kind of things... I feel I'm doing my job the way it should be done! :)

I'll may post samples later...