quinta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2013

Carl Sagan Day

                  Today we celebrate Carl Sagan Day, a day dedicated to one of the greatest man of our century and someone I learned to admire since I was a child  and a day to celebrate the beauty of science and inquiry. Carl Edward Sagan Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author. According to the Wikipedia website, he is best known for his contributions to the scientific research of extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. For me, he is “best known” for writing the book Cosmos, that my cousin and journalist Luciana Cantão (with the permission of her mother), lend me to read it when I was teen. What a brand-new world! The reading was a great delight for me! After that, I found out that the book was part of the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. Absolutely fantastic! 
                In 2001, when I started working as a teacher in a regular school, Aiael, the Geography teacher, gave me a very meaningful text, that shows how important is the teacher’s role in awakening the student's curiosity to learn anything. The text was an excerpt from the book "The Demon-Haunted World", published in 1995 (no Brasil, O Mundo Assombrado pelos Demônios - A Ciência vista como uma vela no escuro, lançado em 1997). This text was so important to me, it touched me so deeply,  that I still have the original hand written text copied by her. Once in a while; I still read it as a reminder of what I really need to do. How lovely to see (and feel) how science is fascinating and for sure, Carl Sagan has helped me to understand (and feel) that. Congratulations Mr. Sagan, wherever you are.

Post Question: Have you ever read one of the books written by Carl Sagan? Have your ever seen one of his documentaries or series? How did you like them? How do you like to read or to get information about the Universe?

 To know more about Carl Sagan and his work, visite his official website.

terça-feira, 15 de outubro de 2013

Happy Teacher's Day!

What a day!
There are people that God should give "something" of eternity, so they could keep on sharing their knowledge and influence humankind throughout its history ... people like this lovely lady, "Dona Albertina".
She was my teacher in elementary school at EEPG de Vila Gerty (today, Alfredo Burkart ), in São caetano do Sul, and taught me so many good things ... from how to solve math problems with all the complexity of two operations (add and subtract) to how I should behave myself when talking to elder .
Last Sunday I went to Ben-Hur bakery to have breakfast and life generously gave me this wonderful gift - to meet a person who was very important in my life - my teacher!
Today , when I teach , I often get myself  remembering and even acting like these masters who were part of my life - D. Albertina , D. Áurea , D. Isabel , Mr. Pacifico, D. Margareth and Mr. Alberto.
May God bless all of them for their patience and their love, wherever they are! (But if by chance, as I do, God does not know for sure where they are, no problem - He can bless them right here, because all of them are here,  in my heart!)
PS . : I apologize my crying face, I tried to hold it but I couldn't help ...having the chance of expressing my gratitude to someone so special - is priceless!
Happy Teacher's Day!

"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of teh arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit." - John Steinbeck, Author.

Post Question for the students: Who was the teacher that had a great influence in your life? Why? Have you had the chance of meeting him/her again? How was it? If not, would you like to?

Tip: Here in Brazil we celebrate Teacher's day on October 15th, but do you know when is the World Teacher's Day? To learn more about it, just click here and read about what UNESCO is doing to celebrate it!

segunda-feira, 8 de julho de 2013

Getting connected...

Photo by Kátia Veloso
July in San Diego...being with some students in an exchange program.
To refresh this early afternoon, there is nothing like a juice well chilled. And to enjoy this moment even more, a little chat with my family (my husband and Kika). Just a little detail...they are on the other side, I mean, they are all the way down in America. I'm in the north part of America (California - USA) and they are in the south part (São Paulo - Brazil), but we can talk as if they were right in front of me. And what is really amazing, we can communicate in more than one way. I could use my cell phone (which was invented 40 years ago and for sure it is a great option and for many years it was the only option we had) or I could use my tablet (which became very popular after the introduction of the iPad device made by Apple, in 2010). Of course we have had many ways to communicate through these years, but what can really caught my attention is how fast it has improved and how easy it has become during all these years. I know I could use e-mails, but I really wanted to hear his voice...it is much nicer than just read e-mails.
When I was a child, my grandmother used to live in Paraná, another state here in Brazil. Her house was about 500 km (about 310 miles) far from mine and we used to visit her just once a year, in December or January (because it was our school summer vacation) and we used to go there by car. During all the other months, there were only two ways to get some news from my grandparents: somebody that had been there with them and could bring us some news or by mail. So, I used to write letters to my grandmother (she was the one who usually replied them) every month. It's funny that, remembering all that now I have this feeling of "how could I get patience enough to wait days, weeks and sometimes even months (when my grandmother couldn't write me back so promptly) and now, some years later, I can't spend one day without talking to my husband - and sometimes twice or three times a day, depending on where I am or what I'm doing - which gives me a kind of a feeling like if he was here with me, traveling and visiting these gorgeous places in California.

It makes me wonder... if keep in touch has getting better and better so fast...how will we possibly be communicating to each other in the future? I don't know but I like to think that somehow we will be able to use a kind of teleportation - so, even if it could not be for the whole day, at least we could have people we love        for some hours, sharing our good moments and keeping us company!  But, on the other hand, could it reduce even more my patience? Although I think so; I want to believe that there is a way to prevent it...hopefully!

Post Question for the students: How do you usually communicate to people you care about? How often do you get together with your grandparents? Do you enjoy being with them? If you could be teleported anywhere in the world (or in the galaxy), where would you like to go? Why?
Tip: To learn more about one of the great inventions, the cell phone, listen to its inventor's interview (Marty Cooper) with the BBC. To watch it, just Click here

segunda-feira, 10 de junho de 2013

Wild Things...where are they?

Do you know where the wild things are?
This book was published, for the first time, in 1963 and after all these years, it has been one of the reading icon in the American childhood literature. I like it a lot and I do enjoy using it in my classes. And what really get me surprised is that no matter the age, my students always have a great time reading it. I believe it happens for two main reasons:     
- it is a very simple story, easy to read and easy to get involved. It's amazing how it seems that simple things have a direct connection to the heart!
- the book describe the world of children's imagination. It's the story of a little boy who is messing around and get punished. He is forced to go to his room and while he is there, he starts to imagine stories, fantasizing about being in a forest and traveling to a place where the monsters live, facing various adventures.
Students identify themselves with the book because all of us were children before and there is still a "little child" inside each one, so they know exactly what is happening with the boy because they did and have done the same thing ... dreamed, imagined and created many stories. It is a sweet memory that comes back and reminds us how fun life can be, even though we are "grounded". Actually it depends only on ourselves. If he were alive, Maurice Sendak would complete 85 years today and to honor the date of her birthday, Google has created an excited Doodle with the main designs of the author.

So...Where are the wild things? Thanks to Sendak, we know that they are wherever our imagination would like them to be and the best part...just waiting for our visit!

Post Question for the students: Have you read the book "Where wild things are"? Although you are in High School, do you still read children's book? Which one is your favorite? Why?

Tip: To read more about Sendak's work and  see the Doodle created by Google about his work, just click here

quarta-feira, 1 de maio de 2013

International Workers' Day - Are you going to celebrate it?

          Today is Wednesday and I’m sure a lot of you, school students, are very happy because it’s a holiday in the middle of the week. And you should be... it’s a very good pause, a moment to relax and enjoy this day, specially because it’s a very sunny and bright day! But a holiday is also a good moment to reflect about its meaning and why it is so important...at least the celebration is important enough to give us a holiday.
But before sharing some thoughts with you, let’s get something straight:
- LABOR Day is commemorated in USA. It’s an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.
- LABOUR Day, for many countries, is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on May 1st and it is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. It is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. In Brazil, like in India and most of the other countries, most offices, banks, schools, etc. remain closed since it  is a public holiday. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for recreation.

          But is it a real achievement? I mean, it must be official and well written in some document, but how many people do you know that enjoy 8 hours for recreation? Or sleep 8 hours a day? As I know a lot of teachers, I know that many of them work 8 hours (sometimes even more) per day, but when they go home, the other 8 hours are also used to keep on working (researching some topics, correcting tests, checking the student’s work, preparing classes, etc.) It sounds crazy! But I also know that it’s not a teacher’s privilege. There are many other workers who have an 8-hour work journey and after that keep on working at home, thinking about what they have done, what they are going to do next day or even working at their computer (or as people like to say it, working at their home office).
         Workers didn’t have this right before and it was a hard work to achieve it...and now that we have the right of have a balanced life, where work, leisure and rest has the same importance, we act as if we didn’t have it . If it was so important before, the question is...what has really changed in our modern life that it’s not taking it into consideration anymore? What has really changed in our modern life that it’s not taking it into consideration what we have achieved in the past?
Post Question for the students: Are you an organized person? Do you have your routine elaborated in a balanced way? Do you plan your day? Can you study (in school) 8 hours, sleep 8 hours and spend 8 hours doing what you like? If you can, how do you organize your day? If you can not, what could you do, what changes would be the necessary to improve your routine and afford you great satisfaction and a more balanced day?
Tip: To learn more about the celebration of Labor Day, read the article from the British newspaper The Guardian and watch the second video in this article (Click here). While today may have been a day of rest for you, in many countries of the world, such as Russia, Cuba, Greece, the Philippines and South Korea, it was a day to protest against the economic crisis afflicting many workers and causing a high level of unemployment .

segunda-feira, 15 de abril de 2013

Poetry Month

                     April is National Poetry Month in United States.  According to English writer William Hazlitt:  Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself Poetry, as music, is a very sensitive way of expressing our thoughts and our feelings. Get some minutes of your day and stop to read a poem - it is a great opportunity of bring some beauty to your day, to your heart. To celebrate it and created by the Academy of American Poets, on Thursday, April 18, 2013; americans will be participating the "National Poem in Your Pocket Day". As it is explained on the Academy site, it's a very simple idea: first you choose one of your favorite poems, make some copies, carry them with you and share them with your friends, family and who else you think could enjoy a good poem. And guess what? You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. I chose this poem because I like it so much! We have just celebrated Easter and this lovely poem, which was written more than a century ago, is so up-to-date! Like all things that are well elaborated, a good poem is timeless!

The Easter Bunny
                                                                   by M. Josephine Todd, 1909
There's a story quite funny,
              About a toy bunny,
                  And the wonderful things she can do;
                      Every bright Easter morning,
              Without warning,
                  She colors eggs, red, green, or blue.

Some she covers with spots,
Some with quaint little dots,
And some with strange mixed colors, too
Red and green, blue and yellow,
But each unlike his fellow
Are eggs of every hue.

        And it's odd, as folks say,
           That on no other day
 In all of the whole year through
Does this wonderful bunny,
      So busy and funny,
  Color eggs of every hue.

                   If this story you doubt
                  She will soon find you out,
                    And what do you think she will do?
                            On the next Easter morning
                                                  She'll bring you without warning,
                                        Those eggs of every hue.

Post Question for the students: Do you like to read poems? What's your favorite poem? (In english or in Portuguese) If you could choose one special person to give him/her your favorite poem, who would you choose? Why? Would you like to celebrate the National Poem in Your Pocket Day?

Tip: To understand what exactly is the National Poem in Your Pocket Day, go to the site of the Academy of American Poets, (Just click here) read the ideas, watch the video, choose a poem, subscribe for their newsletter and get inspired to celebrate it and have fun! Enjoy it!

segunda-feira, 8 de abril de 2013

Grammar in my life- thanks God!

                         There is no ifs, ands or buts about it - reading is one of the most important abilities to help you to improve your vocabulary! Students use to say that they have some difficulties to understand the texts in the booklet because they don't know the meaning of some words. But the point is - you will just learning it by facing it - in order to learn new words and acquire a good level of vocabulary, you must keep on reading! There are no magic pills that will give you a language knowledge just by intaking them! (So sorry about that!) It will require a hard work from you to achieve the level of understanding that you wish - but there is also a good point - the more you read, the better your vocabulary will be, for sure! It means that your dedication will be rewarded! Every attempt of yours will approach you to the satisfaction of being able to read text (any kind of text),understand it and answer the comprehension exercises with confidence and security, being sure that you're doing your best and that you are really prepared for it! Thinking about it and to provide extra sources of good reading that our school has become a Newsweek subscriber and has bought some new books to our library. Remember that you can also recommend some titles to be bought and your suggestion is very important - it's the chance of choosing what you like to read!     
                  We have been using the Anglo booklet since you have started the High School.  Last week, in the 3ºD grade classes, we talked about one of the texts from the Newsweek magazine, the one about the tragedy that happened  in Santa Maria RS, titled "A Time to Mourn". I told them that mourn is a word that we haven't seen in our booklet since we starting using it and we never know...it can be in a text in your "vestibular" test. And this word mourn, by the way, was part of the glossary exercise. Reading the text, the word mourn appeared again, (but now as a verb) in the sentence: "And so a woman mourns over a coffin of one of the Brazilians who died along with more than 230 others at a night club in the southern city of Santa Maria." After reading this sentence, one student asked about the meaning of coffin and then I explained that it is common to see this word and the word mourn in the same text. Vocabulary bringing more vocabulary! And for sure, only knowing the meaning of the words is not enough, not at all! We can not forget the context in which this word is inserted. Sometimes the understanding of the whole text is compromised because we do not understand the meaning of  a word that might be the keyword. The picture above isn't exactly a text to be read but it reminded me the one we read in our class. It's a good example how your conversation can be misinterpreted...you may even being killing your grandma without noticing it!

Post Question for the students: Do you use any technique to improve your vocabulary? What is the most strange word you have learned in English so far? And the most exquisite? In the picture above, someone commented the post written by another person and he (or she) was very sarcastic. Explain why this person was sarcastic (ironic) in commenting the post. 

Tip: To help you to improve not only your vocabulary but also your grammar, there is a site that provides quick and helpful tips. It's a blog written by a girl who is really engaged of helping people to understand the English language better. You can also subscribe to receive the newsletter. Just click here to learn more!

quinta-feira, 4 de abril de 2013

Graduation Ceremony

Thank you very much!

Muito obrigada!

Aproveito esse espaço para agradecer aos alunos formandos de 2013 do 3ºE pelo carinho da escolha de vocês. Foi um prazer participar da cerimônia de formatura e foi uma honra poder ser a oradora dos professores, apesar de ser uma tarefa difícil ter que transmitir todo o nosso apreço por vocês, em tão poucas palavras, em um espaço curto de tempo e para tantas pessoas que estavam conosco no teatro Paulo Machado de Carvalho. Para poder realizar tal missão, fui à busca do auxílio do professor Flávio, convidando-o para fazer o discurso junto comigo. E para a minha sorte e o deleite de todos os presentes, ele prontamente aceitou. Usando as palavras da poetisa Cora Coralina e do professor Luiz Schettini Filho, nós escrevemos um texto e a pedido de alguns de vocês, vamos disponibilizá-lo aqui. Mais uma vez obrigada pela confiança nesses 3 anos juntos e que daqui pra frente você consigam galgar degraus ainda maiores e que no meio de toda a novidade que essa fase irá trazer, vocês possam encontrar um tempinho para vir até o colégio, contar as boas novas e sobretudo, trazer um abraço para amenizar a saudade! Nós aqui vamos continuar na torcida, sempre! Sucesso!

Discurso da Cerimônia de Colação de Grau do Formandos de 2013.

Boa noite a todos. [...]
Gostaríamos de deixar uma mensagem aos nossos alunos formandos para que eles possam compreender que suas atitudes, por mais simples que pareçam, podem fazer toda a diferença para si mesmo e para outros.
Esqueci algumas coisas. A memória, às vezes falha. Também é só memória. O amor, por exemplo, com o tempo se fortalece. Quando tudo falhar, lembre-se de que o amor nunca falha.
Apesar de todos os desencontros nas relações com as pessoas não pensem que será impossível amá-las, até porque, quando negamos amor ou outro, antes estamos negando a nós próprios.
Enquanto castigamos o outro, deixando de amá-lo, estamos na realidade, subtraindo os nutrientes à nossa própria vida. A vitória não é vitória quando destrói o outro, mas quando o recupera.
E, por fim, nunca esqueçam, que muitos dos nossos medos são fantasmas que desaparecerão com o exercício da esperança.
As pessoas são como joias expostas em uma vitrine. É verdade, que umas têm mais destaques que outras. Há as que têm maior presença, enquanto outras passam quase despercebidas. Há, no entanto, um aspecto em que são iguais: todas são de ouro. Nisso não diferem.
 Se você tiver apenas um colo, um braço, uma palavra, um silêncio, uma alegria, uma lágrima, um olhar, um desejo ou um amor para oferecer...não tenham dúvida, isso muitas vezes basta! É o suficiente para a grande maioria, portanto, não subestime a capacidade de suas ações. Quem nos traz essa lição é, por definição de Carlos Drummond de Andrade, um dos seres humanos mais sensíveis e belos que nosso país comtemplou, a poetisa Cora Coralina.
Portanto, emprestando o poema dessa ilustre brasileira, intitulado Saber Viver, gostaríamos de reforçar:
“Não sei... se a vida é curta
ou longa demais para nós, 
mas, sei que nada
do que vivemos tem sentido, 
se não tocamos o coração das pessoas.

Muitas vezes basta ser:
o colo que acolhe, 
o braço que envolve,
a palavra que conforta,
o silêncio que respeita,
a alegria que contagia,
a lágrima que corre,
o olhar que acaricia,
o desejo que sacia,
o amor que promove.

E isso não é coisa de outro mundo,
é o que dá sentido à vida.
É o que faz com que ela não
seja nem curta, nem longa demais,
mas que seja intensa, verdadeira,
pura enquanto ela durar...”

Que ela possa durar o suficiente para que vocês possam genuinamente descobrir que ser feliz é muito mais simples do que se imagina e assim, quando nos encontrarmos novamente, que a narrativa dessa descoberta seja nossa companheira em longas prosas. Por que com certeza nós vamos nos encontrar...logo ali, depois da curva! Até lá, nós, os professores do colégio Eduardo Gomes desejamos que todos vocês sejam muito felizes.

domingo, 17 de março de 2013

Saint Patrick's Day: Everyone is Irish on March 17th!

           Today the world woke up greener than usual, thanks to all the Irish (by blood or by heart - the great majority by heart) who is scattered to the four corners of this planet.
           Saint Patrick's Day became an official religious feast day in Ireland during the 17th century. Four Christian denominations observe the holiday: Anglican, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran. The celebration, besides its religious significance, it has also become a secular celebration of Irish customs. Maybe it's one of the reasons that made this celebration so disseminated around the globe, it's not just a religious event, there's also a patriotic sentiment.  
        In 1903, Saint Patrick's Day became an official public Irish holiday and in the 1990's, the government began a campaign to highlight the country and its culture. It seems that the idea has caught on quickly! Even here in Brazil, more and more places like pubs and bars (check the poster on the right) have promoted their St. Patrick's Day, with lots of  "green things" from t-shirts and hats to bottons and stickers, serving tipycal Irish food and drink, such as the famous Irish stew and the well-known Guinness or the green draft-beer and all that with the sound of Irish folk music. We almost could say that ireland is here!
      And of course, we can't forget the clothes! "Wearing of the Green" has become a kind of passport and  guarantee that you will be included in this charming celebration as genuine hot tempered Irish person, embraced by this warm hearted tribe of leprechauns, no matter what your ancestry is.
But why has it become so popular? I really can't say for sure, but I guess that the combination of good food, nice beer, joyful music and get together with other people has contributed a lot for its success. It's part of human beings to celebrate and have fun! Some do it in the pubs, others go to the street to participate and attend the parades and others just celebrate it at home, helping children to study for the test. Maybe it's not so nice like the other options, but at least we are wearing green...and counting on the good luck of Irish to help us tomorrow...we never know when it will be necessary! (To get a good mark in a test souds like a good moment to use it!).

Post Question for the students: What do you know about Irish culture? Do you like the Irish singers and bands? Have you ever celebrated St. Patrick's Day?  Would you like to participate in this celebration? If you could find a leprechaun, what would you like to ask him/her?

Tip: To watch some curious videos with intereting information about St. Patrick's Day celebration around the world, go to the BBCNews site and have fun! Just click here. (in the end of the first video, more three others will be available).

quarta-feira, 13 de março de 2013

Habemus Papam! Gaudium Magnum!

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum;
Habemus Papam:
Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum Georgium Marium 
Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Bergoglio,
Qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum

(Announce to you a great joy; we have a Pope. Emminet and most revered lord, Dom Jorge Mario, Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Bergoglio. He took the name Francis.)            
          And with these words, the French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced to the hundreds of thousands who were in St. Peter's Square and to the millions around the world who were connected to Vatican through the all technology we have available in 21st century, from the radio and television to the smartphones and social network. 
                Although he wasn't in the list that the midia was scattering as the "most probable names" to accupy St. Peter's throne, when Pope Francis appeared, with his gentle words and his kindly smile, lots of people felt that all the waiting was absolutely worthwhile. He captivated people not only by his charisma, but also by his simple way of acting. And that's one important point for a good leader - good acts! Good acts will serve as examples for all the others who follow him. Throughout the history of the Papacy, Francis is the first Pope from Latin America or, as he defined his origin place: "You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are." Take into consideration that Ushuaia is in Argentina, we can say that he's right! And besides all that, it's also said that Pope Francis, while living in Buenos Aires, cooked his own meals and rode the bus like all the other commuters. 
 So, due to all that, it wasn't a surprise that, when Vatican Cardinal Giovanni Battista asked him: "What  name would you like to be known by?", he answered: "I shall be called Francis I". The Pope took his regnal name from one of the most beloved saints, St. Francis of Assisi, well known for his love for all creatures and his humble way of living. But Adrian Salbuchi wrote that his choice could also be to honor to St. Francis Javier or even St. Francis de Borja, both of whom were, like himself, Jesuits. Or maybe he is honoring all of these three saints. Every new Pope faces different kinds of crisis and challenges and with Pope Francis it will be the same. But the hundreds of thousands that were in Rome and the millions and millions around the world, for sure, will be praying for him, for a period with so much great joy and hope as we could see and feel today.

Post Question: Do you follow any religion? Is it the same of your family? What aspect (or aspects) of your religion do you like most?  Based on what you've read and seen lately, what is your first impression of Pope Francis? 

Tip: The Vatican site provides more information about the Pope Francis and you can read it in Portuguese and in English. (Of course you are going to choose English) (Just click here) and you can keep yourself up to date following his holiness' account on Twitter - @Pontifex  

terça-feira, 12 de março de 2013

Exhibition: "Vatican Splendors - a Journey Through Faith and Art"

           Since last year (September 21st), São Paulo has received one of the most beautiful exhibition from its history. In Ibirapuera Park, the exhibition Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith and Art,  features the first time to Brazil, presents 200 works of religious art and historical objects. Many of them have never left the seat of the Catholic Church and often are not exposed to the public who visit the city-state. Additionally, visitors can take a virtual tour of the famous Chapel of Michelangelo and touch a bronze cast of the hand of John Paul II.  The high-school students were invited to visit the exhibition with some of their teachers and a monitor, who was very helpful to conduct all of us through the collections organized in 11 galleries, where the artworks are exhibited in chronological order.
3ºD students and the English teacher, Kátia Veloso,
from Eduardo Gomes School
             Public schools were dispensed of the entrance fee and and as the exhibition has been extended until the end of this month, there is a discount in ticket prices. And there is another aspect very curious about our visit: today begins the council that will elect the new pope! We are being part of the History while it's happening now, in front of us! 
        Regardless the student's religion, the visit was proposed  by the english, history, art and literature teachers to show them the connection between these study areas and its influence through the years. It was very curious to see some students identifying elements of other religions in the artworks. And as the representative the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Father Juarez de Castro said during the press conference: ""It is important to remember that the Church has always promoted, protected and preserved the art. It's important to remember that God is expressed through the beautiful." And that's true.
3ºD students and the History teacher, Renato Ribeiro,
 from Eduardo Gomes School
          Most of these artworks are here today because through the centuries and after all the wars, invasions and conflicts, they were kept safely by the institution that have withstood all of them.
The effort was worthwhiling! There are so many beautiful objetcs that is almost impossible to choose just one favorite.  The literature teacher, Ingrid Galleazzo, caught my attention to the artwork of Albert Lacombe (1827-1916) entitled Cree Catechism. It shows the two paths, the good and the bad one, starting with the creation of the world by God and the seven days of the week, going all the way up to the Final Judgement. I also got enchanted by the Daniel Seghers work: The vision of St. Philip Neri.  The colors were so vivid that the flowers could almost pop up out of the picture. The last gallery and one of the most important, is dedicated to Pope John Paul II (1978 - 2005), who once said that if people can´'t go to the Vatican, the vatican must go where people are. His wish was fufilled.

Post Question: Have you visited this exhibition? What did you like most about it? Is there anything you didn't like? Why? Could you give any suggestion to make our school tour?
What other exhibiton would you like to see in our city? (it can be one which has being held or one that it isn't created yet but, in your opinio, should be interesting.)

Tip: To get more information about this incredible exhibition, go to its oficial webpage, Just click here.

segunda-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2013

Japan is here!

        Yesterday, some students and I could visit Japan without going out of São Caetano do Sul. We had the great opportunity of participating in a event at our school sponsored by Rotary International, the Forum For Peace. The Forums have taken place in Berlin (Germany), Honolulu (Hawaii), and there will be a forum in the city of Hiroshima (Japan) in May. 
          We participate in various workshops, such as:
- Ikebana (flower arrangement), 
- Manga (a kind of Japanese comic book style ), 
- Shodo (the traditional Japanese writing), 
- Furoshiki (the art of using scarves to create a kind of purse (a bag) able to load whatever it takes) and 
- Origami (the very famous Japanese art of folding)
          All of them were very interesting and helped us to learn more about the Japanese culture, one of the richest culture in the world.  I really enjoyed the Furoshiki workshop because it was completely new to me! It's very simple, practical and charming! Today I used it to carry my bottle of water to the classroom! And just by curiosity, did you know that the largest Japanese community outside Japan is in Brazil? The largest concentration of Japaneses are in the states of São Paulo and Paraná. The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil in 1908 and since then, they have shared not only their culture, but also their own way of being - what a great present for us! Each one of us had our names written in the Japanese way at the Shodo Workshop and after that we requested the Japanese elderly lady to write one more sentence for us: "We are family!" She kindly did it and she is showing this sentence in the photo below. I just hope all of us are showing our "names" in the right position too!

Post Question: Are you familiar with the Japanese culture? What aspects of Japanese culture do you like best? If you could choose one of the workshops at the event that was held yesterday (Ikebana, Mangá, Shodo, Furoshiki e Origami), which one would you like to participate in? Why?

Tip: Take a Quiz about Japan Culture and check how much you know about it. Don't forget to write down your score and to check the right answers. Besides the quiz, there are also some very interesting facts about Japan. Just click here.
And if you want to learn hoew to make the Furoshiki knot, Just click here and watch the video. Have fun!

sexta-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2013

Moodle stands for:


               It's a free software created in 2001 by Martin Dougiamas, an Australian educator and a computer scientist, whose research for a master's degree and Ph.D led him to develop the set of online tools that would become Moodle. This new concept is a system of administration of educational activities, enabling the creation of virtual environments, where teachers and students can interact to each other and to other students in online communities. Developing the collaborative learning, it allows and motivate, in a very simple way, a student or a teacher integrate, studying or teaching in an online course. I can say it's motivating because we used this virtual enviroment during the classes, last year, with students from the 1st grade of our high school level, and we had a positive result. It was so positive that even after the end of our classes, teacher and students kept on meeting and exchange activities, opinons and ideas during the vacation period. 
              I know it can sound a little bit strange, but it really happens. Students  uploaded
their homework, posted the photo of their pets, suggested places to other students go, commented about the end of the world and they even created a campaing entitled "Fica Rafinha" (Stays at school Rafael), because Rafael, one of the students from 1ºE said that his father would change him from school because it's too far from his house. (Indeed, it's really too far!) But apparently the campaign got good results...Rafael is still here, studying with us and using our moodle again! This is the front page of our class-vacation course. (It was programmed to end on December 7th, but it was extended uo to February 18th.
               In coloquial language, the verb "moodle" in English describes the process of browsing for something unpretentious, while other things are done at the same time. We really could certify this definition because it was exactly the feeling that we had...students were browsing on Internet, completed their moodle task while they were doing other things...like for example...being on vacation! After all, you can be on vacation, but education does not take vacations. It was a very grateful experience! Thanks to all of you! 

Post Question: Do you know the Moodle environment? Have you ever used it? If yes, describe your opinion about it. What topics or subjects would like to study in our Moodle?

Tip: To have access to our school Moodle, go to this link (just click here) and have fun! You will need your own login and password. If you have any doubt or problem to start your moodle experience, go to the school  computer lab and talk to Marisa.

quinta-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2013

Carnival - There are "gringos" in the samba!

            Carnival is a very popular celebration in Brazil. Indeed, Carnival, is the most famous holiday in our country and it has become an event of huge proportions. As people use to say, it celebrated from Oiapoque to Chuí (our two most extreme cities). Maybe a great contribution for that is the fact that the country stops completely (even the banks) for at least 4 days (from Friday to Tuesday) and celebrations and parties are really intense, going on day and night, night and day. Carnival should finish on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday because this Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent (= the traditional forty-day period before Easter. As Brazil is a big country, the way people celebrate Carnival varies from region to region. Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and other cities organize parades made up by the samba schools. People get together, compose the main samba-song, (the one that everybody from the school will be singing during the parade), create the costumes, make the choreography and rehearse months before the oficial presentation.
This year, the samba school called Rosas de Ouro, composed a samba song to honor the celebrations around the world...and guess what? Ireland is Ireland is represented by the celebration of St. Patrick's day. The song says:

"By land, sea and sky
Come to travel in this magic
I want to celebrate traditions
(I want) Get lost in the realms of revelry!"
People sang it during the school presentation and the avenue was coloured with green shamrocks and leprechauns. So, as I've written before here in our blog, St. Patrick's Day has become increasingly popular, even here, in Brazil.  So popular that this year is being celebrated in our Carnival...now the "gringos" (foreign people) are officially in the samba!

Post Question: Do you like Carnival? Do you have a favorite samba school? What do you usually do during this four-day holiday? 
Have you ever participated in a Carnival parade? Would you like to participate? What costume did you (or would you) like to wear? 
Tip: Carnival has become a very typical Brazilian party, so sometimes it's difficult to explain it to someone who is out of the context. But how would a "gringo" explain our Carnival? Watch this video (Just click here) made by Discovery channel for a special series "Atlas" and find it out!

sexta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2013

We are family, aren't we?

          "We Are Family" is a song that got famous in the Sister Sledge's voice! During our first year, in 2012, the 1ºE was a class made by 9ºD and 9ºE. As the year went by, we had the great opportunity of learning that together we are much stronger! If we want to have a good group, a good class, a good school and even a good nation, we must learn that what we do can affect much more people than we can image. Watch out what you say, what you do and mainly what you think! Your thoughts influence your attitudes. I'm very proud of noticing that after one year, I can see (and feel) that we've been learning that lesson! And now, for our first quarter work, I'd like you to listen to the song and read the lyrics. After that, rewrite the song, adapting the lyrics to our class and our experience of being together. Remember to check the spelling and to upload your work in our Moodle room! And by the way, as you are going to use all your creativity to rewrite the song, what about creating a new coreography? Be bold! (After the "Chicken Dance"...nothing could be more embarassing, believe me!) Enjoy!
(chorus 2x)
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(fly!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(all!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

 (chorus 2x)

Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(high!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(we!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family jewel

(chorus 3x)

domingo, 3 de fevereiro de 2013

Back to School

               Tomorrow will be our first day at school, classes will started and it will be our first step toward to a good year! We know that there are a lot of factors that matter to make this year a really good one, but the majority of them depend on us, exclusively of us! There will be new subjects (for some of you), new topics to be discussed, new technology to be incorporated, new friends, new teachers, new activities and excursions...the only thing that is not new at all is how you are going to deal with it successfully. The key of this success is a good and well done planning. Basically you must have a nice, quiet and clean place where you could study, focused on what you are reading and writing and you must define you study period - just don't forget to alternate it with periods for relax e for other extra-school activities.  If you are going to study for long hours, be sure of having some pauses, even short ones, to refresh your mind and renew your thoughts. Besides that, some tips (like the ones on the rigth) are classical, mainly if you are an English student: "Practice Makes Perfect".
To improve your reading comprehension, you must read and read, you must practice it! And when you do it, you should make the most of your reading, reading it more than once, at least twice. The first one you ca skim the text to get a general idea of what it is about ignoring the details and looking for the main ideas. The second one, paying more attention, you can scan the text, which involves moving your eyes seeking for spefific information, phrases and words, such as the new words that could help you to  make up your own glossary. Doing that, for sure, your "A, B, C" lessons will be easier and even enjoyable. And as Des'ree sings in "You Gotta Be", to face the new challenges of this year: "You gotta be wiser, You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger, You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together... Time ask no questions, it goes on without you, leaving you behind if you can't stand the pace, the world keeps on spinning, you can't stop it, if you tried to." That's true! You must adjust your pace to keep the balance in your life among your studies, your free time, your health and your rest! 

Post Question: Being completely honest, do you like to study? Why? What's your favorite subject? Why do you like it? And what is the subject that it's harder to you to study? Why do you think it's harder than others? Is there anything you think that could be done (in our classes and/or in our school) to improve the learning process? Do you plan your study?

Tip: To get more ten useful tips to help you in your studies, check the ones that the governament of the Autralian state of New South Wales is providing to its public schools. (Just click here).