quarta-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2014

Merry Christmas!


          It's Christmas! The most magical and festive time of the year! As this video has showed us, it can be a very stressful time because there are so many things to take care, like choosing and buying presents, writing cards, cooking food, getting together with many people, following some traditions and so on.
But it depends on us to have a really pleasant time and even if we have done it over the past years, we still can find a new perspective that could make us feel that this year is a very special one. Some people are not here among us anymore and new family members are just waiting to be welcomed - and that's the way we see how life is renewed through the years. Being part of it is a blessing and a great privilege.
I do enjoy Christmas and I got very happy to see that a young guy (video) can feel the same. Although all the rush, he could offer us his nice point of view and show us how to go through it keeping our good mood and having fun! Thanks a lot Renan for sharing that. I really couldn't agree more!


MERRY CHRISTMAS for you, your family and everybody who has read the posts in this blog. God bless all of you!



terça-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2014

Boko Haram, Fuvest e o conhecimento!

Dear Students

What else can I say?
Ao ler essa questão da Fuvest, a primeira coisa que me veio a mente foi a nossa foto no pátio e a participação na campanha #Bring Back Our Girls.
Para quem participou da campanha, responder essa questão foi "brincadeira de criança". Detalhe: a questão NÃO é de inglês, mas quem disse que a gente estuda inglês na aula de inglês? Uma língua estrangeira (seja ela qual for) é apenas uma ferramenta para que possamos ter acesso a uma gama maior de informações e principalmente, a uma escala maior de qualidade da informação, pois me permite ir buscar na fonte!
A questão é da prova de geografia, mas cá entre nós...quem separa? Física, química, matemática,
português, história, filosofia, literatura, biologia, inglês, filosofia, espanhol, geografia, artes, sociologia, sempre estiveram "intimamente" conectados. Quem separa o conhecimento não é a natureza, mas o ser humano. E a pessoa / profissional / professor / educador (whoever) que ainda não entendeu isso está a anos luz...lá atrás!

Um abraço a todos!

PS.: Eu nem vou comentar o texto da prova de inglês sobre o cérebro porque esse tema foi tópico da nossa prova no ano passado (com direito a post no blog)...ou seja, em relação a nós, a Fuvest está atrasada um ano...desculpa aí!

segunda-feira, 15 de setembro de 2014

Reel Bad Arabs - documentary

 
          During these week, we have been watching and talking about the documentary Reel Bad Arabs.
          According to the documentary official site, it is based on Dr. Jack Shaheen’s book. It dissects a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged from the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Dr. Shaheen watched thousands of movies and unfortunately they have always portrayed  the Arabian people in a mixture of incompetents, buffoons, terrorists and with no sense of reality when it comes to money. By inspiring critical thinking about the social, political, and basic human consequences of leaving these Hollywood caricatures unexamined, the film challenges viewers to recognize the urgent need for counter-narratives that do justice to the diversity and humanity of Arab people and the reality and richness of Arab history and culture.

Post Question: How do you like the documentary? What did you like most about it? What didn't you like about it? Do you agree to Dr. J. Shaheen when he says that hollywood has vilified the  Arabian people? Do you think the "Ali Babá" kit is still in the mind of people around the world? Is it in yours?

Tip: To donwload your vocabulary activity, just click here.

segunda-feira, 8 de setembro de 2014

Hamlet Facing Death

          Sometimes life can be so generous and offer us some singular moments and of a unique beauty that you know they will be forever part of whom you are! Last night was one of those moments! What a nice night! The GRVPO TEMPO, a theater group, presented us with the play "Hamlet face à morte" (Hamlet facing death). I can't say anything about the story because I love it (I'm an English teacher who is absolutely anglophile, I can't help being it! It's Shakespeare, for God's sake!).
           But I can say that the costumes, the lighting, the scenery and the stage presence of the actors were so well connected, so well linked that all the factors involved in the presentation could complement one another and the overall result really fulfilled not only the physical space of the theater but also our minds and our hearts.
           If I had to pick up just one word to define it (which is a very hard job) I would dare to say "touching". I knew the story but I really feel moved by the way the group presented it. The introduction led us to reflect on the brevity of life compared with the here and now. As wisely stated, the awareness of death interferes with the quality of our actions and from time to time it is salutary to be reminded that nothing is forever. Consciously we know that, but we act as if this was not part of our reality.
We see and feel ourselves "invincible", but the finitude of life (as we conceive it here) is a fact that is independent of how we see and how we feel.
Thanks GRUPO TEMPO for reminding us about that with such kindness, poetry and refinement!
Besides all that, no words to describe how proud I was to see two former students (Roger Campanhari and Giuliano Bonesso)from our school doing what they do best: enchant us with their talent.
"If now is not then!
If then, it will not be now!"

For now that is. Go, see the play and indulge yourself to a moment of pleasure!

 

Post Question: For the students who saw the play, answer these questions:
- What's your opinion about the play? What did you like most about it? Why? What you didn't enjoy at all? Why?

Tip: To get more information about GRVPO TEMPO, visit their website, just click here.
 

sexta-feira, 29 de agosto de 2014

SCRAPCARD - English work 3°E


How to make a scrapcard:

- choose your partners (group of 4 people)
- each member of the group must bring one photo of his/her childhood
- bring a card (half size of the common card, as the one used in your History work).
- choose one theme for your scrapcard (such as Autumn, friendship, celebration, etc)
- separate pictures, stickers, images from magazines and any other material the group think it's necessary to be used in the scrapcard to make it exactly according to the chosen theme.
- Choose the 5 sentences to be included in your scrap card. The sentences must be chosen from the Madonna's song "This Used To Be My Playground", the one we listened in our class and one sentence must be written using the verb "wish", expressing the desire of the group or of just the desire of one member of the group. You also can add sentences of your own.
- decide in which place all the components of your card must be displayed, organize the photos and all the material to be used in it (including the sentences).
- do the gluing  and writing work. Use all your creativity! Enjoy it!
- remember to write the group's name, number and class in your card
Have a nice job! And any doubt, just contact me by e-mail or during our class.

Post Question: Why do you think this is our 3rd quarter (3º trimestre) English work?

Tip: Some of our class Scrapcards will be posted here, in the blog.

segunda-feira, 25 de agosto de 2014

A Cinematic Test

Read the text from your test again. Check the vocabulary.

Why do we love to go to the cinema?
So why do we love to go to the cinema? What is it about sitting in a darkened hall, with a bunch of thoughtless, noisy people, watching other people's stories on the screen, that so inspires us? Moves us? Why is the box office ever larger, in spite of the onslaught of DVD, cable TV and console gaming? Going to the cinema is unlike any other form of art. Depending on your mood, you can choose to be angered, heartened, amused, bemused and pretty much any emotion you can think of. Often within the same film. You can identify with characters, fall in love, and go home alone. There is a whole range of experience available in most any film you care to name.
          Beyond the magic of not knowing how you will be moved, and whose life you will enter and inhabit for two hours, perhaps it is the definition of the time that allows watching a movie in a cinema to be so good. The determination that for the next little while you will let yourself forget all your day to day issues, and enjoy someone else's experience.
          Watching a DVD on the couch doesn't bring such peaceful freedom - the positive action of paying for a movie, entering a cinema, turning off your phone and sitting back to allow it all wash over you means you're in a more receptive frame of mind. You've allowed yourself this time.
(from the article: cinema experience, an opinion on hoopla website)

Post Question: Do you agree with the arguments of the text? Which one do you like most - watching a movie in the movie theater or in your living room (DVD)? Why? What kind of movie do you enjoy most?  What's your favorite movie? Why is it your favorite movie?
 
Tip: This is the 100 favorite movies chosen by the cinematic city Hollywood. Click here and check it. Is your favorite movie in this list? How many movies of the list have you already seen?
 

segunda-feira, 18 de agosto de 2014

Right-brained than left-brained? Both.

    Our test could raise an interesting question: Am I left-brained or right-brained? How do I think? And it's always a good reflection when we have the opportunity of thinking about the way we think!
And the best of all, there are no right answers. One of the two hemispheres of our brain usually is stronger or dominant, but as we read in our test, both work together and that's just fantastic. We all use both sides but are you curious to know each one is stronger in your way of thinking? There are many tests that can be done to try to find out this answer, but one point must be emphasized - our attitudes, where we live, what we do, people we meet, even the food we eat and a lot of other factors can influence the chemical process that occurs in the human brain. As all these factors change
throughout our lives, chances are that the way we think and how our brain works will probably change too! Although it's not an official-scientific-medical-test, you can test yourself following the tip below.

Post Question: Justify the answer in your test. Is there an ability that you would like to have but you think you don't have it? Is it in the other side of the dominant area of your brain?
 
Tip: How about getting a test to know if you are more right-brained than left-brained? Click here and find out. After that, write down your opinion about the result and if you think it's right.

quarta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2014

Stressed...what's stress?!

 Although some people think that tests are very stressful, our test was made
to not let you feel stressed. The introduction was made with a very short text. The second one was even shorter and the third one was a text that we had already been discussed about it during our class. The last one required a little bit more of your vocabulary knowledge and your comprehension ability, but the questions about it were simple and it wasn't necessary any special/magic ability to accomplish the task. Besides all that, some say that a test will always make people feel nervous, no matter what. Some will get more nervous than others, but it will happen. The most important in a situation like that is trying to calm down, take a deep breath and do the best you can with all you have. (And I hope you have studied a lot to have enough to offer and to count on!)
 
Sometimes we get so nervous that we can't even realize that the answer of the question is exactly in the question, simple like that. It happened in our test (exercise 06) when it was asked how "stressed" could be related to "desserts". Lots of people wrote many complex and elaborate answers and all it was expected (according to the text and the picture on your test) was the spelling factor. It was very nice to have the opportunity of correcting it in our class because I do have the feeling that you guys could understand what it really takes to answer a comprehension task based on texts: facts and not your opinion!


Post Question: How do you cope with stress? What are your "relaxing" activities? Do you get nervous when you are answering a test? Did you get nervous answering this one, our test? Is it clear to you the difference when you are writing a fact or your opinion?
 
Tip: There are some very good tips to help us to cope with stress. Some are even easy and very quickly, like this one presented by Andy Puddicombe, a mindfulness expert who wants to make meditation accessible to everybody: for a happier, healthier you. Watch the video here. You can download the transcript (in English) or you can add subtitles in Portuguese.
 

terça-feira, 15 de julho de 2014

Let's learn how to make delicious (and beautiful) cupcakes?


Cupcakes are a cultural icon and my students know how much I love them. Every time I find a place that also shares this “cupcake passion”, I like to comment about it.
So, this post is to inform you about this charming site that offers courses about how to make cakes and cupcakes. It could be like any other place, but it is not. There is some points that I loved about their courses. The course for the Christmas cupcakes will be held in September, October and December, which give us plenty of time to be prepared for the most festive period of the year.
On the course about Naked Cake, you will be able to set you own cake and guess what? You can take it home with you and impress friends and family. It is a good reason to throw a family party! This course will be held once a month, from August to December.
Keep on talking about Christmas, there is a third option, the Panettone Decoration course, held on October and November. It will be a great opportunity to learn the basics of fondant, besides the design and the 3D modeling. You will decorate three models of mini panettone and take them home to enjoy them later! Maybe it is not enough for a party but it will be nice enough to have an afternoon tea with you a good company and your cooking creation! It is cooking with new perspectives! I myself want to participate at least in one of them; in fact, I’d like to attend all the courses. Maybe we can meet there! See you.
 
Post Question: What's your favorite cupcake? Do you know how to make a delicious cupcake? Would you like to learn it? If you don't have time to bake your cupcakes, where do you usually eat/buy them?
 
Tip: If you would like to learn the art of baking cupcakes, don't miss this opportunity! Check the courses and the dates on the website "the cake is on the table". They have already programmed the dates of their courses untill the end of this year. Enjoy it!

segunda-feira, 7 de julho de 2014

Translation is a "Problemation"!


http://copadomundo.uol.com.br/noticias/redacao/2013/06/24/aeroportos-pelo-brasil-derrapam-na-traducao-e-confundem-turistas.htm

      Language is the very important instrument we use to communicate to each other. Gestures, facial expressions and other factors also influence the way we communicate. However if you are in a situation where only language can be used, it must be the most accurate possible, or there will be the risk that a miscommunication will lead to troubles which could have been avoided.                  '
      A good example of that can be found at the departure area of Brasília, International Airport. The signposts confuse foreigners with poorly prepared translations.
The traveler who does not understand Portuguese at all and want to find the gates B, C, D, E, F and G wing domestic shipment may get confused. The signage indicates: "The gates A and H", (OK...where are the gates B to G?) It should be written: "The gates A to H", according to its translation in Portuguese.
      July is a period of vacation and not only many people from Brazil get the opportunity to visit and know the country capital but also many foreigners come to visit us. In this case, such mistake can be considered even a lack of respect to these people. Tourist must be the most welcomed possible because it is exactly that we do when we receive visitors in our home. And our country is our home. Let’s hope some good souls can be there to help the tourist when they approached them to ask for information…because unfortunately, they will!

Post Question: Have you ever been misled due to a misunderstanding? When and where were you? Have you ever helped some foreigners to get around the city? Where were they from? Where would they like to go?
 
Tip: If you don't want to be misunderstood, get some minutes and take a look at these 100 words most commonly misspelled, just click here and do the right thing. 

sábado, 21 de junho de 2014

Tea - for all occasions!

              When do you like to have a cup of tea? Or better asking, when do you need a cup of tea?
I would say anytime, anywhere! Mainly from now on, as we are about to have our winter season (from June 21st to September 20th). How delicious it is! So many flavours to enjoy...and also the possibility of a nice gourmet combination with cakes, pies, bread (I prefer the sweet ones), cookies, etc. 
Ok, you may say that it's because I do love tea so much, but apparently, it's not only me. In a more poetic way, literally, Mr. William Ewart Gladstone, the Britain's oldest Prime Minister, agrees with me:
"If you are cold, tea will warm you,
If you are too heated, it will cool you,
If you are depressed, it will cheer you,
If you are exhausted, it will calm you."
I couldn't agree more!
However, as anything that someone does with all their heart and passion, make a cup of tea (as simple as it sounds) can be a piece of art.
To learn more about that exquisite art, take a look at the link below (tip). You will find two different ways to make your cup of tea, a very nice video from Cindy Bigelow herself (I loved that), useful tips and warnings, a checklist of all you need for your tea moment, related articles about it, sources, citations and article information.
Why don't you get your favorite cup of tea, browse the website and enjoy it! It's Always a good time to pamper yourself!

Post Question: What's your favorite tea flavour? What's your favorite tea brand? What's the most popular t4a brand in your state/country? (Answer the two questions on the post too)
 
Tip: Here you are, a nice website about tea- learn how to make a good cup of tea. You can even add some extra information you may think it's relevant.


sexta-feira, 30 de maio de 2014

"The Allegory of the Cave" got English, Literature and Philosophy together!

      According to our successful experience during the first quarter of the year, using two subjects in the same test, we have decided not only  keep doing it but also improve it by inviting another teacher to share it with us. And we got very thankful to our Philosophy teacher that promptly accept our proposal and contributed to a meaningful work. The test involved concepts of Philosophy that are also presented in Literature, displayed in a foreign language (in this case, English) and the result was a test whose subject just flows through it.
You learned that for a philosopher it is much more important to know oneself than to know the Works of others.
You could also learn that Philosophy is everywhere, including the Harry Potter books collection. According to Dumbledore, "it's our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
As we wrote on the test, teachers Ingrid, Renato and I wish that your learning could be effectively. May it be the light that guides you and that will guide you throughout your life. May you can learn what pleases you most and mainly what you really need to.

Post Question: What's your opinion about the test? Was it more difficult or easier than a split version (separated test)? What subjects do you think it would be a good combination to participate in this Project? What theme would you like to have in your next test? Would like to be a philosopher? Do you think you know yourself?
 
Tip: To consolidate the discussion and all the work done about this theme, take a few minutes to watch this video. You can add English subtitles to it.

quarta-feira, 30 de abril de 2014

It's a dog day! The guide dog day!

Human beings and dogs have made one of the most memorable partnership in history.
Dogs are loyal, friendly and a very good company.
Besides all that, they are wonderful to help us in many different ways, from the high altitude in the Swiss Alps to the subways stations. They are true lifesavers!
And we dedicate one day to honor these dogs, which work all days to assure you know exactly where you are going to: the guide dogs. And according to the poster, if you see one guide dog in any subway station, do not play or cherish it. They are cute and adorable, but they are working. If you play or cherish it, you may distract it and at that moment, do not forget, it must conduct blind or visually impaired people around obstacles safely.
The first guide dog training schools were established in Germany during World War I, to enhance the mobility of returning veterans who were blinded in combat and the first guide dogs in Great Britain were German shepherds. Today, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and German Shepherds are most likely to be chosen by guide dog facilities. Even with more and more electronic gadgets and technology, nothing can replace the efficiency of a guide dog. And the most important detail, hug them is much more nice than any gadgets.

Post Question: Do you have a pet? What's its name? How old is it? How did you get it? Have you ever seen a guide dog around our city?

Tip: If you want to know how to help the institutions that trained the guide dogs, just click here. Let's help who has always helped us!

segunda-feira, 14 de abril de 2014

The Blood Moon Eclipse

      What a great event we will be able to see tomorrow! Eclipses have been fascinated people through all the years. Since the moment that human beings looked to sky and observed how beautiful the stars and the heavenly bodies are, their movements have intrigued scientists, astronomers and just curious to learn more about them and to have the opportunity we are going to have now - to see it with naked eyes!
       The name is very suggestive, "Blood Moon", but it's not related to violence or something like that. To understand it better, there is a video here (it's in Portuguese) that explains that the red color is just associated to the very border light that reaches the Moon, due to the shadow of our planet because it will be exactly between the Sun and the Moon.
Elizabeth Weise wrote an interesting article for the USA Today about the eclipse (it's very interesting for us because it can help us with the vocabulary used to talk about an eclipse - pay attentio to it).  According to her, the April 15 eclipse marks the start of a lunar tetrad. That event occurs when there are four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six full moons. Absolutely amazing!
These events together,  called "the lunar tetrad", are also on the same period of some traditional Jewish celebrations. Some people say it is a prophecy that is going to be fulfilled and others say it just an astronomical event. Whatever the meaning of it is, one thing is certain, celestial phenomena will continue to enchant humans because they are a very beautiful, magical and mysterious spectacle that nature is offering to us.
Let's enjoy it...while we can!
  
Post Question: Have you ever seen an eclipse? When and where? Are you going to see any of the Blood Moon Tetrad eclipses? Do you believe that the Blood Moon Tetrad has any special meaning? What does it means to you?

Tip: To read the complete article written by Elizabeth Weise, just click here. There is an interesting video about the eclipse and she mentioned the prophecy, as well.

quinta-feira, 10 de abril de 2014

EDUCATION



This post is about one of the most beautiful texts I have read so far. It's a very simple text, with very simple grammatical structures, but its message is unquestionable. I couldn't agree more! I hope one day we can really have the nation that is mentioned in the text.      
 


“When a man dies, it’s as if a whole library burns down.”
(old African Proverb)
 
If you have read so far, keep reading. For education. Because education is the only road we can all take to get ahead. Education is everything in life.
          When you say “good morning”, it’s education. When you learn to read or to fly, it’s education. When you plant a tree or stop polluting rivers and seas, it’s education. When you pass by a museum, a theater, a church or historic place and realize what they mean, it’s education. Education is the most important heritage you can have.
          For education is not just learning how to read and write. It is when you learn about your own country and about the world. And as you do, you also learn about yourself.
          It’s much more than that: education is when everybody learns about everybody.
          Education is when 165 million people ask who we are and where we are going. And when we discover the magic and power of the answers. With education we have much more than a country. We have a nation.
          And when a human being is born, it’s as if a whole library began to be built. It’s a never-ending process. A process called future.
          Education is everything.  
                             
(original text published in Portuguese in O Globo, April 2, 2000)

Post Question: In your opinion, are you an educated person? And according to the text, are you? What do you do (or don't do) to be considered an educated person? Are there uneducated people in your classroom (don't mention names, please)? Why do you think they aren't educated?

Tip: What can we expected about the Education process for the XXI century? Click here and check what UNESCO's educational objectives are. 

sexta-feira, 28 de março de 2014

The Babel Tower test

          Where could you see Spanish, Albanian, English, Portuguese and Japanese language all together? The answer is very simple - in the English test! The students from the last year of high school went through a distinct experience - to complete a test with texts in many different languages, but focused in the abilities that are necessary to achieve comprehension when reading any text that is not written in your mother tongue. These abilities are also involved wish perception, and in this case, attention is an important ally. That is the reason the texts were used as a test and not as an activity. In fact, it could be as simple as an activity, but let's speak the truth: I want to have some fun too!!! But unfortunately, due to a health problem, I couldn't make it, so I missed an important part of the process (and I am not referring to my own fun). I missed the opportunity of observing my students' reaction when they received the test, when they were working on it and their comments at the end of the test. It may sound something quite unimportant (or even silly) not being there during the test, but during all these years, teaching for different grades, I've learned a lot with the messages that come to me by a non-verbal language and when we (my students and I) are talking in a very informal way, without any kind of pressure.          
          I know it is not the same thing, we are not "in the heat of the moment" anymore, but even though I would like to ask the students to write down comments (suggestions, critics, opinion, complaints) about the test.
          I also would like to thank you guys for doing it and to give a huge "thank you" from the bottom of my heart to the Physics teacher Thaís. Her help was crucial and it is exactly because we have friends we can count that life becomes much more interesting and easy to go on.
          And as an example of how the beauty of languages can be combined in a very harmonious way, look at this Multi-language sequence video from Disney's Frozen movie of the Music "Let it Go".

 
Post Question for students: What is your opinion about the test? How did you like it? What was the difficulty level of the test? Write an interesting and uninteresting point of your test. 
Tip: If you got interested and curious about learning another language, there two good suggestions that can help you. On the BBC website we can learn 40 different languages, including Albanian and  there are useful information about teaching yourself foreign languages on the How To Learn Any Language website.
 
 

sexta-feira, 21 de março de 2014

A test as sweet as Chocolate!

        2ºE students had what we could say "a delicious test" today. It doesn’t mean that the text where edible at all. It is just because the test where based in a very tasteful subject: Chocolate. We had already read a text about chocolate, in our booklet, some weeks ago. What was interesting is the fact that one student said it wasn't fair - so much information about chocolate and such nice pictures, that he, obviously, feels like eating chocolate. I confess...so do I. And when he said that, I thought to myself "how come I didn't think about bringing some chocolate or even ask them to bring some, so we could exchange it among us and try this delicacy while studying about it." However, it was too late. At the end of the class I still felt like eating chocolate and I drunk a hot one during the coffee break. To try to compensate it, the test (text, cartoons, and exercises) was based on chocolate and the students could eat some chocolate while during the test. It was curious to observe that some of them were comfortable about doing the text and eating their chocolate. Others were so focused on the test that barely notice the chocolate on their desk I guess they eat it after the text, during their break. Anyway, within a few days, we will be celebrating Easter and for sure, they will have the opportunity of eating lots and lots of chocolate. It is exactly during Easter that the consumption of chocolate peaks in Brazil, which is the second in the world ranking producers of chocolate eggs. (Britain is in the first position). And according to Charles M. Schulz, "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." I couldn't agree more!

Post Question: What is your opinion about the test? How did you like it? What was the difficulty level of the test? Write an interesting and uninteresting point of your test. Do you like chocolate? What's your favorite one?

Tip: Do you know when it is celebrated the Chocolate Day? To learn about it, answer a Chocolate trivia and get the Original Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, just click here.

segunda-feira, 17 de março de 2014

St. Patrick's Day - no...now it's the whole week!


Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Because of his connection to the Emerald Island, Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: the color green, pots of gold, shamrocks, leprechauns, beer and luck. Some celebrations has become an icon, such as the dyeing of the Chicago River, which has been done since 1962. Although we also have our patron saint, Our Lady of Aparecida (celebrated on October 12th) and the Irish immigrant community here is not exactly an expressive one (comparing to Italian, Japanese and German imigrants), even we, here in Brazil, have been celebrating the Irish patron lately. However, what really caught my attention is the fact that this celebration is increasing over the years. During the last decade, St. Patrick’s celebration is getting meaningful (we can hear our priests talking about it, as father Marcelo Rossi has done in his radio program) and bigger (in 2014, instead of St. Patrick’s day, there will be a St. Patrick week festival).  Three years ago, we need to go to São Paulo to participate in any kind of celebration related to St. Patrick. Nowadays even our city pub has offered some good promotions and a special menu for this whole week. We know that the beer companies are sponsored the celebration and probably that is the reason it has become more popular over the years, but it’s very nice to have the opportunity of getting together with our friends and having some fun in an authentic Irish style.
Cheers and May the lucky of the Irish be yours!
 
 
Post Question: Have you ever celebrated St. Patrick's Day? How did you celebrate that? How would you like to celebrate it? Where would you like to celebrate it?

Tip: To get more information about St. Patrick's Week in São Paulo, just click here and to learn more about St. Patrick, see the History website.


sexta-feira, 14 de março de 2014

Where Wild Things Are - audiobook to 1ºEM

Where Wild Things Are

 
As we have talked in our class, for the students who would like to train their pronunciation and listening, here you are! The audiobook is really practical and very interesting!
By the way, do you know where the wild things are?
As I wrote in a previous post (June, 2013), 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, most of my students 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. 
- 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".
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: In your opinion, Where are the wild things? Although you are in High School, do you still read children's book? How often? 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, 12 de março de 2014

Literature and English all together!

                High school students had their first combines test - Literature and English together! Although people would think of it as just one topic, in our case, it is not. Literature and English are two different subjects, but after some meetings and talk with Ingrid (Literature teacher), we joined the concepts learned in both classes to create just one evaluation instrument. Students have English classes (as a foreign language) and Literature focused on Brazil and Portugal. If we were lucky enough to have the privilege of studying English literature, then the test could be based in just one subject. Unfortunately, we barely have time to explore the English Language, so there are no possibilities of getting into American or British literature as it should be done. The idea of creating this test was exactly the integration, because learning is not a separated process as we usually see in the schools. Sometimes the disconnection among the subjects may create damages beyond repair. Life is integrated and so it is the learning process. Now, the most important point is to hear the students’ opinion, and together with the Literature teacher, Ingrid, we must analyse what could be done to improve the process and make it better for both, teachers and students.
 
Post Question for the students: What's your opinion about the test? How did you like it? What was the difficulty level of the test? Write an interesting and uninteresting point of your test. 
Tip: This website has a brief list of some key terms used in Literature. It may be very helpful! And to learn more about English Literature with a list of books, relevant information  and great videos about them, just click here and have fun.

   

quinta-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2014

Word Power - Do you have it?

Can what you speak influence your life and who you are?
If we take this sentence into consideration, we can clearly state that your vocabulary can predict your success. In other words, the size of your vocabulary will usually determine the size of your bank account. Word power can be also associated to life power, the power of seduction and we can't deny...it's a great and important power! The famous author of the popular book serie Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki wrote, “If you want to be rich, you have to have a rich man’s vocabulary. Words can make you rich, or can make you poor.” E. D. Hirsch, Jr., is the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation and professor emeritus of education and humanities at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several acclaimed books on education issues and he has also written in a recent article entitled A Wealth of Words, “the key to increasing upward mobility is expanding vocabulary.”  In the same article, he also states that "Vocabulary doesn’t just help children do well on verbal exams. Studies have solidly established the correlation between vocabulary and real-world ability." This topic is really a very important matter.
According to E. D. Hirsch Jr., "Nonetheless, there’s no better index to accumulated knowledge and general competence than the size of a person’s vocabulary. Simply put: knowing more words makes you smarter. And between 1962 and the present, a big segment of the American population began knowing fewer words, getting less smart, and becoming demonstrably less able to earn a high income." So, if you want to be smarter, you should read, study and dedicate part of your time to improve your vocabulary. And if you want to get a good salary, keep on reading and studying. Now you know that it can bring much more benefits than what you could imagine! 

Post Question for the students: How is your vocabulary? What could you do to improve it? Do you think that it is important to learn new words? What new word have you learned lately?
Tip: To know more about it, just click here and read a complete article about vocabulary, written by E. D. Hirsch Jr. 

segunda-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2014

Parent and Teacher Conference

 
          This post is to thank all the parents that attended the first Parent and Teacher Conference on January 25.
          Although it was on a Saturday morning and we know how the weekend is very special to rest, mainly after a working week, this meeting is a very important moment because it will introduce the school and teacher’s methodology to new parents and explain the changes or some new topic for the ones who have already been with us.
          My students will start the high school period, so it is a great opportunity for parents to meet the new teachers and ask questions about this new phase in their children’s life. Questions like:
      -        What skills and knowledge will the students be expected to master this year?
      -        Are there challenging academic standards and how the students will be informed about the academic standards they are expected to meet?
      -        What kinds of projects and assignments have we planned that will help the students meet higher academic standards?
      -        How will the students be evaluated? How are grades determined in our classroom?
      -        Are summer school, tutoring, or other programs available for students who need more help?
And a very important contribution:
      -        What can parents do to stay more involved in their child's academic progress?
Educate a child, a teenager or an adult is a great responsibility, which must be divided by everyone involved in this process. When the work can be done together, it is easy to achieve the desired results and even go further!
Thank you very much for attending the conference and count on us! 2014 will be a very promising year!
PS.: If any parent couldn’t attend the meeting scheduled by the school, don’t worry. Set up an appointment and I’ll be glad to talk to you! See you!