jueves, 23 de mayo de 2013

Podomatic - Minicast about Eurovision 2013

Here you are an example of Minicast that I have done using Podomatic. I think it can be the starting point to set a conversation about this topic in the classroom.

martes, 30 de abril de 2013

Hot Potatoes

Here you are some examples of the activities that we can create by using Hot Potatoes. Hot Potatoes can become a very useful tool for teachers in many cases, specially if we want our students to learn at home while surfing on the internet. We can provide them with some funny activities to revise the lesson. Another advantage of Hot Potato is that they can check their own answers. This time, I have chosen the new single of Pink to do these exercices. I hope you enjoy it!

miércoles, 30 de enero de 2013


When students start learning a new language listening is the main source and READING the second one. Reading is the language skill which is easier to keep up. Why? Because we can come back and read twice.
In that sense, reading can be a powerful instrument to learn a language. That's why we have to instil this habit in our students.

What can we do as teachers?
If we want our students to read, we will have to chose books or magazines which they consider insteresting. The most important thing is that they don't get bored. If they don't like the topic, they will get bored and tired and they won't try to read again. However, if we chose a topic which is interesting for them, they will read the book and after that, they will want to read more. For this reason, we can work not only with books but also with songs, magazines, etc. Teenagers usually learn a lot thanks to the subtitles of the films they like or the lyrics from the songs they listen to. 

When should we start reinforcing this skill? The most difficult stage is from five to seven years old, because they are not used to reading. So, what can we do to make this process easier? Start reading easy books with pictures. Later, they will read more difficult texts.

Why reading is so important? Because it is not only a way to learn a new language, but also to escape from this world and to discover and create new fictitious worlds. Reading is an open door to fantasy.


sábado, 29 de diciembre de 2012

The use of TICs in education

Nowadays, new technologies have a great influence in our society. We need computers and Internet for almost everything. Internet has become a way of working, a way of studying and a way of amusement, that is, a way of living. It is a very useful and necessary tool provided that we make a good use of it. Internet is an open window to the world, with its advantages and its disadvantages.

That's why, it is necessary to include TICs in the educational system. For some years now, schools and high schools are working for that purpose. Univesities are completely updated, so students need to be prepare to face this situation.

However, we find some fears in teachers who have little knowledgement of this new technologies and don't know how to deal with this problem. In relation to that, we can say that most of the changes are traumatic and significant until we get used to them. From that moment they become natural. Then we talk about habits.
So, what can we do to solve this problem? The best way to overcome a fear is to do it.

Where can we make use of TICs? Only in class? Not only in class, also when students are at home. They like to use social networks, so we can take advantage of that to make them work. We have a lot of options: groups in facebook, blogs, etc.

This is only a way to include TICs in education. Each time is more common to use interactive whiteboards, projectors, etc. 

To sum up, I think that Internet, along with the Industrial Revolution and the invention of writing is one of the three great changes of the society. So, my conclusion is that we have to change with the times in order to make the educational system effective.

Second article: PISA report.

The programme for International Student Assessment is a study of the results in education in several countries of the world. These results are measured by the OECD to see which educational systems work better. The best outcomes come from Finland, Korea and Canada, while the worst come from Arab countries, like Kyrgyzstan. Regarding Spain, the results are below the OECD average. There are several reasons that can explain this situation. When talking about the McKinsey Report, we saw some of them: Mckinsey Report

martes, 27 de noviembre de 2012

Talk by José Antonio, psychologist in Médico Pedro Herrero School

The talk focused on two main topics: conflict resolution in class and excellence in living.

1. Conflict resolution

The first step in order to solve conflicts is to know that CONFLICTS WILL ALWAYS EXIST, so it has no sense trying to avoid them. Conflicts should be considered as an opportunity to grow and learn. That’s why the best option is to be prepared for them. How?
  • Uncovering problems. It is important not to lose control because we are the point of reference for children. We must be firm, but relaxed, and disclose the causes of the problem.
  • Adapting strategies to context and to our own style of teaching. We must get involved in the environment of the school and adapt our strategies.
  • Preventing bigger conflicts. “Treating a cold avoids pneumonia. To attach importance to little conflicts, so that they don’t become big conflicts.
  • Creating a favorable climate for coexistence. “My rights end where yours begin.”
  • Taking a proactive perspective. It is convenient to act before the problems happen, that is, a priori.
  • Using the simplest procedures:
    • Economy of roles: it is better a gesture than a word, and a word than a lecture.
    • Economy of people and resources: if the conflict can be solved by a teacher, there is no need to turn to the others.
    • Economy of time: it is better to solve the conflict briefly than to solve it by a long a complicated process.
  • Using punitive measures as a last resort.

Educational Strategies: What can I do to make my classroom work?

We will take into account 3 factors:
  • Expectations. What are our students able to do?
  • Motivation. Motivation consists of achieving that students prioritize school tasks over other activities.
  • Self-concept, that is, what they think about themshelves. This is directly related to self-esteem.

2. Excellence in living.

The main different between the first topic and the second one is that “Excellence in living” is centered in teachers, while “Conflict resolution” has students as the most important objective.
Therefore, this section is composed of some tips to meet our needs as teachers:

THINK that:
  • In order to make our dreams come true, we must have a dream.
  • Nobody will know what is able to do without trying.
  • Sometimes all is not what it seems.
  • The more you give, the more you receive.
  • Students don’t ask you to solve their problems, but to listen to them.
  • Sometimes it is better to change the treatment then to increase the dose.
  • If your problem has no solution, change the problem and accept what doesn’t depend on you.

To DO:
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Start the day with renewed hope.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Search for solutions when you have a problem.
  • Recognize your mistakes.
  • Show your feelings.
  • Be yourself.
  • Help those who need it.
  • Appreciate what you have.
  • Give thanks for what you have.

  • Thanks.
  • Sorry.

To finish, I would like to share with you a nice video that José Antonio showed us during the talk:

martes, 20 de noviembre de 2012

Kung Fu Panda

One of our first activities consisted of watching the film Kung Fu Panda at home. The purpose was to reflect a little about what was the moral of the story.

Kung Fu Panda relates the story of a chubby panda, Po, whose only destiny seems to be cooking noodles, continuing his father’s job. Panda dreams of becoming the Dragon Warrior someday, which is almost impossible.
One day, fed up of his father’s orders, Po decides to run away from job and attend the tournament where he is chosen the Dragon Warrior to everyone’s surprise.
Here it starts a completely different story in which we can see that DREAMS CAN COME TRUE IF WE BELIEVE.

The secret potion is to believe. That's why the Dragon Scroll reveals nothing but a blank, or the famous "secret ingredient soup" is nothing. Things become special if people believe them to be.

Sometimes we are our biggest obstacle. We think we are not able to do it, so we don’t try it because we are afraid of failure. However, what is sure is that if we don’t try, our dream won’t come true by itself. We can do more than what we think. As the slogan of one the biggest sports brands remembers us, “Impossible is nothing”.

We are also afraid of the future. We don't want to become a looser. The wish of success sometimes creates a strong feeling of anxiety that can make us waste our present. In that sense, I would like to mention a quote said by mentor Shifu: "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mistery. Today is a gift, that's why it is called  the present."