Σελίδες

Τετάρτη, 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Darwin and the Evolution Theory

When talking about important people I use these clips
from the BBC documentary "Just so Darwin" to discuss
the evolution theory and Charles Darwin.





Τετάρτη, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Talking about Famous People

If your lesson includes talking about famous people
and past simple/present perfect there is an excellent
site to visit with your students http://en.akinator.com/
They can choose a famous person and the Genius will
find who he/she is.
Then you can create your own quiz/board game using
similar questions. Try it out! It's fun!

Σάββατο, 19 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Volunteering in Serres MEDIART: European Charlemagne Youth Prize

Volunteering in Serres MEDIART: European Charlemagne Youth Prize: The European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen invite young people from all the EU Member State...

Etwinning Mentoring

As an etwinning Mentor I created a blog with videos containing answers to
questions that are common among new e-twinners. The blog is in English as well as in Greek and is currently being created in cooperation with the newcomers who pose their question.
http://etwinningmentoring.blogspot.com/

Τρίτη, 15 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Present Perfect Continuous- Great Gosh A'Mighty - Little Richard




Little Richard Great Gosh A'Mighty! (It's A Matter Of Time) Lyrics

I've been……………., I've been searching
I've been looking, I've been ……………..
I've been seeking, I've been searching

Woo-hoo!

Tryin' to find, tryin' to find, yeah
Tryin' to find, I'm tryin' to find
I'm tryin' to find peace of mind
Tryin' to search all the time
Tryin' to find

Great Gosh A'Mighty!

Been a long time coming
And I've been ……………………

Great Gosh A'Mighty!

Woo-hoo!

Great Gosh A'Mighty!
Been a long time coming

Woo-hoo!

Keep on searching now
Got to look up
Don't look down
Keep the faith

I've been looking, I've been ………………
Have you heard about the written Word
I've been looking, I've been wandering

All right!

I'm tryin' to find (tryin' to find)
I'm tryin' to find (tryin' to find)
Woo-hoo! Tryin' to find (Tryin' to find)
I'm tryin' to find (tryin' to find)
I'm tryin' to find peace of mind
Tryin' to search all the time
Woo-hoo!

Tryin' to find

Δευτέρα, 7 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Κυριακή, 6 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Monday of October in the USA. Here is a site I am using for thanksgiving material with my ss.

Παρασκευή, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2011

Πέμπτη, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2011

Τετάρτη, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2011

The Way We Look (B-Advanced)














  1. Show the 1st pic. Ask ss if they know where it comes from.
  2. Show the rest of them
  3. Discuss why a company has decided to create such ads
  4. Generate discussion on the following topics:
  •  What is the meaning they are trying to convey
  • Which picture is more powerful?Why?
  • Why is there no slogan
  • Which slogan would they use if they were advertisers? (Group work)

    5. Ask ss to choose a product/company and create their own advertisement using the idea of being equal   regardless of different races. Make a collage, write their own slogan (Homework)

Σάββατο, 15 Οκτωβρίου 2011

European Quality Labels - Etwinning projects

1172 schools from all over Europe were awarded in October 2011 with the European Quality Label.

60 of them were Greek.

1 of them is from Serres region. Pentapolis Senior Highschool got this distinction for the international youth emagazine "mymagazeen".


Congratulations to all the participants for their hard work.


The awarded projects are accessible at http://www.etwinning.net/el/pub/awards/quality_labels/schools_awarded_the_eql_oct11.htm#c300

Κυριακή, 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

National and European Quality Label

The National Quality Label has been granted to the etwinning project "myMagazeen"
that our school in collaboration with five more countries implemented last year.
Since the UK, France and Bulgaria have also received the Quality Labels from their NSS
the project automatically receives the European Quality Label as well. Congratulations to all of us, teachers and students, who have worked hard for our international e-magazine!
You can visit the blog http://mymagazeen.blogspot.com/to have a look at our work.

Πέμπτη, 22 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

European Day of Languages Competition

On occasion of the International Day of Languages I decided to run a school competition. The topic is the "Power of Language". Students are asked to produce
a short story illustrating the power of language. The most original story will be used to produce a short film that we will shoot with the students.

To inspire them we will start with a brainstorming on why we need language
and how language shapes our world.

Then I will show them the following short film:



We will discuss on the film, the main idea, the characters, the point the director is trying to make. I will ask them if they know of any other situations when language can change the way other people view us or when it is used to persuade us (eg. advertising).

Afterwards I will give them a worksheet to keep notes about their own story.

>Topic
>Character
>Scenery
>Time
>Plot

They will write the story at home....

When I collect the stories I will publish them at the blog. Wish me luck :)

Παρασκευή, 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Ice-breaker for YL

• Introduction

The activity chosen is an ice-breaker called “Two Truths and a Lie”. It is selected due to the fact that it is suitable to create a relaxed atmosphere in the classroom and a non-threatening environment for the learners to produce language without fear and discomfort. It can be used with pupils of elementary level at any time during the school year since it is always crucial to promote group dynamics so that a good working relationship is established between the group members. Also recycling of vocabulary and grammar occurs while having fun. Here it is used for Simple Present revision. The materials needed are some slips of paper and pens.

• How to set up the activity
The teacher tells the pupils they will all play a game called “Two Truths and a Lie”. She writes 3 sentences about herself (I always, usually, never….) and encourages the learners to discover which of them are true and which are not. After modeling the activity she asks ‘concept’ questions, e.g. “Mary is true that you always..”. Then she tells them that they will all write two true sentences and one with a lie about themselves and then each one will read their sentences and the others will try to find out which one is not true. For correct guesses they get 1 point. S/He who gathers most points is the winner. She hands out slips of paper with the fragments of the sentences, as mentioned above, for students to finish them off. The pupils are given 5’ to produce their sentences. A pupil is asked to go first, reading aloud the sentences and the others are encouraged to guess the lie by raising hands and then s/he reveals the answer. After everybody finishes, the teacher asks them if they liked the game and why they think they played it. She asks how we talk about habits and writes some examples on the board to choose the grammatically correct one. Potential problems are related to time management and clear instructions. Teachers should have the cards prepared, otherwise they might lose time. Also they should make sure they do not just ask if the pupils understood the instructions, which would merely lead to a yes/no answer.

• Learner reaction
The learners I have worked with found the activity very enjoyable, they all participated enthusiastically, even the weaker ones. They felt comfortable and safe and they used the language without being aware that they did. Most of the pupils formed correctly the tense, having heard it repeatedly by their classmates.

• Reflection
A major advantage of this activity is its simplicity and adaptability. It could be used for other tenses’ revision or for recycling wishes at an intermediate level. In these variations flashcards could be included and the goal could also be to guess who wrote the sentences. I would definitely use it again since the student talking time is increased in a meaningful and stimulating context.

Δευτέρα, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

First day at school

It's been a few days now that I am trying to decide how to break the ice with
the newcomers at school..What activity to choose, not something too childish
(they are 16 years old) nor too demanding for their level in language (B1+).
Should I focus on helping them meet each other by introducing themselves
to the classmates? A cliche. What's more, most of them have known each other
since they were babies..
How about playing a board game using language as the medium and stress the similarities
between learning and playing games?
Not a bad idea, but it could cause a lot of noise and give the wrong message for
the rest of the school year..
So I found -what I think is - the perfect solution:
My Dream School.
  • What would it be like?
  • What are the things in my school that I like the best?
  • How could I change my school to make it better?
  • What 's the dream teacher like?
I decided to adapt a nice lesson plan and the worksheets I found in

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk

and show them a clip on You Tube, the trailer of Jamie Oliver's Dream School as a stimulus for further discussion

.


So let's have a nice school year!

Παρασκευή, 2 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Story telling and Young Learners

“When children create and tell a story in the foreign language the story and the language become theirs” (Wright 1996).

Story telling is an appealing and motivating, real life activity that can be used in the EFL classroom as a valuable and enjoyable resource for promoting language learning. Listening and narrating stories is a familiar procedure for all learners in their mother tongue and it takes several forms. Reporting one’s own stories and personal anecdotes or telling jokes is a fascinating, everyday routine that people enjoy sharing with each other. The universal nature of stories in relation to their content and structure and the cultural elements that they convey make them relevant to the learners’ interests and background. Moreover they are easily accessible and there is a wide variety of sources, such as the media, songs, myths, fables, fairytales etc., from which they can be drawn.

Stories are not only closely related to the learners’ experiences but they provide a “rich comprehensible input and a stimulus for real communication in English” (Rossner 1988). Their use in the classroom is not a passive process. They are employed as a stimulating starting point for further activities that promote purposeful learning within a meaningful, familiar and relaxed context and provide practice in language, social and communication skills. An extremely motivating and fun activity is the retelling of a story by the learners themselves, after it has been presented by the teacher, whereby they are given the chance to use the language for real communication and internalize its aspects while being creative and having fun.

It has been already mentioned that stories have a universal appeal and that children are familiar with them from an early age, either in the form of traditional and folk tales or as everyday events to which they are constantly and naturally exposed. The young learners are “natural story-tellers” (Jennings 1991) in their own mother tongue because they assimilate the structure and the information of the stories and then they recreate it and form new ones. This procedure can be applied in the teaching of English for a variety of purposes.

  • The most essential reason for using stories with young learners is that they are motivating and fun.
  • Stories are stimulating because they provide an opportunity for the learners to process meaning actively, while being creative.
  • Another reason that story telling is considered to be a valuable activity is that it provides an excellent context for the learners to use the language for their purposes, to share their ideas and not just learn about it.
  • A relaxed atmosphere is created whereby the most important thing is to help the student overcome his/her inhibitions and adopt “a positive attitude to ‘having a go’ with the language one knows” (Wright 1995) so as to use it for real communication in meaningful situations.
  • Furthermore they can be used to trigger the learners’ interest in other subjects across their curriculum. 
REFERENCES

  • Jennings, C. (1991). Children as Story-tellers. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Rossner, R. (1988). The Whole Story: Short Stories for Pleasure and Language Improvement. London: Longman.
  • Wright, A. (1995). Storytelling with Children. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wright, A. (1996). Creating Stories with Children. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Τετάρτη, 11 Μαΐου 2011

Hosting a person with disabilities as a Comenius Assistant

A Comenius Language Assistant from Turkey was hosted by the Second Language School of Serres in the year 2007-08. The fact that she was a person with mobility disabilities made this case particularly interesting. A number of issues had to be taken into consideration such as providing her with suitable accommodation and transport, health insurance and company. In addition the group of teachers had to cooperate closely in order to cater for her needs. 

Zeynep brought a new dimension into our school. Adult students, some of whom were experiencing similar problems, often identified with and felt closer to her. A number of actions and projects were implemented with her help including exploring common Greek and Turkish traditions in music, food, shadow theatre (Karagkiozis). She organised a Turkish language course, particularly popular, especially among teachers.

Her contribution was considerable in terms of combating stereotypes and prejudice against people with special needs and from different nationalities. As for Zeynep, she was enthusiastic about the chance given to her to travel abroad, make new friends, get practice in her future profession and become familiar with another neighbouring culture. As for me, her mentor, it was a unique, empowering experience. Zeynep's strength and will was inspirational, and the problems encountered made us become more inventive.

Below you can have a look at the presentation of this Assistantship at the State Scholarships Foundation's (IKY) Induction Meeting, in Athens, 09/12/2008.

Σάββατο, 16 Απριλίου 2011

Interesting sites on ELT

The possibilities for education, self-development and networking online are infinite, so why not take advantage of them? While attending the IATEFL Conference Online I picked up some interesting sites concerning ELT.

Here they are:
  • Linking Theory and Practice

http://www.tesolacademic.org/

  • Lesson Plans based on digital materials

http://www.lessonstream.org/

  • An international English Language Gazette

http://www.elgazette.com/

  • IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group

http://tdsig.org/

  • An open community of education and training professionals

http://www.learningtimes.org/

Κυριακή, 20 Μαρτίου 2011

Youth and Education



An excellent video on education, technology and young people.

ENGAGE ME

This is our duty as teachers first and foremost.

English and Football

A good way of inspiring and motivating teenagers, boys in particular, is to give them the
chance to combine business with pleasure..that is English and Football. The Premier League is
one of the most popular championships in the world, so why not exploit it to our advantage?
The British council has created this site http://premierskills.britishcouncil.org/ 
where you can access information for your favourite team or player in a student friendly environment,
providing tips for teachers and an online dictionary.
My students have used the site as a resource to create presentations for their classmates and generate
discussion in the classroom about their favourite football clubs in Greece, the UK and worldwide. We have also written for and against essays comparing the English and Spanish championships.Why not try Primera Division as well? One thing is for sure: it was one of the most enjoyable homework!
The possibilities are endless - just use your creativity!!


Have a look at samples of their work:






Chelsea
View more presentations from doragk

Arsenal f
View more presentations from doragk

Παρασκευή, 11 Μαρτίου 2011

The Teacher as a Resource in the Classroom

While attending the online British Council course "Primary Essentials" 
I came across this text on the role of the teacher as a resource in the
language classroom, by Sima Jalil. I hope it is as inspirational for you
as it has been for me:

The teacher as a resource

Although we now live in a high tech world and have access to a variety of teaching aids, there is one aid that is convenient, portable, uses no electricity, can be used effectively in light or dark and is available all the time. Yes, the teacher him or herself!
In my experience as a teacher I have discovered that I can involve students more in classroom discussion and activities if I follow certain simple steps.
Movement
Sitting behind a desk or standing on a dais creates a "distance" between the teacher and the students. Try to have an aisle and enough space between the rows so that you can easily reach those at the back. This way you can talk to individual students, allow the shy ones to ask questions quietly without the fear of embarrassment, as well as check their work and help them . Some movement on your side is essential, because it allows the students to focus on you.
  • Stepping forward to emphasise a point, small steps towards different sides of the class lets the student feel that the teacher is taking genuine interest in what he or she is saying.
Use body language
Your body should be in your control. Hold it in such a way that you look alert and awake. Avoid slumping and sagging. Just as too little movement is boring, too much movement can be a distraction.

  • When your posture is erect it puts the you in control of the situation and the students realise this. It also encourages the students subconsciously, to become alert as well. You may notice the lazy ones sitting up and paying more attention to what is happening around them.
Eye contact
Make an effort to keep eyes lively, aware and interested. Move them around to take in everything. Fix them on specific students, but not for so long that they become uncomfortable! Avoid focusing on the worst or best students.

  • Knowing that the teacher demands eye contact keeps the students alert. It also gives the teacher a feedback on the impact of what he or she is saying. This is particularly important in large classes, where "distance" between the teacher and learner is greater, and individual attention is more difficult.

  • An effective teacher can control class behaviour to a great extent by the expression of his or her eyes.

  • Make sure that you make eye contact with each student, so that it seems you are talking to him or her individually.© The British Council, 2009The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Gestures
Arms and hands are a very expressive visual aid. They can be used to describe shapes, actions, movements etc. but, remember to keep still while listening to a student . Otherwise the message sent to the student is that he is being longwinded or boring.

  • Habits such as fiddling with notes and books, playing with pens , key chains, or doodling with chalk on the black board can be both distracting and irritating for the student.
Facial expressions
There's nothing worse than a constant frown, which discourages students from asking questions, feeling free to discuss a problem or coming for help. A smile can work wonders.

  • It encourages the student to participate more actively and dispels the notion that the teacher is over critical.

  • Look interested while a student is speaking.

  • A smile, a grimace, a curl of the lips, raised eyebrows etc. at appropriate moments will send messages as needed.

  • Send positive vibes and cultivate a sympathetic and encouraging expression!
Speech
Have you ever heard yourself speak? Do you know what your voice sounds like to others? A low monotone or a high-pitched voice can be difficult to understand or grating to the ears. Does the sound of your voice send students to sleep or running for earplugs?

  • Be critical of yourself. Try taping your voice - listen to yourself. Where are you slipping up?

  • Make your own personal checklist:
oAre you speaking at the right volume?
oDoes the end of your sentence fall so low that students sitting at the back cannot hear?
oAre you hemming and hawing too much?
oAre you speaking too fast?

Student talk
Break the monotony and give students plenty of time to talk! It will keep them alert. Make small jokes, be friendly.
Names 
Call students by their name. It sounds warmer and friendlier and lessens the distance between the teacher and learner.

The teacher is the best teaching aid. Be sure that you are using yourself

Κυριακή, 6 Μαρτίου 2011

Europa Diary

Do you know what the Europa Diary is?
How can I use it in my class?
How can my students benefit?

The Europa Diary is a valuable resource for all schools and what' s more.. it is given FREE OF CHARGE!

It is a school diary for children containing interesting topics for young people, such as career opportunities, the environment, the EU etc. Keeping a reflective learning journal is a very useful tool in the classroom to record our learning experiences and thus personalize learning, to promote reflection and create a place of personal interaction between the teacher and each individual learner.

The diary is accompanied by the Teacher's Guide with help and suggestions for the teachers to make the most of it.
More important, it can be ordered and delivered to your school without having to pay a single euro.
I' ve ordered it for my school and I am expecting it by the end of May.
For more information and orders visit the website

http://www.europadiary.eu/

Παρασκευή, 4 Μαρτίου 2011

Transatlantic Educators Dialogue - TED

Taking part in the online dialogue of Educators from Europe and the USA, I get the chance
to explore and critically examine other countries as well as my own and how they are all represented
in the educational systems of the western world.
Misconceptions about the others are therefore likely to be overcome and new perspectives may be added
with respect to contemporary issues.

TED is sponsored by the European Union Center and the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Have a taste of the issues discussed as to stereotypes and impressions of the US and EU:

 



European Year of Volunteering 2011





2011 has been designated by EU as the "European Year of Volunteering" in order to promote and improve the quality of volunteering, raise awareness of its importance and to empower such organizations.

So how can our students become motivated with respect to Volunteering?

I have thought of contacting PRAXIS, a non-governmental and non- profitmaking cultural organisation in Serres, which is both sending and hosting volunteers from all over Europe.
Anna Alevra, journalist and vice president of Praxis,
Kaiti Emmanouilidou, president of UNESCO Serres
and two volunteers, Tomas from Sweden and Nadja from Greece
have come to our school today to deliver a speech on how young people aged 16-30
can travel in Europe and benefit from such opportunities.
The pupils were enthusiastic and really motivated. They listened attentively and wanted to know
more details and information on EVS (European Volunteers Service). Moreover they had the chance
to communicate using English in an authentic context, since they wanted to discuss with the volunteers. 


For more information visit the following sites:


http://europa.eu/volunteering/ 

http://www.serresforunesco.org/

www.unescoserron.blogspot.com

Τετάρτη, 2 Μαρτίου 2011

Greek Crisis-From protests to pocket money

How do young people perceive the economic crisis?
What is their view of the world they live in?
Pupils from Pentapolis Senior Highschool have expressed their opinions,
desires and fears in an interview for BBC Worldclass, in the World News for Children.
You can find out more in http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/world_news_for_children.shtml

Τρίτη, 1 Μαρτίου 2011

Mymagazeen

A magazine for teenagers from all over Europe.
A place for interaction and communication.
Free exchange of ideas and opinions for both teachers and students.
This is why 5 European countries have decided to create an e-magazine
for youth, mymagazeen. Greece, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Poland and UK
have joined forces in this e-twinning project for the school year 2010-2011.
Check it out on http://mymagazeen.blogspot.com/

Δευτέρα, 21 Φεβρουαρίου 2011







Remember having penfriends when you were teenagers?
Would you like to have your pupils correspond with children from all over the world?
The benefits are innumerable. To mention some, for the students:
  • authentic context for real communication,  
  • meaningful use of foreign languages, 
  • boosting of students' confidence in using the target language,
  • raising cultural awareness, 
  • development of social skills
and for the teachers:
  • interaction with teachers from other countries 
  • exchange of knowledge on educational issues
  • as well as ideas and practical tips
The best part though is writing actual letters, sending little gifts and stickers, anticipating the envelope
with our friends' letters, learning about how children live in the USA.
The school we are corresponding with is Decorah Middle School, in Iowa.
If you want to find partners to launch an international project you can visit and register
on one of these sites:

http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/
http://www.epals.com/
http://www.elanguages.org/
http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-connecting-classrooms.htm  (only UK schools can sign in)

Κυριακή, 6 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Mind maps

Brainstorming: a technique designed to generate a large number of ideas.
Cmaps: A useful tool to put these ideas on a diagram and share it with colleagues and pupils.
While attending the session Reflection and Practice on Virtual Education of the Electronic Village Online, a professional development project and virtual extension of the TESOL Convention, I have created this cmap about the roles of the teacher and learner in Blended Learning.
The Cmap tool was used to design this concept map. You can download Cmap Tools for free from http://cmap.ihmc.us/download/


Κυριακή, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Christmas Cards to our Penfriends in USA





This year we created our own Christmas cards to send to our penfriends
in Iowa, USA.
Pentapolis High school pupils brought their own materials (carton, pens, glitter etc), we
revised useful Christmas vocabulary and wishes and while listening to music we
produced our cards. A few days later we sent them to Decorah Middle School, IA.


Σάββατο, 1 Ιανουαρίου 2011

So this is Christmas..

Christmas Holidays have arrived again and at school we had a nice celebration before closing.
The pupils staged a play about Christmas traditional stories from Greece and we finished with a
popular John Lenon song, visualised by one of our pupils, Sakis Grigoroudis (3rd grade of Junior High school) as part of a Christmas project for the English lesson.