Wednesday, 14 March 2018

St. Patrick's Day

If you want to understand how English works, it is advisable to learn about English culture. Culture will help you understand expressions. A celebration that takes place in March is St. Patrick’s Day, a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century.

Learn some Irish words and phrases. The Irish have their own distinct dialect of the English language, so if you want to sound like a true Paddy on St. Patrick's day, try sprinkling some of these Hiberno-English gems into your conversation:

  • What's the craic? This phrase can be interpreted as either "How's it going?" or "What's going on?" or "What's up?" and is used in non-formal settings. Craic is a very important word in Ireland and can be used to describe your enjoyment of an event or activity, e.g "How was the party?" "Ah sure, it was great craic altogether!" Use "craic" in the correct context and you'll earn major points with the Irish.
  • Grand. Grand is another multi-purpose word in Hiberno-English. It doesn't mean large or impressive, but rather translates as "fine" or "great" depending on the context. "I'm grand" is a perfectly acceptable reply to the question "How are you?" and means the person is doing just fine. If you ask an Irish person "How did the exam go?" and they reply "It was grand" that means it went okay, it wasn't amazing, but it wasn't a disaster either.
  • Eejit. Eejit is basically the Irish word for idiot. If someone does something silly or stupid, you can comment "Ah ya big eejit!" It's not meant to be offensive, rather it's used to make fun of someone in a playful way.
Links to read more about:

Thursday, 15 February 2018

What is an Interactive Whiteboard?

Though the technology has been around for more than two decades (IWB  was released in 1991), its use has only grown exponentially over the past few years.

Fundamentally, an IWB combines a dry erase whiteboard with an LCD projector and
is usually mounted on a wall or floor stand. Powered by easy-to-use software, the
whiteboard becomes a computer screen viewable by an entire classroom.  

The projector projects the content from a onto the surface of the board while the
teacher controls the content either with a pointer or a touch of the hand instead
of a keyboard and mouse. The combination of software with the projector results
in much more than simply a projected image.
An interactive whiteboard can be a cost saver as this technology demonstrates how
one computer can provide learning stimuli for a whole classroom. This is more cost
effective than equipping an entire IT room, or every student with a laptop.
Examples of the features available when using an interactive whiteboard:
• Add annotations
• Highlight text
• Add notes and drawings and then save them to be printed out and shared, or added
to a virtual learning environment.
• Show pictures and educational videos to the whole lecture theatre. You can label
parts or highlight elements of an image.
• Demonstrate the content available on a website in a teacher-directed activity
Interactive whiteboards as a pedagogical tool: IWB  facilitate multisensory learning and research has repeatedly demonstrated that students learn better when they are fully engaged and that multisensory, hands-on learning is the best way to engage them.
This type of tool promotes creative teaching and motivates students into absorbing
information. Teaching with an IWB  allows lecturers to accommodate all different
learning styles:
• Tactile learners get to touch and move things around the board. They can also make
notes and highlight elements.
• Visual learners benefit from a clear view of what is happening on the board.
• Audio learners can participate in a class discussion.
An  IWB in the hands of a good teacher can have a significant impact on student
engagement and achievement. Each IWB has its own unique set of features. Tools
such as the spotlight, screen shade and highlighter are valuable for directing students’
attention to the content you want them to see. Use the spotlight to“gray out” flashing
banner ads when showing content from websites. The screen shade can be used to
reveal your own writing samples, one line at a time, to keepthe class in sync. With the
highlighter, you can invite students to mark the main idea in green, transition
sentences in yellow and support details in red. Then save the file as a PDF for later
reference or upload it to the classroom blog.

Classroom applications for using interactive whiteboards include: Multimedia lessons and presentations including audio and video, Collaborative problem solving, showcasing student projects and presentations, virtual field trips, recorded lessons that can be used by substitute teachers, documentation of student achievement.
IWB  facilitate multisensory learning and research has repeatedly demonstrated that
students learn better when they are fully engaged and that multisensory, hands-on
learning is the best way to engage them.
Mimio is a system that creates an interactive whiteboard out of a standard whiteboard.
For districts that are trying to manage tight budgets and already own whiteboards,
Mimio is a good option. It is more affordable and portable than IWB mounted on walls.

Interactive teaching
The teacher can call upon the students to interact with the whiteboard themselves. The
teacher can sit at the computer, with the student at the whiteboard, and the class
offering suggestions andcontributing ideas.

Group interaction
Interactive whiteboards promote group discussion and participation. They are an
effective tool for brainstorming as notes made on the screen can be turned into text,
and saved to be shared and distributed later. They are an ideal tool for small group
work and collaborative learning, as students can huddle around the board developing
ideas, and then save the work for sharing over a network or by email.

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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th. It is a festival of romantic love when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship. Many people give cards, letters, flowers or presents to people they love.They may also arrange a romantic meal in a restaurant or night in a hotel, while others may choose this day to propose or get married.


The origins of Valentine's Day are not clear but many sources believe that it stems from the story of St Valentine, a Roman priest who was martyred on or around February 14 in the year 270 CE during the reign of Claudius II for refusing to give up his Christian faith. St Valentine was caught marrying Christian couples. However, another theory says  that the church used the day of St Valentine’s martyrdom to Christianize the old Roman Lupercalia, a pagan festival held around the middle of February.

Further reading:
Saint Valentine
Love is in the air - subtitled
How deep is your love 

Friday, 2 February 2018

For literature lovers

Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. An abstract, citation, playing time, and word count are given for each of the passages. Many of the passages also have a related reading strategy identified. Each reading passage can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along or as supplemental reading material for your classroom.

Here is the link to enjoy literature

Monday, 22 January 2018

Online Dangers for Children and Teens

Yesterday La Nación newspaper published an article about online dangers for children and teens. According  to a survey conducted by LoJack and , 56% of Argentine children between 12 and 15 years have shared personal information with strangers in a social network. And 29% have admitted that they have had direct contact with people they met through this medium.

The article points out that banning surfing the net is not the way to prevent cyberbulling or sexting. It is advisable to teach children to share  neither personal information online about themselves  not their family without parental permission. Adults should help kids  become aware of the risks they may have if they use and interact with teachnology - PC, cell phone or webcam- without responsibility.

Further reading: