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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Preparing for Student Presentations

This summer, as my English academy has done before, all of the students will do a presentation.

Some students will do an individual presentation, while others will do it in pairs or small groups.

They will be watched by other students.

Younger students will use a picture/poster as a visual aid, while most older students will use PowerPoint.

My classes have started the preparation process.

(Except for middle school students, who will begin next week.)

In one 4th-5th grade class, I asked them this week to begin their PPT work, and to be ready, next week, to practice using a computer.

When I went to class today, one good student asked me if we would use USB's today (that's what students here call "memory sticks").

I replied, "No, we will practice in the computer room next Tuesday."

She replied, somewhat indignantly, "Teacher!  I got up at 6:30 this morning to finish my PPT!"

I am excited about the energy and enthusiasm that students are showing for the presentation process and practice.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Roald Dahl: A Lengthy, Interesting Article

Read here:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/fantastic-roald-dahl-BFG-180959487/

Monday, 27 June 2016

Keep the Cat

Animals are used for therapy, especially dogs.

Isn't this the case with this cat?:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/26/texas-city-council-votes-to-evict-library-s-cat.html?intcmp=hplnws

Saturday, 25 June 2016

I Like His Honesty: Steve Kerr on American Gun Control

Here it is:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/warriors/2016/06/24/warriors-coach-steve-kerr-gives-impassioned-plea-gun-control/86360010/

Friday, 24 June 2016

Some Republican Executives are Voting for Clinton

Read about it:

http://www.npr.org/2016/06/23/483236381/republican-executives-among-business-leaders-endorsing-clinton

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Donald Trump = Hugo Chavez?

Read the new article:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/22/donald-trump-hugo-chavez-political-similarities

Short Film

"We Keep on Dancing" (8 Minutes):

(Preview before showing to kids)

https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2016/06/20/we-keep-on-dancing/

Monday, 20 June 2016

Boomerang Tourist Ad for Korea

Watch it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzaMDp3dgJc&feature=youtu.be

Summer Camp to Learn about North Korea

Read the news article:

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/06/20/482439785/yes-theres-a-summer-camp-dedicated-to-learning-about-north-korea

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Online Games for ESL Students

The same website that I mentioned in the post below--BBC Skillwise--has some other games that are good:

"Syllables Factory Game" (good for low-level students)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/english/games?page=3




"Treasure Hunt" games (3) (Good for higher-level students)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/english/games?page=3




However, perhaps the best game (for mid-to-upper level students) is this one:

"Make a sentence" game

https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/archived-word-games/make-the-sentences/describing-people

This website was restructured, and is not so easy to maneuver around in; however, you can play this game with different vocabulary sets, maybe 20 in total (chores, pets, Goldilocks, etc.)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Online Murder Mystery

A few of my middle school students who are not participating in this month's public school test preparation have had 5 classes with me.

First, I taught them how to write dialogue for a short story that they wrote (they did a great job!).

Then they wrote a basic 5-paragraph essay about their favorite kind of pet.

(Both assignments were typed, and we edited the drafts together.)

In the last class, yesterday, we did an online murder mystery, which asks students to complete a 3-page Q/A cluesheet.

It is called "The Big Scan" and is appropriate for higher-level students, maybe 6th+ grades:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/game/en05skim-game-the-big-scan

There is some suggestion of lovers and some slight animated gore involved, so it is not for young kids.

However, it is designed as an educational game, so check it out.

(The cluesheets did not print from the website, but I easily found them--plus an answer sheet--on the web . . . google "the big scan cluesheet questions" or something like that.)

Van Morrison

Van Morrison . . .

Another oldie but goodie:

"Into the Mystic":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FUmfX4GKAY


Also:

"Moondance":

https://vimeo.com/44983820

Meat Loaf

U.S. rock star Meat Loaf is apparently in good condition after collapsing on stage.

I had not thought about him in a long time.

Kind of a ghost of the past . . .

But tonight I listened to some of his songs again, because I used to love them.

I still do; listen:


"I Would Do Anything for Love":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rezC6AvMgvc


"Paradise by the Dashboard Light":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C11MzbEcHlw


"You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wO8toxinoc



Thursday, 16 June 2016

Some South Koreans Eat Whale Meat

Read this National Geographic news article:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/south-korea-whaling-bycatch/

Short Documentary

This short film--a documentary from Norway (with English subtitles)--portrays a family with young children living a perhaps idealistic and idyllic life in the coastal countryside (10:33 min.):

"The Heart Followers":

https://vimeo.com/151048885

Worth a watch; nice photography and heartfelt views on life . . .

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Children's Education: Technology: Yes or No?


Guardian news article:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jun/14/steiner-schools-children-tablets-tech

This article see-saws, but does provide an initial perspective.

Perhaps there will be more of a firm opinion in the future.

"UnReal" Pilot Short Film

I have never watched "UnReal", yet after watching this short (20 Minutes) I can imagine what it is like.  This is not a short film for kids:

"Sequin Raze":

https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2016/06/13/sequin-raze/

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Trump the Con Artist: And He Wants to be President?

Read the news article:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

Friday, 10 June 2016

Minions

Here's a Minions mini movie (4:14 min.): "Panic in the Mailroom"

https://vimeo.com/91697499


Also, the Minions have been doing a lot of advertising globally; here's a collection of cute and creative ads (8:45 min.):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8F2SaBbQNc


Finally, a repost of another Minions mini movie (4:04 min.): "Competition"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjfP2tmjtQM

Thursday, 9 June 2016

How Utterly Ironic: A Possible Italian Rendition

It is possible that Italy--which for years has pursued judicial vengeance for an alleged rendition coordinated by the CIA and Italy's own intelligence forces (which may have happened):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Omar_case

is now embroiled in a case of possible false-rendition by its own police forces:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36488655

The UK may also be connected in the potential snafu.

The next few days' news should be interesting . . .

Can Pencil Cases Be Bad?

Easy answer.

Yes, they can.

There are those metallic /hard plastic pencil cases that fall off a student's desk and shatter eardrums or stimulate heart attacks (the loud crashes are intense), there are those pencil cases that incorporate mini games, and . . . there are these:


Obviously targeting young girls, they are cutsie things that do serve a purpose, but, under the outer (semi-secret) cover, you will find:


A mirror and a comb!

Wow!  Just what a teacher wants--to have young female students combing their hair in class.

The attraction is understandable, but the idea behind it is anti-educational, arguably sexist, and potentially disruptive.

I had a female middle school student several years ago who would occasionally groom herself in class, and after several attempts at asking her nicely to stop (saying that this was not the time nor the place), I confiscated her instruments and materials of beauty.

She cried.

Her mom protested.

Sad mini-drama that was not needed nor wanted.

Whoever designed these cases should be dealt with severely.

Have the designers comb their hair for 100 hours on public TV.

Or, better yet, shave their hair off.

But that's just my opinion.

Fortunately, the female student (4th grade) whom I borrowed this case from to take a picture is a great student and has never tried to admire herself in a mirror nor comb her hair in class.

A Sad Story: Buying & Selling Personal Debt in the U.S.

BBC news article:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36468022



John Oliver debt video report:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c

Monday, 6 June 2016

Trump = Divider

A CNN news article:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/04/opinions/trump-the-divider-opinion-dantonio/index.html

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Tea

Why do the British love tea so much?

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160602-why-do-the-british-love-the-taste-of-tea-so-much

Salmon

I love it!


(cooked on top of carrot slices, cooling off after coming out of the oven)

Saturday, 4 June 2016

About Cooking Garlic

I discovered something about cooking garlic.

Clearly, it is a healthy food.

It is more healthy if it is eaten raw, but I do not like the lingering aftertaste.

I usually steam my garlic.

Today I read this short health article that had some interesting information about garlic:

http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-are-the-anti-cancer-effects-of-garlic/

According to the article, I should also chop my broccoli (and wait 10 minutes).

"America's Got Talent": 13-year-old Girl Sings Opera

A nice 'feel good' video:

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/13-yr-old-opera-singer-steals-show-americas-got-talent/

North Korea's Drugs

Read this news article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/07/kim-jong-un-breaking-bad-the-secret-world-of-north-korean-meth.html

Thursday, 2 June 2016

'Lightly Beat'

How terrible!:

http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/36430547

Overwatch Animation

Watch the short film:

https://www.shortoftheweek.com/news/overwatch-short-films-story-fades-gaming-short-film-picks-slack/

Next Semester's Books and Classes

Today was a non-teaching day at my academy.

Instead, the teachers met--starting at 10 am--to review and discuss the classes and textbooks for next (fall) semester.

We do this twice a year, and it has evolved into a fairly painless, though sometimes complicated, process.

'Painless' because our staff works together nicely and efficiently.

'Complicated' because of working out the class schedules, student changes (between classes), textbook histories (which students have completed which books), etc.

Sometimes teachers have to take a sidestep, so instead of moving in a linear path from, say, Let's Go 3 to Let's Go 4, the students will do English Time 3.

We always try to do what is best for the students.

It's a process that involves a lot of communication between foreign teachers and Korean teachers.

Essentially, the more pre-planning that we do the better the next semester works out.

That can take a lot of stress out of teachers' (and students') lives.

I have a few worries about books for next semester, yet I think those worries will be resolved within the next week.

Today was a good day!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Diary of a Saudi Girl

This NPR article/diary is very interesting:

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/05/31/479591225/diary-of-a-saudi-girl-karate-lover-science-nerd-bride

Clothes Songs/Videos

I like the listen/repeat sentence format:

Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taoCF1cKZSY

Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNg3KuUFkxU