March 29, 2013

PROJECT: Describe someone in your family

So, what do we need to know in order to be able to describe people in our family?

After brainstorming different adjectives of personality students knew, we focusssed on the vocabulary suggested by the book which is adopted by the language institute I work at. I used this image below, to introduce the words for the first time. Students would come to the board and click on a word they would like to know and read the definition for the rest of the class. The same image was shared in our Edmodo group for students to go back to it if they wanted to.


We also used some QUIZLET FLASHCARDS to help students learn the meaning of the new vocabulary as well as play the games for recap.

 An important moment in class was a discussion students had in pairs after listening to an interview where a psychologist talked about how your position in the family can affect your personality.

The instructions were:

I gave students the option of using a tool for recording or a tool for using text and image. The tool my students liked best for the task was BUBBLESNAPS as can be seen below.

March 22, 2013

PROJECT: A memorable moment

Telling other people about memorable things that happened to us in the past, in my opinion, is one of the most challenging things to do when you're learning another language. Depending on what tense you use, the person listening to your story might not understand the sequence of events you're trying to tell.

I remember very clearly the first time I tried to tell a story to some American friends of mine at a slumber party and they kept asking me so many clarifying questions that I noticed I wasn't THAT successful in telling my story.

Last week, I presented the challenge for unit 1B which was  to record yourself talking about a memorable moment in your life.

First, I asked my students to tell each other about something funny that happened to them in the past.
Then, I asked them what verb tenses they had used and it was no surprise that most of them had used ONLY the Simple Past. Well, it was clear we had to learn some more possibilities.

As some students were absent that day, I shared the GRAMMAR VIDEO CLASS below (a screencast created by me) with the whole class in our EDMODO group.


Then, I showed them my example recording and asked them to identify the verb tenses and the situations I talked about. After doing lots of exercises and practicing in class, at the end of the third lesson it was their turn to make their recordings.

These are some of the recordings they produced:

listen to ‘A nice surprise party’ on Audioboo

After listening to their various recordings, I wrote down the most common mistakes and brought to class so that we could discuss them.

For this specific project, the SUGGESTED TOOLS were:

March 15, 2013


Do you like making lists? Well, it's a way to curate your content and share with other people.

This post is aimed to focus on two webtools which I've fallen in love with:

LISTLY is a site used for making lists of websites and videos. It's said to be a social experience as you can collaborate with others in building lists, besides commenting and voting. The lists you create or contribute to are not only shareable but also embeddable, like the list I've added at the bottom of this post.

THINGLINK  allows you to tag images linking it to other websites, sound files, videos or even texts.

My inspiration for this post came with a pinterest post which shared a list curated by Lisa Johnson entitled "Thinglink EDU examples" which I've embedded below.

Thinglink EDU Examples
View more lists from Lisa Johnson

As LISTLY is a collaborative tool, I believe it would be perfect for classroom usage where the whole class can contribute in collecting content about a specific topic.

March 8, 2013

PROJECT: My eating habits

A new semester has begun and here I am trying to rethink my role as a teacher and how I can help my students learn English in a different way.

Well, I've been reading and reflecting a lot about collaborative / cooperative learning and self-directed learning in search of ideas for my classes.

But, changing your ways IS NOT EASY. I have to think of my own reality, with certain limitations as  the methodology adopted by the school and my own beliefs, of course.

This semester, I have a beautiful and very enthusiastic group of teenagers with whom I'll be experimenting new ways of being in a classroom. Taking one tiny step at a time, we're going to follow a kind of a "project-oriented approach", in which I propose a challenge for students at the beginning of a lesson, we discuss what kind of knowledge we need to accomplish that goal and after 3 or 4 classes working with the content, students have to present a final product using one of the suggested tools.

These past weeks, students brought to class VOCABULARY related to kinds of food they like and we complemented it with vocabulary from the coursebook which we're supposed to cover. If we were to talk about our habits, we had to know how express them in sentences, which led us to the GRAMMAR TOPIC (Present Simple and Present Continuous).

Yesterday, students started sharing their final presentations in Edmodo, which I then assembled in the school wiki page so that we can share it with parents as well. I was extremely happy with the results. From their presentation, I was not only able to learn more about my students but I could also  observe how well they could express themselves.


The other presentations can be found at

 I prepared an activity with the most common mistakes I noticed from their presentations, we discussed them and then my students asked me to show some presentations in class to the whole group.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, these are just baby steps aiming for more meaningful learning.

March 5, 2013


I was a great fan of POSTEROUS , and still am :(  ,   because of the great possibility of posting so easily with a simple e-mail.

What I liked about it?

  • Well, you didn't need to know much about codes for blogging. All you had to do was attach any file to an e-mail to the platform and they would magically turn it into a nice blog post. 
  • You could create a blog anyone could post to. Great for e-projects.
After it was bought by Twitter, their closing has come as a very sad surprise to me.
Panic, what can we do not to lose projects we've developed on the platform?

Well, thanks to Chris Bohlander, a fellow teacher based in Goiânia, I learned about the possibility of exporting my Posterous blogs to WORDPRESS.

My original posterous -
The wordpress one -

If you're interested in learning how to SAVE YOUR POSTEROUS BLOGS, I suggest you read the instructions HERE .

It's not THAT EASY, but if I managed to do it, I bet you'll do as well.

If you want to read about the AN-IMAGE-A-WEEK project, you might enjoy reading 

March 1, 2013


The activity filmed below aimed to help students internalize the usage of different phrasal verbs focussed in the lesson.

Students created a dialogue using as many phrasal verbs as they could, rehearsed it and then we filmed it by using the free ipad app CARTOONATIC.

 WHICH and HOW MANY phrasal verbs can you identify?