Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Sunshine Award

We are very happy to have received the Sunshine Award!
The Sunshine Award is an award given to bloggers by other bloggers. It is given to "bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere". It s such an honor to have received this award, thank you Cláudio Azevedo !
As with other similar awards, there are certain rules that must be followed:
Rule 1.  Post the Sunshine Award logo on your blog.
Rule 2.  Nominate 5 to 10 other wonderful  bloggers.
Rule 3.  Announce their nomination in their blog’s comment section.
Rule 4 .Mention links back to their blog, including a link to the person who nominated you.
Rule 5. Answer seven questions about yourself.  This is designed to help people get to know you better.
Here are 5 great blogs you should know about:
1. Carla Arena is an expert when it comes to Ed Tech stuff. Her creativity and innovative ideas are limitless. If you are into technology, she's the one to follow! Collablogatorium 
2. Thelma Peres and Elton Carvalho are very experienced professionals who blog about games to be used in the classroom. They always have very nice ideas to share with the teaching community! Games in Class 
3. Magda Mendes is an English teacher and translator. Her blog is aimed at Brazilian students and she gives lots of useful tips to those studying English. She blogs in Portuguese and her blog is visite by thousands of people daily! Dicas de Inglês
4. Dani Lyra is an inspiring teacher who suggests tons of digital activities for busy teachers in her blog. Yo are going to love it!
Digital Tasks 4 Busy Teachers
5. Domingos Di Lello is passionate about very young learners. His creative ideas inspires teachers all over. If you are into developing small projects with your students with a little touch of art, this blog is a must follow! Kids Love English
Some things about us...

1. Favourite colour.
Vinicius: blue

2. Favourite animal.
Vinicius: dogs

3. Favourite number.
Vinicius: 6

4. Favourite non-alcoholic drink.
Vinicius: orange juice

5. Favourite alcoholic drink.
Vinicius: sparkling wine

6. Facebook or Twitter.
Vinicius: Facebook

7. My passions.
Vinicius: traveling, dancing, Mariah Carey, teaching, dining out, photography just to name a few.

8. Giving or receiving gifts?
Vinicius: both!

9. Favourite city or country?
Vinicius: New York

10. Favourite book?
Vinicius: Frankenstein

Congratulations to all my nominees! Now it's your turn to spread the positive flow and send the sunshine to other fantastic and inspiring bloggers! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Activity 94- Open your eyes. What changed?

Here is a very simple yet effective idea to practice the use of THERE WAS/THERE WERE.

Level: basic
Skill: writing, speaking
Grammar Topic: There was/There were
Material needed: realia provided by students, notebook and pencil

Collect different classroom objects/personal objects from students and place them on the teacher`s table.   Organize the objects on the table in such a way students can clearly see their position in relation to other objects (ex: a pen under a book, cell phones next to a plastic folder, a blue pen between two pencils, etc). Then ask students to open their  notebooks and explain that they are going to carefully observe the objects on the table, close their eyes( in this moment the teacher should remove some objects and/or change their positions on the table), open them, try to notice what changed and write sentences using THERE WAS/THERE WASN`T/ THERE WERE/ THERE WEREN`T (ex: there was an eraser next to the cellphones, there were some books in front of the plastic folder, etc). Before checking their ideas, have students pair up/group up and compare their sentences.

- You can divide the students into two groups and have them remove/re-organize the objects.
- You can ask them just to say what changed instead of writing and make it a more dynamic activity.
- Depending on situation, you can turn off the lights instead of having them close their eyes.
- Students can prepare Yes/No questions and make it a more complex activity

Source: Vinicius Lemos
Picture credits: Flickr/@banoootah_qtr 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Activity 93- Writing a (Fun) Story

This idea is a classic, but great if you want your students to develop a taste for writing. Informal, but fun and effective! 

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced
Skill: Writing
Material Needed: sheets of paper with different stories

The teacher should prepare papers with different beginnings of different stories. Separate students into groups of 5 or 6 students. Use the pieces of paper to rotate among the groups.  After all the groups have had a chance to add something to each story, ask different students to read them. Students vote for the best story in the class. 

Source: Vânia Rodrigues
Picture credits: Denise Krebs/ Flickr

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Activity 92- Move If

This is a very similar idea to a post published before ("Change Places If " ) but with some twists. Students will definitely enjoy working on this activity! 

Level: All Levels
Skill: speaking
Material Needed: None


Have students make a circle with a student in the middle. Give each student a piece of making tape. They should use that piece of tape to mark their places on the floor. The person standing in the middle gives the command. This person should say something that is true for himself/herself, “Switch places if…you are wearing jeans” and then finishes the sentence. Everyone who is wearing jeans should switch places, including the student who gave the command. There is always going to be one person in the center of the circle who is in charge of giving the next command

Source: Vânia Rodrigues, Adapted from The Monster Book of Language Teaching Activities.
Picture credits:  Doremi Girl /Flickr 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Activity 91- Yes-No Questions

Great practice if you want your students to learn and remember  how to ask yes/no questions for good!

Level: Beginner/Intermediate  
Skill: speaking
Material Needed: A set of colored paper


In the beginning of the semester, give each student a stiff colored piece of paper. Ask students to divide the paper into two parts. Students should write YES and NO on each part. Tell students to keep that paper, for they will use it every class to answer a question. At the beginning of each class invite a student to ask a Yes/No question. The rest of the class should answer that question by raising their papers. This is a great activity for beginning-level students to practice asking questions, and not only answering them. 

Source: Vânia Rodrigues
Picture credits: Chris Palmieri/ Flickr

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Activity 90- How Much Do You Know Me?

Here is a nice idea for groups who have studied together for a while!

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced
Skill: Writing
Material Needed: None


Prepare a set of 10 personal questions such as “What’s your friend’s address?”/ “what’s his/her favorite food?”/ “what’s his/her favorite school subject?”/”how many people live in his/her house/apartment” Ask students to sit in pairs. They can (and should) choose to sit with their closest friend in class. Have pairs sit back-to-back. Give students a piece of paper (or they can also use their notebooks) and tell them to number this paper from 1 to 10. Ask the questions and have students’ write down the answer that is true for his/her pair. Then have students check what they wrote and, if they have the same answer, they score a point. At the end, the pair that has more points wins. 

Source: Vânia, adapted from The Monster Book of Language Teaching Activities
Picture credits: Alexander Henning Drachmann / Flickr

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Activity 89- Playing with Children- Prepositions

Practicing prepositions of place has never been that fun for young learners! 

Level: Beginner
Skills: Listening and Speaking
Material Needed: Colored balloons


Give each child a colorful balloon. Give instructions about where the balloon should be placed according to the prepositions they have learned. Also add different colors to the commands.

Examples: “If you have a red balloon, put it on the table.”
                  “If you have a yellow balloon, put it under the teacher’s table.”
                  “Put the green balloons behind our classroom door.”

Tip: remember that it’s always important to model the activities before you actually ask students to perform the.

Variation 1: The teacher can also put students in charge of the activity by inviting a student to say the commands. They will love it!

Variation 2: For prepositions, you can also have different colors of Hula Hoops, for they practice “in”, “out”, “through”, “over” and so on in a fun and different way.

Source: Vânia Rodrigues
Picture credits: Mads Danquah/ Flickr