Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Monday, 1 December 2014

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Geography

When I was a kid, I used to watch a lot of TV travel programmes with my dad. He knows a lot about nature and geography, so when I was young, he was my expert on this subject.
Recently, I've discovered a great website with geography games. There are a few games you can play and check your knowledge of countries, capitals, flags, rivers, etc.

http://world-geography-games.com/


Friday, 31 October 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

eTwinning PDW in Tallinn, Estonia


Last week (26th - 28th September) I took part in the eTwinning Professional Development Workshop "Integrating coding into curriculum" in Tallinn, Estonia. It wasn't a coincidence that the PDW took place in Estonia. This small country is one of the most advanced e-societies in the world. That is why it is often reffered to as e-Estonia. In 2000 the Estonian Parliament declared basic Internet access as a human right.
Estonia has revolutionized the educational system in order to raise smarter and tech-savvy children. The aim is to develop digital skills of both teachers and students (at each level). One of the educational initiatives in Estonia is a programme called ProgeTiger launched in 2012. The objective is to raise children who like technology and understand how it works. How do Estonians do it? They integrate coding into different subjects, train teachers, support schools in acquiring high-tech devices, and organize competitions for students.
Poles have nothing to be ashamed of. Although our society is not as tech-savvy as Estonian society, we have also got our own coding educational programme called Mistrzowie Kodowania (The Masters of Coding). I'm proud to take part in it from the beginning. 

I think that having basic knowledge of coding is very important in the 21st century. That is why I was so excited to participate in the PDW. In Tallinn I have met a lot of wonderful eTwinning- and ICT-geeks like me.
On 25th September we started with a networking dinner. We were divided into 10 international tables. It was a good chance to get to know at least 6 teachers from different countries and share our teaching experience. The organizers planned some icebreakers. Our table was so creative that we have even written a poem about our group.
26th September was a very busy day. We started with a 3-hour plenary session. The keynote speach "Internet of Things – how dust will change the future?" by Jürgo-Sören Preden, Head of the Research Laboratory for Proactive Technologies, Tallinn University of Technology, was inspiring and a bit terrifying at the same time. Will we control devices in the future or will devices control us?
It was good to hear Anne Gilleran, Senior Pedagogical Adviser at eTwinning's Central Support, EUN. She presented the future directions of eTwinning. She also explained why the eTwinning community should be interested in coding. I agree with Anne that it's "better to control than to be controlled" and that "coding will build the future".
There were three more presentations, but I was mostely impressed by a 14-year-old, Karl, who presented his experience with coding. He spoke English quite fluently and he was very enthusiastic about the topic.
After lunch we took part in workshops. I chose Lego Mindstorm and I have to admit that it was fun. We worked in pairs and we were given some simple tasks to solve. The last part of the workshop was a challange: how to program the robot to drive a given distance without hitting a Lego figure. My partner from Norway and me were successful.
The second workshop I chose was about creating games in Sploder (an online environment for creating games). The workshop was hosted by Estonian teenagers. I wasn't very fond of Sploder, but I'm sure my students will love it.
After such a busy day, we were taken to Kolu Inn. We could try traditional Estonian food, play old Estonian games, watch a short performance by folk dancers and even dance together. I had the best time ever, as I love dancing.
On 27th September we planned and registered our eTwinning projects. I found two project partners, Kairi from Estonia and Robert from Sweden. We came up with the idea that we can integrate coding and culture. We registered a project entitled "Across the Baltic Sea".
In the evening we had a guided tour in Tallinn old city. We did some sightseeing on Sunday morning, too.
The PDW was a memorable experience. I met a lot of amazing teachers, I learned a lot of new things, I got a lot of new ideas and inspirations. But most of all, I felt being a part of very powerful and creative eTwinning community.

Monday, 15 September 2014

What's in my pencil case?

A little help to learn the names of six school supplies.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Simple vs. Continuous

For young Polish learners of English it may be not so obvious when do we use Present Simple Tense and when do we use Present Continuous Tense. 
I hope this picture will help you to remember the difference.


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Can you say the alphabet?

The beginning of a school year is always a good time to practice the alphabet. It's quite easy to learn it by heart and to recite all the letters in the specific order. It's getting difficult when it comes to pronuncing letters randomly, e.g. to spell a word. Mastering a skill requires practice.
I've found an interesting website where you can not only listen how to pronounce particular letters, but also practice your listening and speaking skills. Click on the gear icon to change the settings.

http://www.languageguide.org/english-uk/alphabet/

Monday, 1 September 2014

Back to school

 

Holidays are over. Are you excited to go back to school? I am, as usual. There is something refreshing in the begining of every school year. My head is full of new ideas and my heart is full of hope. During summer I learned a lot of new things and I'll try to put them into practice.
This year's theme will definitely be coding. I'm going to master my basic skills and to promote coding among my students.
If you are interested in coding, you can start with Code.org.

http://learn.code.org/

If you sign in as a teacher, you can download lesson plans to conduct eleven unplugged lessons and create a virtual classroom to follow your students progress. As a student you can do K-8 Intro to Computer Science Course.
Have a good school year!
 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Mr Printables - endless creativity

My drawing skills are rather limited. Sure, I can copy a simple picture when I'm looking at it, but I'm not that good at drawing my own stuff. That is why I admire people who can do it. 
Recently, I've come across this wonderfull website with cool printables. It's called Mr Printables.

http://www.mrprintables.com/

They've got a lot of great printables that are free for personal and small classroom use. Their flashcards are so pretty and aesthetic. There are also ideas for games and activity books that may be useful for language teachers.
My two personal favourites are Days & Months Flashcards and Earth Vocabulary Flashcards.
So get your printers ready and visit http://www.mrprintables.com/

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Fourth of July

Today the USA is celebebrating Independence Day. As I've already mentioned, my cousin is an American citizen, so it's his holiday too.
Happy 4th July!



Sunday, 22 June 2014

LearningApps

I love teaching and I love ICT. But what I like the most is combining those two. I don't mind trying new apps or ICT tools. It's not a problem to learn how to use them.
Recently, I've created an account on LearningApps.org.There is a wide range of possibilites to make your own apps. It's very easy to use, as there are various templates. You can create apps on different levels of difficulty.
Here's a simple one:

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Summer with Scratch

No matter how old you are, you can always learn new things. If you haven't got any holiday plans or you have got some free time in June and July, you can attend a free, online class that will teach you how to program using Scratch. 
Scratch is a graphical programming language used to create interactive stories, games and animations. 
Learning on your own is not easy, but you can take part in the Coding with Scratch class by Pursuitery. The class begins on June 16 (session 1) and July 21 (session 2).
Click on the picture to read more:


http://summer.pursuitery.com/scratch/

There are 5 challenges. If you complete them successfully, you'll get a nice badge.


If you still hesitate, watch the film:
 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Let me tell (read) you a story

Some people may say that reading is a waste of time, you should just live your life and experience things. But I read a lot and I'm quite happy with that. There's always a book on my bedside table. I'm just looking for a bookcase to store a huge amount of books I have.
I'm not that kind of reader who can read a few books at the same time. What I need is a good story (rather fictional) I can read from cover to cover without interrupting. For a few years I've been choosing series, such as Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. And since I met my husband I have read a lot of fantasy. I've never expected I would be fond of such kind of books, but to my surprise I am. 
What makes books so powerful that we feel scared or excited reading them? I believe it's the story itself. People love stories. Some of us like reading stories, while others prefer listening to them. And of course, there are many gifted people who can tell really good stories.
It's amazing that we can even share our feelings while reading stories, e.g. when we are reading them aloud to children.
Today I'll present you my favourite sites to listen to and to create stories.

READ / LISTEN TO STORIES

Oxford Owl - Library

http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/home/reading-owl/reading

You have to Sign in to read eBooks, but it's free.

Storyline Online

http://www.storylineonline.net/
 
I bet you'll love this site! Would you like to hear a story read by Betty White or Elijah Wood? If yes, it's the perfect place for you!

CREATE STORIES
If you would like to write your own stories or inspire your students to write theirs, there's no better site than Storybird.com.

http://storybird.com/

You can create free classroom acount (up to 35 students). You can give assignments, keep your class activity private or share it. Making storybirds is easy, and students will be inspired to write by beautiful art. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Stamp of approval

I started using teacher stamps about 7 years ago. The first self-inking stamp I got was a cute ladybird with a thumb up, saying "Super!". I use it to mark homework in the primary grades. It's a kind of a reward for those who do homework. But then I had to figure out how to "punish" those who don't do homework and to convince them to finish it. That's why I got another self-inking stamp, saying "No homework. Please finish it.". It's in Polish, so the parents can understand.


My students are used to the stamps, and they are happy to get the "Super" one.
This year I needed something to motivate my 2nd-grade students to behave well during classes. I bought two new self-inking stamps. After each lesson childern's behaviour is assessed and they get either "Like" or "Dislike". In this way all of the students who behave well are rewarded, and the troublemakers are punished.


Recently I have bought online wooden stamp set, but I haven't used it yet. I'm a bit dissapointed, as the stamps are rather small. Who knows, maybe the children will like them.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

eTwinning is the best

www.etwinning.net
One of my career highlights is eTwinning. The chance of doing projects with teachers and students from all over Europe boosts my motivation and engages my students into the learning process.
Last week I was nominated as an eTwinning ambassador in Poland. I can't express how proud I am.
This weekend I was asked to run an ICT workshop for Polish teachers who are beginners in eTwinning.


This is a Prezi on how to use Glogster Edu step by step. It's in Polish, but I'll translate it into English in a week or so.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 8

I hope this won't be the last part of my Silly Sentences set.

Silly Sentences p8 by kakitis

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 7

Last but not least - prepositions. It's the last part of my set that contains words. And tomorrow's one will be with periods and and some extra vocabulary.

Silly Sentences p7 by kakitis

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 6

All but one verb in the 6th part of my Silly Sentences set are in the past form. I hope it's easier that way. If you want the verbs in the infinitive form, please let me know in the comments.

Silly Sentences p6 by kakitis

Monday, 5 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 5

There are 24 nouns in the 5th part of my Silly Sentences set. If it's not enough, I'll prepare more. Just let me know in the comments.

Silly Sentences p5 by kakitis

Sunday, 4 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 4

The fourth part of my Silly Sentences set contains 24 adjectives.

Silly Sentences p4 by kakitis

Saturday, 3 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 3

Here's the third part of the set with definite and indefinite articles.

Silly Sentences p3 by kakitis

Friday, 2 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 2

The second part of my Silly Sentences set contains possessive pronouns.

Silly Sentences p2 by kakitis

Thursday, 1 May 2014

My Silly Sentences set - part 1

My birthday is in a week, so I've decided to prepare a present for my blog readers. I've prepared my own set of Silly Sentences, but I divided it into 7 parts. Everyday I'll upload one part, so within a week you'll have the whole set.
The first part contains instructions (how to use the set, how the words are colour-coded and how to make noun phrases and prepositional phrases).

Silly Sentences p1 by kakitis

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Silly sentences

A few years ago I bought a game called "Silly sentences" by DK Publishing. I must admit it's very exciting for elementary learners. Even if they don't understand some words, they can learn them very fast.
http://us.dk.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780789454720,00.html?Silly_Sentences_DK_Publishing#

 Creating sentences that make no sense is good fun. The sillier sentences, the better.

One of my students is especially eager to build very long sentences. Unfortunately, there are no relative pronouns in the set. That's why I decided to make my own set. I've searched the net and I've found a brilliant blog First Grade Fresh. Morgan Berard has created her own Silly Sentences set with clear instructions (you can find it here).
Inspired by Mrs. Berard I'm working on my own Silly Sentences. I'll try to post my set next week.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Happy Easter!

I've prepared a little game in Scratch to wish all of you Happy Easter!


Instructions: Help the Easter bunny to catch 10 eggs. Use your mouse to control the bunny. Try not to break the eggs.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Be creative

It's important to be creative when it comes to learning a foreign language. Spelling is difficult, especially at the beginning. So why don't we make it fun? I was inspired by my 3rd-graders to "draw" some words connected with sport. At first I did it the old-fashioned way, using blackboard and chalk, but then I realize I can use my computer and an image editor. That's the result:


Have you tried visual spelling with your students? What do you think about it?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hairstyles - I have, who has

I've created another version of "I have, who has". This time it's about hair, hairstyles and accessories.

Icons from www.flaticons.com

Monday, 31 March 2014

Konkurs Nauczycielski Blog 2014

This year I also take part in a competition Teacher's Blog of the Year 2014. I will be grateful, if you visit my blog from time to time and leave a comment. Thank you in advance!
The competition is organized by Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Wspierania Edukacji Dzieci i Młodzieży „Omnibus” (http://omnibus.pless.pl/). 

 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Hair, hairstyles, hair accessories

For many people hair is one of the most important aspects of physical appearance. Some of us get their hair done regularly, while others hate their hair just after leaving the hair salon.
Can you describe someone's hairstyle? Can you name hair accessories? What does a hairdresser do?






Icons from www.flaticons.com

Monday, 17 March 2014

On Saint Patrick's Day everyone is Irish



Today many people are Irish despite nationality or stereotypes.
Who is Saint Patrick? Why do Irish celebrate him?










And if you want to learn more about St. Patrick, here's an animation by Jeremiah Warren (you can read more in the info):

Friday, 14 March 2014

Pi Day


π is one of the most well-known mathematical constants. In English it is pronounced as "pie".  Pi is the ratio of circle's circumference to its diameter. It's an irrational number and its decimal representation never ends. Yet we can approximate its value. Most people remember the first three digits (3.14), so it's no surprise that March 14th is celebrated as Pi Day (3/14 in the U.S. date format).
Pi Day was first organized in 1988 by Larry Shaw, an American physicist. Since then it has been celebrated annually all around the world by science enthusiasts.

If you need an animated explanation, look at this gif image from Wikimedia Commons:



How can we celebrate Pi Day? What about a pie?
Happy Pi Day everybody!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring cleaning

Have you cleaned your house from top to bottom yet?  The practice of cleaning houses thoroughly in the first warm days of the year has become customary in many countries, especially in North America and northern Europe due to the climate. After a cold winter the first days of spring were the best time for dusting, as it was warm enough to open doors and windows.
If you need a spring cleaning checklist in English, here you can find some suggestions:





Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Giving directions - part 2


Last week I wrote a post about asking for and giving directions. While I was preparing a lesson for my 6th-graders, I realized that I can use familiar road signs to teach them some useful expressions. Of course, I used Polish road signs. I added two green signs, which are not road signs.
I had to get to all types of learners, so I combined looking at the signs, listening to the phrases being spoken by the teacher and acting out the phrases.


Here's a simple crossword:


And if you need the signs for your lesson, you can download and print these:



Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Visual grammar



I teach mostly young learners. My students need a lot of visual aids while learning English. I usually explain different grammar structures using simple and familiar concepts, such as building blocks or toy trains. It works even with my 5th- or 6th-graders.



Here's a very simplified model of sentence structures with the past simple forms of the verb "to be".