On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, which is celebrated each year on 26 September,
Eurostat publishes some interesting information and data visualisation
on language learning & language skills in the European Union.

Art in class

Classes of the past
Compare and contrast :
What is/isn’t  there in the classrooms? Is there any special equipment?
Describe the pupils and the teachers
What about their appearance? Do they wear a uniform?
How do they look like?
How do you think they feel (sad, happy, excited, bored)?

STEEN, Ο σχολάρχης1663-65

Σχολική εξέταση Albert Anker 1862

Σχολείο για κορίτσια
Το κρυφό σχολειό – Γύζης 1885
Ο δάσκαλος – Jan Steen 1668
Στο σχολείο του χωριού – Vladimir Makovsky 1883
Διανοητική αριθμητική. Στο Δημοτικό Σχολείο του S.Rachinsky Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky 1895

Η σχολή των ΑΘηνών -Raphael, 1510-1511

Classroom rules

1. No gum
2. Be a good friend
3. Control bodily functions
4. Always follow directions and listen to the teacher
5. No teasing or bullying others
6. Don’t waste time when you leave the room
7. Keep your hands to yourself
8. Respect other learners by not disrupting
9. Supportive when working in groups
10. Leave toys at home
11. Keep cellphones turned off in backpacks
12. Ask for help when you need it
13. Keep your area clean

First day back to school we can use this video to introduce this set of class rules to our students.
We can discuss with the students which of these rules they believe are the most important for our class.
We can add some of our own.
Here's an awesome interactive video quiz for this video .... credits to Peter Laszlo Pergunta .

Drawing in my EFL classroom

As a foreign language teacher, I always use drawing to help students  learn the language. Students love drawing and it is a very motivating tool that I enjoy using every day.
I have most of my students draw pictures in their notebooks beside newly acquired vocabulary.

 I also have them do so on their worksheets, copybooks etc

When children “draw”, I can see them concentrate and relax at the same time.
The mind opens up and language can “pour” in. It really can. 
I assume my children are highly creative (they are!) and I treat them as such.

And even if I don’t feel creative one day, you know the saying—“Fake it till you make it.”

Connection is the key.

Clothes bingo

The last game we played with my 1st graders for this school year was a clothes bingo.
We revised colours and clothes and of course we had fun comparing what we had coloured with what we were wearing.

This is the worksheet we used.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms all over the world!!

What does it mean to be a Great Teacher ?

How can a teacher touch hearts, affect or even change lives forever. There are a few characteristics or traits that can make the difference and lead to success.

" What does it mean to be a great teacher? Of course credentials, knowledge, critical thinking, and all other faculties of intelligence are important. However, a great teacher should be much more than credentials, experience and intelligence.
What lies in the heart of a great teacher?
You are kind: a great teacher shows kindness to students, colleagues, parents and those around her/him. My favourite saying is “kindness makes the world go around”. It truly changes the environment in the classroom and school. Being a kind teacher helps students feel welcomed, cared for and loved.
You are compassionate: Teaching is a very humanistic profession, and compassion is the utmost feeling of understanding, and showing others you are concerned about them. A compassionate teacher models that characteristic to the students with her/his actions, and as a result students will be more open to understanding the world around them.
You are empathetic: Empathy is such an important trait to have and to try to develop in ourselves and our students. Being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes and see things from their perspective can have such a powerful impact on our decisions and actions.
You are positive: Being a positive person, is not an easy task. Being a positive teacher is even harder when we’re always met with problems with very limited solutions. However, staying positive when it’s tough can have such a tremendous positive impact on the students and everyone around us. Looking on the bright side always seems to help make things better.
You are a builder: A great teacher bridges gaps and builds relationships, friendships, and a community. Teachers always look to make things better and improve things in and outside of the classroom. Building a community is something a great teacher seeks to do in the classroom and extends that to the entire school and its community.
You inspire: Everyone looks at a great teacher and they want to be a better teacher, they want to be a better student, even better, they want to be a better person. A great teacher uncovers hidden treasures, possibilities and magic right before everyone’s eyes."

 (by Rusul Alrubail www.edutopia.org)

Faces and feelings (2)

Today’s games with the 1st graders
Guess what it is .
I start showing a flashcard with a part of an animal’s face little by little. My kids try to guess what it is .The first to do so, is the winner and starts the next game.

“Put the nose on the monkey” (something like  “Pin the tail on the donkey”).
The laminated head of a monkey is on the board.One kid is blindfolded and I spin him/her singing “eyes, ears, nose and mouth, nose and mouth….”.He has to stick the nose on the right place on the monkey’s head. We do the same with the mouth, ears and eyes.