Friday, 21 October 2011

eTwinning, CLIL... and me :)

Hello everybody,
as an eTwinning Mentor I've been asked lots of questions: of course, I couldn't answer 100% of them, since in some fields I'm more experienced than in others (ok, I do have doubts concerning some ICT tools and their applications in the TwinSpace!). Anyway, for those questions whose answer was not sure, I always managed to find another eTwinner (Mentor or not) who could help. So I learnt a lot myself.

One of the most interesting questions was raised by Gracia and it deals with CLIL. I answer here because I think it can be of interest for many teachers. I believe we all share the same experience: we start with teaching at our best whit what we learnt at University, then we find an opportunity of training (Comenius, National Agencies, Ministries of Education...), and eventually we want to try out these new things in our classes. And we discover eTwinning projects, Comenius/Grundtvig and so on. All of them mean meeting new people and learning more.

Now, how to start a CLIL project for the first time?

I can give my experience. Please note, there's no rule, it's just how things worked for me.
So, these are the guidelines I would suggest:

1) involve your colleagues: of course, you can manage your
CLIL project on your own, but it won't be as effective as with two or more teachers working together. So, if you're the Language teacher, I would advise involving one/two subject teachers (it depends on the topic you're willing to deal with: History? Geography? Science? it's up to you). And if you are the subject teacher, of course you'll have to  involve the Language teacher: otherwise you will offend him/her, by apparentky teaching something they are supposed to teach (language).

2) talk about your project idea: don't keep things just for you and your involved colleague(s). Do speak with others during the official meetings: Principal, other colleagues and families need to know what's going on. They will support you in case of need, give you useful advice, or be interested in developing a similar pathway. Or - this is for parents - they will need to be reassured and to understand what's going on (let them know it won't be too difficult for their children and it won't ruin their marks).

3) choose a limited number of classes and set a reasonable timetable: for my first attempt at a CLIL project, I started with two classes, two colleagues (I teach History and Geography and I asked the English teacher and Science teacher to join me) and a series of 10 lessons. A small project, in terms of involved people and time, is easier to manage. Plus, you won't have to squeeze your brain to make up hundreds of new activities!

4) decide if the activity will be curricular or not: this depends on your school system. In my Institute, at the moment, CLIL projects need extra time, in the afternoon (which means extra money to be found, making everything more difficult). In the past, we could use our normal lesson time for our projects.

5) find a partner if you feel like: ok, it can work perfectly well with your classes alone, but I personally think eTwinning can help a lot in any CLIL project. If you have a partner class, your pupils will feel the actual need to use a foreign language. They'll be more curios and motivated. And you'll find extra help in your partner.

6) enjoy! It's an experiment, so just enjoy the activities with your pupils and colleagues. And laugh off the unexpected problems. There always are and you can't be prepared. So take them with sense of humour.

I can say these extra-ordinary activities have been among the funniest and most rewarding of my life as a teacher.

[and that's why I keep going :) ]

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL CAMPAIGN: involve your colleagues!

The eTwinning BACK TO SCHOOL campaign focuses this year on mentoring: eTwinning is growing as a strong teachers' community, where eTwinner helps eTwinner. And the "let's help each other" motto is the basis of our projects as well - LLT first and The Next Generation now.

So, let's involve more and more colleagues in this rewarding and exciting world. We already know by experience eTwinning can be addictive... now let's see if it can be contagious as well!

This BACK TO SCHOOL campaign is just asking us to go on doing what we are already doing: help new eTwinners, if we're experienced, or ask for help, if we are new.

Now, go to and have a look: there could be someone asking for help - or someone ready to answer your questions.

Most likely, there will be both. As all of us have lots of questions and answers. And that's why we come together :)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Greetings from Korinth!

Hello to all!!!
Nice to meet you again here!!!
I have just seen it in facebook
by Monica...Thanks!!!
I wish a creative new school year!!!
I believe to our forces !!!
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
it's about learning how to dance in the rain"
Warm regards from Korinth

Friday, 7 October 2011

Project management

I would like to share with you a ppt presentation. I prepared it for an eTwinning conference in Egerszalók, Hungary. I took part in this event last week. I was happy, because I met many kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers from Poland, Finland, France, Portugal, Germany and Hungary. I enjoyed to share our ideas, and talking about them.
Hope, you will find useful the presentation.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Blog Action Day 2011

I'm happy to spread the news. Do join in !!!

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.

Since 2007, Blog Action Day has focused bloggers around the world to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change and poverty.

This year, Blog Action Day will be held on October 16, which coincides with World Food Day, so naturally our 2011 theme is FOOD

To take part in Blog Action Day all you need to do is register your blog and then on October 16, 2011 post your blog about food with the #BAD11 tag.

Learn more