Saturday, March 17, 2012

Week 10 - Wrapping Up

How grateful I am for having taken  the Webskills course...
Janine Sepulveda is such a sweet teacher, motivating the group and provoking us to reflect and act!
I feel that I'm a better teacher now. The results of the changes I've started in my teaching may not be visible yet, but I'm confident that within a year, they will be.
I feel so inspired and motivated that I have already enrolled in another online course, this turn for learning the basics on how to teach online courses.
I also have to thank my classmates, for their very interesting posts in the discussions and also for being kind and gentle. I will miss you all.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Week 9 - Final Project

Finally, the time has come to put on together all the thoughts I have given to my Final Project. Basically, I addressed the issue of not having enough time for extra activities, technology-based or not. The solution I found was to include technology in the course not by creating extra activities, but by replacing existing ones from the textbook with others, available on the internet or created by myself.
Unfortunately, I could only try one of the activities, since the course I was teaching ended by February 9, while we were in Week 5 of our course. However, regular classes have already started, and again I have a group within the same level, with similar profile. I'll be able to check if the changes I planned are effective or not. However, I can say that the one we tried - "Stereotyped Views on Brazil and Brazilians" went just great.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week 8 - Peer Project Draft Reading, ANVILL, online teaching tools and the beginning of a new semester!

What a really really busy week!
Classes for the first semester have officially stared, right after carnival. I'm trying to adjust to a new rhythm, and I feel really happy and motivated.
As usual, I have groups of children, teenagers and adults, and it means that for me there is never a teaching routine, and this is just great!

I have read Melissa Vaeken's project draft, and provided some feedback (great plans, Melissa!). I am waiting for her feedback on my project's draft, so I can improve it.

ANVILL is a really interesting teaching tool, I loved it so much! Congratulations Jeff Magotto for such a wonderful work! Thank you very much!

I created a class in Nicenet for my Advanced 2 group (Summit 2 1st semester 2012). Here is the link:

I also created a crossword puzzle, at, check it:

União Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos, São Paulo, SP

A typical classroom - União Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos, São Paulo, SP

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 7 - Learner's autonomy, one-computer classroom, signing up with a partner...

Last week was carnival in Brazil. It ended on Wednesday, and I went back to work on Thursday, after 12 days off...
Classes have already started ... Lots of new students to get to know, lots of activities to prepare, but I feel really good and motivated. Happy New Teaching Year for me! And with the new year, my new year
resolutions: make teaching never seem like "work", although it is (hard)work; make technology become more and more an ally, send an article for being a presenter at BRAZ-TESOL Convention, that will be hold in Rio de Janeiro in July 2012 talking about... t-e-c-h-n-o-l-o-g-y.... WOW, ambitious!

I was deeply involved in the discussion about learner's and teacher's autonomy. For me, there is no way out: or we and our students become autonomous, or teaching and learning will get more and more limited and  meaningless.

The one-computer classroom is a subject that attracts me, since I know that only a few language schools in Brazil have individual computers for the teacher and students.

I would like to thank Diana Melissa Ramos Vaeken for accepting my invitation and becoming my partner for helping me in the project task... I'll try to help you too, the best way I can. Count on me!

Hugs from Brazil!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 6 - Engaging Students, using Power Point Presentations

Here I am, right in the middle of carnival... How nice it is to see my country even more colorful and happier...  I have to confess that I'm not exactly a carnival lover... I don't enjoy carnival balls anymore (but I used to, when I was a teenager...), but I do enjoy the parades. Watching them on TV might be boring, but "live", well, it's fantastic. The drums, the colors, the music...
There are very different ways to celebrate carnival in Brazil. The parades of  "Escolas de Samba" (literally, schools of samba) in Rio are certainly worldwide famous, as well as the Trios Elétricos in Salvador. But Olinda's is also fantastic... and those three examples show a part of our cultural diversity.

Rio de Janeiro - RJ

Salvador - BA

Olinda - PE

This week i did not teach. The Summer Course is over, and regular classes start only after carnival  (of course!)
I felt motivated by the suggested readings to make engaging students more and more part of my practice.
Concerning to Power Point Presentations, there is a lot for me to learn.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week 5 - PBL, Webquests, Rubrics...

This is the end of Week 5, and I realize we are right at the middle of our course!
This week we had the opportunity to read about Project-Based Learning, Webquests, and Rubrics.
For the first time, I created a rubric. It was not hard with the aid of rubistar, at, and I worked on Rubrics for an Oral Presentation, in which students are supposed to retell a short story they read, previously assigned. Check it at:
The Project Task for the week took several hours of text book analyzing and internet surfing. By now I can say that I feel I'm on my way for finding solutions for the biggest problem I face related to the use of Technology-based activities in the classroom: the Time Factor. It means that unfortunately I won't be able to add several activities to the course, but I will be able to replace many of the activities suggested by the text book. The lessons will be more fun, I guess. 
Finally, here I am trying to come up with an idea for a Webquest... So far I have the title:
Brazil 2014 World Cup - Welcoming visitors to São Paulo. But there is still a lot of work to be done...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 4 - Technology, Lesson plans, Reading, Writing, Listening...

Another busy but interesting week! I am really happy with the course!
I had a hard time in coming up with an idea for my Technology Enhanced Lesson Plan. I create technology-based activities all the time, but not in a very neat way... I hardly ever write my ideas down... I simply plan "informally" and let them be... most of the times they work well, but sometimes they don't...
Well, I ended up by deciding to create an activity that would be meaningful, "Stereotypes on Views of Brazil and Brazilians", and that could help them improve their writing skills by the use of sentence connectors. Their task would be to write a review on "The Simpsons in Brazil".
Check here the discussion starter:

Discussion Starter
and the episode:

That's it, ready for Week 5!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 3 - Listening, CALL, Report,

Week 3

The week was busy but very interesting.
First, I created my account on Here it is:
What a fantastic tool, just loved it. I'm still "feeding" it with my favorite sites.
Next,  I had the opportunity to reflect on issues related to Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and the development of Listening skills. I do like technology, and I do believe it expands learning possibilities. However, technology itself does not guarantee learning. Fine, meaningful activities might do it.
Finally, I read the report by Tendouinde Bruno Nikiema, and felt challenged to face someday a large group and help students improve their skills through an interesting project.
Nice week, it was!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 2 - Searching Engines, ABCD Model, Describing a Group

Week 2 passed so quickly! I wish I had had more time to comment on my colleagues' posts and blogs.

Search Engines:
I started the week by trying different search engines, the ones suggested at It was great, because I realized how limited my searches were when I automatically chose Google and Google only.
I would especially recommend Sweet Search, at , in case you are looking for background information on a topic, and INFOMINE if you are looking for "authoritative sites chosen by an expert researcher". Both are user-friendly and seem to be concerned with the reliability of the suggested sources.

Describing a Group:
Although quite easy, the task was interesting as it made me write down information about the group, something that I usually wouldn't do if not required to. The advantage of doing it seems to be linked to a real awareness on who the students are individually and what kind of group they form. Having such a perception will certainly help me choose / create activities that fit their needs and wants.

Task: ABCD Objective

It was literally ABCD for me, I mean, learning from the very beginning. And I feel that it can be considered "infallible": you take into account the Audience (who), Behavior (what), Condition (how) and Degree (how much). Fantastic, useful. I'll try to discipline myself in writing the objective of every new activity.

Thank you all!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 1: Getting started!

This is my reflective blog, part of the Webskills Winter 2012 course.
Creating it was a pleasure and a challenge. It was not easy to come up with a title, and choosing a background wasn't easy as well. I'm not that good with computers, so I had to struggle a little bit in order to reach an acceptable result.
I wanted to show the colors of my country - and they go far beyond the traditional colors of the Brazilian flag, green, yellow, blue and white. I also wanted the blog to look cheerful, so I remembered "chita", which is a very traditional and popular Brazilian cloth. In the past it was used for making women's dresses and skirts, tablecloths, curtains and decoration in general, but nowadays it's almost impossible to see someone wearing "chita". In São Paulo, you will see "chita" dresses and skirts only in São João, São Pedro and Santo Antonio celebrations, which are held in June. Women wear them in order to dance "Quadrilha", a circle dance. However, the presence of "chita" in decoration remains strong.
Welcome to my reflections, welcome to a part of my world.