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!