SPONTANEITY

I love spontaneity, especially when it comes from my students. We were speaking about Tv programmes and type of films on an English lesson; it was the topic of the day. There was a picture of the musical “ The sound of Music”which most of them had seen when they were little. Then I started singing the Do, Re Mi..song and they recognized the melody  so I had to do it; I projected the video with the lyrics and they started singing along spontaneously.

It was so great that I decided to look for a karaoke version and I just filmed that moment.

It wasn´t in my mind or program to do that ,but sometimes spontaneous things happen and they are wonderful.

Has it happened to you to have a spontaneous reaction of your students that turned to be “FUNtastic”?

  By María Soledad González.       

                                                                                          

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT LANGUAGES IN EUROPE? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?

My students of 2nd Year of Secondary brainstormed the question and in groups of three searched for the answers on the web.

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Then they elaborated and printed a multiple choice Quizz that swoped with the other groups so that everybody went through all the quizzes.

Later they wrote down on their notebooks all the things they had learnt. The activity took two sessions.

Finally they prepared a Contest for students of 1st Year. Everything is ready for Monday when they will participate in the contest. In couples,they will have to write their answers on a piece of paper and put it in a box. Winners will have a price.

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My students and I have really enjoyed this activity that can be adapted to any content and level.

Feel free to leave a comment.

By: María Soledad González.

Myths at school: the exhibition​.

Could there be anything better than enjoying an exhibition during the vacation period? Although it is summer and school time is over, we wouldn’t like to lose the chance of sharing a project made by our pupils.

The subjects involved in the project were Latin and Arts. In these subjects, our 4º ESO graders were working the whole year to create a Mosaic. It is not a random Mosaic —not at all— it is a Mosaic based on Greek Myths in which you can find: Hercules, Theseus and the Minotaur, Centaur, Medusa, Europa, Chimera, and Pegasus.

The targets of this project were based on getting to know the main characters of classic mythology, finding out the mosaic methodology – used in ancient times- and creating a timeless artwork.

Apart from creating the Mosaic, the project englobes many activities. First of all, the students needed to study all the Greek-Latin mythology. Part of it was to understand each myth and make great research about each. During the Art lessons, each student had to draw a character from the myth, and all of them participated in a selection process. The aim of it was to choose the best ones for the exhibition.  Also, the students were able to replicate the mosaic techniques used by the Romans with current materials. The materials that our pupils used were old fashion and recycled CD or DVD – the raw materials,  CD or DVD not used anymore-.  Once the students have collected the raw materials, they broke all of them into pieces and painted them. Then, the pieces were literally baked to make them pretty much shinier and beautiful. After that, they had to glue the pieces in a poster board, where the myth was previously drawn. Finally, they put the pieces together to created e mosaic. It was not an easy task but the result has been extraordinary. At the end of the process, all the pieces of art were exhibited in the school to be enjoyed by everybody.

Therefore, we are delighted to share with you part of the exhibition in the pictures below. In all of them, you can find the hard work made by students and teachers during the length of the project.

Hope you like it as much as we love it!

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PECHAKUCHA: 20X20. Perfect for presentations in your​ classroom.

PECHAKUCHA is the name of a presentation format based on simplicity, efficiency, and efficacy.

Most of the time, we as spectators usually get bored because of the presentation document, the speaker way of talking or even the presentation is too long to keep attention. With PECHAKUCHA that is not possible to happen because the speaker has to limit itself to a closed format: 20 images (slides) and 20 seconds per each.

If you show your students this idea and put into practice with them, they will able to perform a presentation in a truly professional way. It also helps to empower public speaking and language skills.

Murder, They wrote…

BREAKING NEWS


“Today a crime has been committed at Colegio Santísima Trinidad. A teacher-in-training program has been murdered. As of yet, nobody knows who can be the murderer but we have many suspicious people. All that we know is that 4º ESO graders are in charge of solving such a cruel murder.

Our students are all a group of very talented people who have learnt a lot of subjects during the year and now is the moment to put them into practice. They are true BIO-DETECTIVES, so they have to figure out what happens and find out the real guilty. To reach their aim -to solve the bloody crime-they only have 50 minutes

We hope to give you more information as soon as possible but this is what we know so far. Our students are truly committed to resolving the murder but will they able to clarify the bloody crime? We will continue to keep you informed as soon as we have updated information.

La Salamanquesa, Daily News.


A BreakoutEDU experience

Today our students of 4º ESO and 1º Bachillerato have enjoyed a BreakoutEDU experience. The main objective of that involves students into a divergent-thinking activity. They need to be able to use contents they have learnt and at the same time, they have to do their best, working as a group and solving different riddles. This is pretty similar to an Escape-Room activity, but instead of giving the chance of each group, all the groups work together in the same place for 50 minutes and they need to follow different clues to achieve their objective.

The first steps are to design the activity and try to link the contents from the curriculum to a great story. In these steps, we would like to thank you for our teacher-in-training program Alba and María from the University of Salamanca. Alba had a great and unique idea, and we all together were able to make it real. After creating the idea, we created the workgroups. They had to be heterogeneous groups because they need to work together and complement each other. Finally, we needed an open space to organize all the clues and all the workplaces.


“We are proud of saying that all the BIO-DETECTIVES groups have arrested the murderer. It is true that there have been groups faster than others, but all of them have achieved their goal. Will they able to solve the next crime? We will continue to keep you informed of the goals of such top-notch investigators and their excellent leaders Alba and María”.

La Salamanquesa, Daily News.

The Pygmalion effect

As a tutor, many times you have to be able to face the lack of motivation of your students. Most of the times, you realise that this lack is related to computers, mobiles phone, and friends… Most of the times there is nothing else behing, because as you can imagine these are the many ideas that are around children’ mind. But, what if this lack of motivation would be the result of a previous bad experience? What if a students is not able to complete a task because in the past somebody have tell him or her that he or she was not good at it?

Today, we had been working on Pygmalion effect.

Pursuit of Happiness

I focussed on showing the children the Pygmalion effect and the power of positive expectation. For that reason, today I wanted to do an experiment with my 3º ESO graders. It was easy to program, and the aim was clear: try showing them the effect of others in his or her work.

First of all, during the lesson, I asked to my students to draw an easy painting… let me show you.

Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh
Night Sky, Vincent Van Gogh

While a part of the students were drawing and painting, I chose my allies. I needed some students to help me in my task. So, I talked privately with the chosen ones and I explained to them what I want them to do. They have to encourage people who were not really good at drawing and at the same time discourage to all of those who are good at it.

After that, during the next 30 minutes, my group of allies and I walked around the classroom and we were truly committed with our task. We encouraged to all of those who are not used to hearing they good at drawing. The reaction was clear and fast: they gained confidence and kept drawing. On the other hand, when we discouraged the rest of them, those ones were not able to finish the task.

Then, the show was over and I explained to them the Pygmalion effect. Basically, they need to know that sometimes the things we say to others can have an effect. If it were positive, it would be nice. Otherwise, if it were negative, a single and poor comment could make a person not keep doing an activity and they will not try it any more.

We need to believe in the positive expectation, especially with our students. Sometimes, many of them are not able to perform a task because they are not expected to be. Teachers can transform by positive expectation children’ attitude and bad behaviour -based on negative expectations and lack of motivation-.

Europe Day

9 May is Europe Day. Many people know how important is being part of Europe. As European citizens, we are able to collaborate with each other in order to reach peace, cohabitation, and freedom all around the continent. In addition, we have to accept the differences between all the countries and cultures, and we have to take advantage of all of them for our own growth.

European people need to be a model for the rest of the world. We strongly believe in the power of education based on European values for our pupils.

For this reason, we would like to wish you all… HAPPY EUROPE DAY!

Minerals, in the soup?

In Biology and Geology lessons at 1º ESO, we are used to studying that Minerals are truly common and useful in our planet. But, what about our daily life? Are there minerals around us, in the objects we use every single day?

In order to find out the importance of minerals in our daily routine, the pupils went to the University of Salamanca. There, at the Geology department, the students took part in a workshop in which they had to link minerals with everyday objects everybody knew. This activity takes part in Phenomena based learning, our Finnish colleagues have developed during their science week.

 

During the workshop, the children were able to link theoretical ideas taught at school to items they are familiar with. It was a truly enriching activity for all because we could finally affirm that there are minerals even in the soup!

 

 

BRAIN GAMES​: Have you ever tested your brain?

It is known that our brain is one of the most important parts of our body. This organ control most of the actions we usually do and repeat day by day. The brain can control even no-voluntary actions.

But what about perception? Also, our brain can interpret the things we see, taste, smell or even touch. But, all of them are real? I mean, does our brain interpret the real perception of reality or what we want to sense, however? That question was asked to our 4º ESO graders: Is our brain tricking us and show us what we want to perceive?

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated in the school the Brain awareness week (#BAW2019). During this week, our students enjoyed neuroscience workshops related to visual perception, smell and taste perception, and optical illusions. Those workshops are linked with Phenomena Based Learning, as a part of the children way of learning. You can find more about in this blog because Töölö Primary School mentioned it in its Science Fair post. For that reason, we replicated it at Colegio Santisima Trinidad.

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Do I notice colors, as my partners do?

For this workshop, the students faced tests related to visual perception. The principal aim was to try to figure out If you can perceive the color as the other children do. It was truly striking when children realized that color perception was a subjective matter. It is much more linked to our brain interpretation of the color than the real perception.  Also, the guys did Daltonism test, in order to discover if there were daltonism people int the class.

 

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Visual perception workshop.

 

 

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Ishihara Color Blindness Test, for detecting Daltonism

 

 

Does it smell well? Can I taste flavors without my smell?

The second workshop was about smell and flavors. All of us are able to notice all the flavors and smells in the world? and in daily life things?. These were the target of the workshop. One more time, the students were able to appreciate that each of us has our unique way to interpret the flavors and smells we notice.

Is it real?

I am sure that most of you have ever faced a picture or a photo in which you hesitate if the image is real or not. The aim of this workshop was to make students face to optical illusions.  For instance, look at the first image below, are there real objects in it?

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As you can imagine, the objects are not real, but our brain tricks us. That trick is in fact, a matter of interpretation: our brain has the ability to create the story about a thing – in this case, the photo- and decide if it is real or not. Let’s try the next one, what is the real color of one of the most popular dresses in the world?

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It is one of the most popular optical illusions. This is the evidence that color perception depends on many factors such as the amount of light of the picture. Because of the luminosity of the image, there are people who perceive the color fo the dress in a way and there are others who do it in a totally different way.

So, for that reason, the children faced many photographs in which they tried to decide if the object in it were real or not. The realized that most of the time, our brain create a story that can be real or not, depending on many factors.

 

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Optical illusion workshop.

 

All these workshops were arranged by Colegio Santisma Trinidad and Institute of Neuroscience of Castille and Leon –University of Salamanca-, which is located in Salamanca. We spent a whole afternoon with researchers from this institute, who guided and showed the children all that our brain can do.

And you….have you ever tested your brain?