Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Vary the length of sentences

Next week the national tests are kicking off in English and for one week now we have prepared by practicing writing argumentative essays. We have also had a look at what differs informal language from the formal one and sentence structure is an important part of that too. The following little piece is a bit reminiscent of a poem and indeed a valuable reminder to vary the length of the sentences in a piece of writing. Because we all want to create music! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A new favorite of mine - Semantris

Semantris is a new encounter for me and I easily spent 30 minutes like 30 seconds yesterday trying to stop the blocks from advancing upwards...a great deal of fun and educational too! Put your vocabulary to use! Try it out!

Link to Semantris

Monday, March 19, 2018

Making emoji exit tickets

Somehow I still like exit tickets in a paper version, I like the feel of having my students' thoughts in my hand after a lesson. Sitting down and carefully reading and reflecting about the previous lesson. Here is the latest version of an exit ticket - making use of emojis. :)

Emoji exit ticket by pnillaelander

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Snapshot from today

Today we went to Gothenburg to act as audience during the taping of two rounds of "Who wants to be a millionaire."

Monday, February 5, 2018

Skyping with Spanish students

We had a great time today Skyping with students in the Basque country in the north of Spain. In December my students received letters from the Spanish students and we sent away responses a few days later. Today it was time to connect using Skype and to speak to each other in pairs. Despite some technical difficulties we managed for everyone to connect and questions were hurled back and forth. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Starting up with a project about CLASSICS

This week we are starting up a project called "CLASSICS" and we will focus on both poetry and excerpts from novels as well as short stories. Ten writers were chosen, five women and five men from various times of history, but a definite focus on the 1900's.

The short stories that the students get to read and analyze will be deconstructed using a short story map/template. This one I made using Canva. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pride - watching a movie and discussing the content


This week we started a 2,5 week project called "Pride," and the movie Pride is indeed the main focal point of the project.

This is the initial information that the students received:

In this project you will watch the film “Pride” and then discuss the content of the movie in smaller groups. The focus is on oral interaction and discussion of important themes from the film.

We will watch the film during two lessons, and you will take notes while watching. Discussions will be in smaller groups during two lessons.
Remember to be able to talk about:

  • Setting = where the film takes place; where are we?
  • Plot = the general actions and happenings of the film; what happens?
  • Mood = Are there different kinds of moods in the film? Do they change?
  • Theme = what is the primary theme of the film? E.g. “loss of innocence”, “Man vs. Nature”, “death as part of life” etc..
  • Characters = focus on the main characters and describe their personalities (interior/exterior)

After watching the movie the students were divided into smaller groups (of five-six), and, with the help of a few questions and the elements above, there was intense interaction as the movie was discussed.

Examples of questions:

Fight for solidarity and tolerance

Mark Ashton says at the beginning of the film: "An exposed group should show solidarity with other vulnerable groups. It's illogical to say I'm gay and intend to defend our group, but I do not care about anyone else. "
1. Discuss Mark's statement. What makes him, despite resistance, continue his fight for the miners? How does he succeed in persuading the others? Can Mark's thoughts teach us something about how today's cooperation could look between different vulnerable groups in society?

Dai Sullivan is the mining worker who first contact LGSM. Unlike many of the others he is tolerant and grateful for their help. "When you fight an enemy that is so much bigger and stronger than you and you find a friend that you did not know existed, it is the most beautiful feeling in the world.”
2. Which reception does the group get when Dai first introduces them to the other miners? How important is Dai’s role for the relations between the gay activists and the little village?

3. Describe Hefina. What is she like? Why do you think she takes such a solid stand for the gay community?

4. Who else takes a stand for them and is grateful for their help?
The women in the village are generally more open to gay activists than men.
5. What do you think about this? What has the strike meant for the women’s situation in the village?

6. How can one notice that both curiosity and the prejudices that are facing the gay activists also lead to new contacts and friendship?

A woman in the village is sitting together with her sons and want to stop "the perverted intruders" despite the fact that they have collected thousands of pounds that they gave to the village.
7. What is the reason for her negativity? What does she refer to when she tries to stop them? How do the others in the village react to her actions?

Even though the tolerance against gay activists is increasing not everything goes well. When Mark faces the miners and gives a speech to better the relationship, he fails completely.
8. What is wrong with his speech? What does he presume that makes many upset?

When the gossip magazine The Sun is mocking LGSM's activities and collection under the heading "Pits and Perverts" they decide to turn it around by using it to their own advantage.
9. In what way do they succeed? What's the concert?

10. How are the reactions from the villagers in front of the other visitors to the concert? What experiences and discoveries do they have and make during the London visit?

(questions taken and translated from )

Additionally, each student was also given the chance to record 1-2 Flipgrid videos:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A few comments about our Skypeathon

Some of the highlights of our Skypeathon were the following: 

Visiting and being taken on a virtual tour at Fort Loudon in Tennessee by this mesmerizing guide.

Visiting students at Catholic High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A great dialog there..

Touching down in Puerto Rico where we met Darlene Colon and students. 

Playing Mystery Skype with Mr Westermark and adorable pupils in Wales..

Talking with journalist Hannah Engberg in Sweden

and being met by the enchanting smile of Iro Stefopoulou in Birmingham, England

to be updated ....

Monday, November 27, 2017

Our schedule for Skypeathon - November 28, 2017

Tomorrow it's time for a 12-hour Skypeathon for my English 5 and English 6 students. A day filled with many calls to various parts of the world, but also time for socializing and bonding. Here is a preliminary schedule with planned calls. 

Mystery Skype with Burdur, Turkey

They say "third time's a charm" and I suppose that's true with our Mystery Skype with Turkey. After two failed attempts of trying to connect we finally managed to connect without major malfunctions this morning. Some students were questioners and answerers and a few others used Google Maps to search for the location. In 35 minutes we managed to guess country, town and name of high school. Harun Cifti was the teacher in charge in the Turkish classroom - thank you! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mystery Skype with students in Bilbao, Spain

Today we had an opportunity to mystery Skype with students from the north of Spain, Bilbao, and much to the delight of my students we had a fantastic time asking and answering questions! Catrina MacDonald was guiding the Spanish students. We saw this session as a preparation for our Skypeathon which is put in motion on November 28 at 12 pm. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Snapshots from this week

Preparing for Skypeathon

It is a very hectic time right now as I am in the process of planning a Skypeathon on November 28. This time around we will Skype for 12 hours and we will partly conduct some calls in English and some in Swedish. Also, we are more broad this time,  in the sense that we have tried to engage guest lecturers who work in sectors connected to media and communication (e.g. journalists, writers, social media experts). Not so many schools this time and we have tried to match our students with students of the same age to increase the interest.  Now, in the latter part of the planning process, I have one-two slots to fill and then we are ready to rumble!!! Year 1 and 2 of the media and communication program are involved. More news to come shortly...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Skyping and exchanging goodies with Texas

From left: Nina, Amanda, Zainab, Marcus and Isabella and the rest of SA17P in the background. 
Two weeks ago we sent a package containing some candy, brochures, school mercandise to an (for the students) unknown destination. Today was the day to connect through Skype and to open our packages during that session. Five students were randomly selected to be in front of the monitor and to open the package. The goodies can be seen in the last picture below. The clues in the package lead the students to quickly assume that the country was the USA and the state Texas. Then we needed a little bit of help to figure out that the other students were located a little north of Dallas. 

The students north of Dallas in Texas

Getting the taste of Djungelvrål (it doesn't seem like they like it?!):

Some of the things from the package: 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Global Read Aloud - A Monster Calls

Last week we kicked off this year's GRA (Global Read Aloud) with the title "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness. This year we collaborate with Canada and the USA through the use of Flipgrid topics and it's such a hit! My students have recorded presentations and predictions and are now moving on towards analyzing the relationship between Lily and the main character Conor.

So far, we've seen videos from students in Washington state, Iowa, New York state, Texas, Florida, Ohio, California, Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.

Here are some examples of Flipgrid videos: