Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Some holiday short films

Snow: A Christmas Short Film 


The Snowman 

Nutty Christmas 

The Gift of Giving

Buster The Boxer

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Snapshot from today - new book

After Banned Book Week last week I will this week introduce my English 5 students to "A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo" as an introduction for our work with the movie "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" which we will go and see on October 16 and then follow up with discussions. LGTBQ questions are extremely important to address in the classroom and why not do it via a children's book that has caused some controversy in the United States.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Snapshot from today - Banned Books Week

It is Banned Books Week this week and my colleague Zandra is doing the most out of this. Her students have made informative posters with important messages!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Young People's Revolutions - Pulitzer Center Education

In English 6 we have, during a few weeks, worked with "Young People's Revolutions" and the basis has been a few articles and lessons found on Pulitzer Center Education . The articles have focused on various places such as Tunisia, Venezuela, Kashmir and The Philippines, where we have taken a look at the causes and effects in each place. Pulitzer Center Education provides good quality lesson plans too. Next week the students will have the task of examining and comparing two revolutions, establishing similarities and differences, using comparative language in a formal essay. Quite a challenge, but also one that I know they are up to. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

The book I read this summer - The Life We Bury

I have not been an avid reader for the last few years however, this summer I managed to read one book, and thankfully it was a very good one. The book in question was "The Life We Bury" by Allen Eskens - the first chapter can be found in the link below. This book would be appropriate for English 6 or advanced readers in English 5 and is a suspenseful reading from start to finish.

Chapter 1 of The Life We Bury: 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Snapshot from today - cake on the side

The grades for year 3 students are all set and now we are counting down the days... Summer holidays officially starts on June 14 for the students and June 19 for the teachers. My colleague Zandra brought some delicious cake for work today and it is quite a treat to sit and correct the last assignments for year 1 and 2 while tucking into some cake filled with raspberries and elderflower.. Yum..

Monday, March 11, 2019

A summary of our Skypeathon 2019

The whole class in the early morning hours of day two...

We started the Skypeathon with a call #1 at 10 am to Erik Engström, meteorologist and climate researcher at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Erik told us about the future prospects of the climate...

Call #2 was to Tudor Hall Girls' School and Jonathan Galloway in Banbury, the UK. We had prepared a few questions around the theme of human rights and especially the case of Shamima Begum, which was a topicality in the UK at the moment. A very good discussion with clever students.

My students' start of a summary of the call:
We began the conversation with asking the girls about how it is to be in a school with only girls, to which they replied that it was really nice because you can be yourself and there are no distractions in the form of boys.

Tudor Hall Girls' School
Students at Tudor Hall Girls' School

Tudor Hall Girls' School
Call #3 went to climate activist and opera singer Samuel Jarrick in Stockholm, Sweden. We talked about the origin of his interest in climate questions, his brief meeting with Greta Thunberg and the fact that he had skiied Vasaloppet (all 90 kilometers of it) dressed as a snow angel, all to draw attention to the climate crisis.

Louise Epstein, national radio talk show host, was our call #4. Louise told us about her career as a journalist, the advantages and disadvantages of the job, what kind of credentials you need to have and her advice for future budding journalists. Very interesting to get an insight into the life of prominent journalist.

Call #5 went all the way to Gurgaon, India and Arti Chopra. We had some delays due to Arti's traffic challenges (she was stuck in traffic) but after 30 minutes we managed to connect for about 15 minutes, before it was time to hang up and prepare for our next call. Arti informed us about natural disasters and how to act effectively if a natural disaster happens.

Brian Johnson and the students at Lakeside Junior High in Springfield, Arkansas, the USA was call #6. It was a Mystery Skype call but we quickly understood that it was morning and the accents made my students think of North America. It is always a pleasure to talk to the students at this school, always well-behaved, curious and well-spoken. Such a delight!

Students at Lakeside Junior High School in Springfield, Arkansas

Kara Andrade, Pulitzer journalist reporting from Latin America, but currently stationed in Washington D.C., was a wonderful person to interview. My students had many questions regarding the situations for journalists today, the state of free press in the world, her personal experiences and much more. This was call #7.
Journalist Kara Andrade talks about her journalistic career, amongst other things..

Call #8 was a Google Hangout with students of English in Brasilia, Brazil.

Call #9 was to Amanda Killough and her colleague in Flower Mound, Texas, the USA.

Call #10 went to the Palm Coast in Florida, the USA and Christine Brink and students.

Call #11 was a virtual field trip to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, the USA. The guide Liz guided us through old documents, facts and figures as well as rumors and sad truths about slavery.

Liz from Monticello Education
Call #12 went to the neighbor in the north (from the USA speaking), namely to Canada and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Manitoba.

Call #13 connected with Dee Stonis and students at Michelle Obama School of Technology outside of Chicago, the USA.

Call #14 was picked up by Brittany DeJean in California. Brittany is a lecturer and speaker for the organization Hearts on Fire.

Call #15 went to California and Calaveras Big Tree State Park.

Here are the students' own summary of the call:

We connected with Ranger Jenny Comperda around 11 pm, who takes care of the park. It was a Virtual Field Trip in the Calaveras Big Tree State Park in California. The call was about giant sequoias which Jenny gave us a tour of. We got to see the big trees and she told us a lot about the trees and the fact that the trees won’t die by its own but also that the small cones are coming out from the big sequoias. We got to know that the cones actually can stay on the tree for 20 to 30 years but to get them down earlier than that, they need help from animals, like squirrels and some special kind of insects from the nature. The park is being visited of about 10.000 up to 20.000 people every year. The meaning of the park is mostly to protect the rare trees.

Huge pine cone

As March 7 turned into March 8 we connected with the most vivacious people ever - Adam, George and Jornea from Flipgrid, on tour in California. This was call #16 and here is the students' own account of the call:

We connected with George, Adam and Jornea from Flipgrid a little after midnight. 
They told us about their bus tour, they are visiting schools right now all over the country and are hoping to come to Europe in a few years. They also spoke about their company and education through video worldwide. Started by a teacher named Charlie, who used it in his classroom. And going from a startup company to being bought by Microsoft, now expanding rapidly.

They told us visiting schools is one of the best things because they get to see the impact of Flipgrid, how the app is used in real life and meet the students personally. The worst thing about the job is that there is no personal contact with the students, however their bus tour provides them with that now. Their tips for us were to: follow your passion, see the needs of the community, listening and adapting to their needs, Using social media as advertising, answering questions on Twitter, focusing on putting out genuine and fun content as advertising. working with people who are like-minded is important.

Skyping with Tokyo, Japan

St Mary's International Boys' School in Tokyo, Japan was our call #17 and we had prepared a few questions regarding human rights and especially equality between men and women. 

My students wrote: 
Our second and last call was with a boy school in Tokyo. We discussed their vision of the equality between the different genders. They told us that the women are made for cleaning and taking care of the kids/house, while the men are supposed to work and support his family. We realized that they were very old-fashioned when it comes to how society is built. The students were really surprised when we told them how it works in Sweden, that it is way more equal and that the genders are treated almost the same (except the salary, that we talked about)

We also discussed their opinions about going to an only boy school. Most of them actually prefer private school instead of an public school.

Sam Jordan in Juneau, Alaska picked up our #18th call to discuss the climate crisis. We chatted about Greta Thunberg, Netflix shows and had an honest talk about what each and everyone of us can do to help the environment. Such a great sport Sam! And a little bit of Viking blood in him there is.. :)

Sam Jordan in Alaska

Unfortunately call #19, to New Zealand, was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. And instead of frantically deciding to look for a substituting call we just took the time to relax a little and build up some energy for the next exciting call instead.

Call #20 was supposed to be a surprise call for our exchange student Kwan from Thailand. Her English teacher in Thailand - Chris Rudd - and I had planned a session that would be a listening comprehension for his students and just a welcomed surprise for Kwan on our end. However, I do think Kwan had been told about the call and knew what was coming... Despite that this was a very engaging call.

Chris Rudd - the teacher in charge at the Thai school

Call #21 was picked up by an energetic Brett Fyfield in Brisbane, Australia.

Call #22 was a local connection - Swedish tv-journalist and musician Per-Olof Stjärnered.

The last call of our Skypeathon 2019, call #23 went to Burdur, Turkey and the students in Harun Cifti's class.

Here is a summary written by a student:
In the morning we talked with a school class from Turkey about human rights. Both the children (around 13 years old) in the Turkish class and us had a lot of common thoughts about how women and men should be treated equally. They also showed us some quotes that represented their view on women and men in Turkey. The children in the class told us that they liked their Turkey and that they felt equality between the two genders. We wrapped the conversation up with some questions about each other´s schools. It was a informative conversation and we learned a lot from it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Last word of the week - close

After 25 weeks with words of the week this will be the last one. So, #wordoftheweek has come to a close.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Skypeathon 7-8 March

I have started the preparations for our Skypeathon in March, as we speak I am booking schools and experts for our Skype sessions and starting to plan the whole organization of it. First step today was a poster with the three main focuses on: #humanrights #media and #climate.