Sunday, March 29, 2015

Phrase of the week - A penny for your thoughts

The new phrase of the week is up on the whiteboards in the classrooms...a penny for your thoughts...:)

Peek of the week 14 - Short films

I like short films very much, so much that I always come back to them in the blog and in life. I sometimes use short films at the end of lessons to quickly discuss a theme or to take up something important. Occasionally I even make the short film the center of attention during a lesson and build tasks around it. Some of my favorite short films I have collected under the page "short films" above.

The Australian short film festival Tropfest is where my interest started. From there on I found other good sites with short films: Film English, Film Shortage, Short of the week and Films Short. Of course there are other places to find brilliant shorties, but these are a few that I regularly go back to.

So which are my favorite short short films of all time? Well, that is too difficult to say, but a few of my current favorites are:


Mind the gap: 

Mo'Ne Davis: Throw like a girl:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

An eventful day - tea party and q&a with Canada

It has been a hectic day today with many highlights. We started out with one more tea party (the last one) and again the students were very helpful, cooperative and we had a jolly good time, once more.  

Ceasar slicing the cuke with perfect precision.

 Astrid putting the sliced cucumber on the buttered sandwiches..

Midday, I received a package from Windsor, Canada and Roberta Brooks. In it... Canadian candy for the students! Swedish berries and chocolate loonies. Bliss! Thank you sooooo much! We are thinking of what to send back...

At 1.30 p.m. it was time to have a Q&A-session with Mrs Brooks' class and we had a great time asking each other questions and having a few laughs. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Snapshot from today - Desert Island

My students in year 8 are slowly finishing their projects "Desert Island". Some of them have put a lot of effort into this theme project and the results are fantastic. I am looking forward to reading and assessing these during the weekend. Good job my friends! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Peek of the week 13 - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Peek of the week number 13 takes a look at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), sometimes called "the Mounties", is Canada's federal police force. The force is to be found in all provinces and territories. The force was founded in 1873 but the current name came into use in 1920. Today, the force has about 25 000 employees all over the country. Here is a picture of their beautiful, ceremonial, uniform: 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tea party - the UK - year 7

Wow! During this week my students in year 7 have been treated to a British tea party - or at least my version of it... It has been a lot of fun and when the students got to summarize the happening with one word each, words like "awesome", "good", "fun" and "nice" came up. Well, I guess no one says no to a brew and a cucumber sandwich!!! We have learned about the UK for a few weeks now in year 7 and it was time to show the students what a casual British afternoon could be like, meeting up for tea. 

From the beginning the students were given the instructions: "we speak English, and nothing but English for the coming hour", "take a note with a task description", "cooperate with each other", and just "have a jolly good time"! So, the students were given a task each, e.g:

* butter the sandwiches
* set the table with cups, spoons, napkins
* slice the cucumber with a cheese slicer 
* cut the sandwiches into triangles
* find "Rule Britannia" on YouTube and set up the computer with the projector
* boil water

Everyone spoke English, everyone cooperated, everyone was in a good mood and we were all in festive spirits. Sitting down we talked about the weather (soooo British, right?? ;), everyone told what they usually had for breakfast, we discussed what kind of phrases you can use when eating together with other people (e.g. "can I have some more tea, please?", "could you pass me the milk, please"?) and listened to "Rule Britannia". Finally, each student had worked on something special in class, with connections to the UK, and they got about 1 minute each to tell the others what they had researched about. We learned about haggis, kilts, Liverpool FC, English food, famous cities, universities, sights in London, Wales, Liverpool, Tower Bridge, among other things. 

Here are some wonderful pictures of the students and the tea party: 

Paolo wearing my British fun hat! This hat has seen many heads!

PG tips, pyramid teabags, a must!

Liam is a happy guy eating a cucumber sandwich and also testing the British fun hat!

Milk, sugars, napkins, cups, spoons, tea, cucumber sandwiches and some Union Jack decorations on the table. English flag in the background, on the screen. 

From left: Daniel, Dejan, Wiktor, Filippa, Maya, Isabella (with the hat!), Afnan and Limar. 

Isabella and Filippa fixing the sandwiches

Yum...tea with milk...

 Isabella, Filippa, Maya and Emil are preparing their speeches..

Triangular cucumber sandwiches

Why do this you might ask? Why go to all this effort (because there is a lot of planning, purchasing and patience involved)? Well, the truth is, I see such new positive sides of my students, they speak English ALL THE TIME (and not everyone does that in the classroom), they think it is a lot of fun, they understand that I care about them, they learn a whole lot by listening and taking part in the tea party, they get a taste of what it would be like to be British and can compare the custom of a tea party with that of the Swedish "fika". I could go on for quite a while, but the truth is that the positive effects of doing this are tenfold. Rule Britannia!

Phrase of the week - Hold your tongue

This week's phrase is "Hold your tongue"..... something that my students sometimes need to be reminded of. :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Instructions for book report - year 9

Here are the instructions for the book report that you are to write after finishing reading your book.

The instructions for the book circle can be found here.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Peek of the week 12 - Australia: Uluru

It is time to take a look at Australia and one of its fascinating wonders: Uluru, formerly more known as "Ayer's Rock". Uluru is a huge sandstone formation, 348 meters high and with a circumference of close to 9, 5 kilometers, in the middle of Australia and in the southern part of the Northern Territory. As a cultural landmark it is of utmost significance and it also seems like a sacred place for many people. The wonders of nature are amazing and Uluru is a great example of this! Take a look at the video!

(picture source:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Year 7 - Anglophenia explains the British school system

For next time please have a look at the video above, where Anglophenia explains the British school system. Listen, try to understand as much as you can, and next time we meet we will see it together and talk about it. We will see if we can straighten out the questions marks.. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Snapshot from today

This week I started with "phrase of the week." Each week I will present a phrase or idiom to my classes - the same one for all of them - and we are going to help each other explain the phrases and discuss in what context we might find them. Also, what do they mean in Swedish? The phrase will sit on the whiteboard for a week until it is time for a new one to make its entrance.  My idea is to surround the students with English - what they see and hear is what they will learn...
This week's phrase is: A piece of cake.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Peek of the week 11 - Nelson Mandela

When someone talks about South Africa it is almost impossible to NOT think about Nelson Mandela. He was so synonymous with the country and when it is time for this week's "peek" then it is the late human rights' advocate and former president who is the focal point. I suppose many people already know a little about Mandela's story but the following videos present his life with 1. old documentary footage and 2. an easy learner's cartoon guide. Do you have about 10 minutes to spare? Take a look at one of the videos to refresh your memory - or acquire new knowledge - about Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela

Update on Desert Island - the chapters - year 8

Here you will find chapters 1 - 5 of Desert Island.. try to finish writing chapter 4 for the lesson on Thursday. If you have the time, and want to, then continue with chapter 5. Chapter 6 - the final one - will be presented to you in class. Best of luck! :)

Desert Island
Chapters 1 - 5

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Desert Island year 8 - develop your descriptive writing

Here are some tips on how to use other words than the usual ones when writing descriptively:

Also, here's the link to the previous information about Desert Island. Hope your writing is going well - I'm really looking forward to reading your stories!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mystery Hangout with Windsor, Canada - year 8

Today we tried to Mystery Hangout with Roberta Brooks and her class in Windsor in Canada. On time we connected but somehow, without understanding why, we never got our sound to work. So, instead of listening to each other we had to write our questions in the chat, which worked, but a little of the excitement was gone, unfortunately. The students, however, still continued to work hard and after about twenty minutes we could figure out that they were from North America and were Canadians. It was more difficult though to find out which town they were from....

After a couple of hints from Roberta's students we were able to guess right, that they were located south in the province of Ontario and close to the American border and Detroit. Windsor was the name of their city. At that time the Canadians had already guessed that we were from Sweden and "south of Stockholm" and when we gave them "B" as a starting letter for our town they guessed "Byxelkrok" which was a bit off but they were slowly getting there. After a hint of "we're close to Gothenburg" they guessed right. Good job on both sides!!! And fun!! Next time though the audio needs to be in a better mood! :) Here are some pictures from the Hangout:

Photographer: Alice Palmkvist

Sunday, March 1, 2015