December 2011 archive

Me, Myself and Teaching

It’s that time of the year again….. Time for feedback, time for resolutions….

Here I go!

What happened to me last year?

Oh how much I owe to twitter and my PLN, I really can’t express that.

Last year’s number 1 event was my blogathon experience. I couldn’t win the GOLD but I was lucky to go to Brighton as the 1st runner-up. This also enabled me to become real life friends with British Council Turkey team and the gold winner, Karin Tiraşin. The whole event was great, meeting my PLN, attending sessions, British Council trainers and their friendship and new friends. I enjoyed the whole event so much that I decided to be back in 2012 and I’m so happy that my proposal has been accepted and I’ll present in Glasgow 2012 and to my surprise me and Karin will take part in the same symposium on technology with teens. Life is full of surprises and makes our ways meet again and again.

Another biggest event of last year was ISTEK ELT, where I happened to present twice because I was in the wrong room with some participants on the actual day, wheras some other participants waited me in the right room and Burcu and her team were very kind  to arrange to repeat the session for the ones in the right room again. ThenI managed to present to a full room participants where Petra (@TEFLPet) was there to support me.

Last year finally we managed to find partners for a Comenius project and in July, I learned that we were accepted. After months-long email writing, we finally met in November in Romania. The whole trip was a great learning and sharing event. I love my Comenius team very much and till the end of the project, I’ll keep posting about our progress.

And Last week I was in Antalya. I was invited there by Turkish National Support Service of eTwinning to present my eTwinning projects.  40 successful teachers  from all around Turkey were invited there as well and we were rewarded because of our work and received netbooks as our prizes.  During, before and after the workshops we had chance to share our experiences and we spent a great 4-day, learning from each other.

My students who graduated from high school can become my Facebook and twitter friends, in this way we keep in touch. Sometimes we even come together for a coffee or a little chat. They visit us at school and give some feedback on how their learning at highschool helped them to be successful at university. Two students visited us recently and told that how our web 2.0 projects were useful for them and how their instructors praised them another one just told me how she was accepted to the MA programme after a successful interview. However, this year’s surprise was from a student studying American Culture and Literature at Istanbul University. She came to school on a Friday and said she wanted to give me a book as a present and opening her bag, she handed me a very thick novel, a romance and when she saw my expression, she told me to open and see what’s in it. There, her name was written as the translator. I was close to tears and I feel very proud of her.

Isn’t teaching the most rewarding, satisfactory occupations? Sometimes you get tired of motivating yourself but out of the blue you find people who see what you have been doing and praise your work. I hope all my dedicated colleagues get this support when they need in 2012.

Happy Holidays to all of you 🙂

A quickie – Preparing a Christmas Vocabulary Exercise

 

Last week I found great ideas, worksheets and links for Christmas activities. Today while I was adapting one of them for my class, I came across with wordsmith.org. The site helps you find hundreds of anagrams for the word or phrase you have chosen, then even it animates the anagram and even allows you to choose font, text and background colour.

You can download the worksheet and use in your class. You can find more worksheets on christmas vocabulary from

http://www.tes.co.uk/home.aspx

http://www.esolcourses.com/topics/christmas.html

 

Can A Comenius Project Change A Thing, Part 2

our logo

Comenius Multilateral Projects are funded by EU, lifelong learning programmes and after a long search, we finally have a Comenius project for 2011-2013 Academic Years.
Our project is called ‘The Magic of Reading, The Power of Discovering Ourselves’. We have 6 partners and we have just started our exciting journey to discover ourselves.
The teachers and students from Hungry, Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Greece met in Pucioasa in Romania in November. During few days, between the fifth and the twelfth of November 2011 all the partners worked hard and chose our logo, final booklist to be read and schedule how the project will develop.
The trip was amazing. We really loved the peaceful town and we enjoyed Romanian hospitality, Romanian culture and places of interest. It was also fun to practise English and meet new people.
The project is all about reading and promoting a reading habit for the students which will continue even after the project. In our countries, we started reading clubs where we will read and discuss the chosen books. Then in Spain we will start our stories and coming our homes, we will write our own stories using the same beginnings. These stories then will become scenarios and will be staged in Italy. Moreover, we will translate passages from the books, create a multilingual dictionary. Another aim of the project is to know each other well so we will also introduce our towns to each other.
We know it is a tough journey but we are sure we will enjoy the whole process immensely.

A few sentences from one of my students

At first I I had some doubts. I thought that I could get bored. We arrived to our destination and then the schools headmaster and some other teachers took us and we went to a small but lovely village named Pucioasa. We met the Romanian group of the project. They were so friendly that we became friends immediately. Fallowing days we visited Targovishte, Draculas Castle, Peleş Castle, Writers Museum and Childrens Club. In our free evenings we hanged out with the Romanian group. We watched movies, walked in parks and had so much fun. As it was my first trip to a foreign country I’ll never forget this visit and I reccommend everyone to experience a project like this because even if you have no problem with speaking it helps you in a different way, it makes you improve yourself.
All in all I enjoyed it and I can surely say that this was the best week of my entire life. Looking forward to greet our friends in Istanbul in May it will be so much fun.
Aksel

Our project website can also be read: http://www.magicofreading.pl/

11 from ’11 My Fave Posts

Adam Simpson on his blog challenged us to revist  11 posts that we wrote in 2011 and here I’m listing my favourite posts from 2011.

1. Teachers with Voices : This one is written at teachingenglish.org.uk for the blogathon.

2. Teachers as Storytellers

3.Challenging the Demotivated

4. A Poetry Lesson

5.Songs in EFL Classroom

6. I’ll add this one here because it is full of links and ideas 24th Edition of EFL/ESL/ELL Blog Carnival

7. Can a Comenius Project change a Thing? Part 1

8.Becoming a Teacher

9.Soon They Will Become Writers

10. Another blogathon post My Heroes on the Web

11. PLN, A Staffroom without borders