domenica 27 gennaio 2019


Celebrating and remembering the Holocaust is part of our activities  at school .We have been doing it ever since we started celebrating 27th January. Teams of teachers and school are involved in projects, readings and celebrations.

I have taken my students to visit  some concentration camps : in Germany and also in Poland. We have a lesson  based on the places and the documents which we saw. I saw my students crying and I am aware that what they experiences there will always be part of them.

I have also met a man who was a child  at the time of the Holocaust and he lived in France. He talked to us and  we could learn more about the conditions of the people who lived in the regions occupied by  the Nazis.
Hopefully,people cared and he was saved.   His mother  and his family died as they were taken to  concentration camps but a good  soul  looked after him and the other  children. They  had lessons and tried to forget that their families  were not with them anymore.

These are school  projects which  I took part in, but every year we do work on texts, readings and  videos about the ones who survived and also to remember the ones who died because of the atrocies which took place in the concentration camps.

This year I worked on a text, Memento by S.Spender, it is  a poem that reminds  us that we should never forget. The power of images can help us see  what  the soldiers saw when they arrived in Auschwitz.

We have also watched the first part of the film  Shindler's list  and we have seen some videos where some people  remember what happened to them.

Here I have collected some interesting documents which I might use with my students. They tell us about the importance of listening, meeting  the last survivors and also  teaching about the importance of respect. We live in a society where  the young and also the old  forget or they do not seem to be interested in the past.

 Without the past and the lessons from the past human beings  risk making  the same mistakes.
This is the reason why everybody should remember what happened in Europe  in the dark age of Nazism.

The Holocaust

venerdì 25 gennaio 2019

Let's remember


 Today at school and also in other places we are working on remembering  what happened in Auschwitz. Many have died while others cannot live any  longer.  They are too old to remind us that we cannot forget.

I watched  GIULIANA  SEGRE who is now sitting in the Italian Parliament  and was sent to concentration camps , she had  left  from Milan in Italy. She started to talk about  Auschwitz when she was 60 and she is continuing doing it now.

She said that we do need to  remember what happened in the many places where   many people were  killed.

Thank you to this great woman who is  talking to us, among men who are denying what  she had experienced and are working to build  barriers while we should open  our mind to the world.

martedì 22 gennaio 2019

#blogging 28 Using QR codes for sharing materials

I am doing a course  about  QR Codes and it is part of an EVO SESSION for this year- EVO19
I am learning how to create them: you just need an extension in Chrome - it is called Quick QR Code Generator.
You right-click on the webpage you want to share and then you generate the code, you download the code and embed it in your blog/website.

Here is the QR Code for my second blog where I write posts about  the use of  technlogy or my experiences online as an educator:

Here you can see the QR Code for a post which I have just written for the students  I am teaching for CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH EXAMS: it is about writing an essay

Why using QR Codes?  It is simple and you can create materials online, share weblinks and get your learners engaged. Students can work with their smartphones and you can share a lot of documents and materials.

I am going to continue learning about  QR Codes and will post about it in the next days.

lunedì 21 gennaio 2019

#blogging 28 Safety online

Safe Internet  Day is on 5th February  this year:
This #SID2019, "we are millions, united with one mission: to make the #internet a place where everyone is empowered to use #technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively."

In many schools educators will work on this issue.  Last year  I could learn more about the resources which we can find and use with our  learners.

Educators are used to technology and to  what might happen online but it doesn't mean that students do know much about the risks of the web. While we use our smarphone or our tablet we risk getting trapped and sometimes  we give information about us, which we shouldn't share.  Oversharing can be dangerous and we need to provide tools to help and equip learners to defend themselves.

I created this simple website where I collected resources and data for students and families , in Italian and also in  English to help my students and people who are not familiar with the new technologies.
It was a task for a course online: I learnt a lot while surfing the web.
This is the link to my website :

I really like to find resources online and I do like this  website: Common Sense Education. Usually they run special webinars and provide  helpful resources for students and families too.

Their video library can help educators to present issues in class :

I have used one video they have presented in one of my classes: it was useful to brainstorm the students' ideas about the way they post online. Some do not care, they do not know anything about
their finger print.

If you search online you will find more documents and ideas to start introducing  digital safety in  your  classes: one issue which is becoming a great problem in our schools and also online is  Cyberbullying.

The video is a new one  and it can be used to get the students into the habit of thinking about their mates and how they can make them feel unhappy when they do not respect their privacy .

I will search the web and I will find some more videos to introduce the topic of safety online among the classes I am teaching in February. I suggest educators should do this in their classes and also when doing English.  Our students will benefit from it.

sabato 19 gennaio 2019

#blogging 28 Teaching the Holocaust - reading the Diary by Anne Frank

AnneFrank1940 crop

 Since I started using Twitter I have come across many resources for educators.

They have been  sharing many documents and materials online :now  I have many accounts online where I can find  lessons and tips. I have  collected many links and pdfs for my  lessons as I feel that teaching implies learning by using authentic materials and also  documents related to the past.
Usually students are more engaged and like to learn about events that are challenging and they love discussing about them.

In one of my posts of this year  I wrote about  a book which I had read and which  had been written by a holocaust survivor.
I have read many books about the life of people who were killed in the  dark age of  Nazism.
Like  Deborah Batiste  I have loved reading  Anne Frank's Diary. In an interesting post she shared why some people had an impact on her life :

I have met  Anne  Frank by reading her  pages and also my teacher  taught me about her.
I have never visited her house in Amsterdam but today many young students go to Amsterdam and visit the Museum -

Any time I teach the Holocaust I cannot but photocopy some pages taken from the Diary and comment in class about what is being  read: the book can be read online
thanks to   the Internet Archive:

For learners with a pre-intermediate level of English I choose some adapted texts with text and audio:

I also ask my students to see films in Italian and in English to learn more about the teenager who wrote about her wish to live in a better world and dreamed of a better world.

Sometimes books we have read can change our life but I also feel it is up to educators to teach about the Holocaust and  help the  young to reflect.  Anne Frank is still living among us and she is  helping us teach about the value of  respect. Something we do need to focus on in a society which seems to have forgotten what happened to many people who died in the concentration camps.

Anne Frank ( the whole story)

giovedì 17 gennaio 2019

#blogging 28 Teaching in difficult situations

Tonight I was online and doing a webinar run by National Geographic. It was about the use of videos in teaching languages.

The presenter, John  Hughes, made us think about how using images and videos in ELT can enhance the students' critical thinking skills.
He presented this video about a  teacher  working with  250 students in Africa

It was surprising how  the teacher coped with so many students and how they were working with her: poor children who were learning together.

I am going to share the document with other educators and  ask my students to work on the video by using English.

I really feel that some  educators are  modern heroes as they are struggling as teachers but they are also winners.

lunedì 14 gennaio 2019

#blogging 28 Why it is important to collaborate and teach about blogging


This week I am going to work longer hours at school so I won't be able to follow most of the blogs I like.
I would like to add  that I need to work to prepare a presentation which I am going to share in April with other eduacators and the topic is blogging and  e-portfolios. I am therefore bookmarking some  useful blogs and websites that can help me.  I am also working on this  challange as I would like to help some teachers in my school who need to start writing about their earning  experiences next summer and also this spring.
I will continue my  search online and I hope that  I will be able to find more tips online to share with my friends and  the other teachers I am meeting in two months.

First of all, you need to know that  if you do not  like technology it takes a lot of time to work on a blog:

I will try to focus on the main features of a good blog and I will prepare some slides online to add content. It will not be easy but I do hope they will learn and start blogging.