lunedì 21 agosto 2017

Lesson Planning Tools

Planning and sharing  lessons online is now possible and teachers  can rely on many  tools which are free and which can help them develop their lessons: in most cases teachers need to have an account and start browsing  lessons or  create their own  lessons. Lessons can be used in a flipped learning mode and they can contain the main documents, videos, images, audios which teachers have chosen for their students. They guide the students as they can also  find activities to do with quizzes.
Most of the tools enable the teachers to create their content by using  OER and documents which are online.
Students can have access to the lessons thanks to a link and can be embedded in many  LMS or blogs and websites.

This new way of working is based on cloud-based tools and lessons can become more engaging  while students can work from home and also have access to  documents and lots of visuals  and language input.

Here you can find interesting tools:

For Italian  Teachers  :  RAISCUOLA

Teachers can rely on a database of documents and choose the content which will be later  shared with the students and other teachers :


Online there are interesting lessons:  the links I am providing is from a lesson  about  the Elizabethan Theatre. Most of the lessons are in Italian and created for Italian learners.

LESSONPATHS : a tool for browsing and  creating  lessons online

Here is an example of a lesson about   The Diary of Anne  Frank- it is based on videos related to the time and the life of  Anne Frank.

Create your own Playlist on LessonPaths!

Here is a tutorial teaching about  it :

Another interesting tool is  TES:

You can find  here  my lesson plan about  V. Woolf:

The tool is versatile and enables you to work online while choosing materials like videos, images and creating context and quizzes.


This tool enables you to create  lessons  starting from a video :

You need to have an account and then you can  create and share  the lesson. I have often used these lessons for presenting further materials with listening comprehensions in English.  Usually videos are short and students are guided online by using  wh-questions and detailed reading questions.

A new and interesting tool is Symbaloo  Learning Path: it shares  similarities with TES. You have access to lessons online.


An interesting tool which enables teachers  to create lessons and check the students' working online.

Here is a short introduction online  about it :

Shared lessons can be found online :

This is a lesson plan for Italian teachers  studying and learning about  Google:

Here is my  first learning path about the Victorian Age - it needs improving but  I managed to create it in a short time:

All these tools share a lot of good features : they are created online and can be seen from any device.
You only need to rely on the many documents online which are also on Youtube and sometimes channels  can be closed.  It is therefore important to rely on good channels for the videos.

giovedì 17 agosto 2017

Big Ben in London

Landmarks in London :  The Big Ben Tower

You travel through London and this tower is a famous  landmark for any tourist. It's  famous  because of it has  Big Ben, this  is a stricking clock inside the tower.

London, UK - panoramio (602).jpg
By Guilherme Peev dos S…, CC BY 3.0, Link

A bit of  History about this famous Tower

Let's listen to true story about Big Ben

Big Ben and its Technology

What's going to happen to Big Ben?

domenica 13 agosto 2017

Stop Racism

13th August  2017

I have just watched the news and it seems that  racism and negative attitudes are prevailing in many parts of the world.  People hate the ones who are different from them.
Right now in the USA there are   white people who  showed that they have not learnt the lesson from the past. They believe in a society which discriminates the black people....... meanwhile we are living in the XXI century.

It is the old past that is not forgotten and that makes America a modern country full of contradictions.

Racism is still in the mind of many citizens because they are afraid of the others .  This is also true for many  European people who are against foreign people who are arriving from lands where they lived  the experience of wars and also hate.

I really liked to find President Obama twitting and  reminding us that we are not born hating another person:

The poem  by Langston Hughes should remind many people living in the USA that we are not living in the  XIX century now, people have the same rights and there should not be any discrimination  for people who are living in the globalized world. The color of the skin and religion do not matter, what really matters is to be friends.

mercoledì 9 agosto 2017


9th August

I must have always been in love with  Reading. I was born in the XX century and I consider myself a bit old compared to the young students I am teaching now. They work and read books but they have acquired different skills from me. They use e-readers and depend on the internet. Some love reading while others  prefer the new media and tools.

My world has become a new one. I can read books, ebooks and I also  read online. At school I can work in the traditional way but  I can also use interactive books.

Why do I love reading books in my free time ? Because  reading can open my mind and I can learn and develop ideas about some topics.   But first of all I am a lover of the book, in the way I can see it and touch it. I may fall in love with a book when I read it for the first time. I may decide I do not like it and give up. I have read a lot and I have met a lot of characters and visited a lot of places.

I can say that I could not live without my books. Some have been piled in the  bookcases and the bookshelves.  Others  lie on the floor, they have become part of me and they show my interests in different fields: Literature, History and  Art.   Sometimes a book can make you dream or it can help you learn about  yourself.  A good book will never disappoint the readers' expectations.

Today is a special day for the ones who love books.
I hope more people will continue  reading.  A good book can really make us feel better and we  will never get bored.

Teaching Art and English (2)

Learning  English, Discovering  Art and Using Modern Web 2.0 Tools and enhancing  Learning among Learners and Educators

Dante Gabriel Rossetti - The Girlhood of Mary Virgin

Patricia Macgowan shared these interesting links in her mail to the educators of Edweb. I found some which are  worth sharing as they are related to the world of  Art and  also because  in most schools  English Language Teachers  work together with Art Teachers.

Google Art  Project and how it works

Web links  related to Art and Learning online
Famous  Painters: CARAVAGGIO
The documents online provide a high level of English in some cases  and thus videos  could be assigned as homework to the students doing  Art in English  after teachers have worked on the content and language input . Edpuzzle or any type of editors for videos could be used to enhance the students' listening and viewing comprehension.
As a follow -up  activitiy students could write and present a text with the information provided in the videos.
Learning by doing while listening, watching, reflecting and........visiting some museums abroad. This could be an example of activities which Teachers of English  and  Teachers of Art  might do together.

martedì 8 agosto 2017

First Day of School and Back to School

Beginning a new  school year and how to approach  the learners

The key words are  " get them engaged " and "  make them feel part of the class " 

It is importat to start in the best way and to remember that learners need to be  " cared" and find interest in what we are going to do.
It is vital to be focussed on the relationships and our  learners.  If we don't connect with them, we may lose them. When  beginning a new  school year and when meeting our  new learners we are  asked to be " open" and more " interactive " with them, so that our first meeting can have a positive impact on our way of working and their learning . Dealing with  teenagers can be hard, we must remember that  if we  cannot  establish a  good relationship , we might  find a lot of difficulties as they will  skip our lessons and feel that they cannot manage with the new subjects or learning English in my present situation.

Sources online :

Reflecting on the first day at school  : reading a poem in English


Here are some interesting  reflections which some educators have  provided us with.
I am aware of the difficulties but educators need to  focus more on the learners than on the " content" when dealing with them on the first day at school.

Finally, I would like to go back to the precious  tips which  Shelly  Terrell shared in her  slides
last year:

Back to School Survival Tips from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

I hope your students will have a nice day on their first day back to school this  year!!

domenica 6 agosto 2017


An Interesting Conference online mainly dealing with Students'  activities  with the focus on STEM and  ENTREPRENEURSHIP                                          

4th  March 2017

                                           Access to Recordings on line 

I was online and did some webinars- I was favourably impressed by the presentations of the students who shared ideas and made me understand that education is changing everywhere. Projects and  the use of Internet are reshaping our lessons and tasks. This is happening in the developing  world and  also in countries  where technology is not always  the best. Our students need to be equipped with the best tools and they should know how to work and live in this new world.
Dealing with STEM implies that educators aim at providing  learning opportunities that can open new job opportunities in a world that is globalized.  In most countries  STEM is considered  a priority as girls usually prefer to study humanistic  subjects. Hopefully, things are changing.

                                     Worth  checking

Robert  Hernandez  " Jovrnalism" -web journalism
It was an interesting webinar dealing with the changes that are  happening in the world of media.
The presenter focussed on the use of new media tools, virtual realities, games and also art. He provided with interesting examples as he is currently  teaching at university.
I would  suggest watching the recording.
Finding and Using Great Open Source Media - Presenter   Margaret "Laney" Blair
An interesting but also short presentation focussed on how to use  Open Source Media
Using  Google search for images:
The Search Engine for  Creative  Commons 
                                   Using   Soundcloud for listening to  Music
As more and more we are working online , it is important to know how to use sources!
More links online for finding pictures :
Haltern am See, Westruper Heide -- 2015 -- 7965-9.jpg
By Dietmar Rabich - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link ( free photos for bloggers)
 Here is an example  of a picture which I found by using this website
misty morning

photo credit: Piyushgiri Revagar misty morning via photopin (license)

I searched online and found this interesting resource dealing with open domain  and also creative commons:

venerdì 4 agosto 2017

Robert Burns - a Mooc by FUTURE LEARN

Robert burns.jpg
By Alexander Nasmyth - Unknown, Public Domain, Link

Discovering the  Poet     Robert Burns

" Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of AyrshirePloughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest."
( source:

The Platform Futurelearn ran an interesting Mooc last year about one of the most important poets of Scotland: Robert Burns. I did the Mooc and  I could learn a lot about  him and also Scotland.
I had studied only some poems he had written in English but I had never studied his poetry. The Mooc was an interesting opportunity  online which helped me appreciate  a voice I had never  understood and the man  Robert Burns, the poet and also the lover.



The Mooc focussed on three main modules :
- presentation of the life of the poet  and what we  knew about  him

-  some poems and songs  he wrote were analyzed and explained

-  what  we can remember  about him and that was focussed on Scotland and other places where we can  still find  monuments dedicated to the man and lover

We were given a lot of resources and weblinks, I might read more online when  I have more time but I think that I have liked  the man who has become a  symbol of  freedom in Scotland and in other countries.

Some videos about  the man and the poet

An interesting video about the legend:


What we wrote about him online when we  started the Mooc:

Music is still related to his songs and that's the main reason why we can say that  Robert Burns is still alive and  is loved by people living in different parts of the world:

                                               My love is like a Red Red Rose

What we continue  reading and studying in Literature:

Sharing our  resources in the Padlet

Made with Padlet

Resources online    ( Dictionary of the Scots Language)

giovedì 3 agosto 2017

Using Videos in the Classroom

Teaching  English  by using   videos provides interesting  language input for learners.
I have always thought that I could have learnt more in the past if I might have relied on viewing clips and short videos in my English classes as a learner. Hopefully, our learners can see a lot of documents online and  there are a lot of Youtube channels which can help teachers develop  great and interesting lessons. Some channels  are free and they can develop their listening skills while  learning new idioms or new words.
This teacher's guidebook can help us think about better ways for implementing our lessons. It was presented by  David  Deubelbeiss who is involved in providing  support and  lessons for  Elt learners and also  ELT  teachers.

Video in the classroom - a teacher handbook from English Central

If we teach English or any foreign language we are also aware of the importance of  engagement while  learning.

For this reason I think that  Shelly  Terrell who is an expert in using  technology has some interesting ideas about  using  Video Projects while doing  also English.
Our students live in a digitalized world and use many apps and smartphones. We should take advantage of these tools - some are free and thus we could also use  video creations for  using the English Language in a meaningful way.
Students will learn how to choose  images and music, they will be focussed on a specific topic and will try to make their own presentations. They will work together and they will develop their digital skills while having fun.

Some ideas and topics  for  Video  Making in  ELT:
-  creating an advertisement for a product  for students  studying   Business English
-  an interview with a  famous  artist or a singer
-  presenting  a book you have  read in English
-  presenting your  town / your country  in English
-  presenting your lesson about   a grammar topic  - students can revise what they have learnt
-  creating a story in  English
-  creating a lesson about   history or literature in English
-  making a video to present a project 
Which  skills?
English Language  Skills  : speaking and  writing
Digital  Skills
Critical  Thinking  Skills

Competences  ?

Learning  together as a Group

Selecting and  choosing  materials and tools

Discussing and  agreeing

mercoledì 2 agosto 2017

Edmodo Conference 1st August 2017

I have just learnt how to use  Edmodo. I have no classes yet but this  summer I did a course run by one of the Ambassadors of  Edmodo in Italy- they used  Edmodo and it was really nice to work with other  Italian teachers who shared their activities.Working on Edmodo was easy and I could enroll in just a few minutes as I had the account.  I discovered some interesting activities which  we can create online for our  learners and which we can use while working in this  learning  enviroment  with our  students.

I think that I might try it this year as it is  a safe environment and  it is well-organized.  Students and educators are supported, they have communities and can learn together.
I was invited to watch the conference they had planned to do in August and I did  it, I tried to watch as many sessions as I could and  it was really engaging and  interesting.
Here you can find my reflections and what a lot of teachers shared in the conference.

1st  August   Edmodo Conference 2017- An opportunity for educators to share their experience with Edmodo

On 1st August I followed the  conference online which they  presented in live streaming  and I appreciated the passion of the people who have made  Edmodo one great community of  learners and educators.

It was underlined that they had set up Edmodo having a  mission: connecting  learners and I think that they are doing this quite  well.

There was a great introduction and all the speakers focussed on the importance of being connected and providing learning opportunities for everybody. Edmodo is user-friendly and it can also support the teachers who have to work with large classes. Edmodo offers a learning platform which can be assessed by learners, educators and families.
The experts and developers of  Edmodo  focussed on the new features for the new school year. You can see the video which I have embedded and which explains why we should try using it. Teachers can use it for working online in interactions and for testing students too!
Learners in the XXI century need to be able to be connected and work online, teachers can rely on quizzes and  sharing materials and quizzes. This implies a revolution in teaching which is loved by the educators who shared their views.
The speakers were people like me and also experts in education

                                       Edmodo  and   Personalized  Learning

Why should we choose this Platform?
It was underlined by many  speakers that we can focus on the learners and their learning.
Technology can really support us!!

Edmodo and  Connecting Learners and Communities
Why  Teachers  love  Edmodo

Teachers  can save  time
What Edmodo is offering for the New School Year
Assignments  with  Edmodo
Edmodo as a  Virtual Learning  Commons
Dealing with  complexities in education
An Italian  Ambassador : Lucia Bartolotti  speaking about her  experience

Lucia Bartolotti was a great speaker who  presented the Italian community and what she had done for the teachers who were supported  by providing translations and some important functions. She also underlined the importance of  getting connected  by using also  mobile phones , which is  a peculiarity of the Italian students.  I have met Lucia only virually but I really loved listening to her speaking and showing how  hard she must have worked to help develop the biggest community of teachers in Edmodo.    
Teachers speaking and sharing their ideas about  Edmodo

More Teachers discussed the issue of using  Edmodo and what it can offer. I cannot but try to use it. 
The recording has now been uploaded and I am going to check the  speakers I could not see online.
Tweets Worth Sharing

Thanks to the  speakers and  I am  looking  forward to next year's  Conference !