#IMWAYR – It’s Monday and here’s what I’m reading: Picture books and poetry

“In my life long study of human beings, I have found that no matter how hard they try, they have found no way yet to prevent the arrival of Monday morning. And they do try, of course, but Monday always comes…” Jeff Lindsay http://www.yanglish.com/tag/monday-quote/ Monday Quote

A Teaching Life

 #IMWAYR is hosted by  Jen at Teach MentorTexts & Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders 

AndreaLoney tells the interesting and historically important story of the photographer James VanDerZee in Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee.  Born in small town Lenox, Massachusetts, James was artistically inclined but had difficulty expressing his ideas through drawing. When the only photographer in Lenox brought the only camera in town to take a family portrait of the VanDerZee family, James was captivated by the instrument and immediately began to save up for a camera of his own.

He taught  himself how to both take as well as develop photographs, practicing on his classmates and his family.  The call of Harlem, then in the midst of an exciting artistic and societal renaissance, eventually brought James to New York City, where he continued to hone his craft in a studio of his own.  Over the decades…

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Phrasal verbs for everyday actions

You will almost certainly find that you know some of them already, and it is worth learning any that are new to you because they are all extremely common, and most of them have no one-word equivalent.

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Liz Walter

Credit: Getty

I have written several posts about phrasal verbs, including an introduction to what they are and how to use them. However, I realised today that I have never written about some of the most common phrasal verbs there are – ones that we use to talk about actions that take place every day.

You will almost certainly find that you know some of them already, and it is worth learning any that are new to you because they are all extremely common, and most of them have no one-word equivalent.

The first thing that happens every morning is that we wake up. We can also say that we wake someone up:

I woke up at 7.30. (In US punctuation, write the time as 7:30.)

My Dad wakes me up at 6 a.m. every day.

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Slice of Life Tuesday: Honoring Anne Frank

“Everybody could improve the world.”

A Teaching Life

Image result for anne frank quotes i don't want to have lived

Anne Frank would have been 88 yesterday.  We took some time to remember her life, and re read her words.  We  spent time looking at photographs of  Anne, noting her clear eyed and steady gaze, her gentle and somewhat mischievous smile.  And we paid a virtual visit to the secret annex – known today as the Anne Frank House.  Then, we wrote Anne to tell her spirit that she still lives within the best of each of us, and that we hope to honor her memory by living in a way that would live up to her hopes for humanity and the world it inhabits.

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Some of what we wrote….

Here is what your words mean to me – even though one may lose something when giving it to others, they do not become poor because they have given all they could and improved our world. You become richer by…

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What a nightmare! (Words for difficult situations)

Let’s hope the week ahead is free of difficulties and stress!

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford

craftivision/E+/Getty

Whether we like it or not, we all have to deal with things that annoy us or cause difficulties and stress. Sadly, it is part of life. This post won’t stop you from having to deal with these things, but it will at least give you a range of words and phrases for talking about them in English!

Let’s start with some single words that refer to different types of problem. A predicament is a bad situation that is difficult to get out of: She’s trying to find a way out of her financial predicament.

A dilemma is a situation in which you have to make a difficult choice between two different things: Now he has been offered the other job, which puts him in a bit of a dilemma.

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How can I motivate unmotivated students?

“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.”
Loris Malaguzzi

“What a teacher is, is more important than what he teaches”
Karl Menninger

“Good teaching is 1/4 preparation and 3/4 theatre.”
Gail Godwin

“Learning without thinking is labor lost; thinking without learning is dangerous.”
– Chinese proverb.

Oxford University Press

IGS-00181940-001Ken Wilson is the author of Smart Choice and in all has written more than 30 ELT titles. We asked teachers from around the world who have been using Smart Choice what one question they would like to ask Ken. He will answer three of these questions in a series of video blogs this month.

For both teachers and students, a very large class can be difficult in terms of motivation and in terms of multi-level instruction. In this video blog Ken will answer two questions to overcome these challenges: “How can I motivate unmotivated students?” and “how can we adapt Smart Choice for different class sizes and classes with students of varying levels?”

Ken suggests techniques to increase student curiosity in class in order to engage learners with simple tasks, such as reading a text. He explains how teachers can devolve student responsibility to empower higher-level students to help…

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I’m very close to my sister: words and phrases for talking about your family

Amazing words and phrases for talking about your family. Use these marvelous phrases.

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Liz Walter

Hero Images/Getty

There is a saying that blood is thicker than water, which means that the bond we have with family members is stronger than with anyone else. Whether you agree with that or not, chatting about our families is something that most of us do quite often, so it isn’t surprising that words for family members and words to describe their personalities are often among the first things we learn in a new language.  In this post, I aim to build on that by presenting some less obvious words and phrases for talking about families.

We use the phrase immediate family to describe the closest members of our family – usually our parents, children, wife or husband. In some cases, especially if we live with them, it may include our siblings (brothers and sisters). Our extended family is all the people we are related…

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I Used to Be a Fun Teacher

“A lot of crazy moments that kept us coming back and moving forward. A fun teacher, yeah, that used to be me.”

I used to be the fun teacher. The one that had the crazy ideas, the noisy classroom, the one where kids couldn’t wait to see what they would do next.  I wasn’t the only one, by any means. Being a 5th grade teacher meant there was a lot of laughing.  A lot of crazy moments that kept us coming back and moving forward.  A fun teacher, yeah, that used to be me.

Now it seems I am the hard teacher.  The one with the crazy expectations, the one that makes you sit and write or read.  The one that keeps telling you to try again, to give me more, to explain further, to revise, to edit, to think harder.  The one that talks too much, asks for too much.  It seems somewhere in my transition from 5th to 7th I forgot what teaching needs to also be about; joy.  Not…

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