"You talk as if a god had made the Machine.. Men made it, do not forget that. Great men, but men. The Machine is much, but it is not everything. I see something like you in this plate, but I do not see you. I hear something like you through this telephone, but I do not hear you. That is why I want you to come. Pay me a visit, so that we can meet face to face, and talk about the hopes that are in my mind."The machine stops - 1909 - Forster

Saturday, October 30, 2010


This post is a response to Jason Renshaw's initiative "Meeting of the boards".
I really liked the idea of starting a lesson having students fill up the blackboard and so I tried it in two classes of same level, that is third year of Middle School ( lower A2 ). But I did it in a slightly different way.
In the first class I drew a line which divided the blackboard diagonally in two parts: at one end I wrote "September 13th" ( the first day of school ) and at the other end I wrote "Today".

The line might have worked as a sort of reminder of school time because they started writing headings related to topics we had been covering since the beginning of the term.

They went on this neutral path until a student wrote something more personal
( emoticons / sad-smiling day ).

At this point, quite interestingly, another student came up with a sort of "brainwave" and she wrote what you can see in the cloud.

This is the final risult: the blackboard is full of words related to activities, grammar and vocabulary covered in class in the previous months. Let's call it the Syllabus Blackboard.

With the other class the blackboard was completely empty: no words, no lines at all. At the beginning the students were quite surprised but after a few seconds one came to the blackboard and wrote "Hello": simple and safe...:)

They went on asking basic questions until a student wrote a sentence ( a question again ) taken from "Alice in Wonderland - A Mad Tea Party", a role play we had acted out the previous year.

After that they started "reflecting" on the whole process, and they asked two more questions, as if they really wanted to get answers and explanations.

Next a student provided his personal solution: "We are as mad as a hatter".

At this point a student gave some feedback and, using SMS English, he wrote "I like dizz"

And this is the final result : a blackboard full of questions, a creative and personal board, I would say. A student even modified " I like dizz" into "I like pizza".


* I enjoyed the activity and so did the students
* A line with dates seems to be a powerful way to direct students' attention to their linear learning progression
* A blank blackboard can appeal to students' need to communicate in a non-threatening, free, and light-hearted way and can help them express themselves creatively.

Really liked this idea of meeting of the boards!! :).Thank you!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


This is Anna's Grammar Book. She took notes in class, during the English lessons and then, at home, she created very personal pages for each topic, to make grammar points more memorable.

Myebook - ANNA'S GRAMMAR BOOK - click here to open my ebook

Sunday, October 17, 2010


To try the treasure hunt click here.

This treasure hunt was devised together with a colleague of mine, Daniela Becchio and first posted on a class wiki. It worked quite well with our students who did it at home, in groups and then e-mailed us the answers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Take a tour of the glogster.
Post as a comment:
a) the answers to the questions ( video step 1 )
b) the verbs you remember (video step 5 )
c) your score for the game and the exercise ( step 2 )

CLICK HERE to open the glogster.