Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday and the Presidential Thanksgiving Pardon

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the USA and falls on the Friday after the fourth Thursday in November. It is a busy shopping day and is a holiday in some states. Many people have a day off work or choose to take a day from their quota of annual leave on Black Friday. Some people use this to make trips to see family members or friends who live in other areas or to go on vacation. Others use it to start shopping for the Christmas season. Many stores have special offers and lower their prices on some goods, such as toys.
Image credits: Harshal Desai, via Flickr
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days in the USA. There are two popular theories as to why the day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday. One theory is that the wheels of vehicles in heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving Day left many black markings on the road surface, leading to the term Black Friday. The other theory is that the term Black Friday comes from an old way of recording business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, started making profits prior to Christmas. Many hoped to start showing a profit, marked in black ink, on the day after Thanksgiving Day.
In TimeAndDate (adapted and abridged)

The Presidency, Barack Obama said at the White House Wednesday, has 'many awesome and solemn responsibilities.' 'This is not one of them,' he added. The tradition of the President pardoning a turkey around Thanksgiving is probably America’s silliest tradition, and has only grown more cartoonish over time. The National Turkey Federation has donated two turkeys to the White House every year since 1947, according to the Washington Post, and Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower ate their birds. Now the pardoned turkeys are given names - 'Caramel' and 'Popcorn' this year - with their height, weight, walk ('steady and deliberate' and 'proud strut') and favorite song dutifully documented on the White House website. Caramel bobs to 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga; Popcorn prefers 'Halo' by Beyoncé. Read more HERE.
In TIME Magazine (abridged)
Image credits: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

What are you thankful for?

I am thankful that I haven't lost my sense of humour and my ability to believe things can be better, nonetheless the heavy cloud that has been darkening the Portuguese Education System (whatever that might be) for the past few long years... I'm thankful that I can still smile, not only because I have teeth, but mainly because it's the most powerful weapon to knock down those roller coaster-like days! Yep! I've just had a bad day!... However, today is Thanksgiving Day! Therefore, I'm grateful that I have had the chance to overcome a dreadful day like yesterday and feel the spirit of gratitude today! And I am grateful for my life! I definitely am! How about you?

Picture via Google Images
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Essential Thanksgiving

What about cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for your family the American way? Julia Moskin and Melissa Clark suggest you a guide for the American most important meal, with their best recipes, techniques and tricks. In the article posted at The New York Times, they also present videos so that you have no doubts on how to prepare the feast on your own. From the turkey, to gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, something orange, green and snappy vegetables and the scrumptious pies. In case you want to share some of these videos with your students, it's a great opportunity to teach vocabulary in context. You can read about these fantastic tips HERE.

Photo by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's been two years...

... since I started this blogging experiment! I still have a lot to learn and a lot to write before I could call myself 'a blogger'! My first post, the title of which was 'I teach! What's your super power?'  was written precisely two years ago. To mark the date, one year later, I wrote 'T@PT is one year old', and offered my readers a (virtual) piece of cake. This time, I present you a poster by an educator whose blog I follow: Krissy Venosdale and her inspiring I hope I continue to deserve some of your attention! T@PT project is only of worth value if you are still there! Thank you! (By the way, here follows a SLIDESHOW that explains 7 ways to say Thank You!)

Poster created by Krissy Venosdale
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Lesson tips for Thanksgiving

The blogger Richard Byrne suggests you to create a wall of thanks on padlet. Richard says: 'Padlet is a great little tool for quickly gathering comments from students in response to prompts that you give to them. As I thought about (American) Thanksgiving this evening I developed a few ideas for incorporating Padlet into a Thanksgiving activity for elementary school students.' He explains his ideas in three steps and at the end presents a video in which he demonstrates how to create a padlet to use in classroom. Read more at Free Technology for Teachers.
Another suggestion 'A time for thanks' comes from animoto. Express your gratitude with a video that shows more than you could say with words, as shown in THIS sample.

photo credit: Sugar Daze via photopin cc
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Don't destroy my dream!

'If reality can destroy a dream, why can't a dream destroy reality?'
You can dream all the time, you can create your own world to live there because your reality it´s scary.
When you are young you live in a dream, but one day that dream end, you will wake up in the morning and understand that you lose everything that you have. Wake up and someone screaming and crying that the people you love is dead, someone you love just walk away from your life and will never coming back. You just watch, you cannot do nothing about that.
You put all your heart and soul in there and when you wake up that life dream is over, your reality is dead…
You lost your sky, your stars and your moon … you feel blind, tired, sick and then you create a world when everything is possible.
A world when you’re happy, a world when you can live with the people you love where you’re the king and second chances exist.
Sometimes you feel alone in a room full of people, feel like your place isn’t there so you travel for that world in your mind just to be happy again.

So keep your reality away from me, I don’t want you to destroy my dream….

photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani via photopin cc
You might like to read other texts by this student at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Schoolyard bullying in the workplace

HuffPost presents an impressive video entitled: 'This May Be The Most Powerful Anti-Bullying Video We've Ever Seen'. Another perspective of the suffering and cruelty of bullying! Read the article HERE.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Will you teach me?

Following yesterday's article about the Anti-Bullying Week, here goes an emotional video you might like to consider using in your classes!...

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Anti-Bullying Week

'Bullying can be verbal harassment, physical assault, 
or other more subtle methods of coercion, such as manipulation.' 

Anti-Bullying Week is about promoting positive anti-bullying messages. Anti-Bullying Week is the 18-22 November 2013. Remember that bullying prevention and awareness should be taught throughout the year. Many great organisations out there are delivering creative anti-bullying programmes throughout Anti Bullying Week and beyond. Get involved, make a difference. If you want to know more about this topic, go to Anti Bullying Week.

Image credits: Ben Torode via FlickrCC
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Giving them a purpose

When I first saw this image, I thought of all the students that claim they don't like school, and are often labelled as demotivated. Vicki Zakrzewski wrote an insteresting article about student engagement, entitled 'Put the Awe Back in "Awesome" - Helping Students Develop Purpose'. I believe you might like to spend some time reading it HERE.

Image via Edutopia, FB page
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The story coaster

Following up yesterday's post, I now present you another creation of Grant Snider, via EdudemicKatie Lepi in the very same article says: 'We think the story coaster below is an excellent visualization of the different parts of a plot and storytelling. Personally, I think it is a huge upgrade from the typical flat line - spike - flat line visual that I knew from my high school days. It touches on all of the elements of plot in a fun way that will be easy for your students to understand. Don’t forget to share this awesome graphic with your colleagues!' (Full view HERE)

Image credits: Grant Snider
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Monday, November 11, 2013

20 facts about Hallowe'en

Even though Hallowe'en is over, and we're heading fast towards the next as well famous American tradition -Thanksgiving- I came across this infographic about '20 things you probably didn't know about Hallowe'en' and thought it might be an interesting resource to share. Who knows? You might find it useful for your next year's lesson planning about this horrific celebration, which is spreading all over our country, especially among youngsters. The article was written by Katie Lepi and published at Edudemic. The infographic that follows was created by jayjaypowpow, via Daily Infographic.

Click HERE to view the whole infographic and full size
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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Understanding music in English

Needless to say how vast the repertoire of music you can use in class is, and what you can do with it!... Language learning is definitely one of the things you can do through music! Philochko suggests these titles of three popular songs amongst students to explain the meaning of some American English expressions!

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Are you a phubber?

This is an amazing video about how a new word - PHUBBER - was created. Another engaging resource to use in 10th form classes whislt lecturing the unit LANGUAGES. It's curious that if you try to look up this word in dictionaries, such as or the Urban Dictionary , you won't find it there yet! Thank you once more, Manuela Pereira, for sharing this new word with me! I sadly must admit that I am a phubber! Even though occasionally!

Ad by the way, did you know Dr. Seuss invented the word NERD? Discover nine novel English neologisms and their authors by watching THIS slideshow. I was flabbergasted!

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Bonfire Night - ESL resources

November 5th 2005 marks the 400th anniversary of the famous Gunpowder Plot when Guy Fawkes and his conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London. Bonfire Night is celebrated throughout Britain on the evening of the 5th of November with firework displays. (Source: British Council - BBC). You can find both tips and classroom materials in this page.
ESOL Courses also offers you a vast list of vocabulary, exercises and worksheets for you to bring this topic to life in class. And don't forget, better, do remember: 

Remember remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

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Monday, November 04, 2013

Are two languages better than one?

Larry Ferlazzo presents THIS infographic in his blog about either being monolingual or bilingual. I think this is an interesting tool to use in 10th form classes in the topic LANGUAGES. View full size HERE.

Infographic created at
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Friday, November 01, 2013

The history of Hallowe'en

This week, we have exceptionally two entries at The Students' Corner. This time, and for the first time, Catarina Rocha, Patrícia Moura and Patríca Ferreira, both 11thA students, wrote a text about Hallowe'en. I hope all of you have enjoyed this Anglo-saxon tradition last night! Hallowe'en is becoming very popular in Portugal, especially among students. I think English language Teachers are to blame for that! Guilty!

Halloween is traditional and cultural event, usually celebrated by English speaking countries on 31st October. This epoch had its origin in old peoples of Britain and Ireland wh0o believed that on the eve of All Saints Day, the spirits were returning home. As between the sunset of October 31 and the first day of November took place the so called "holy night" (hallow evening), it is thought that it was this factor that led to the current name of the celebration - Halloween. Little by little, the celebration became public, and on the night of October 31st, many rituals and games began to be practised: people wearing costumes allusive to Halloween and leave their homes at night to ask for candy from house to house, saying 'trick or treat'. If they receive candies, people go away and don't play tricks on the home owners. Otherwise, the trick will have to be made, according to the tradition. The habitual treat is tossing toilet paper, eggs and flour. Children and adolescents are the ones that normally participate the most in this 'adventure'. 
Halloween has a traditional sweet which is caramelized apple. In Ireland and Scotland there is a tradition to sculpt a turnip lantern, while in North America people use pumpkins, as they are larger and easier to carve. For the same reason, Portugal also follows this tradition of carving pumpkins. The famous lit pumpkins with candles, are called "jack-o-lantern" and are not seen in the house by chance. They are there with a purpose - to scare off evil spirits. Other elements present in Halloween are witches, owls, crows, spiders, demons, ghosts, black cats, cemeteries, haunted houses, werewolves, bats, death, vampires, the living dead. 
Halloween is one of the perfect times to decorate the houses, as it is a festive "scary"season! When decorating the houses, people are usually inspired by the autumn colors, such as yellow, brown, orange and, of course, black is also one of the typical colors of this festive season! We simply can not miss it!

photo credit: jah~ via photopin cc
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