Merry Christmas!!!

With all my heart, I want to wish you all happy days no matter what you are celebrating, maybe it be Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,  Christmas itself or any other celebration I don't know about. The new year will bring for me new challenges and I hope it does for you too. I wish especially to my students at #Iestartessos because they are my biggest fans.


White Christmas

There is only a few days for Christmas and my students of 1st ESO have been working a lot, so in these two last classes, I want to enjoy Christmas time with them. We will be learning the carol White Christmas sung by the young artist Taylor Swift.
We will also try to learn what is a Christmas cracker and how to make them. 
Do you know what it is? Tell us!


Roar by Katy Perry

"Roar" by Katy Perry

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready 'cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar

Now I'm floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I really like this song because  its lyrics talk about a woman who turns from being a passive individual to taking control of the situations, I also like the video very much. I hope you enjoy it too.


Who is who?

My Photo
We have been working with the structure "have got" and the adjectives to describe people. We have described our best friends and we are going to describe our families next week. My students have been working really hard, so we are going to play Who is who to practise and have fun at the same time.

We will be working with different pages online:
I really think the best part of the day will be to play with our students, they choose a person in the class and answers "have got" questions so that the rest guess who he or she is thinking about.
What do you think of this activity?
Do you like it?



Picture by @AnaGarciaTeacha
Today, a great student from 1st Bachillerato  explained the story of the Jack-O-Lantern, that is the pumpkin that we carve at Halloween. She told us that it has to do with the story of a man who was very miser with money and used to drink a lot. He also played tricks on the devil and got his way on not giving his soul to the devil. When he died, he could not go to Heaven because he had not been a saint and he could not go to Hell because the devil had freed his soul, so he was condemned to wander around the world holding a lantern, which was a turnip with a burning coal from Hell.
This story was brought by the Irish to the USA, but the Americans thought that pumpkins were easier to find and to carve, so they started using and carving pumpkins to remember the story of this man.



This is a very good video to watch at Halloween, first because of its beautiful images and music, besides, it has the lyrics written on. It is about "The Kingdom of Witches" and it is a large poem that you can read on the screen or if you want to use it, you have a copy of it in this blog: Lestobada Secondary English Blog.

I wish you a spooky Halloween...HAHAHAHAHHAHA


I need a break!


Girl suffering form anxiety

I am really sorry, but I need a break. I am doing so many things at the same time that I am really at the end of my limit. I am taking two online courses, giving private lessons to an old student, trying to keep up with all the work a teacher who cares has to do... Besides, I also have a family and friends. I am  sorry but I am taking a break from this blog. It seems that not many people are visiting it and, those who do, do not leave any comments.
 It is getting difficult for me to write about topics that my students will profit of and if I do, I do not have much time. I will continue to write the homework in the blog so that everyone can follow that and I will try also to be active on Twitter, but I am not going to write for a time, how long? I do not know, I hope not much, maybe at Christmas?
For those of you who usually read me, excuse me. I really need this break!


Xscape in Glasgow

This summer I went to Scotland, as many of you already know. It is a very special city, one of those in which you may think: "I would like to live here". It was a highly industrialized city and now it is changing its path. The town centre is really like a big shopping centre where you may find all of the main shops.


Subject and verb agreement.

It is sometimes difficult for younger students to understand what is that thing called Subject and verb agreement, especially because at schools, we do not have enough time to practice on this. The ideal way would be to practise orally many times until they internalize it. Fortunately, we still have internet to practise on their own at home.
First, a brief explanation:


What time is it?

It looks easy but it is not so much for students who do not know how to say the time in their own language. I hope this helps me and other teachers explain how to do it in an easy way. I made this infographic with a picture editor which you can find online and is free (except for some features) called PicMonkey, very easy to use.
In order to practise this issue, I strongly recommend the British page Teaching Time, with its demos Stop the Clock and Bang on Time, which students love.

So, what's the time?


Our noticeboard is back!!

I am just writing to let my students know that our homework noticeboard is working again; you can see it just where it was, on the right side of the blog . I have to thank the Blogger forum because they gave me a solution to this problem quite quickly and are ready to give a long-term solution to it.
I will be writing soon! It's being a hard start for me this year.


Problems in Blogger with the text gadget.

I'm having problems with the gadget of text in which I usually wrote the Homework, it doesn't save the new information, so I have decided to take it out. This happened to me on Monday and I have been trying to fix it since then, I even tried to make a photo of the homework but the image gadget is not working me either. So I have decided to tweet the homework every day on Twitter, in that way, it will appear on your right as usual, just that it will do on the Twitter widget. I hope this gets fixed so we can get back to the blog; I do not want my Twitter account do this : ( , but if it helps...
If there is anybody who knows how to fix it, please tell me!
I would appreciate any comments on this.


Burn-e, for 1st of ESO

Burn-e is a great short film by Pixar based on the film Wall-e, I am going to use it as a prize for my 1st ESO students. It is a very special group and they are making an effort to behave and learn more each day. I chose this film because the setting is well-known to students and there are not many words in English. I think they will enjoy it.

Have you watched it?
Did you like it?


"Filibustering" or "marathon speech" in the USA's senate.

The Guardian
"Filibuster" is a word that comes from Spanish and means "robber, pirate", but in the USA it has come to define a process that some politicians use to stop some Acts or Bills being passed or the naming of an important person in the country. This process or strategy consists of speaking for a really long time so that the decision has to be postponed for another session. They usually talk about nonsense or read books or even the Declaration of Independence!
President Obama is trying to set a health insurance system in the USA which reaches the majority of people, that is, more similar to the one we have here in Spain, and there is a part of the country, especially the Republicans, who think the system is not and is not going to work. This is the reason why Ted Cruz has been speaking for 21 hours. But there was a senator that talked for more than 24 hours, of course, other senators who think the same way help them asking long questions so that they can rest and breath.
Did you know about this?
Do you think this also happens in your own country?


Mens sana in corpore sano

I decided a few months ago that I had to take more care of my own body because it will be "my home" for all of my life. As I get older; I realize how important it is to be healthy and to have a toned body that is able to do whatever I want it to do.
I have taken up running and I want to participate in a race in the near future. That is the reason why I downloaded this app, it is called Couch to 5K (1.51€) and that is literally what it tries to do: take a person from the sofa to running 5 kilometers in nine weeks of controlled training. At the beginning of the training you walk more than run and this is the opposite at the end of the nine weeks.
It is completely in English (very simple and clear vocabulary) and you can also listen to music from playlists that you can create or import. So, I strongly recommend it to my students, they can listen to English songs and improve their listening skills while running, a healthy mind in a healthy body.
What do you think of making exercise?
Do you think using apps for training sports is a good idea?


Starting the course with Katy Perry, 'cause baby YOU are a FIREWORK.

I like to start the school year with a motivating song that reminds students that they can do whatever they want if they try hard enough. This song by the American artist Katy Perry talks about how you have to show the best of you to shine, and the melody is also very inspiring.
I hope you like it and it inspires you as I wish it inspires my students this year, that is five groups (four of ESO and one first of Bachillerato). You can read the lyrics as you watch the video which is the music and photos from the official video.
Do you like the song? Don't you think it is inspiring?
If you are a new student, feel brave enough to leave a comment!


Scratch and other things

You may be thinking, what is happening to this blog? It has not been posting for a long time! Well, as you know, this summer I have been resting. Besides, I have not been able to be at the September exams because I have been attending a course in Valencia called "De espectador a programador""De espectador a programador"  and I have been learning a little about how computers and the internet work in the inside. I have had wonderful teachers and have worked with different tools. One of them is this internet application in which you have to use the programming language Scratch. I hope you like my first work.

To my students, get ready to learn a little about this!!

What do you think of my work?
Do you feel like doing yours? If you do, please share it here!



Martorell at Wikimedia Commons
It is only a few days to be back again, some of you, not many this year (I must confess) will be taking an exam to be able to pass the subject. I know the blog has not been much updated this summer - I needed longer holidays this year, but this is to remind you that you can ask as many questions as you want on the comments or via Twitter and I will do my best to answer them before the test next Monday.
I also remind you of this post with all the info about the timetables of English and French tests at our school.

The new course will start in a few days and I come back with full expectations of your potentials and many things I would like to experiment with you. I must say I won't be there physically, but the exams are ready and I hope you do your best. Good luck!!


Thank you!!!

The insides of my blog.
This is going to be my last entry in a few days because where I am going there is no wi-fi!! Can you believe it? But I did not want to leave without saying thank you to all of you who have been there. As you can see in the picture, there are already more than 50,000 visits in total (not bad for an educative blog in a year and a half).
I also wanted to give you the list of the top ten, that is, the most visited so you can visit them too. I am going to present them backwards, the last one is the most visited:

So, what are your favourite posts?


A joke to laugh a little during the holidays...

Uldis Liepkalns
I don't mean to get into politics now, not at all, but it made me fun how Obama looks back to the child.
I am taking a little rest these days because the end of the course was exhausting for me and I have been ill for a while; now I am feeling better but I still need some days to rest myself.
I will probably get back to tell you all about my trip in a few weeks. Do you know where I will be going this year? In a few days I will tell you.
Have a nice holidays meanwhile!!


Singing in the rain...

I know it is reeeally hot, at least here in Spain, but as I now have much more free time, I came across this old video which is very well subtittled and is one of my favourite pieces of a musical. It is also very optimistic and talks about partying at that time.
I hope you enjoy it!


Getting ready for September... before going on holidays.

Página Moodle del IES Tartessos
Before we go on holidays, I want to introduce you the new page that the English Department at the Moodle platform. My mates have been working hard to upload the activities you can do during the summer to review English and pass the exam in September. They have already uploaded activities for 1st and 2nd ESO (both at the 1st ESO section of Moodle, just follow the link on top). When you enter the page, you have to register to get access, but it is very simple and in Spanish!
If you want to know the dates of the exams in September, you can also have a look at them at the official website of IES Tartessos, you have a summary of the English dates, all of them on the 2nd September:

1st language
2nd language
1st ESO
2nd ESO
3rd ESO
4th ESO
1st Bachillerato
8h00-9h45 (Hz 1&2)
2nd Bachillerato
9h45-11h30 (Hz 3&4)
All the ESO exams will last one hour and will be held in the SUM of the school. The bachillerato exams will last longer and will be held in Haza.


Holidays at last!!!

Dear Students,
At last you are on holidays, after a few months of hard work, we have two months and a few days to recover ourselves and enjoy life. Some of you will have to study still because you did not get good results, not many in English, because this year many of my students have passed.

In the month of August I will be visiting the United Kingdom and I will probably be telling it to you here in the blog.

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read this blog and follow me on Twitter. I always have you in mind when writing these posts and most of the times when twitting. I know I said in class I would follow you when holidays come, but I changed my mind: I will look at your timelines and decide, but probably, will wait until you go out of school, that is, until you are ex-students. I tell you this just to make things clear and also to let you know that I completely understand if you want to unfollow me.

It has been a pleasure teaching you this year and I wish you a great holidays full of experiences. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


Bruno Mars: When I was your man

Same bed but it feels just a little bit bigger now
Our song on the radio but it don't sound the same
When our friends talk about you, all it does is just tear me down
Cause my heart breaks a little when I hear your name
It all just sounds like oooooh…

Mmm, too young, too dumb to realize
That I should 've bought you flowers
And held your hand
Should 've gave you all my hours
When I had the chance
Take you to every party
Cause all you wanted to do was dance
Now my baby's dancing
But she's dancing with another man

My pride, my ego, my needs, and my selfish ways
Caused a good strong woman like you to walk out my life
Now I never, never get to clean up the mess I made, ohh…
And it haunts me every time I close my eyes
It all just sounds like oooooh…


Although it hurts
I'll be the first to say that I was wrong
Oh, I know I'm probably much too late
To try and apologize for my mistakes
But I just want you to know
I hope he buys you flowers
I hope he holds your hand
Gives you all his hours
When he has the chance
Take you to every party
Cause I remember how much you loved to dance
Do all the things I should 've done
When I was your man
Do all the things I should 've done

When I was your man

Preparing ourselves for the holidays... I chose this song by Bruno Mars which contains the perfect modal "should have" that makes part of the only unit we have not seen this year, you can learn more about modals in this post and enjoy this song as much as I do.
Do you like it?


My students' work, part 4

2ºB's class
In the second term, we have worked on the Word of the Day project of which I have already told you. I show you some of the examples. For me, the most important thing is that my students get to expose their works in public and in English!! Thanks to all of them!!

Did you know these words??


My students' work, part 3

We have been working in the second term on how to present and learn new vocabulary, so my students chose a word and explained it to their mates with the support, digital or not, that they wanted. On this day, @SergioVeil presented the word leader with the help of a powerpoint presentation.
What do you think of it?


My students' work, part 2

Another infographic to present the uses of "There was/were", this one, done by Rocio with the Piktochart tool too. Congrats Rocio, good work!!


My students' work. Part 1.

Around the world in 80 days
We are finishing the course, and it is true that we, teachers have worked a lot, but I am very happy to say that some of our students have worked hard too. I am going to present you some of the works that my students have done, starting with @Nerea_Lobo and @MariaAlonso1998. They accepted the challenge of imagining how Phileas Fogg would travel today and also of using a digital tool to present it, you can see the result on top, and if you press the link, you see it completely. Good work girls!!!
What do you think of their work? 
Please leave your comments and say!!


What I call "TIMELINE" -guide on how to choose the correct verb tense.

When we write or speak, we use all the verb tenses, not one at a time. However, we tend to follow a coherent TIMELINE, that is, verbs that are at the same level of sentence organization, tend to have the same verb tense, unless there is a marker ( adverb, time complement...)

Issues to take into account:

  • When we speak about general topics (which are the same in the past, present and future), we use the simple present.
  • When we are talking about the time of speaking or an extended time of speaking (that is, not only now, but these six weeks in opposition to the next or past six weeks), we use the present continuous. Markers: now, right now, at the moment, this term, this year, this week...
  • When we are talking about things that are finished in the past, we use the past simple. Also when we are talking about things that happened one after the other, or actions that interrupt another action in progress (this one in the past continuous) Markers: ago, last week, last year, in+year, in a time clause when the main clause is in the past coontinuous...When we are talking about simultaneous actions in the past, we use the past continuous, as well as if we want to describe a scene in a narration. We use the past perfect simple when we want to talk about something that happened before something else in the past. Markers: ever, never, already, just, still, yet, for and since, also with the first time... When we are talking about routines or habits in the past, we use the structure used to, we can also use the modal would if we talk about actions and not states. If the action we are talking about started in the past but is somehow related to the present we have to use the present perfect. Markers: already, just, still, yet...if we wan to emphasize the progress, we use the present perfect continuous.
  • For the future, we also have several uses which you can see in this post.Markers: tomorrow, next week, next month
In order to practice all this, go to these places:
I think this is enough for the moment, remember, if you have any problems, you can always contact me, write  down your doubts while doing the exercises.


My place's food project

We have been working on food and recipes and verbs and everything which has to do with that, we have been very, very hungry. We decided that we would not make the composition that comes in the textbook, but that we would make posters with the food of the place that they chose, and here we have the results:

Are you hungry now?
As we do not have much place on our class' walls, we will see them here ;-P


The passive for #Bachillerato

As I promised, here you have more information on "The passive". Links to the exercises you are waiting for are linked inside.
I hope it helps! Tell me if it does ;-D


William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is one of the best-known, if not the best, writer of the whole world. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in the year 1564 and died in 1616. He moved to London and became an actor and playwright, that is, he wrote the plays in which he acted. If you want to know more about his life, you can watch a series of videos at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

At that time, theatre, or drama, was person-based and some scenes were based on monologues or speeches of certain characters which have become very famous ("to be or not to be, that is the question" from Hamlet), another anecdote is that there were no women on stage; the clothes, tapestries and curtains were splendid and there were machines to move up or down things. We can see this is The Globe, the theatre were he played most of his plays.

Why is Shakespeare so important?
For me, he is so important because he was an expert in creating plays that treated many different topics (love, war, betrayal, foolishness ... and many more) and he did so in a way that he achieved to address to the inner emotions of people and they are as up-to-date now as they were when he created them.
He also wrote a lot of poetry (great sonnets), and invented many words of the English language.

Have you read anything by Shakespeare or attended to any of his plays? Do you know the names of his most famous plays?


The future in 2nd of ESO

Lake Supérieur, by Ana Garcia.
We are going to work on the structure "be going to+infinitive" to talk about plans and intentions in the near future. It is very simple, you only have to remember to use the correct form of the verb to be and write the infinitive form after "to".

Remember that we also use the present continuous to talk about fixed plans, plans that have been arranged.

You can practice more:
  • Going to structure in the affirmative, negative and interrogative at Ego4you
  • Games on going to at mes-games
  • Revision of present continuous and difference between present continuous and going to at English Exercises.
I hope it helps!!!


My first MOOC.

I am going to show you my last new adventure (two in a week, not a bad one, is it?). On Monday I started my first MOOC, it stands for Massive Open Online Course and they are online courses proposed by prestigious universities which are held online for thousands of people.

The course I am taking is called "Tecnologías de información y comunicación en la educación" and it is from the University of Mexico. It started on Monday and it finishes on the 23rd June and the work is divided into 5 weeks at the end of which we, the students, will have to have read some documents and fill in an autoevaluation test. There are also forums and 5 live sessions on YouTube. We also have a hashtag on Twitter: #ticunam

At the end of the course, our final project will be evaluated by 5 mates of the course and that result (80%)  together with the sum of the autoevaluations (20%) will be our final result. We are recommended to write a blog with our personal thinkings which I will link when I have something written, it is called Formación Docente (fuera de horario).

I think MOOCs are a perfect way to develop a personal learning environment for teachers for some reasons:

  • We do have time and willingness to learn; but certainly we cannot take lessons in the morning or the afternoon.
  •  We can choose among thousands of courses from all around the world which will certify our learning. 
  • We get certified for free (which is excellent now that our pays are getting reduced). 
  • We get to create a network of professional teachers who have the same worries and interests...

Have you ever taken part in one? Share your experience with us and wish me good luck!


Don't be afraid of being who you are!

Today I am presenting you with a  new blog which will be written by my 1st Bachillerato students.
In your entries you have to look for one thing you are very good at or you think you may be good at and use that as a blog entry answering the question:

  What are you an expert in?

The blog post should be from 100 to 120 words, not longer and it should include:
  1. When and how you discovered you were good at what you are talking about.
  2. What you are doing now to get more experience in that field.
  3. If you think you will be able to work on that and how do you see yourself in the future (relating to your expertise, not other things).
In this way, you will be able to use all of the issues that we have been working in class throughout the year, besides all your knowledge about editing a text in a blog. You should post it before the end of May and make use of an image or video which is appropriate with the topic you are dealing.

As always, you can ask me as many questions as you like via Twitter or leaving comments here or asking me in class. I hope we all like this experience!!
Don't be afraid of telling what you are good at!!


International Day Against Homophobia

"Flowers" by Lucía R.B. to whom I talk about homophobia
On the 17th May 1990, the World Health Organization took out homosexuality from the list of illnesses, that is the reason why today we celebrate today the International Day Against Homophobia.  There are still some countries in which it is a crime to have homosexual relationships and in many others, they feel bullied or discriminated.

I am a bit fed up of listening to people saying that everything should be treated in schools, but I think this topic should and this is why:

 I see them everyday, 
even though they are a minority, they do exist.
 Most of them, both boys and girls, 
do not want the rest of the people to know, 
 while the rest of their mates are experiencing their first intimate relationships,
 they cannot.

 Even if they are brave enough to have a relationship during their high school years,
 they do not kiss each other, 
they do not hug each other,
 they do not hold hands in public.
One day they will.
We won't even look back.
They will kiss,
they will hug,
they will hold hands...
And I will love to teach in that high school.

We have to acknowledge them in high schools, give them our support as teachers so that they are as free as the rest.



Learning vocabulary: Cooking with Jamie Oliver

In this unit, we are reviewing food and how to talk about it. We are also introducing the vocabulary you need to talk about the process of cooking (add, bake, boil, chop, fry, grate, grill, mix, peel, pour, put, season, slice  and wash).
 Many of these words appear on this video by Jamie Oliver, one of the most famous cooks in the UK at the moment. He has done many  TV programmes and is famous also for promoting quick healthy meals almost anyone can do in less than half an hour.

What verbs of the bold list does he actually say?
Do you think it is an easy dish to do? Would you like giving it a try?

If you want to read about how to talk about quantities and food go to this and this post.


Teacher's Appreciation Day in USA

My notebook By Ana García
In the USA, they celebrate a whole week to ackowledge their teacher's work. It is called Teacher's Appreciation Week and the first Tuesday of a full week in May, they celebrate their National Teacher's Day.  They have a hashtag to thank a teacher that you want to say Thank You #ThankATeacher. I have had many English teachers I could say thank you to, I remember deeply my primary teachers (also the English one, who would be with us for two hours per week, not more). But I remember a lot my Spanish Literature teacher, Rosario Carreras, who made me read many books and developed in me the thought that I could read whatever I wanted and, consequently, do whatever I wanted. Thank you Rosario.

Even it is not the day to do this, I also want to thank my students, for listening to me and teaching me while I am teaching to them. I feel lucky to be a teacher, love this work and enjoy it everyday.

Have a look at this funny teacher's Harlem Shake:
So, tell us, what teacher do you want to say thank you to?


Motivation: Validation by Kurt Kuenne

Validation (2007) is an optimistic short film and love story by Kurt Kuenne. It only lasts for almost 16 minutes and was released on the YouTube platform, making it clear that things are changing in the film business. I really like this story because it shows how you can focus on the nice part of life and not on the bad and the world would be better. As a teacher I try to do this with my students and I think this really helps people to feel better and more motivated to produce and create.

I recommend you to watch it, it will cheer you up!!
What do you think of it?Did you like it?


Worker's Day, Why today?

On 4th  May 1886, in the city of Chicago, workers were demonstrating to make working days last only up to 8 hours. Amongst them, someone threw a bomb (the first dynamite bomb in the USA)  and the police thought it was a reaction to them -they were trying to dissolve the demonstration- and started shooting to the strikers. This was called the Haymarket Affair, Massacre or Riot.
For this affair, eight anarchists were blamed and sentenced for conspiration, this was understood as an attack to the working movement. The trial was soon argued because some of the accused were not even at the place!!
As a commemoration of this strike and other movements organized among others by Lucy and Albert Parsons, the 1st May is the day to ask for better working conditions in many parts of the world and it is even a holiday in many countries. In USA and Canada is widely celebrated in September.

Did you know this?