PROJECTS in my english class

 

blogprojectsSOSARA

 

One of the three notice boards in and outside our english classroom: news and photos of our partners abroad.

One of the three notice boards in and outside our english classroom: news and photos of our partners abroad.

My School! To be sent to our friends abroad! We send our partners , several group projects such as this one, in each parcel!

My School! To be sent to our friends abroad! We send our partners , several group projects such as this one, in each parcel!

This project was based on a Pablo Picasso's painting! This was my students inspiration to write a poem on PEACE!

This project was based on a Pablo Picasso’s painting! This was my students inspiration to write a poem on PEACE!

Two different projects from our partners in Taiwan: All about me and My country! Amazing work!

Two different projects from our partners in Taiwan: All about me and My country! Amazing work!

Detail of one group project sent to our friends abroad: My country!

Detail of one group project sent to our friends abroad: My country!

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Well, I have been working on projects since the beginning of my career as an english teacher. When I had to  to travel all around Greece to work! Even when I had to change the school I worked in every single year or I had to work in 3 different schools in  the same day!I had to walk  long distances carrying my heavy bag and  some years later, had to drive  to a different village school  during the…. break!!

Another awesome project from Taiwan: My life in headlines! Project work, goes like this: we send our partners a project on a topic we have both decided on. They reply , by sending us the same topic project ! How fascinating for our students to share and compare!

Another awesome project from Taiwan: My life in headlines! Project work, goes like this: we send our partners a project on a topic we have both decided on. They reply , by sending us the same topic project ! How fascinating for our students to share and compare!

Amazing  artwork!!

Amazing artwork!!

When I started working on pen pals projects , nobody thought I was doing anything exceptional, but my students! Most headmasters used to refer to my extra working hours on those projects as ” useless, worthless and a waste of time”! I used to beg for money to buy stamps and had to carry those parcels to the local post office on foot!

Our exotic partners in Tunisia! A project on customs, traditions and everyday life !

Our exotic partners in Tunisia! A project on customs, traditions and everyday life !

When I asked one of the headteachers in a Karditsa area village school, to support me financially for  our -handmade- class magazine ( which was photocopied and distributed to students)  he just refused ! He even said: “What’s the use of this? You don’t get any extra money for  all these extra hours you spend putting this  magazine together…that’s silly! You are a….κοροιδο”- as we say in greek!

Arts and craft, play an important role in all our projects!

Arts and craft, play an important role in all our projects!

Two pages of the 5th graders project: Our class english magazine! Handmade....no computers at school!!

Two pages of the 5th graders project: Our class english magazine! Handmade….no computers at school!!

One of our magazine covers...the picture was found in our old english books!our magazine is always sent to our pen pals abroad, as well!

One of our magazine covers…the picture was found in our old english books!our magazine is always sent to our pen pals abroad, as well!

Many years have passed since  then…but, nothing much has changed! I mean, I  keep working on  several projects with my classes, we continue exchanging our projects with more than 6  schools all over the globe every school year, I still do my best to have  at least one -handmade – magazine made  each school year , but still….. I work in schools with no computers or other facilities, I work extra hours ……earning…  nothing but my students love,  have had no chance to take part in a Comenius partnership yet (due to several reasons which have NOTHING  to do with my willing  to do so)

I have been struggling to raise money to run my projects, either by asking- begging for support  the parents associations and  the several publishing houses out there ( which, at least, have donated some  books to our english library) or by organising  school bazaars, just to be able to keep a small ammount of the money earned, for our english class needs ! It has been HARD work all these years, have to admit that!!

A very clever idea suggested by our partners in Taiwan: A self portrait plus info about each student, written at the back! My students loved it!

A very clever idea suggested by our partners in Taiwan: A self portrait plus info about each student, written at the back! My students loved it!

I will be able , to share all the details about how I work on projects in a future post….for the time being, I am uploading some photos with  just a PART of our recent project work!

It's just amazing for my students, to see their project work in another classroom, so far away from home! Due to the fact that, we have no computers at school, I always print lots of pictures and display them on our notice boards, for all the students to be able to see...

It’s just amazing for my students, to see their project work in another classroom, so far away from home! Due to the fact that, we have no computers at school, I always print lots of pictures and display them on our notice boards, for all the students to be able to see…

My town. We sent our partners in Hungary , similar info about our hometown plus a DVD!

My town. We sent our partners in Hungary , similar info about our hometown plus a DVD!

All projects are put up on each class projects notice board until a new project , takes their place and they are sent to our partners abroad!

All projects are put up on each class projects notice board until a new project , takes their place and they are sent to our partners abroad!

All projects are put up on each class projects notice board until a new project , takes their place and they are sent to our partners abroad!

Some projects come in the form of a magazine or a booklet

Some projects come in the form of a magazine or a booklet

Snail mailed projects , are more fascinating for students than emailed ones cause, it's real stuff! You can touch them, hold them, smell them, take them home, display them on the classroom walls, share them with your friends, attach little presents to them!

Snail mailed projects , are more fascinating for students than emailed ones cause, it’s real stuff! You can touch them, hold them, smell them, take them home, display them on the classroom walls, share them with your friends, attach little presents to them!

Unfortunately, there is no Arts teacher in my school! I am the only one who can help my kids with the artistic part of the projects,too!

Unfortunately, there is no Arts teacher in my school! I am the only one who can help my kids with the artistic part of the projects,too!

Kids are so very proud to presend our country to our foreign friends! The projects are always presented in class before they are sent abroad! It's team work therefore, the teams decide how they wish to present their project....it can be a poster presentation, a class board game, a teams game, a quiz, a skit and so many more! I ask them to use their imagination , when it comes to presenting their projects in front of the audience!

Kids are so very proud to presend our country to our foreign friends! The projects are always presented in class before they are sent abroad! It’s team work therefore, the teams decide how they wish to present their project….it can be a poster presentation, a class board game, a teams game, a quiz, a skit and so many more! I ask them to use their imagination , when it comes to presenting their projects in front of the audience!

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An amazing project : Painters and poets! Great fun during the presentations!

 

 

In this project, students worked in pairs. One had to be the poet, the other one had to be the painter! They both had decided what they wished their presentation to be about first. Then, the painter worked on the picture while the poet, had to come up with a poem to go with it! Later, in class, they were asked to describe their painting, and recite the poem! That was fun!

In this project, students worked in pairs. One had to be the poet, the other one had to be the painter! They both had decided what they wished their presentation to be about first. Then, the painter worked on the picture while the poet, had to come up with a poem to go with it! Later, in class, they were asked to describe their painting, and recite the poem! That was fun!

" Hercules is strong and he's never wrong..." Poetic inspiration through project work!

” Hercules is strong and he’s never wrong…” Poetic inspiration through project work!

My favourite hero-3rd graders....they presented their heroes in class, with real confidence, telling us what they can or can't do!

My favourite hero-3rd graders….they presented their heroes in class, with real confidence, telling us what they can or can’t do!

A 4th graders project: a tourist travel brochure, about their most favourite place in Greece! I found this old shoe box, the perfect container for these brochures! You can pick one and read...

A 4th graders project: a tourist travel brochure, about their most favourite place in Greece! I found this old shoe box, the perfect container for these brochures! You can pick one and read…

Handmade props which we use in skitses, during our lessons or projects ! Our bookcase is full of them!

Handmade props which we use in skitses, during our lessons or projects ! Our bookcase is full of them!

The same project idea, can be adapted to different levels and ages...For this one,my 4rd graders first listened to Vivaldi " Four seasons" and were asked to brainstorm vocabulary which had to do with each season. Then , we talked about the topic in class, and they were asked to decide ,which their two most favourite seasons were....At home, they had to work on their posters and think and write reasons why they like their chosen seasons! During the next lesson, a poster presentation and whole class discussion followed .....

The same project idea, can be adapted to different levels and ages…For this one,my 4rd graders first listened to Vivaldi ” Four seasons” and were asked to brainstorm vocabulary which had to do with each season. Then , we talked about the topic in class, and they were asked to decide ,which their two most favourite seasons were….At home, they had to work on their posters and think and write reasons why they like their chosen seasons! During the next lesson, a poster presentation and whole class discussion followed …..

An amazing project : Painters and poets! Great fun during the presentations!

An amazing project : Painters and poets! Great fun during the presentations!

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4th graders project: the weather foracast for tomorrow on our class....TV! We used a huge frame ,made from a card box, as a TV ! They had to use a map of Greece and report about the weather conditions in different parts of the country....it was lots of fun!

4th graders project: the weather foracast for tomorrow on our class….TV! We used a huge frame ,made from a card box, as a TV ! They had to use a map of Greece and report about the weather conditions in different parts of the country….it was lots of fun!

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The same project idea, can be adapted to different levels and ages…For this one,my 4rd graders first listened to Vivaldi ” Four seasons” and were asked to brainstorm vocabulary which had to do with each season. Then , we talked about the topic in class, and they were asked to decide ,which their two most favourite seasons were….At home, they had to work on their posters and think and write reasons why they like their chosen seasons! During the next lesson, a poster presentation and whole class discussion followed …..

I  love it when my students become creative through project work! Their talents and interests, are revealed! Creativity is enhanced, too!

I love it when my students become creative through project work! Their talents and interests, are revealed! Creativity is enhanced, too!

One of my favourite projects: I am special because.....-self esteem is important

One of my favourite projects: I am special because…..-self esteem is important

Another favourite project:lapbooks!

Another favourite project:lapbooks!

When there is a will, there is a way! This is a project called "Our english newspaper". A thematic project with our partners in Taiwan. We have no computers in school therefore, I had to come up with this idea in order to present my students work looking like a newpaper!

When there is a will, there is a way! This is a project called “Our english newspaper”. A thematic project with our partners in Taiwan. We have no computers in school therefore, I had to come up with this idea in order to present my students work looking like a newpaper!

Another english notice board in class.Here, we pin our class projects! Students are proud to show their parents and friends their work!

Another english notice board in class.Here, we pin our class projects! Students are proud to show their parents and friends their work!

A classroom theatre project for my 6th graders : Midsummer night's dream by William Shakespeare- an adaptation! Drama, plays a very important role on projects presentation!

A classroom theatre project for my 6th graders : Midsummer night’s dream by William Shakespeare- an adaptation! Drama, plays a very important role on projects presentation!

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Improvisation is encouraged in all skitses and projects presentations ! I ask my students to use their imagination as often as possible!! In this skit, the reporter has decided to interview,,,,Virgin Mary about her son's Jesus childhood! Hilarious!!!

Improvisation is encouraged in all skitses and projects presentations ! I ask my students to use their imagination as often as possible!! In this skit, the reporter has decided to interview,,,,Virgin Mary about her son’s Jesus childhood! Hilarious!!!

Interviewing ...the Minnions!!

Interviewing …the Minnions!!

Interviewing ...an alien!!

Interviewing …an alien!!

A 4th graders project: The Olympic Games in ancient Greece- The Olympic Games today! Teams were asked to decide about which of the two options, they would like to present! They were proud to tell our friends abroad that, Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games!

A 4th graders project: The Olympic Games in ancient Greece- The Olympic Games today! Teams were asked to decide about which of the two options, they would like to present! They were proud to tell our friends abroad that, Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games!

Project presentations are more interesting for all ,when drama activities are involved! kids, really have lots of fun!

Project presentations are more interesting for all ,when drama activities are involved! kids, really have lots of fun!

9 All about me: this is another favourite project of mine! We spend at least two lessons on it.First , I start by asking them to play the guessing game "Me in a bag": I take out of a bag several objects which have to do with my life and interests and ask the class to guess how they are related to me! I ask them to do the same during our next lesson for themselves and challenge their classmates to guess about them! Finally, they are assigned to write everything they consider important about themselves on this paper figure which is displayed on the classroom walls!

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All about me: this is another favourite project of mine! We spend at least two lessons on it.First , I start by asking them to play the guessing game “Me in a bag”: I take out of a bag several objects which have to do with my life and interests and ask the class to guess how they are related to me! I ask them to do the same during our next lesson for themselves and challenge their classmates to guess about them! Finally, they are assigned to write everything they consider important about themselves on this paper figure which is displayed on the classroom walls!

"All about me" in a bag.

“All about me” in a bag.

Each class, has its own projects corner in our english classroom! It is very important for the teams, to see their work displayed in the classroom before it is sent abroad! They feel proud! They show it to their friends and parents!

Each class, has its own projects corner in our english classroom! It is very important for the teams, to see their work displayed in the classroom before it is sent abroad! They feel proud! They show it to their friends and parents!

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I always give instructions , ideas and advice about how the team members can work on the project , in class...It is crucial to learn how to work out a task working together with others! The team members are free to choose what they want to do for the project individually and have to be able talk about it, during the class presentation! They have a whole week to put it together! Most of them, work on the details, during the breaks, too.

I always give instructions , ideas and advice about how the team members can work on the project , in class…It is crucial to learn how to work out a task working together with others! The team members are free to choose what they want to do for the project individually and have to be able talk about it, during the class presentation! They have a whole week to put it together! Most of them, work on the details, during the breaks, too.

I always encourage my students to use short plays, skitses or other drama activities to present their projects in class. That's always on a volunteer basis but, MOST of my kids are eager to take part in them!! Here,..... Hurem, Sultan Suleiman's wife is being interviewed about her life in the harem !! Improvisation works miracles! Kids, decide about their costumes and they write their own lines.....

I always encourage my students to use short plays, skitses or other drama activities to present their projects in class. That’s always on a volunteer basis but, MOST of my kids are eager to take part in them!! Here,….. Hurem, Sultan Suleiman’s wife is being interviewed about her life in the harem !! Improvisation works miracles! Kids, decide about their costumes and they write their own lines…..

A project about racism:  It's unbelievable, what amazing work our students can bring in class, once inspired!! Especially the talented, gifted, creative students!...

A project about racism: It’s unbelievable, what amazing work our students can bring in class, once inspired!! Especially the talented, gifted, creative students!…

The topic of this project was " My country Greece". Many teams prefered to present their work, by playing a board game with the whole class -instead of making a poster! This one is, a questions and multiple choice answers, board game! I motivate my students to use their imagination and creativity when they presend their projects!

The topic of this project was ” My country Greece”. Many teams prefered to present their work, by playing a board game with the whole class -instead of making a poster! This one is, a questions and multiple choice answers, board game! I motivate my students to use their imagination and creativity when they presend their projects!

It is very important, to have all those projects displayed in the classroom , for all the students to be able to see, before they are sent to our friends abroad! I have a different " projects corner" for each class, inside our classroom! It's so inspiring for students, to see other teams projects! It also makes the classroom more colorful and beautiful! The kids, feel proud to show them to friends or parents on the school "Open to parents Day", too....

It is very important, to have all those projects displayed in the classroom , for all the students to be able to see, before they are sent to our friends abroad! I have a different ” projects corner” for each class, inside our classroom! It’s so inspiring for students, to see other teams projects! It also makes the classroom more colorful and beautiful! The kids, feel proud to show them to friends or parents on the school “Open to parents Day”, too….

 

a simply amazing language exchange project we did together with our partners in Taiwan: we taught them greek and they taught them their language! We loved the challenge!

a simply amazing language exchange project we did together with our partners in Taiwan: we taught them greek and they taught them their language! We loved the challenge!

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This is a project we did together with our partners in France: a recipe book! Sharing local recipes was fun!

This is a project we did together with our partners in France: a recipe book! Sharing local recipes was fun!

our english class photo album is a project we aften do and send to our partners abroad!

our english class photo album is a project we aften do and send to our partners abroad!

 

I have to add that, there’s nothing more rewarding for a teacher than to see how happy , engaged and enthusiastic her  students become when they work on something that makes sense and connects the class with the world! It’s priceless! Believe me! It’s worth any effort!It brings the class together, it helps the teacher connect with the students more and the students connect with their peers all over the globe by means of an international code of communication: english! Last but not least: I always send a letter to parents at the beginning of the school year, informing them about the way we work  on projects in class.

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7 thoughts on “PROJECTS in my english class

  1. I wish the other faculty would help out a bit more, even if it was just giving you a bit of money for stamps. You’re encouraging kids to write and are teaching them wonderful social skills. If I was still in school I would love to be involved in such projects!

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  2. I’m reading your post and I’m keeping my mouth open throughout the process … And I’m thinking that I would like to drop by your class one day to see exactly how you work with your learners! Even better, I’d like to be one of your learners!!! Well done, Aphro! You seem to have managed to involve your learners in real-life writing, meaning that they have a real-life purpose to write and a real-life audience!

    Such a pity that headteachers have not supported you in any way! I’ve been very lucky in schools I’ve worked at, headteachers provided me the time, the space and most of the financial support required for my projects. But I’ve heard so many stories of colleagues that are discouraged by their headteachers … Some of them were not even allowed to photocopy stuff for the lesson (vocabulary practice, grammar practice, etc)!!! It is so frustrating, disappointing, so unprofessional, rude, degrading …

    I’d like to give you an idea regarding the magazine you’re issuing every year: In my schools we issue an English school newspaper every year. We print it in many black and white copies and we sell it for 0,50 cents or 1 euro (if it is about 20 pages). The money collected from the first issue is enough to cover for the paper and ink required for the first and the rest of the issues. The money collected from the second and third issue is given to charity, but in your case it can be exploited for your english classroom needs!

    We also participate in an eTwinning project that is related to exchanging English school newspapers. Different schools from Europe are sending us their papers and are receiving ours! It’s such an exciting process and we learn so much about other countries! We’d love to read your magazine if you’re interested in joining us!!!

    *Sorry for the looooong comment!!!

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    • THANK you for your very kind comments, Vivi! I do nothing more than my job! I just happen to love it! Wow! Nice idea that one with the etwinning newspapers exchange!Some questions: how many newspapers do you sell and to whom? I give our magazine free of charge only to the 5th graders who make it! Do you handwrite your newspaper? We have no computers at school.Some students work on their own home pc and bring printed articles etc in class but, the majority of students, have to write everything by hand! I include both types of work in the magazine…it’s a kind of a …mixed work! We don’t even have a scanner at school! Sometimes I feel like a hero!…Anyway, I have been thinking to start an etwinning project having to do with the letters and projects exchanges among my school and 3 more european schools.I’d LOVE to take part in yours but, HOW can this possibly happen with almost no facilities and no money at all?My headteacher said:” Do any project you wish but, don’t expect any money at all….” The stamps only, cost me more than 120 euros every year! The Bazaar money, is not enough to cover all the expences! I might start looking for…sponsors! LOL

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  3. We actually print 70 to 80 copies per issue. There have been cases when we photocopied around 100 copies of an issue. My learners sell the newspapers themselves (each learner is given as many copies as s/he desires, we note down who took how many copies and then we collect the money). They sell it to relatives, their language centers, their neighbourhood … They even buy their own copy! The participating classes are 3 (4th, 5th and 6th grade).

    We actually type the paper, but this should not worry you! Any learners’ writing in any form is warmly welcomed and well appreciated! If you want to participate in our eTwinning project, all you have to do is scan your paper (at home, if there is no scanner at school) and upload it on our Twinspace. We do not mail any copies to the partners. We upload it for everybody to download and print! If scanning the paper is still an issue, take pictures of each page and upload them on the Twinspace. Handwritten texts and drawings are so charming, don’t let that obstruct you from engaging your learners in such a fun-filled, creative and educational process! I’m always at your disposal for any clarifications and assistance!

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