Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Traveling Notebook (High Schools): SNEAK PEEK I

Our friends from Malaysia (Sekolah Menengah Ayer Puteh) have been working very hard already and have sent us a photograph to show us some things that they are including in their traveling notebook, let's see...


Colourful and very visual, isn't it? And you have written a lot! I bet all the other schools can't wait to read what you have written. 

And we can't wait to see what the other traveling notebooks look like, keep us posted!


One of the schools participating in our project is in China.  

Alina is in charge of the English club at this school and was very interested in taking part in the traveling notebook action. She was kind enough to send us a description of her school that I am including below:


 Zhoushan High School is the earliest secondary school in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, established in 1921 by natives Mr. Liu Hongsheng and Zhu Baosan who started their entrepreneurship in Shanghai. As one of the first 18 province-level prestigious high schools, it enjoys high popularity in Zhejiang Province. 

Covering an area of about 40 acres, Zhoushan High School has 39 classes with a faculty team and student body totaling more than 2,000. Additionally, it boasts of a unique architectural style and rich educational resources backed up by top-level facilities. In 2011, Zhoushan High School accomplished the qualification of real-name recommendation of students for Peking University and joined in Tsinghua University’s Leading Program of Real-name Recommendation. In 2012, the School became the first school with the qualification of granting high-school diploma equivalent to that of the American high schools in Zhejiang. Through over 90 years of development, Zhoushan High School adheres to the motto of agape, and cultivates the spirit of discipline, objectivity, deploitation and innovation while pursuing the educational concepts of stressing both liberal arts and science, encouraging the fostering of versatility, embracing an international vision and seeking diversified development.

 The School has made obvious accomplishments and won high recognition from people all walks of life via keeping pace with the times. In 2012, the School was awarded 2012 National Top School with Unique Characteristics and Most Inherent Quality".

    Zhoushan High School is featured with rich educational resources and has both domestic and overseas faculty members with a reasonable age mix and a full range of expertise. Presently, the School has 189 full-time teachers, including 4 special-class teachers and 18 municipal-level academic leaders. Five American teachers are exclusively working for the AP Experimental Class granting the diploma acknowledged both in China and the USA. 113 teachers have advanced professional titles.

    The motto of agape has helped the school to write fabulous chapters and the concept of diversity nurtures the lasting legends one after another. Over 90 years of evolution through twists and turns accumulates the unique continuity of spiritual culture, which in turn pushes the school to a higher rung of achievements in terms of college entrance examinations and helps to cultivate talents generation after generation in political arena, business circle, culture community, academia, fields of arts and entertainment industry. In the past decade, 4 graduates ranked 1st among all the candidates in Zhejiang Province in the college entrance examinations; 11 ranked among the top 10. Additionally, remarkable fruits have been yielded in the academic competitions. Each year over 150 students won various awards in the national and provincial competitions of math, physics and chemistry.

    The school attaches great importance to both arts and sciences, placing value on the breadth and depth of students'knowledge and their overall development. Students also perform well in physical education, achieving excellent results in provincial secondary school student sports competitions. Meanwhile, over years of exploration and try of the art education, ideal achievements have been made, especially in 2010. 2 students are admitted to Tsinghua University, one of whom ranked third nationwide in the art performance, 17 more into other famous key universities and 2 delivered excellent performance in the fine arts test by the Chinese Central Academy of Fine arts.

    Elites like them have demonstrated the tremendous power of the school spirit. They have become the milestones for the educational cause in Zhoushan and will always be great inspiration for the younger generation.

    The diversity concept in running the educational career has led to the magnificence of Zhoushan High School today. The School attaches great importance to the comprehensive development and the cultivation of overall qualities while constructing diversified teaching methods and creating the platform to improve students’skills. The atmosphere of humanity featured with generosity, integrity, vigor and versatility is fostered with the well organized training programs, the charms of social activities, the festival events and ceremonies, and the self-review education. It is our aim to instill the informative and entertaining nature in the routine educational activities so that students can improve themselves effectively. The initiatives such as those of music, fine arts, physical education and international classes are intended to add colors to the current picture of encouraging the development of versatility and talent of students. We are convinced that all the students are fulfilling their life here and expecting a brighter future.With Mr.Tang’s leading our school,we will have a good future.

We are very glad you are participating in this project! 

Traveling Notebook (I): HIGH SCHOOLS

So, the first traveling notebooks from 6 different high schools around the globe are ready to start their journey! 
Here is a map of the way they will be traveling, starting in October and coming back home in May.

The six participating schools are:

  • IES César Manrique (Lanzarote, Spain)
  • IES Guía (Gran Canaria, Spain)
  • CPR Padre Feijoo Zorelle (Ourense, Spain)
  • Ulyanovsk school № 76 (Uljanovsk, Russia)
  • Sekolah Menengah Ayer Puteh (Malaysia)
  • Zhoushan Senior High School (Zhejiang, China)


As you know, apart from Galician and Spanish schools, there are foreign schools participating, which will really enrich this project and work as an extra motivation for us and our students. We can't wait to learn more about these schools and the people who study and teach there! 

One of the teachers from an French school who is joining the project is Anaïs Chevigny. I got in touch with her through the Postcrossing website. We were both interested in promoting writing and using postcards, and when I sent her a copy of the project she was really enthusiastic about it. Within this creative writing project, she will be participating in a postcard exchange with Spanish schools.

Permettez-moi de présenter:


Collège du Sacré Cœur, is a private Catholic school located in a small city in Normandy called Domfront. Domfront is a medieval city and the school was created in 1908. It is open to students from ages 11 to 15; there are 171 students divided into 4 levels (2 classes for each level) and 16 teachers.

Anaïs tells me a number is associated to each class, so it's either 1 or 2. When it's break time, all students mix up in the playground. They can go to a room that called "foyer" where they can play games, table football or go to the CDI (centre of information and documentation) with books and computers.

The school also has a lot of activities going on: a nice football club and a choir and working groups for each level working on different topics. The youngest (6ème) are currently working on French-styled gardens; the 5ème are working on Mont St Michel, the 4ème who are around 14 are making a school newspaper and the oldest have a project on Art History for their national exam in June.

They organise a trip to England every 2 years with 2 levels (5ème and 4ème), so when they're not in England, they're in Rome or Naples because most of them study Latin. There are other trips to Spain and Germany for the 3ème. 

They also help charities and organize many fundraising events. In fact, they are having a charity run next week. The students had to look for sponsor and now will participate in the race.

At Christmas time, they have a special show and all the students participate in some way: some perform, others make the costumes, work on the set, choose and play music and sounds, and even prepare and write the invitations.

Je vous remercie pour votre participation, Anaïs!

Monday, September 28, 2015


We are very pleased to introduce a Malaysian school which will be joining our project, participating in the traveling notebook chain for high schools:


The school is located in the outskirts of Kemaman, in an area called Ayer Puteh. I was trying to find some pictures of Kemaman and the area looks amazing! Just look at these pictures to get an idea:

Saw Nancie is the teacher who will be joining us in this project, along with her class of 14-year-olds who are in Form 2 (grade 8).  

Saw Nancie, English teacher

Form 2 students (grade 8) at Sekolah Menengah Ayer Puteh

Nancie tells me the students are really excited to participate in this project because it will give them the chance to know about other parts of the world and to get to know people from different backgrounds. We are also looking forward to learning about you and your school, what you like to do in your free time, what Malaysia is like,... I think it will be the first time our schools learn about Malaysia too, so we can't wait to hear from you and read your entries in the traveling notebooks!

Nancie also has an amazing blog where she records a lot of her classroom experiences. Please, take a peek, it's worth it! I was really interested by her penpal project, which is really inspirational.

Penpal writing project

 Malaysia, welcome to our project!

Meet the Schools: CEIP DE RUBIÁNS


This school teaches children aged between 3 and 12 years old. Other than the regular courses, it also includes subjects in their curriculum such as Psychomotricity and Music which are introduced at an early age (3 years old). Arts and crafts is a bilingual class taught in Galician and English, and for the last 3 years they have also had an English language assistant in their classes. Project-based work is implemented as well, so far they have carried out two projects related to history.
CEIP de Rubiáns is really well integrated in its natural surroundings; in fact, they have a natural garden project. They plant and transplant, and the plants serve to learn, decorate their corridors or to give as presents.
Their library has a lot of activities going on and they have a library mascot, Sabela, who introduces the children to a new topic every year. The topic for this year is "Traditions and popular festivals".

They also record a newscast every year with the school news, you can see one example below. The CEIP de Rubiáns is a school full of talent and creativity!

The teacher in charge of the traveling notebook is Belén Junquera, the English teacher.

Nice to meet you, Belén!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Meet the Schools: EEI DE VILARIÑO

O verán barbanzán anda a roubarlle días ao outono, e ao regalo dun día solleiro e caluroso, sumouse unha invitación especial da mestra Alicia Souto a visitar a Escola de Educación Infantil de Vilariño (Pobra do Caramiñal), un dos centros que participa no noso proxecto de escritura creativa.

Alicia foi alumna da Escola Oficial de Idiomas durante un par de anos, e xa nos fascinara con algunha presentación que fixera na clase para falar da filosofía pedagóxica que implementa nas súas aulas, de María Montessori, de motivar as grandes capacidades de aprendizaxe dos nenos fomentando a súa liberdade e independencia e a ilusión pola aprendizaxe.

Pero se as presentacións nos embelesaron, a visita terminou por deixarme namorada da súa maneira de tratar os nenos, de ensinar, de organizar o espazo, de xestionar emocións. Volvo encantada, tanto, que quero escribirvos esta entrada mentres teño estas emocións fresquiñas.

Allow me to introduce:


As I went in, children were at their own workstations, some of them painting, others at the kitchen area, others working on an album matching the names of their classmates to their photographs. Alicia, the teacher, told them to put things away neatly since it was time for a snack.

They all cleaned and collected their things and they went to sit down on the carpeted area, where Alicia had them clean their hands while she played “some music to think”, which was the song “No dejes de soñar”. Alicia is very interested in teaching children to think critically, following the line of Angélica Sátiro and her Proyecto Noria, which point to reflection and creative thinking as key competences. Fran, one of the children, said  he knew what this song meant: “Hay que soñar más y estar menos despierto” (we should dream more and spend less time awake).

Then, they all went to get their rucksacks, placed their mats on the tables and had their snacks. They kept talking about the chicks (“pitiños”), which kept me wondering until Alicia told me at this school, 5-year-olds are the ducks (“patos”), 4-year-olds are the hens (“galiñas”) and 3-year-olds are chicks (“pitiños”). The ducks help the chicks in a lot of their responsibilities, for example, helping them put materials back in place.

Every child is in charge of some special task, for example, Laura is the school reporter, and must take the photographs; Brais must turn the computers on and off; and Sara must set the clock during snack time to make sure only 10 minutes are spent doing this.

The management of emotions and resolution of conflicts would deserve an entry of its own. When a child complained during break time about another classmate, Alicia kindly told him to go tell his friend how he felt and within 5 minutes there they were playing together again.

Any event is an opportunity to learn at this school. When they opened the trunk where they keep their toys in the playground, one of the children found a spider and he ran to get a magnifying glass. Alicia was telling me later that they use these discoveries as an excuse for project work, and she showed me some of the books they have created about grasshoppers (anatomy, eating habits and habitat).

Alicia and her team of “pitiños, galiñas e patos” are fantastic. I will definitely pay them a visit again (if they’ll have me) and I am sure you cannot wait to learn more about them through the traveling notebooks and cards.
The teachers: Silvia, ALICIA and Rosa
Thank you very much, Alicia. Visiting your school has been a real gift and a privilege!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I Postcrossing Meetup in Galicia (Ribeira) - Send us your postcards!

As you may have seen in the official Postcrossing website, we are organizing a meetup in Galicia for the first time. The D-day will be April 16, 2016, so save the date! I am an English teacher at an EOI (an Official School of Languages for adults, non-compulsory education), so we are also interested in the learning dimension of this event.

If you can attend and join us, that would certainly be awesome, we will be ready to receive you with open arms. However, if you cannot attend, there is a way in which you can participate, send us a postcard! Here is how you can do it:

1. Choose a postcard for us, any card you like.

2. Write to us introducing yourself if you like, and if possible, write about one (or several) of the following topics:

  • what you know about Ribeira or Galicia
  • which languages you speak and / or a word you really like in your language (with the English translation)
  • tips that you can give us to learn English. How did you learn English? What did you do that could be useful for us? 

3. Write your address on the card.

We will prepare an exhibition with all the cards received to be visited during the meetup in Ribeira. Also, during the Postcrossing meetup, we will reply to the first 70 cards received and we will send a special card signed by all attendees of the Postcrossing meetup.

Please, address your cards to:

IES Número 1 de Ribeira (EOI)
Avda. da Coruña 170
15960 Ribeira - A Coruña

We are so looking forward to receiving your cards!

Primeiro Encontro Internacional de Postcrossing Galego

O día 16 de abril de 2016 terá lugar na cidade de Ribeira o Primeiro Encontro Internacional de Postcrossing. Este acontecemento ten como obxectivo poñer en contacto a diferentes postcrossers, ou escritores de postais, e participar nunca sesión de escritura colaborativa de postais. Se vos interesa asistir a este tipo de eventos noutros países, podedes consultar o calendario aquí.

Irémosvos informando puntualmente das actividades que terán lugar neste día, pero de adianto sirvan algunhas imaxes da contorna de Ribeira, escenario deste encontro.

Fotografías de Diana Pastoriza

Pasa o paquetiño

Exemplo de tarxetiña con algúns posibles agasallos

Pass the parcel é un xogo británico que tradicionalmente se facía nas festas de cumpreanos consistente en envolver 9 ou 10 capas de regaliños pequenos (normalmente larpeiradas). Os nenos sentábanse nunha roda e cando soaba música andaban derredor pasando o paquetero de man en man ata que paraba a música e o que o tivese na man abría o contido da primeira capa. Así ata chegar ao "núcleo" do paquetiño, que tiña un regaliño de maior valor.

Ben, a nosa proposta é facer unha adaptación deste xogo máis centrado no contido sentimental que físico, xa que as nosas "capas" serán de postais cun pequeno agasallo. O sistema de traballo é semellante o das libretas viaxeiras, indicado no post anterior, temos que buscar os contactos e organizar a cadea de intercambio e o calendario.

Cada profesor estará encargado de mandar 20 paquetiños feitos polos alumnos que conteñan unha postal e un pequeno agasallo. O seguinte centro recibirá os paquetiños e NON os abrirá, senón que cada alumno engadirá unha nova capa con outra postal e outro agasallo. Así sucesivamente, con tantas capas como centros participen. A temática das postais pode estar determinada con antelación (envío 1: presentación; 2: a miña vila; 3: a miña serie favorita, etc) ou pode relacionarse cos contidos temáticos que esteamos a tratar nas nosas aulas.

A diferencia do pass the parcel con respecto ás libretas viaxeiras é que non recibimos o paquetiño orixinal (senón unha das capas sería a nosa!), senón que hai que cruzar eses paquetes.

Cun exemplo vese fácil, imaxinemos que temos estas dúas cadeas de intercambio:

Gran Canaria

O único que teriamos que facer unha vez rematado o intercambio é cruzar os paquetiños do Grupo 1 cos do Grupo 2 no último envío.