When You’re a Small Town Teacher, All Eyes Are On You

Have you ever felt like a rock star or a celebrity? I did the year I taught third grade in a central California farming community. I was new to town, and I had landed a job at a great school with a supportive administration, caring colleagues, friendly families, and engaged students. Actually, maybe they were a little too engaged. I swear they were watching my every move. I almost felt like I was being stalked.

A week into the school year, one of my students greeted me on a Monday morning with,

“I saw you Saturday, Ms Magee.”

“Really?” I answered, without thinking much of it.

“Yes,” the student continued, “you were wearing bright pink sweats!”

Immediately my mind took an inventory of what I did on Saturday: I mowed my lawn, threw the ball for my dog at the park, dropped off books at the library … and yes, I remember wearing my super bright pink sweats the entire time. Ugh. The bell rang, and I started the school day, soon forgetting the conversation. But this was just the beginning. Continue reading “When You’re a Small Town Teacher, All Eyes Are On You”


Surprising Amazon Perks Every Teacher Should Use


We already love Amazon for its ability to get new novels to our Kindles in seconds, birthday presents to our homes in less than a day and for the hours of streaming TV, it provides in our off hours. But our love for Amazon only grows as it continues to provide services and solutions, especially for teachers! Check out these 9 awesome Amazon perks for teachers.

1. Amazon School Lists

Let your students’ parents know the necessary school supplies, as well as items you need in the classroom, through Amazon School Lists. This is a convenient way for parents to view and easily purchase supplies, and up your chances that your students arrive to class prepared.

2. Amazon Whispercast

Finding and distributing e-books to your students’ Kindles or digital devices is made easy with Amazon Whispercast. Rather than purchasing (and storing!) 35 individual copies of Where the Red Fern Grows, you can simply sync the book, or any other of the millions of content choices in the Amazon library, to your students. It is easy to create groups for different classes and reading groups, too.

3. Amazon Smile

Register your school and your PTA/PTO with Amazon Smile and with every purchase your school community makes, Amazon donates 0.5% of the price back to your school. PTA/PTOs can sign up too! Continue reading “Surprising Amazon Perks Every Teacher Should Use”


Never have I ever – a fun game inspired by Ellen

There are a lot of fans of Ellen show all over the world and I’m the one, as well. While watching various episodes of her show I noticed a regular game that she uses with her guests. The game is called Never have I ever…Each participant is asked a series of questions and all they do is to choose the correct answer – either I HAVE NEVER or I HAVE and explain it to the public. Below there is one randomly chosen video to show you what it is all about. Most of them are not suitable for the classroom use but it is just to show you the idea of the game.

 to practice Present Perfect in questions and answers versus Past Simple, Inversion

Take two (or more) table tennis rackets and just stick a sheet of paper with words I HAVE NEVER on one side and I HAVE  on the other side. Prepare your students a series of funny questions such as :

1. Never have I ever stolen sth from the shop.
2. Never have I ever cheated on the test.
3. Never have I ever kissed sb in the public. etc.

Or ask each student to write 5 crazy sentences starting with Never have I ever….
Give your own example on the board eg. Never have I ever worn sister’s/brother’s clothes.
Then choose two students and give them the tennis rackets. Students have to react to the sentences and if the answer is I have they are asked additional questions but using Past Simple this time:
When did it happen? How old were you? etc

A perfect activity for a short warm-up or filler. Fun is guaranteed especially if you have a creative group and the questions are funny.


from Visual Teaching & Learning



Creative learning and the Lovewell Method


Over the past 20 years, the Lovewell Method has been utilized in cultural exchange and language acquisition programs in Sweden, Russia, Italy and America. Two of the main ingredients that make the Lovewell Method so successful and effective are “creativity” and “project-based” activities. Students are highly motivated to learn more about the language and culture of the other students while working together on a self-generated, collaborative, top quality theatrical project.

The Lovewell Method follows a highly structured yet flexible protocol of exercises, activities, trainings and events wherein teachers guide the students through the process of creating original characters, plot lines, dialogue, songs, lyrics, dances, and visual elements (costumes, scenery, props, lighting, etc.) that contribute to the ultimate production. Since the ideas and characters are created by the students, they take ownership of their project and are consequently highly motivated to stay engaged during the entire process. The English language is explored and contextualized through nuanced usage and physicalization as ideas are transformed into artistic expression. Crafting a theatrical and musical artwork based on students’ own experiences and perceptions gives the students and teachers the inspiration and incentive to work hard, have fun, and open up their minds to a new type of transdisciplinary learning opportunity.

In this workshop, you will learn how to use cutting edge techniques, “tricks of the trade” and exciting new lesson plans that will revolutionize your classroom into a fertile and creative learning environment where acquiring proficiency in the English language is a genuinely fun and joyful experience. Teachers will join students in the creative process and reap the benefits of a truly collaborative educational adventure.

January 26th, ICS “Fabio Filzi”, Via Ermanno Wolf Ferrari, 6 MILANO
January 29th, Istituto Comprensivo via G. Raiberti, 4 Monza
January 30th, Ottavo Circolo Didattico, via Don Giovanni Minzoni, 39 Piacenza
January 31st, Istituto Comprensivo Assisi 2, Piazza Martin Luther King, 10 Santa Maria degli Angeli (PG)
February 1st, Liceo “Isacco Newton”, Via Manzoni , 47 ROMA
February 2nd, Scuola Media Statale Viale delle Acacie, Via Giacomo Puccini, 1 Napoli
February 6th, Istituto Superiore “Mario Rutelli” Piazzale Giangiacomo Ciaccio Montalto, 3 Palermo
February 7th, Liceo Ginnasio Statale “G.Pantaleo” Piazza Regina Margherita, 1 – Castelvetrano (TP)

Dr. David Spangler is and is the Founder of the Lovewell Institute for Creative Arts, the organization that worked with students at Nova High School to create the highly acclaimed production of “The Weight of Words”. David has spent close to three decades developing and refining the Lovewell Method, an interdisciplinary and therapeutic approach to teaching and learning. He has also served as a professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at Nova Southeastern University and has worked professionally in theatre, film, and television as a director, writer, composer, and performer. His Broadway credits include The Magic Show, Seesaw, and Elizabeth I. He has also written and produced 35 songs for the Emmy Award-winning Romper Room & Friends (9 CBS/Fox videos achieving “Gold” status). As an interdisciplinary arts administrator and consultant, he has served in various capacities with the Miami City Ballet, Walt Disney World Entertainment, the Theatre League of South Florida, the Arts Advisory Committee for the Broward Public Schools, and was appointed by the Florida Secretary of State to serve as a grant panelist and evaluator for the State Division of Cultural Affairs. Working with other CLC faculty, David has adapted and enriched the Lovewell Method to create groundbreaking trauma-informed Creative Process Coaching strategies for educators and school professionals. During the activity-focused training for Creative Process Coaches, David will guide trainees through the practical application plans in this section. From this training, new Creative Process Coaches will acquire the skills and confidence to implement traumainformed strategies and support arts integration into the classrooms and the mission of their schools.

To participate you must register online at http://corsi.educoitalia.it/ or send the registration form at formazione@educoitalia.it. In order to obtain the certificate of attendance through S.O.F.I.A., teachers will also have to register on the platform http://sofia.istruzione.it/.


Aspire To Inspire – On A Journey With Educo


Educo presents a free training seminar for teachers of English language in public, private and private schools of all levels. Participation is limited and registration is mandatory.


Ray Parker, English Language Teaching Consultant
Manuela Kelly Calzini, Teacher Trainer and Trinity College London Italy Academic Coordinator
Nick Moore, OHC Worldwide – Sol Camps Manager
Roberta Pugliese, Dirigente Scolastico IIS Tassara-Ghislandi, Breno
Romina Tappi, Educo Artistic Director

The event will take place in different cities across Italy. Choose the one nearest you on Educo website.

November 16th – Istituto Santa Caterina Amendola Via Lazzarelli, 12 Salerno
November 18th – Istituto Comprensivo Musco Viale G. Da Verrazzano, 101 Catania
February 19th – Istituto d’Istruzione Superiore “Bertarelli – Ferraris” Corso di Porta Romana, 110 Milano
February 20th – Hotel Mercure Viale Pietro Pietramellara, 59 – Bologna


This initiative is included on S.O.F.I.A., the Operational System for Training and Update Initiatives prepared by MIUR. You can register by sending an email to formazione@educoitalia.it, to obtain the attendance certificate through S.O.F.I.A. teachers must also register on the http://sofia.istruzione.it/ platform.