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Digital Tools to Build Vocabulary: Word Walls & Virtual Field Trips




Padlet is an online space to create a collaborative, digital word wall. Getting a leg up on the more traditional word wall, Padlet allows users to create sticky notes that can include text, images, links and videos. Teachers can embed this into a classroom website or blog which makes it a go-to collaborative space for students. For primary students, teachers will probably want to create the wall with words and links for students. Older students will get the hang of it fairly quickly. A great, collaborative tool and virtual classroom space to build online references and key vocabulary for content units. Continue reading “Digital Tools to Build Vocabulary: Word Walls & Virtual Field Trips”

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Educational Avant-garde


The project is the result of a joint initiative by INDIRE and a group of 22 founding schools. This led to the identification and definition of some innovative and sustainable teaching schemes which allowed the definition of the first 12 “Ideas for Innovation”. INDIRE and the schools heading the  Educational Avant-garde movement drew up a Manifesto for Innovation.

Each idea is a piece of a puzzle that aims to revolutionise the education system and space and time of learning and teaching. All the results are the product of hands-on experience.

The number of schools taking part in the Movement is constantly growing. They are institutes that identify themselves with the Movement’s inspiring principles and work daily on rethinking the lecture-based school model to give a concrete answer to the constantly changing challenges of the knowledge society.

Educational Avant-garde is open to all schools that welcome the opportunities offered by scholastic autonomy and can identify innovation, characterise it, and develop it so that it becomes viable, sustainable and transferable to other suitable situations. It is addressed to schools that consider technology an effective tool to overcome the inertia and space-time limitations of “traditional” educational activities. Continue reading “Educational Avant-garde”

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Digital Tools to Build Vocabulary: Games and Review

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  Flashcard Stash

While flash cards are sometimes poor practice, students can benefit from instant recognition. Fluency, if you will, with a specific set of words. Now, if understanding doesn’t go deeper than instant recognition, students are in trouble. Teachers can sign up for a free account and create flashcards to coordinate with units of study.


 Vocabulary Games

While I’m not a fan of word searches for review or “seatwork,” this website also includes a wide assortment of other vocabulary games that can be used on a SmartBoard for review purposes. To make a tool like this more effective, be certain to review the meaning of words as students play games. Continue reading “Digital Tools to Build Vocabulary: Games and Review”


Team Teaching CLIL


Team Teaching in CLIL is an experimentation that took place in 2017 during the training course attended by teachers from secondary schools. INDIRE researcher Isabel de Maurissens conducted a research on this topic, the results of which are shown in a scientific article highlighting the role of Team Teaching in CLIL and in particular the role of the foreign language teacher. The article highlights the strengths and weaknesses reported during the experimentation.

CLIL Team Teaching is based on a cooperative and interactive teaching modality of at least two teachers, a foreign language teacher and a subject teacher, who share didactic methods, techniques and strategies. But it can also be understood as professional development: Team Teaching requires cooperation and further studies to support “cultural transmission between contemporaneity and requires communication and study among teachers to promote their professional development”.

Continue reading “Team Teaching CLIL”

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Why teachers quit teaching

A recent survey has revealed the main reasons why teachers are leaving the profession, and the careers they move onto once they have made the switch. The survey also revealed that workload and bureaucracy are the top reasons why teachers leave, followed by bullying behaviours, and poor school leadership all adding to the burden of many. A lack of a sensible work-life balance and stress were also cited as the top reasons for why teachers decide to leave.

Here are some of the top reasons why teachers quit the jobs they once loved:

1. Challenging work conditions

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of the interviewed feel their jobs are always or often stressful—roughly double the rates of stress experienced by the general workforce.

Sandra M. tells us, “Educators are bombarded with paperwork, ridiculous curriculum, and lack of time along with unrealistic expectations.” Joan F. agrees, citing a laundry list of complaints. “Unmanageable class size, lack of materials, crappy building conditions, working 10-15 hour days and weekends, ineffective administrators, frivolous meetings and regulations, no support for discipline problems, etc.”

Being a new teacher can be especially overwhelming. Without the proper support, it’s tough to make a go of it. Clarissa S. quit her first teaching job after just two months. She blames the “inadequate preparation by administration and school board for the school year, the challenging working conditions and unrealistic expectations for first-year teachers.” Another newcomer, Cristina M., found herself frustrated working on contract and credited her departure to “difficulty securing permanent employment.” Continue reading “Why teachers quit teaching”