Thursday, 21 June 2018

I Can't Imagine My Summer Without

The calendar says that today begins SUMMER. Actually, this year the weather has been summerlike since May. Our children started their summer holiday on June 1. Before jumping into the great summer, they got to think about what are these things that really belong to their summer. Here are some examples:
by Kaspar (Class 4)

by Kaarel (Class 4)

by Laura (Class 2)

by Daniel (Class 4)

by Mia Marta (Class 3)

by Rica (Class 3)

by Iti (Class 2)

by Kaidi (Class 3)

by Timmo (Class 2)

by Delisa (Class 3)

by Anni Marie (Class 2)

Well, this is what children think. But what about me, the teacher? Let me think... I can't imagine my summer without... working in the garden, reading books almost until morning, being with my lovely family, visiting some interesting places in Estonia and listening to good music. I also can't imagine my summer without listening to the wind in the trees..., raindrops falling on my window sill..., sitting in the sunshine..., and just for a little while... being very quiet and keeping my mind blank. And then... making all the wonderful plans for my next schoolyear :)

Here is one funny poem, that I really like. It is written by Eric Ode, a talented writer and performer. By the way, Eric used to be a teacher too :)

Summer at Grandma's House

My parents, they sent me to Grandma's this summer.
They said it would do me some good.
They hoped I'd return at the end of vacation
behaving the way that I should.

My grandma is someone I love without measure,
but she can be terribly strict.
And so, when my folks chose a summertime sitter,
my grandma's the person they picked.

They packed me a suitcase and bought me a ticket.
My train left the station at four.
And sure as my grandma eats oatmeal for breakfast,
I quickly arrived at her door.

I thought I'd be taught about culture and manners
and find myself soundly corrected.
But staying at Grandmother's house for the summer
is nothing like I had expected.

I grunt and I belch and I don't take a shower.
I act like a wild chimpanzee.
I'm living on cookies and ice cream and pizza
and watching late-late night TV.

My parents, they never told Grams I was coming.
I guess that is perfectly plain.
And Grandma, it seems, never told Mom and Dad
she was spending the summer in Spain.

Could you imagine something like this happening to you? :) Enjoy your summer!

Friday, 1 June 2018

The Best Way to Learn English

What is the best way to learn English? Through poems and chants, of course. Listen to Class 1 presenting their favourites.

All the wonderful children of Class 1.

Since class 2, our children learn one new poem every week. Listen to Class 3 presenting a little selection at the end of the school year.

The cheerful children of Class 3.

Some children are eager to learn even more. So every now and then they perform sketches.

Joosep and Anni performing "Get Out of Bed". Watch it here. 

Eliise and Laura performing "Telephone Call". Watch it here. 

I am so lucky, that all the children in my classes enjoy singing. In April Classes 2 and 3 began learning one very beautiful song. Just before the school ended, they were ready to present it.

Listen to "I Am the Earth" by Glyn Lehmann.

One more exciting way to learn is finding "words" from the surroundings. In May Class 2 looked for numbers around the schoolhouse, took photos and combined collages. Imagine, how they see the world!

At last, let's listen to the children from Class 4 explaining why they think it is good to learn English.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Thinking of Class 4

Another school year is coming to its end. Children have spent at least 175 days reading and writing, listening and discussing, playing and singing, drawing and painting, running and sitting... and most of all thinking.

I am thinking today about you, my Class 4. For 4 years we have been on this journey together and what a journey it has been! We have had many really sunny days when you were eager to discover and cooperate. However, we've also had some stormy days, when I wasn't sure what should be my purpose after all. Still, it has been an incredible time and I want to thank you all!

Thank you, Joonas, for your kindness and your will not to give in. I know it has not always been easy for you. But you have come a long way and it is a real pleasure to hear you speak English!

Thank you, Ardi, for your cheerful attitude! English is quite easy and natural for you, but you never boast about it. You still find that there is something more to learn.

Thank you, Kaarel, for your never-ending questions. You know a lot about different things and you are always willing to share. It is never boring when you are around :)

Thank you, Kevin, for your patience! You are always calm, even when the whole class is losing their heads, including me :) You remind me of a lighthouse in the middle of the stormy sea! With patience, you learn step by step and you are never afraid to ask for help.

Thank you, Kaspar, for your daring to stand up for your opinion. You always keep your promises but you don't give a promise never too easy. You are truly skillful and I am sure you will conquer all the hights you set yourself.

Thank you, Daniel, for your brilliant knowledge of English language. You learn amazingly quickly and can almost always suggest the exact meaning of words. I like the way you can speak English fluently.

Thank you, Karola, for being peaceful and keen. You work quickly and stay focused, very often you are ready long before the others. I am happy to see how good you have become at English!

Thank you, Joosep, for your positive and easy-going attitude! You are smart, hard-working and flexible and the way you perform in plays is really entertaining. Your sense of humor makes my days so much brighter!

Thank you all for this journey! I will always remember you and wish that you could make a positive impression on your next English teachers.

Here is the SUPER POETRY-RAP reminding the spring of 2017.

Listen and watch the rap here.
And here is the song you chose with your music teacher to perform at our annual Spring Party - "All Falls Down" by Alan Walker.

Listen and watch the performance here.

Monday, 21 May 2018

If I Were a Superhero

Have you ever imagined having superpowers? Or being a superhero, even if it was just for one day? Well, the boys of Class 4 thought about it.

First, everyone filled in a worksheet. It looked like this:

From "The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book" J. Kinney

We discussed their ideas and the boys started thinking about what superpowers they would like to own. Here is what they wrote:

If I were a Superhero, I would have a special power. I could drop and raise things. I want to keep myself in secret. My secret place would be in the woods, in a tree. My name would be Black Face and my assistant would be a robot dog. Its superpower would be electricity. If I had to work at school, then the robot should take my place and do the same things as me. I'd like to be a Superhero.

I could have the power to fly and have an X-ray vision, but I could turn it off and on. My Superhero should have laser hands. 
If I were a Superhero, I would help people. I shall use my X-ray to see crimes, flying power to get there fast and laser hands to protect or attack.
My Superhero will need a sidekick. My sidekick's powers could be flying, heavy fists and invisibility. I chose my sidekick's powers like this because flying would help to get to the fight fast, heavy fists to protect or attack and invisibility to sneak. I and my sidekick would be the best team ever!

If I were a Superhero, I would take care of nature. I would protect trees. For example, I would have magnetic leaves. I would make them float to the tree. I'll make green leaves so that I'll put green stuff together. I'll put all the trees into fresh air. When the tree dies, I will bring it back to life. Then I'll put new roots down under the tree. This is how I would take care of the trees if I were a Superhero.

If I were a Superhero, I would like to have a flying-power because of quicker transport. I think I would also like the power of seeing what others think... (that would be awesome!).
Next, I want the power of running fast!!! Now is coming the weird power, it is the food power! I could have food I want and I will give food to people who don't have money to buy food. 
I would like the power of going to the past or future. Why do I want this power? Because when I made a mistake in the past I could fix it and do better! Or I could go to the future to see what will happen. But I couldn't stay long in the future or past. I could only be there 1 - 60 min. 
This is how I would like to be a Superhero.

First, I want teleporting-power. I can teleport then everywhere in the world. I can go somewhere really fast when I teleport. And that power is cool too!
Secondly, I want that power of when you think of something, I would have it in my hands. With that power, I can have everything in my hand. That power is very useful in real life.
Thirdly, I want invisibility power. With that power, I can be invisible. Noone can see me. When I want to hide somewhere and there's no hiding place, then I can be invisible. That's a cool power - a bit useful and a bit useless too.

I would be Blue-Fire Whisperer Wizard who can rule all elements. My biggest power is blue fire. To get blue fire spell you must defeat dungeon of infinity. If you don't defeat dungeon you will be stuck there forever.
Blue-Fire Whisperer has many gadgets, but three powerful ones. The most powerful is demonik-whispering-eye. You can make whatever wish, but it takes a little piece of your soul every time. The second powerful thing is the bag of black portals. It is a bag where you can put infinity amounts of things. The last thing is a spell-book. There are not only powerful spells. 
The Blue-Fire Whisperers have been on the Earth almost 980 years. But there are only a few hundred left.

So, what superpowers would you like to have?

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Learning Through Stories

Some of the amazing skills our children attain in the English lessons, are fluent reading and storytelling. We begin training already in class 1. Watch and listen how children are presenting their favourite stories.

A week ago Class 2 was reading the good old fairytale of "The Little Red Hen". The story is teaching that when you work hard and help others, you will feel satisfaction. After reading and making an oral report, everyone combined a comic-strip.

Class 3 read the story of "Clyde Monster" by R. L. Crowe. This story tells us why we shouldn't be afraid of monsters. After reading and discussing the story, the children drew pictures of their own monsters. They also wrote short descriptions.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Letters to Africa

First letters and photos are ready!

It all started in January. Our Minna Li's mother came to tell us about her voluntary work in Ghana, Africa. She suggested that we might consider beginning a partnership with one African school. The idea sounded exciting and in April, just before our spring holidays, we managed to get our first letters ready.

All the children (well, except those who were absent) wrote short letters to introduce themselves and our school. Even class 1 joined the project! The letters were posted last Friday (April 20) and should reach our new friends in Dasabligo Primary School in about 3 weeks. We look forward to hearing from them!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Busy All Year Through

It is the end of April. One more month to go before the great summer. During the school year, we have been busy learning in lots of different ways. I thought it would be great to remind them. So here we go!

In September we had a week-long project with our fellow students from Tartu International School. This time we had a wonderful chance to learn in Tartu. Our kids found new friends and could practice English in real-life situations.
Everyone is busy filling in a little book about oneself.

In the end of October, we celebrated Halloween with wearing appropriate costumes. As Halloween is not Estonian holiday but comes from the English-speaking culture, then we also explained its origins and learned about Halloween symbols.
Three scary witches found a home in the English classroom.

Everyone was "a little bit" different.

In November we spent 3 weeks playing! All the classes took part in the international word-game Word Mania. The word building game became unbelievably popular. Children were so eager that managed to get to the Great Final! Among 50 schools, our kids finished with super results:
Class 1 - 12th place
Class 2 - 10th place
Classes 3-4 - 17th place!
Class 2 is playing Word Mania.

In December we learned songs and poems connected to Christmas. Just as we do every year.

In January we already started our preparations for our annual Valentine's Day Language Party.

At the end of January, we had a topic-based day about Japan. Although this day was mostly in Estonian, we still had one workshop were we needed English. To understand the words of one Japanese song, we had to translate them through English. The song "Furusato" or "Old Country Home" sounded really beautiful. The original song sounds like this .

However, most of the time the children were working...


and working...

and the teacher was working too... :)

In February Class 4 students were busy with project work.

They presented their projects connected to Space. One of them was about creating a lightsaber.
Listen to Kaarel's presentation.
Here you can see all the other lightsabers.

Another project was about thinking out one's own planet. This project took a lot more time and work.

All the projects were designed as flap-books.

On February 14 we celebrated the Valentine's Day with our Language Party. This year we hosted our friends from Tartu Tera, Tartu International School, and Tartu Peetri School. Our children from classes 2 and 3 performed "The Weather Song" and class 4 stepped up with a sketch "How To Torture Your Teacher". They were SUPER!
Classes 2 and 3 performing. Watch and listen from here.
Class 4 giving some advice. Watch and listen from here.

March went by and April came. On April 2 our school celebrated the 5th birthday! We had a costume party and a concert.

Everyone was dressed up as a book character. 

Joosep and Anni stepped up with a sketch "Get Out of Bed!" You can watch it from here.

The weather in April proved to be spring-like a number of times. One day we could have all our English lessons outside. That was fun! Hopefully, we get another chance in May.
Class 3 is enjoying learning outdoors.