Femhundraandra åseriet- När katten är borta dansar råttorna på bordet!

 

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…och andra ordspråk var i fokus när vi jobbade gruppvis med att klura ut vad de svenska ordspråken egentligen betyder. Det är flera olika strategier som sätts på prov när man ägnar sig åt språklig förhandling om betydelsen av ett yttrande. Men för att ytterligare utmana mina elever valde jag inte vilka yttranden som helst. Jag valde vanliga svenska ordspråk. För mig är det ett dubbel examination som pågår medan eleverna jobbar… De jobbar gruppvis med ett antal ordspråk som jag har skrivit på plastkort, för att de ska kunna lägga upp samtliga på bordet emellan sig. Den uppgift jag ger dem är att de ska diskutera vad ordspråken innebär och i vilka språkliga situationer man kan tänkas använda dem. Dessutom är det kul att höra om det finns en motsvarighet i elevernas egna språk och om de i sin kulturbakgrund använder ordspråk frekvent eller inte.

Non scholae, sed vitae discimus

Jag lyssnar på hur eleverna kommer fram till betydelsen av ordspråken och funderar på hur de gör sig förstådda och i vilken grad de förstår varandra. Ibland kör de fast och behöver lite hjälp, men i allmänhet så klurar de ut vad yttrandena betyder och kommer till en konsensus inom gruppen. Ändå kan det i teorin vara så att en av grupperna är helt överens, men de har ”fel” om yttrandets betydelse. Det spelar ingen roll, faktiskt. Deras förslag på betydelse är inte alls det viktiga här. Det är i stället så att det är processen som är viktig. De tränar på att uttrycka sig precist och de blir ofta tvungna att slå upp ord eller förklara sig närmare och detta gör de ju i ett ämnesområde som är relativt okänt för dem. Ingen är expert, utan de allra flesta måste anstränga sig språkligt för att både förstå och göra sig förstådda. När detta pågår, så jobbar eleverna på sin egen yttersta gräns i språkförståelsen och använder alla sina språkliga strategier för att kommunicera till de övriga i gruppen hur de menar. En härlig bonus som ofta kommer med på köpet, är att de allra flesta tycker att aktiviteten är ROLIG. När man har kul tror jag att man lättare lär sig än om det är mördande tråkigt.

När elevernas  grupprocess nått sitt slut, tar vi en extra runda genom alla ordspråken tillsammans, för det är en bra idé att avsluta med att tydligt klargöra vad varje ordspråk betyder, så att processen de just ägnat sig åt också når sin belöning. För mig personligen är det spännande att lyssna på elevernas översättningar av liknande ordspråk från deras egna kulturer och dessutom brukar jag ofta bjuda på några av mina egna erfarenheter av det tema vi diskuterar. Det blir som en liten hörförståelse i  miniformat. Jag tror att jag använder ganska många ordspråk i mitt idiolekt (1). Anledningen till att det är så, är att jag redan som barn roades av att fundera över språket och dess betydelse. Jag la ord och uttryck på minnet för att jag tyckte att det var roligt helt enkelt. En del av de där ordspråken som mina föräldrar eller far- och morföräldrar och deras vänner använde, hör man inte så ofta nuförtiden, men  likväl är de väldigt tydliga i sitt budskap. En del av dem har jag inte hört sedan mormor och morfar gick ur tiden, men i gengäld använde de sina uttryck i repris så många gånger, att de nu ingår i både min mammas och mitt eget idiolekt. Ett sådant lite roligt uttryck som min mormor ofta använde kom ibland vid sådana tillfällen där jag eller min bror försökte förklara något för våra föräldrar, när det var helt uppenbart att de redan kunde och visste detta. Då kunde mormor sitta tyst länge, men när hon tog till orda så sa hon helt enkelt:

Du ska inte lära far din att göra barn!

Det var ju ett övertydligt yttrande, som liksom lade sordin på hela ambitionen att lära mamma och pappa det där som man tyckte att de inte begrep… Ibland när vi försökte lägga oss i, så kunde de vuxna bli lite tystare eller så började de prata om köksredskap:

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Små grytor har också öron!

De äldre släktingar jag brukade besöka tillsammans med mamma och pappa hade ofta vackra broderade bonader på väggarna i sina hem. Väldigt ofta fanns dessa ovanför kökssoffan eller ovanför en skänk eller sekretär. Vi hade också en sådan bonad, som jag vet att mamma har broderat. På den bonaden står det ”Fem äro bjudna, tio komma, slå vatten i soppan och önska välkomna!” Hela min barndom läste jag det där ordspråket och tänkte på hur bra det där tipset faktiskt var… Lite grann som ”Finns det hjärterum, så finns det stjärterum!” Men för det flesta bondkök jag kommit in i, passade också yttranden som ”Egen härd är guld värd” eller ”Borta bra men hemma bäst” I min barndom när vi hälsade på bekanta i Grödinge, så brukade jag titta länge på deras vackert målade granplanka, som hängde strax under taket i ett av rummen. Där stod ”Lyss till den granens sus, vid vars rot ditt bo är fäst” Så vackert! Vid någon högtidsdag fick mamma eller pappa en likadan vackert målad planka av den familjen och nu när vi är i stugan, så tittar jag lika förundrad på den sedan länge memorerade devisen och gläds åt hur klokt det är att nöja sig med den egna granens sus… Men i MITT fall så är det min fantastiskt ståtliga tall som får stå för suset. Den är vackrast i världen och klarar varje höststorm utan att så mycket som vibrera ens…

Men avslutningsvis, så är det ju allmänt känt att man säger ”Man lär så länge man lever” men för mig som lärare är det mer sannolikt att följande gäller:

Man lär så länge man har elever

1) = Läs mer på http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiolekt

2) Non scholae, sed vitae discimus = ”Vi lär inte för skolan utan för livet”

Annonser

Four hundred and ninety fourth åsic- The Yellow Wall and The Blue Wallpaper

I used to teach in another classroom a couple of years ago. When I started off teaching there, I had an opportunity to decide for myself what the classroom would look like. I think that is one of the reasons that I liked it there. When moving out , I removed all the details because I wanted to give the new teachers the same opportunity to do whatever they wanted to make the classroom feel like ”theirs”.

This is something I wrote when I was still teaching in my old room: 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is an American short story read  by many, but how many of the readers have spent a fortnight of pure creative language learning in a yellow classroom ? The teacher had painted her classroom herself and turned the dark dull room in the basement into a positive oasis for learning. All walls were painted in a bright yellow colour. Her combination of gifts from previous students, her own creations or things she had got here and there, together with wisdom on little plaques or instruction posters with different themes like weekdays, phrases or words for certain occasions, gave the impression of a nice and welcoming place where the soul of learning was more important than anything else. Soul in English almost sounds like sun in Swedish, sol.

My classroom is not painted by me and it is not yellow either, but I have hanged The Blue Wallpaper myself and I have added a lot of blue accents, such as glass, fabric or decorations. Blue is my fave color and it also lead my thoughts to water or to a realxing feeling that makes me calm. In one of the corners of my room I have a waterdoor… In another corner are verbs connected to language use. The many hearts on the window to our pentry is decorated with thoughs or words on the theme LOVE. I think my students are important in many ways. I also find their background, culture and languages important. I think it is necessary for a classroom where languages are taught, that you actually can see that we speak different languages. All those languages are important. Knowing several languages is a true wisdom!

BLÅTT och GULT

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The teacher I visited in NJ, USA was teaching about weather expressions in Spanish when I was there and both the students and herself were happy… and yellow is the happy color that perfectly suits a classroom for Spanish lessons. A saying by an ”unknown” author that suits the yellow classroom very well:

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow

Four Hundred and Ninetysecond Asic- Second Day in an American Teacher’s Hectic World

At home I don’t teach English, but Swedish as a Second Language. This evening I had the great opportunity to visit an adult learner’s group in Spanish at a College not far from where I am. The students were all taking lessons in Spanish, but volunteered to talk to me about what the conditions are for adult learners at this level in the school system. I found our conversation most interesting and will share their viewpoint with both my students and my teaching friend at basic level of English.

Earlier today I first met with a few children with special needs. I shared with them a few thoughts on what it is like to live in a country where we have monopoly money and a” fairy-tale-like” reality with a king…

I also had a chance to contribute with Swedish words in grade six while they were taking a Spanish lesson about furniture in different rooms of a house. Then I discussed with a group of eightgraders why so many Swedes left Sweden a hundred years ago.

I then had a nice and long chat with one of the teachers who has been a resident of Pitman almost all her life, apart from a short period down south. She told me all there is to know about the little town and I was happy to learn all that first hand, rather than read about it.

On Friday a few of the teachers have planned for a Sweden day, where the students will be getting a whole lot of information about Sweden, but also try some typical Swedish activities. I will contribute with a slideshow about Sweden and explain why the Dala horse is a symbol for  Sweden. The collaboration with an art teacher at this school also led to an idea where we let the kids know a little about how one can paint a typical ”kurbits”.

Tomorrow we’re off to Atlantic City, my teaching friend and I. We will study ESL as the NJ authorities wants it to be. I look forward to that very much. I don’t need anyone to rock my cradle! I am exhausted, but I’m having so much fun! Teaching is my life! ❤

 

Fyrahundrasextiosjätte åseriet- 35 000 views!

 This blog has now had 35,000 views!

In my blog I share thoughts and experiences from my life and teaching career. Occasionally I also write book reviews or share my experiences from trips. Most of the content is written in Swedish since that’s my mother tongue. Some of the posts may be interesting to an English-speaking reader. Please look for ”In English” in the menu to the left. Thanks!

Nu har bloggen haft 35 000 visningar!

Tack alla ni som läser det jag skriver. Ibland gör jag djupdykningar i något som för stunden känns intressant, som till exempel ett författarskap eller en aspekt av lärande eller undervisning. Om du tittar i menyn till vänster under ”På svenska” kanske du hittar något läsvärt.

Där finns till exempel #Musikupplägg att samtala om. Under sommaren 2016 handlade ett antal blogginlägg om upplevelser från en turistresa i USA. För att hitta dem är det enklast att söka här på bloggen med #Turist i USA. Naturupplevelser i Sverige har också fått plats här, till exempel en resa i trakten runt #Högakustenbron, men även naturupplevelser som ett besök i skogsmiljö vid #Predikstolen. Efter sommaren återgick bloggen till att vara en mix av reflektioner om undervisning, boktips och däremellan en del minnen från lärargärningen och först ut bland dessa inlägg var ett inlägg om svenskan som #Melodins språk. I augusti jobbade jag med reflektioner om #läsning och #läsundervisning. Dessutom har jag gjort en djupdykning i #Theodor Kallifatides författarskap, där del 1 är ett åseri som heter #trehundrafyrtioåttonde åseriet.

Under hösten 2016 skrev jag om mina erfarenheter av bröstcancer. Om du vill läsa om det så kan du hitta det första blogginlägget här:

https://asaole.com/2016/10/04/trehundrasjuttionde-aseriet-brostcancer-i-kropp-och-knopp-del-1/

Läser du vidare i höst, så hoppas jag dela med mig av fler undervisningstips både här, på #viärlärare, #asaole och på min YouTube-kanal #åseriklipp. Tack för att du läser! ❤

 

 

Four hundred and fifty-third asic- Why war? I wonder what to do and where to start!

I was up late an evening not long ago. I was watching a terrifying documentary by the filmmaker Jevgenij Afinejevskij. By gathering film clips from the Syrians themselves Afinejevskij managed to show the Syrian war/conflict from an inside perspective, with nothing spared for the viewer. It was hard to grasp for a person like myself. Being born in a country far away from worldwide war scenes has made me unaware of many aspects of war and political violence. Of course I have done my homework in subjects as history and social science and of course I am not unaware of the current political situation abroad in general, but by getting my input from newsmedia and from reporters far from the scene and watching experts talking in TV studios, I have never really found myself overwhelmed or worried deep inside for our world. That is, not until NOW. I am worried now. What changed it all was the movie Cries from Syria.

Watching the movie was completely overwhelming in so many different ways that I find it difficult to write about, since I do not know what to write and where to start. That was one of the reasons that I chose not to write the very same evening. Another reason was that I was so shocked and disgusted by the many cruelties the Syrian people had to experience. As a matter of fact I found it difficult to sleep that night. The many horrific scenes from the movie were on a constant replay not only that particular evening/night, but still are. Today I was still thinking of what to write when I heard the typical ”pling” from my cellphone and realized that there had been a new chemical attack in Syria, and according to the Swedish News Show Aktuellt, (svt2), approximately a hundred people died from the attack and many more were injured. There are no consoling words good enough to soothe the pure agony the families of the deceased feel today.

I find it extremely appalling that the White House secretary Sean Spicer (according to CNN) today chose to blame the Obama administration for the chemical attack in Syria. What a cynical statement on a day where we all would condemn the actual chemical attackers!

From my point of view this war has to stop now. So let’s spread the word about the attack and let it be known everywhere, in order to put pressure on the Al-Assad regime. Also spread the films from today’s attack and spread the movie Cries from Syria. The movie serves as an eye-opener for those who do not know what the Syrian war is all about. By watching the movie one understands that the solution (if there is one? ) is extremely far away in time and while waiting for peace, people die.

 

 

 

Fourhundred and forty-first asic- Kids vs Dinosaurs at Natural History Museum #Londonfrossa

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth, just like in Jules Verne’s book…

When entering the magnificant Natural History Museum in London, you virtually end up in the Center of the Earth… and when you reach the first floor you have a great opportunity to understand natural forces such as volcanoes and earthquakes and how rocks erode into pebbles and sand. When we walk through the many displays we comment on the fact that behind every single display hours and hours were spent in collecting facts, building suitable models by various materials, trying to explain to the visitors how things work… I think the very difficult topics in Natural History Museum were very well described and easily understood, both for adults and kids. That is a fantastic help for all the visiting teachers, since they can thus walk through the displays with their classes in a more relaxed way, trying to answer the many spontaneous questions they get from their students walking through . There were plenty of fantastic hands-on-displays and charts and maps of different kinds. A fantastic experience  for both teachers and students!

Oak leaves

Whatever adults think of dinosaurs, I know from my years of teaching young kids, that the long lost creatures are very popular for some reason. Why is that? I think one reason may be that they can be compared to the dragons we get to know through children’s stories and old fairy tales. Maybe kids also use their imagination more than we do and picture themselves walking around on earth at the same time as dinosaurs?

When visiting the Natural History Museum in London one thing that struck me was that it was crowded with kids…

Being a teacher off work among kids who learn is very interesting. I tend to follow closely behind trying to eavesdrop and also finding ways to see what they see…

Young audience at Natural History Museum

A dinosaur come's alive...

I remember twenty years ago when I taught an eight-year-old boy who told me all there was to know about dinosaurs. Despite his young age, he could hold a lecture about them, what they looked like, when they lived etc. I tried to keep up with him and borrowed books in the local library, but whatever I found there, was already known to him. I think books about dinosaurs may be the solution for some children’s reading problems… If they are eagerly trying to learn more about their favorite creatures, it may be more interesting for them to read an adapted fact book than to read anything else.

The very realistic looking dinosaurs at Natural History Museum serve the imagination and help many teachers, too, since they have a chance to explain very difficult things with the help of models and pictures and the many displays everywhere in the museum.

An area where we saw many students and teachers were where they kept the stuffed mammals.

A learning environment

A learning environment

Stuffed Mammals

Stuffed Mammals

 

 

Four hundred and thirty-fourth åsic- When music serves as a tool for learning languages #Londonfrossa

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When I was a child, I spent very much time with a family across the street. The two girls in that family were my best friends and we had great fun doing a lot of different things. We had a theater group and our family and friends every now and then were more or less forced to go to our shows. One of the girls was playing the piano and so was I. Sometimes we spent time learning how to play four hands, but we also sang. For Christmas we either went Carolling in the houses close to theirs, OR we went to a local church in my area and sang there. I remember one morning in their house when I suddenly realized from whom the sisters had got their skills in music and also their feeling for singing and playing instruments… From the bathroom I heard a beautiful opera aria! The father was singing in the shower. In my home my father played the violin and my grandpa played the accordion.

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I have always loved singing! As a child I WAS one of the members of ABBA… Three other kids and I, two boys and a girl, in fact spent EVERY single afternoon being soap opera actors, always ABBA, never ”the real” kids… We even painted clothes we had sown, so that they looked similar to ABBA:s stage costumes. When I drive my car alone, I sing along. An amusing detail with our very old car, is that we still have just an old cassette player… Guess what??? My collection of home-recorded cassettes is still in the attic… SO whenever I feel bored by the current music in the car radio, I indulge myself with the oldies from the seventies or eighties…

 sjunga_i_bilbildekalet-re7d354ee9b5f427aaed85af7180ebae7_v9wht_8byvr_512.jpg (512×512)Apart from just being FUN, I know that learning languages comes easier when you sing along! When you sing a song repeatedly over and over again, you may be doing so because you really love that particular song. But at the same time as you enjoy the music, you also learn the lyrics by heart and you get a feeling for words and phrases, sounds and melody in language. Intonation and stress also comes easier with the help of music. So, next time you sing in the shower or in the car, challenge yourself with a new song, maybe in a language you are not yet familiar with! What if you turn out to be a speaker of a foreign language and your pronunciation is really good, because you applied your singing skills into language learning??? When words are not enough, music may be the bridge…

I remember once when I was in Italy and two choirs were having dinner.  After dinner, when both choirs sang with and to each other, we didn’t know each other’s languages, but we did singalong in the melodies, since we were familiar with the music of Guiseppe Verdi. Listen to the link below. I am pretty sure that you would be able to sing along, too, wouldn’t you?

London Philharmonic Orchestra – Nabucco: Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves (Va’, Pensiero, Sull’ali Dorate)

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