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Weekly Threads for Week 5

(from Feb.12 to Feb.18, 2007)


Message #1667 to 1831


This work is in progress. Please be patient while the threads for week five are compiled. Thank you!



Welcome to Week 5

Claudia Bellusci

Going Beyond: Make Your Blog Unique

Dear beginner (beginner?) bloggers,

While the discussion about correcting students' posts or not is still
underway and the best blogging practices list is getting longer and longer with your contributions, we have arrived at the 5th week of this session. This week's main topic is to discuss ways to enhance your blog with the integration of multimedia content so as to make it a rich and
unique environment, where you and your students wish to come back once and again. We are going to deal with multimedia posts and template personalization. This might have sounded quite challenging at the beginning of this workshop, but judging by the discussions, and the quality of blogs that you have produced, I guess all this is going to be a piece of cake!

This is week 5 syllabus:

Task 1 - Adding voice and other files to entries:

a. Create a sound file at Odeo (http://odeo.com) or Podomatic (http://www.podomatic.com/ )...

b. Create a slideshow at Bubbleshare (http://www.bubbleshare.com), add your voice comments (optional)...

...and include it/them in one of your blog posts.

Task 2 - Personalizing templates

a. Edit your blog sidebar links
b. Add a widget to your template
c. Offer e-mail subscription to your blog

Optional Tasks

a. Create and edit a new title in your sidebar
b. Change the size and alignment of some of your widgets
c. Insert your logo in the header

At WeeklyTasks5 you'll find the syllabus plus all the resources we'll be using.

To help you go through all these tasks, the Blogging Team will be offering lots of office hours on Yahoo Messenger. Check date and time at:Week5 Making Your Blog Unique.

Remember to add the 4 of us to your contacts:
* Carla: carlaarena
* Gladys: gladysbaya
* Erika: erikacruvinel
* Claudia: mcbellusci

We have also made some tutorials. Have look at the Tutorials page at the
wiki: Tutorials In a separate message I'll give you more details about Task 1.

Have nice week and put to creativity to work on week 5!



Week 5 – Task 1


Claudia Bellusci

# 1670

As you must have noticed, Task 1 involves producing multimedia content for your blog. You have already learned how to add images, but this week you will go beyond that: sound and video. Relax! You don't have to be an expert to produce a sound file or an animated clip. There are lots of free websites that allow you to produce and/or upload your multimedia files easily.

My proposal for this week is that you make an audio entry using either Odeo (http://www.odeo.com/) or Podomatic (http://www.podomatic.com/) and that you create a slideshow, using your own photos or screenshots using Bubbleshare (http://www.bubbleshare.com/). If you wish, you can record your voice to comment on each slide, which makes the slideshow much more powerful.

You will find tutorials for each of these tools on the following links:

* Odeo
* Podomatic
* Bubbleshare

And having in mind that on February 14th, we will be celebrating St. Valentine's Day, why not create a post about LOVE? [:x] I'm sure the topic will inspire your creativity.

The challenge is set for those who want to take it. Use sound and image to express what love means to you and share your new posts with the group. Of course you can write on whatever topic you want, too!

Remember there will be "office hours" almost every day and you can also post your questions to the group.

Have a nice week

Bárbara Tous


Hi! Today I could add a bubbleshare to my blog, but the layout of the blog has
changed, and I don't know how to restore it. Can anyone help me?

Erika Cruvinel


Hi Barbi

As I can see the font size of everything in your blog changed to smaller and all titles and texts are now centralized, right?

Time to play with HTML codes!!!

This is a code I copied from one of my Bubbleshare albums. Your code should look like this one. The answer to your question is right under the code.

<span style="text-align:center;width:380px;display:block;"><embed
eed.xml" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain"
bgcolor="#ffffff" height="168"
quality="high" src="http://www.bubbleshare.com/swfs/slider.swf?2878"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="380" /><span style="font-
<a href="/http://www.bubbleshare.com/album/96899.8c7950739f3"
style="font-size:100%;">This album</a> is powered by
<a href="/http://www.bubbleshare.com" style="font-
- <a
blog" style="font-size:100%;">Add to my blog</a>

Look for this part of the code: text-align:center Change the word center for left.

Look for this other part:
Change number 9 for number 12

Save your post, publish and see what happens!

Bubbleshare sometimes change the font size and alignment of other things in a blog or webpage. It has happened to me before.

I know this code looks crazy, but take the risk!



Claudia Bellusci


Dear all,
I met Barbi at the chat last night and she could easily solve her problem with Bubbleshare. There was a closing tag missing from the code. That was all. She must have deleted it somehow when copying the code provided for her album. She told me she got an error message from Blogger when trying to publish her post but she didn't care. In this case the <embed> tag from the beginning didn't have the corresponding </embed> closing tag. I didn't have to go through all the code to notice that: it was in the error message. The hard part is spotting the exact place where the closing tag goes. If you don't have much experience with HTML, just delete the code and copy and paste it again. In the worst of cases, you can just remove the new post or element in the template that ruined your blog and restore your blog look to normal.
So don't be scared off! Try your hand at embedding HTML code and make attractive posts.
Best wishes,


Week 5 Task 2


Claudia Bellusci


As you've been trying your hand at Bubbleshare -I haven't seen any Odeos or Podomatics yet, but you'll want to try them too, I'm sure - and you have been solving some glitches with HTML tags, I know you're ready to take a step forward and start (most of you have already started) personalizing your templates. With the New Blogger, this is very easy to do. You just access the Layout section, and either click on Add a new element and then choose what kind of item you want to include, or you click on Edit for an existing element.
So your Task 2 for this week is:
Task 2 - Personalizing templates

a. Edit your blog sidebar links: you may choose to add your favourite websites or some of the blogs you've been reading lately (your fellow bloggers here or others). In the latter case, you'd be creating a blogroll.

b. Add a widget to your template: Some discussion has already been going on as regards widgets on this list. If you still don't know what they are and where you can find them, check this page on our wiki:
Some Tips and Links to Personalize your Blog Template I've also created a wiki page with all the questions on the topic you've asked along the workshop: Q and A on templates and widgets


c. Offer e-mail subscription to your blog: By now all of you must have opened an account at FeedBlitz.

and subscribed to your favourite websites. What you'll do now is to embed an email subscription widget in your sidebar. Go to http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?AddBloggerWidget and get your embeddable code.

Tutorial for Task 2:

a.. How to migrate to the new Blogger safely... and edit your template easily

Optional Tasks

a. Create and edit a new element in your sidebar: You can add images, RSS feeds, labels list, etc. You choose!

b. Change the size and alignment of some of your widgets: If one of your widgets is too big for the sidebar space, you will have to modify the code to adjust its size. Look for the Width and Height values and change them.

c. Insert your logo in the header (click HERE for a step-by-step guide)

Please check all this week's tasks at: WeeklyTasks5


Good luck!!!

Claudia Bellusci


Hi Bloggers,
I've published a new post on our blog to introduce the topic of widgets and their pedagogical use. I've received the contribution of Steve McCarthy, who sent us a voice message nd Mary Hillis, who wrote about her favourite widget.
Please read the entry and see if you can answer some of the questions in the post. I'm very interested in discussing how widgets can enhance our blog's communicative and educative potential.http://blogs4beginners.blogspot.com/

The Blogging Team

Claudia Bellusci


 This week there are no compulsory readings (I can hear your sighs of relief!).
I've suggested some tutorials and a couple of wiki pages to introduce you into widgets and templates.
But you will find some useful articles I've selected, that may save you from getting into trouble or falling in despair.
Check this list on Weekly Tasks 5 wiki page:


To Correct or Not To Correct - Tough Questions!




Hello there!
I totally agree with Ana Maria, but I have another factor to mention. Correcting students' blog-work should also take into consideration the kind of student you are dealing with.some feel frustrated and inhibited when you correct their mistakes, and there is a risk that they won't try writing again. others just love it when you correct them, and they enjoy learning from mistakes.

Linda Neas


I actually replied to this on the blog. But, here it is here:
As a "best practice", I would treat blogs as I do the journals my students have shared in the classes I have taught. The rules are: comments are kept to what moves the reader, what the reader connects with, what interests the reader. The writer is not corrected. I see this kind of writing as akin to giving birth. You would be horrified to hear someone say, "Boy, that's an ugly baby!" So, I believe in protecting the writer's "infant" offerings. It is important to get the thoughts out. Later, either alone or, as a group lesson which does not single out a particular student.

Andrea Giordano


Personally I try to make my pupils feel ccomfortable and not to think too much about their mistakes. I try to encourage them to communicate. I have a special relationship with making mistakes so I do my best for them to be free and feel the wonderful tool they have in their hands: communication.

Linda Neas


My thoughts are:
Never correct on a blog. Make a list of grammer issues and teach them as a unit in the class.
Do not use exact examples as they will pinpoint the student and cause them to feel inferior.

Again, I would use sentence structure problems as part of a unit outside the blog. This can be done as a group activity where you create a sentence on the board with the structure scrambled. (example: Dog the brown fat in the morning early sat the porch on.) The students could then "correct" the sentence, each person finding one mistake to change.

Vocabulary can me used in the blog. You can post a "word of the day" and ask the students to find ways to incorporate the word into their blog (correctly, of course!).

As I said before, students' writing to a blog or journal should be accepted as if it was a new born creation...which it is. Nurture the creation, don't re-create it.

Claudia Bellusci


Hi, Berta,
So much has been written about this topic already, that I don't think there's much more I can add. I just wanted to point out that I liked that strategy of correcting just 5 mistakes in each paper. Students tend not to concentrate on their mistakes when you hand them their papers back. They just have a look at the grade and at the general picture of the page (how much red/green maks there are). So narrowing the number of mistakes to be corrected, might help them concentrate on those few mistakes. I think I'll give it a try!



Hi all,
I think we shouldn't discourage our ss from blogging by correcting their blogs.I
have started a new class blog last week and of course there are many mistakes in
their blogs.What I do is to make a general comments and no correct all the
mistakes in their blogs .Nowadays I'm triyng to involve my ss more in the class
blog.I 'm planning to add some videos and reading texts to the class blog .I'll
be happy if you comment on to my ss' blogs.Happy blogging!                                            
P.S http://wonderfula2b.blogspot.com is the class blog.

Ana María Rozzi de Bergel

# 1691

Dear all,
Regarding Linda’s metaphor comparing writing to giving birth, I agree you don’t say the newborn is ugly, but you are fully aware that it is your job, as a parent, to turn that lovely infant into a valuable member of the community and a person who will feel satisfied with
himself/herself, full of love and tolerance. Left on his/her own, the baby may or may not achieve that.

On more practical grounds, I can assure you, as a writer, that you have to be ready to take a lot of criticism and corrections from your editors, plus the criticism which comes from users and readers of your books. You also have to learn to compromise, because you never make all the decisions – and thank God for that, because you are usually in lovewith your “baby” and fail to see all its flaws. Life is a red pencil.

Ana María Rozzi de Bergel


Dear all,
I couldn’t agree more with Linda’s comment. This is what I calle exploiting errors as part of the course curriculum. Students do not look at corrections in writing and sometimes corrections carried out in class, verbally, are lost on them, for various reasons. I am discussing them in my blog. What Linda proposes is far more productive and will create the idea that mistakes/errors are valuable contributions.

Carla Arena


Dear all,
After compiling the thread on corrections while blogging in the classroom,we've noticed one common aspect: the participants, in general, have agreed that YES, correction is needed. However, as blogging is a place for self-expression in which the student is trying to speak up his mind and build meaning there, we wouldn't like to "expose" him/her on the class blog.
Many ideas were suggested to exploit errors and you should take a look at this excellent thread, which is compiled for your reference:http://bloggingpractices.pbwiki.com/Errors

Just some ideas:

- Blogging is free writing and thinking, it's a dialogue established within a group, so exploit errors in another class space using different approaches according to students' needs and your pedagogical goals.
- Choose some of the group's commons mistakes to work in the classroom.
- While giving feedback to students on the blog, rephrase what they've said using the correct structure (modeling)
- Print a post that you feel it's important to go over with a student and talk to him about some structural aspects (you may consider limiting the number of errors you want to talk about)
- Email the student if he explicitly asked to be corrected
- If students are insecure about the language, they might feel more comfortable to have their posts checked before they publish (I've helped my students with their posts many times!!! One personal strategy that I use is: they email me their draft-posts, I highlight some aspects they mightconsider rewriting, they correct it and post their entries or comments)
- If students are blogging in the computer lab, there's a chance to check the posts before they are submitted.

Just some ideas...

To wrap up: Dealing with errors is part of the language classroom, but the blogging experience should be focused on the content, on critical thinking, reflection... There are other moments in which errors can be exploited using the students' own production in the blogosphere! How rich is that?

Check the thread for many more fantastic, deeply analyzed insights on the topic by this inspired and knowledgeable group!
Thanks for everybody who contributed.

The Blogging Team


 Hangman Code 

Karim Ben Yahya


Here goes the hangman code:

<!--Hangman by TheFreeDictionary.com-->
<div style="width:200px;position:relative;background-color:#CCCCFF;padding:4px">
<div style="font:bold 14pt 'Times New Roman';color:#330099">Hangman</div>
#Hangman {border:1px #DDB7BA solid;background-color:#CCCCFF;height:240px}
<iframe id="Hangman" scrolling="no" width="100%" frameborder="0"
'Times New Roman'"></iframe>
<div style="font:normal 10pt 'Times New Roman';color:#000066"></div></div>

If you would like more widgets, visit:

Another resource of gadgets is the google gadgets for webpage:
This one has got more than 3000 gadgets on about everything you can think of.

You can also learn to make your own gadgets with google here:
I wish some more time to learn myself.
Once again, so sorry for this inexcusable from mt y behalf and let's continue sharing.

Bárbara Tous


Dear Karim, I copied the code for the hangman in my blog, but it didn't appear.
It appeared a sign to refresh the page, so I erased it. I don't know what I did wrong...

Karim Ben Yahya


Hi Barbi,
As you did for the clock, follow the same procedure.
If it still doesn't work, visit www.thefreedictionary.com and on the left bar, under "for web masters", click on "free content for websites". In there, scroll down to "option 2". You'll have 9 widgets already checked. Uncheck the ones you don't want. But better uncheck them all except the Hangman.

You can customize the look of your Hangman by changing font, size, color,border....
Finally, copy the code and paste it to you Blog.

I hope it works this time.
Let me know.



Feed Agregator 


Mar del Plata in Argentina


 Dear all,
I´d like to to add a feed agregator to my 3-week old blog on puppets in education. Can anybody help me on this? I don´t seem to find the rightway to do it.

Thanks in advance.


Claudia Bellusci


Hi Monika,
If you want to add content from another site to your blog, what you have to do first is get the RSS feed for that site. Right-click on the RSS link and copy the link. Then go to your blog template and click on "Add a page element". Then choose "Feed". You will be prompted to paste the URL you've just copied. Then press Next. You will be able to configure the look of your feed. Save and that's it!
Good luck!

Bárbara Tous


Hi! I would like to add a Feedblitz box to my blog. How can I do that?

Claudia Bellusci


Hi Barbi,
Your question comes right in time. Adding a subscription box is on of week 5 tasks. Go to this page: Add Blogger Widget , enter your email address, copy the captchka (or whatever those letters and numbers are called, I never remember!) and you'll get the code.
Tell us how it went.



An interesting article 

Dennis in Phoenix


Hi, everyone.
Yesterday I read an interesting article in the _Arizona Republic_ (the daily newspaper in Phoenix) and thought you might find it interesting,too:
I thought it was particularly interesting that computer-mediated learning is described as "cutting-edge and even a bit daring" in one part of the article, yet the learning platforms that are mentioned (blogs, podcasts, wikis) are becoming "old hat" to the participants in this workshop. I also thought the comments given at the end were in some ways more informative than the article itself.

NB: You might have to complete a short survey in order to access the article. If so, you do NOT have to agree to receive information from the _Republic_ and you do NOT have to leave your e-mail address.

Enjoy the article!

Gladys Baya


Killing 3 birds with a stone (;-)!), pls allow me to thank you 3 in just one post....

Mary H. - for the article on copyright issues by Karoli Hayes

Paul - for the paper by Vida Zorko on wikis and blogs in blended learning

Dennis - for the article on blogs, wikis and podcasts making their way into academic spheres...

I learned from them all!

Dennis, though I agree with you as far as this group is concerned, it also helped me understand why many of us feel so lonely at their schools.... but, boy , the world IS moving!



Music and Video added 

Linda Neas


Hi All!
Well, I'm not sure if this is what you all had in mind when you suggested we add video and music to our sites, but I have add a few new things. I'd love to have you all check them out, especially the "One" video under my profile.
Any suggestions on how to do it better will be most gratefully appreciate.
Thanks for your help! Peace,




Gladys Baya


I love the idea of a video added to the Sidebar of a blog template, Linda!... will see if I can find a video which really identifies me for any of my blogs or sites...

BTW, you included a link to the video under the image. Playing with HTM you can turn the image itself into a link, you know? I'd love to see the video itself embedded there, but I guess the dimensions won't fit into a blog sidebar!

PS: Linda, can you believe how much you've progressed in blogging in just a couple of weeks? Congrats!!!!

Linda Neas

If I have progressed, it is thanks to such a wonderful, encouraging, supportive,creative group!
Many, Many Thanks!



St. Valentine’s Day  

Vita Sapfirova


I`m so busy these weeks that I can`t be with you online.

Sorry, it`s not for a long time I hope :)
My students are very interested in blogging, they asked me a lot of questions and some of them are going to create their own blogs.

There is the 14th of February, so I wish you LOVE, LOVE and ....

Andrea Giordano



Hello to everybody,
I wish all of you a day full of happiness and love.
Thanks to all for the wonderful group we integrate.
Love is the answer!

Carla Arena


My dearest friends,

In the spirit of Valentine's and Claudia's Widgets, here's my surprise foryou, a videomail! Just click HERE to watch it. Please, be nice to me...Just think of it as my Valentine for

Also, check our blog for the very informative comments

Finally, Erika has kindly uploaded Phill Hollow's and Bee's and Aaron's
Presentation to our Wikipage. You can now listen to them!

Happy Valentine's!



Problems with Bubbleshare post 

Nora Brussolo


I need some help with publishing a bubleshare album into my blog. I have created it and it works well. Then I tried posting it I went to the create post and paste the HTML code from bubleshare into the Edicion HTML. When I try the preview there's no problem but when I click on publish there's a message saying that my HTML is not acceptable. The whole message is:

Su HTML no es aceptable: Tag is not closed: <embed
align="middle" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" bgcolor="#ffffff"
height="238" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"
quality="high" src="http://www.bubbleshare.com/swfs/player.swf?2878"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="280" />

That part of the tag is coloured and if I take it out I can publish the name of the post and there's a link to the bubleshar page but the pictures do not come out on the blog.

Can anyone help me out? I really do not understand HTML codes.

Nora Brussolo


I haven't solved the problem yet.
I have posted the album as I could to show you what I meant. May be it helps anyone who can help me solve the problem.
The blog URL is http://nora-growingup.blogspot.com/

Claudia Bellusci

Dear Nora,
Both Barbi and Ana Maria have been reporting the same kind of problem with Bubbleshare. From what I saw in theirs and in your code, there's an </embed> tag missing.
This is the code for Ana's album. Look for the highlighted </embed> tag on the last line and try to paste it in the same place in your code:

<p><span style="text-align:center;width:280px;display:block;"><embed
" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" bgcolor="#ffffff"
height="238" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"
quality="high" src="http://www.bubbleshare.com/swfs/player.swf?2878"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="280" /><span
/><a href="/http://www.bubbleshare.com/album/123738" style="font-size:100%;">This
album</a> is powered by<br /><a href="/http://www.bubbleshare.com"
style="font-size:100%;">BubbleShare</a><br /> - <a
style="font-size:100%;">Add to my blog</a><br /></embed></span></span></p>

Many HTML tags come in pairs: an opening <...> and a closing </...> tag. So if  the pair is not complete, you get an error message. Try this and let me know how it worked.
Best wishes,

Carla Arena


Dear Claudia,
I helped Barbi with her bubbleshare album and that's exactly the problem.
Sometimes the code they generate misses the end of the tag </embed> or </a>
in some place. I just included that in Barbi's and it worked. That's why some time ago I didn't have a clue on html, but I had to learn some to become more independent!!! One learning step leads to another, right?

Nora Brussolo

Dear Claudia,
Thanks. I added the </embed> tag in the last line and it worked. Now
you can all see the album at the blog http://nora-growingup.blogspot.com/



Signing up co-authors to your blog - Problems!

Jenny in Delft


Gladys, Lucia and Erika - though I typed in your e-mail addresses and "sent" you an invitation, you apparently didn't receive anything. This seems like a potentially major snag as I set up my class blog. Everything is automatic, so I have no way of knowing that invited authors didn't actually receive an invitation until they (feeling snubbed) tell me they weren't invited.
Does anyone have more experience with this, and can someone give me some tips on how to avoid this first pitfall?
In the meantime, I've just signed up my first 13 students as co-authors for my Greater Expectations class blog. Now I just hope they get theinvitation!
Thanks for your help, everyone,


Gladys Baya


I had similar problems when inviting my classes last year, Jenny :-(

All I was able to do was to keep asking them whether they had got the invitation, deleting them and sending them once again when they said they hadn't.... One student, after 3 failed attempts, decided to post using a partner's log in! Blogger won't even let you know if you've sent your invitation to a non-existent address!

Try alternate emails and don't give up... not very technical, but the only advice I can offer you in this respect... :-( To cheer you up, let's say this was the only snag I faced with Blogger when team blogging!


Some HTML tutorials 

Claudia Bellusci


Since some of you feel at a loss when they get an error message mentioning something about HTML tags (and I know that feeling), I'm sending you some HTML easy tutorials for you to have as a reference. You don't need to learn HTML at all. If the websites are providing the correct code, all you have to do is copy
and paste it in the right place. There shouldn't be any difficulties. But for those who are curious and want to fix things by themselves, here's a good list:
- Introduction to HTML: http://www.case.edu/help/introHTML/toc.html
- HTML Code Tutorial: http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/
-HTML Cheatsheet: http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/reference/html_cheatsheet/
(very useful resource)
- HTML Examples: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_examples.asp
- Teach Me HTML v. 1.6 (demo): http://www.webmasterfree.com/teach.html
- HTML - An interactive tutorial for beginners:

Jennifer from Argentina


Clau thanks for the great links.
It´s always great to review HTML. I sometimes feel like I´m doing to graduate as a computer teacher!! Obviously I have lots to learn.



Indeed, Claudia!

Thank you for the HTML intro. and tutorial links. I've transferred them to the b4b wiki tutorials:


If anyone else has any more pointers, or wishes to add suggestions or testimonies to those already there, I hope you'll feel free to do so.

Carla Arena


Dear Jenny,

Maybe one way to be sure everybody gets the invitation is establishing a time frame to let participants know until when they should accept the invitation. You can do that on the message you send to the group. If, by then, somebody doesn't accept it, you can contact this person again.
Just an idea.


A very special message

Karim Ben Yahya


Salam to all,
I received this message from a colleague and I would like to share it with all my new friends in this group.

Pass it on to the rest of the world!

Please take a look @ this.
This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where you could read it every day. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.
1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
6. You mean the world to someone.
7. You are special and unique.
8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.
11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

So.......... .If you are a loving friend, send this to everyone, including the one that sent it to you. If you get it back, then they really do love you.
And always remember.... when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!

Good friends are like stars
You don't always see them,
But you know they are always there.
"Whenever God Closes One Door He Always Opens Another.

I would rather have one rose and a kind word from a friend while I'm here
than a whole truck load when I'm gone!

Linda Neas


Thank you, Karim!
I have read this before, it is such a good thing to remember, especially when we
feel we are not being loved or lovable.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had some kind of magic mirror that each day
showed us all the people that thought kindly of us during that day? I think we
all be very surprised.

Want to share a recommendation for a book. Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with
Morrie) just put out a new book, "For One More Day". It is a wonderful story of
the unconditional love of a parent and the often mistaken impressions of
children. I am getting copies for all my girls.
As always, blessings of Peace and Love,


Thank you for sharing this with us. It came to me on a particularly hard day. I've been teaching a TEFL course and one of the participants does not like me. I don't know when or how I offended her, but she claims that I deeply insulted her and has gotten the whole class against me. They treat me with reserve, which is hard to deal with when I usually feel very close to my students, especially in a course like this. This is just a reminder to us teachers that we can't please everyone, although we can try. We touch many people throughout our career, and make more of a good difference than bad.
It is hard, however, when we can't reach a student, and we tend totake it very personally. Thanks for a nice reminder of our place in life!

Claudia Bellusci


Dear Kari,
I understand how sad you must feel. It has happened to me some times. I think there's something wrong with your students own lives, so they place all the blame on you. Try to act as if their indiferent attitude did not affect you. Be as sweet and good-humoured as possible. In the end they will start revising their misconceptions about you.
Good luck!

Maite Martínez


Hi Kaly, most of the differences I have realized come more from personalizing to much. Every Saturday I take classes for important exams and one of our teachers is soooo Londoner, if you know what I mean, entonation...I have lived in London, so I would never take her approach to me with that exaggerated tone assomething personal, because I understand it is her way of expressing; however a classmate felt she could not ask anything because the teacher would answer toher in "such tone" means no monotone syllabic stresses spanish...but phrase stress very much expressive London accent. I can tell you this teacher was compleately dumbfounde d , however this is basically lack of confidence from student and lack of knowledge. So do not worry much and get some laugther with the video in my blog....IT WORKS, TRUST ME,


take care

Veronica Baig


Hi Kari:
I had a similar problem once when I was still teaching in a real classroom--it divided the class and felt uncomfortable for everyone. I solved the problem by announcing one morning that we were going to have a class meeting because clearly the class was not working the way any of us wanted, and it would be a good idea if we could all express our opinions about what we wanted to do in the class and our perceptions of what wasn't working. I started, so that they knew that my goals were very clear--I wanted a learning atmosphere in which they could all learn and feel

Soon, there was a really good discussion and it cleared the air. The student who was behind the
original ill-feeling had to recognize that there had been a misunderstanding. It was a good opportunity to reflect that in language learning we do need to learn to laugh at ourselves sometimes--we all can and do make mistakes.

That being said, I think we all know only too well that there is no pleasing every single student; by
being open, however, you can try to keep that one student from poisoning the whole class.
Good luck, and hang in there!

Berta Leiva


Karim, Linda, Kaly, Veronica, Claudia, Maite ... it seems this has happened to many of us one way or another in our teaching practices.

As many of you have mentioned, we can´t be "liked" by all our students, the same way we like some more than others, although we try to do our best to take all into account. I guess learning styles and teaching styles sometimes are in sync and sometimes not. Don´t we have a dear student who still gets in touch with us, sends us an email or pictures and includes us in family-friends major communications? Don´t we have a teacher we always remember very dearly and wish we could see him or her again or get in touch with?

When the feeling is general towards the worse, though, your recommendations seems quite right, to create a moment for reflection, to think about where the class stands, what can be improved and how we can all contribute with our best efforts to make the course the best we can, in spite of our differences, awkward or uneasy moments, etc. If it is a matter of just one student or a
pair, a private moment with them after a class can work magic. I once had a student who said she had a hard time in my class and wanted to change to another section. I talk to her privately and
said it was fine with me and I was willing to support her if that was what she wanted to do. She finally decided to stay and did quite well. She is still at the university and greets me with affection
whenever we run into each other ...
Thanks to all for sharing their thoughts on this.


Blogs of the week 


Claudia Bellusci


I've selected 4 blogs for you to see this week. Maybe you already know some of them, but now you're going to look at them with new eyes.
They are:
a.. BLOG-EFL by Graham Stanley - http://blog-efl.blogspot.com/
a.. Adelaide, Education and LIfe by Michael Coghlan -http://mikecogh.blogspot.com/
a.. The FCE Blog by Claudia Ceraso - http://fceblog.blogspot.com/
b.. Schoolmaster's Blog by Uwe Klemmhttp://blog.klemm-site.de/wordpress/?cat=4
Graham Stanley and Michael Coghlan are two outstanding webheads with a great experience in the field of blogging. Uwe Klemm was in las year Blogs in EFL session (where I also was, as a novice learner), and started a blog where he commented on books and recorded some parts of them. Claudia Ceraso is an
Argentinian teacher, who I met on the web, who has researched and published about blogs and who uses her own blog as an aid for her FCE candidate students.
I hope you enjoy them!



Color Codes


Erika Cruvinel

But let's try this chart of colors and codes.

Find the code for post titles in your template (edit html) and try to change that number you have.

I have really never tried this, so let me know if it works!


A very useful site


Monica Veado


Hi, everyone, I don't know if anyone has posted this link before in our group:
http://www.ipl.org (Internet Public Library)
There you can find links to thousands of newspapers, articles, books, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc, in different languages. I find it very useful to prepare classes and to use with my students. Hope you like it too!


Wrapping up week 5

Claudia Bellusci


My dear B4Bers,
I guess it's time to let the curtain fall on week 5. I know you will go on experimenting with widgets and personalizing your blogs. It takes time to decide which add-ons are best and see how they work. You can always change what does not work for you.
I hope we can go on building our list of widgets on the wiki
(Some Tips and Links to Personalize your Blog Template) and get your comments on your favourite
widgets and your experience with them on our blog (Just bells and whistles).
I still owe most of you a visit to your blogs. I hope to be around next week, while we are saying our goodbyes.
It was a real pleasure to moderate this week and chat with some of you. Count on me for anything you might need. I'll try to help you if it's in my hands.
All the best,

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