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Child’s play crafts that increase spelling skills (by Anna Musielak)

My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. 

A. A. Milne 

English might be an easy language but its spelling is tough and complicated. The words are spelled and pronounced differently and there are a lot of exceptions to the existing rules. That is why it is important to make spelling activities exciting and fresh. We should refrain from dull drilling and making our students rewrite a certain words 10 times. Instead let’s make spelling colourful and fun so that even when kids write the same word 10 times they do it differently and they don’t get bored and discouraged. (more…)

Engaging young (and very young) learners with (basic) craft projects (by Anna Musielak)

Arts and crafts involve children simultaneously in activities promoting their personal development and in helping them to learn the language. While making things, children also make meaning. As they explore shapes, colours, textures, constructions, they are extending their experience and understanding of the world – and doing it through the medium of the foreign language.

                                                            Alan Maley

Crafting is my hobby – despite the fact that I am a very messy and clumsy person;) I find it relaxing and challenging at the same time- just like teaching kids! My interest in using crafts to teach English started with my daughter – now 5 years old. I wanted to make learning fun and memorable for her. Agnes collects a lot of “rubbish” which she likes to embellish and she just loves drawing, painting, gluing, cutting and folding which makes me very happy as it helps her develop her motor skills. As for me – well, it keeps me busy because I have to clean the mess she makes afterwards;).  I decided to use Aga’s interests to introduce some new English words and sentences and to make learning enjoyable. (more…)

Community, Collaboration, and Leadership at Nakasendo 2012 (by Chuck Sandy)

Every once in a way you hear someone say something so true that everything inside you shifts a little. Lights go off in your mind. Pieces of things you’ve been thinking about for years suddenly get tied together, and all at once you wind up with a new frame for the window you use to see the world.

This happened to me a few years ago when I heard community activist Bob Stilger say, “every community is full of leaders just waiting to be asked to step forward”. Those words from Bob helped me to reframe and redefine my thinking, the same way that Steven Herder’s now famous statements about collaboration did. When I first heard Steven say, “Anything I can do, we can do better (together)” and “collaboration provides just the right amount of pressure to get things done” similar bright lights went off inside me as a new framework took hold. It is now not too much to say that these statements have come to define how I think about community building, collaboration, and leadership. (more…)