http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-language-arts-lessons : Students suggest what they would use to teach English Language Arts.
http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-social-studies-lessons Students suggest what they would use to teach Social Studies.
http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-comic-book-jalen A comic book book report. Fabulous,
http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-technology-integration-manual If you're not sure about where to start, this page gives you a great deal of support about tooks and how to use them in the classroom.

PLN (professional learning network) a quick Prezi presentation on how they work and why this is a 21st century skill. It connects with our definition of "experts." http://prezi.com/xh_kmcrqwtrp/while-i-was-sleeping/

A teacher describes her culminating activity in PBL about how illness was treated in the Middle Ages and by the Incas and Mayas: http://www.edutopia.org/summative-assessments-motivate-challenge-students-aguilar




==

  • Make a wall for the class timetable.
  • Days of the week / Months of the year (at the beginning of class).
  • Notify our students or parents of homework assignments and keep them up to date with what’s happening in class.
  • End-of-semester “best wishes” wall – students sign each others.
  • Birthday wishes, get well messages, messages of congratulations or farewell. (See Marisa Constantinides’ wall for a lovely example.
==
As a resource sharer – each sticky opens to a new site / video / image
  1. Exam practice sites.
  2. Grammar practice sites.
  3. Games.
  4. Project sites – students or teacher posts ideas for the project.
  5. Exam stress and study tips.
Video
  1. Create video tasks for students to post responses to.
  2. Post YouTube / TeacherTube videos for students to comment on.
  3. Students post their own (home) videos and create mini explanations with different posts.
  4. News videos from the Internet – post two on the same news story and get students to post differences between them.
  5. Music videos – students post the lyrics to the song (great for listening).
  6. Movie trailers – get a Wall discussion going on the movie.
  7. Movie dialogues – Post a clip from a movie and get students to write out the script.
  8. Video script – students post ideas, dialogue, storylines for a class video.
Web quests
  1. Post different links on different stickies for students to visit, look at and do some writing on / do a project on. Great for exposing students to different media.
  2. Web quests – Type in each sticky ‘find the answer to this / find a picture of… and paste the URL in the box.
Student walls
  1. Give students a theme and get them to create their own walls based around that theme.
  2. Get students to create fan walls based around a favourite band or celebrity.
  3. Me – Students make an ongoing profile – they can allow other students to add stickies to ask questions, add comments, make suggestions, etc.
  4. Students make a Wall showing their lifestory.
  5. Students make a Wall predicting their life from now.
Grammar
  1. Use images to get students to practicing different tenses and structures.
  2. Get students to post what they know about different verb tenses or grammar points.
  3. Sentence starters – Put the starter in the title of the Wall; students have to finish them by posting stickies.
  4. Make a wall for each grammar point introduced in class – include websites with examples of the grammar, student-created examples, screenshots of concordances, YouTube videos explaining the grammar. Students will have a good revision source when exams come.
  5. Teacher uses stickies as word magnets for students to move into the correct order.
  6. Grammar correction – Teacher posts student errors as stickies; students have to post corrections. This can be revisited over several days in students’ own time. It’s also good for teamwork – how many students on the same team posted the corrected versions?.
  7. Present perfect for life experiences – Teacher creates a “passport” using stickies of all the countries he/she has visited. Used to practice present perfect (she has been to…) and past simple (she went to X in 19XX). Also used for any other life experience.
  8. Comparatives and superlatives – Students post examples of these based on images, text, audio or video in stickies.
Speaking
  1. Post debates – put different arguments on different stickers for students to look at and respond to orally.
  2. Strange pictures – post strange images in stickies for students to talk about.
  3. Role plays – post different roles on different stickies – these become cues for the role plays.
  4. Agony aunts and uncles – Post stickies that ask for advice. Students discuss the advice to give.
  5. Talk for 60 seconds about… The teacher (or students) post images or videos in stickies for students to talk about for a minute.
  6. Creating stories – put different, unrelated images in different stickies. Students have to create a story relating them. They cold also write the story down.
Brainstorming
  1. Can be used to elicit things students might not want to express in front of the class – they can post anonymously.
  2. Brainstorming writing topics – Add a comment to each later.
  3. Brainstorm ideas for what to do in tomorrow’s class / that ten minutes last thing on a Friday / as the next project…
  4. “Five things each please” – Wallwisher means all students can have time to contribute five things each (or whatever number the teacher decides) to a brainstorming session. This could take a day or two and means quieter students contribute equally.
Two questions sprang to mind upon reading Tom’s words:
  1. How literate / illiterate am I?
  2. How literate do we need to be?
How literate / illiterate am I?
I think I do OK. I blog, I have websites and I do techy stuff in the classroom. I make mp3 files and get my students to use Web 2.0 tools. For some reason, my colleagues think I’m techy. For a very understandable reason, I worry I’m nowhere near techy enough. I would imagine this is a feeling common to most educators, regardless of how techy they are or appear to be. I like looking at new online tools but I always feel daunted by how much stuff is out there. And it keeps on coming.
I still have that procrastinatory-because-this-will-be-time-consuming-and-frustrating feeling each time I try a new techy online tool. Not sure why because all of the techy stuff I like is incredibly intuitive to use. Software developers seem to be spoiling us in producing instruction-less tools that we can be pretty much competent with after the first time of using.
How literate do we need to be?
Before attempting to answer this question, a reminder. Most of us are already quite technologically literate. We are all dab hands at word processing tools, spreadsheets, e-mail applications, uploading and downloading stuff on YouTube, Flickr, Pirate Bay (for the naughty ones)… We have all embraced social networks. We can all make something and put it online.
Now to answer the question – As a minimum for ESL/EFL teachers, I think we need to be tech-literate enough to be able to use a few tools for each of the four skills. That’s not much to start with. Perhaps…
Ten “buts” that need to disappear
These have all entered my head over the past 16 years, since the time I didn’t know where the on button was on my school’s first Mac. They get in the way of my technological literacy, but shouldn’t. I’ve added just one piece of advice to each.
1. But I don’t know where to start!
Here are two excellent lists of cool tools posted on Twitter this week. “Tools for the 21st Century Teacher” from Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557 on Twitter) and “A New Educational Paradigm” from David Deubelbeiss (@ddeubel on Twitter).
2. But my students won’t be able to understand.
The second tweet I liked from Twitter this week, from DB (@Nunavut_Teacher on Twitter) answers this:
external image prensky_quote1-300x95.jpg
3. But I can’t possibly keep up
Join Twitter. The greatest source of helpful and up-to-date professional development ever. You get cutting edge tools and developments and wonderfully helpful people who will help you with them.
4. But I’m not techy enough
If you can use e-mail, save a Word document and open a Facebook account, you can handle most Web 2.0 tools.
5. But I don’t have time
Start with one tool – give yourself a month to be comfortable with it. That’s 12 tools in a year. Probably more than I know now.
6. But I can’t use this in class
Check out the blogs – there are dozens of posts for each Web 2.0 tool giving excellent classroom ideas.
7. But I teach English
And luckily, most of these tools cope with this language. And what’s more, require students to use it.
8. But I can’t handle change
You handled e-mail, Word and Facebook.
9. But I’m too busy
These tools will save you time. Make time to learn a few.
10. But I’m too old
Mwahahahaha.
Get techy. No buts.
Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

Voki

May 21st, 2010
Create a speaking avatar and add your voice
Voki is a wonderful little tool that allows you to make your own avatar that speaks your messages. It appeals to me for these reasons:
  • it’s free
  • it’s incredibly easy to use – so intuitive – absolutely no training or reading is necessary
  • it’s great fun
  • my students really like it
  • it has many cool uses
  • you can embed it in your blog or website or e-mail it to someone
Here’s one of my Voki avatars:
I typed my message and selected the voice and accent from the drop-down menus. You sometimes have to type phonetically – For the avatar to pronounce ‘Voki’, I had to type ‘vocky’.

I usually try and choose the hair, face shape, clothing options that most resemble me. I can’t seem to find an option for the few bits of hair I have on the sides of my bald pate – guess they might come in the next version
:-)
:-)

Cool voice options:
  • you can type what you want the avatar to say, as I did above (the text-to-speech is pretty good)
  • you can record your own message that your avatar will speak and lip-sync to
  • you can send a phone message to Voki that your avatar will use
  • you can browse an upload an MP3 file from your computer
All very easy. All very cool and fun. I also like moving the cursor around the screen and watching my avatar’s eyes follow it – small things like that amuse me.
Classroom uses
1. Setting up
a. Groundwork
Explore with your students the concept of avatars. Should they look like yourself or should you let your creative juices take over? Introduce the James Cameron movie into the discussion. You could do one of my Listen A Minute.com lesson on avatars.
b. Purpose
Discuss with your students what they could use their avatar(s) for. You could create a reading exercise and write a short piece on your thoughts on and uses of avatars. This could be a model for students’ writing.
2. The Voki website and creating an avatar
a. Exploit the web page
Quite often we send our students to websites and expect them to know all of the vocabulary. There’s a lot we could do to make use of the language on a page for learning purposes. The Voki homepage is a great source of “modern” and “techy” vocab, which I guess is fairly high-frequency (?) among younger people.
Examples on the Voki homepage: customize, social networks, participate, personalize, advertising, profile, innovative, creativity, groundbreaking, upload, privacy policy, terms of service
Encourage students to explore on their own by clicking on the links that show the video or go to the forum… This can give lower level learners the confidence to explore more on the Net.
b. Describing people
Students can choose from quite an array of options for their avatar. This gives the teacher a lot of very useful vocabulary to work with. It has all the facial features, hairstyles, skin colours, uniforms and even a whole section of bling (that’s ‘accessories’ for those my age and older).
c. Nationalities
Another useful opportunity for vocabulary practice. A drop-down menu provides you with the accent for your Voki – you can choose from Basque to Czech to Galician to Polish to Turkish and lots more in between (including US and UK English).
3. The avatar
a. Character development
Once students have their avatar, they write their own profile for it and develop its character. Students can write questions to each other’s avatars or comment on them.
b. Question the avatars
Students write questions for each other’s avatars.
c. Comparisons
Students write comparisons between themselves and their avatar.
d. Grammar practice
Students write about their avatar. The writing fits the grammar being taught by the teacher (what the avatar did yesterday, what it’s going to do in the future, likes and dislikes…).
e. Family and friends
Students create a family and friends for their avatar. These can be additional Vokis or those they create for a written activity.
4. Avatar communication
a. Ice-breaker
Use the avatar to introduce yourself to your students or for students to introduce themselves to others.
b. E-mail
Get students to record a Voki and send the message to you. It could accompany homework with a short message about their work, a request, an apology for being late…
c. Class wiki / website
Students record Vokis to welcome visitors to their blog / wiki / website.
d. Projects
i. Make an online “class wall” of Vokis – all students introduce themselves.
ii. Next time you do a class project, get students to present it all with Vokis.
iii. Pass the Voki. The teacher records a Voki message and e-mails it to the first student. He or she records what he/she hears and sends it to student 2. Repeat the process until the final student Vokis the teacher. The class see if the final Voki is the same as the first.
iv. Voki soap opera – The class creates a soap opera based on Vokis.
Resources
40 (and counting) more links to cool stuff on Voki
Plus…
Please tell us how you use Voki by posting a comment. Thank you
:-)
:-)

Tags: avatar, pronunciation, speaking, text-to-speech, Voki, web 2.0
Posted in Voki | 9 Comments »

Adblockers

May 12th, 2010
Will adblockers bring the end of free websites?
external image shock_pay-233x300.jpgWhat are adblockers?
They are add-ons / plug-ins people can download to their web browsers. They block anything written with javascript and flash. This means they automatically block ads and in many cases interactive activities. One of these add-ons is Firefox’s biggest download. Millions more people are using adblockers every week.
The bad news
Many English language teaching websites that make materials available for free rely on ads (from Google or elsewhere) to keep going. These include sites like mine (BreakingNewsEnglish.com, Listen A Minute.com, ESL Discussions.com, etc).
Adblocking software is effectively strangling the revenue streams from these sites.
Many webmasters and materials creators are deciding to call it a day.
The bottom line is that many more sites will go offline because of the damage adblockers are doing.
What can you do?
If you have adblocking software, please “whitelist” the sites you do not want to go out of business. There are filters within the menu of the add-on / plug-in for you to allow ads on those sites. You will be really helping their survival.
What can free websites do?
Be responsible and filter the ads on your site. Below is a site that perhaps needs to think a lot more about who will potentially see these ads, and less about maximizing ad revenue from absolutely minimal content.
external image adblocker_bad_ads-300x280.jpg
This particular graphic shows why many people, justifiably, have got fed up with ads and are turning to adblockers. This website page shows the famous diet and IMVU ads encircling just EIGHT words of content.
I teach young Arab women in the Middle East. Any “fleshy” ads can cause offense to them, even in cartoon / avatar-like format. I block them from appearing on all of my sites.
The future of my sites
I really don’t know what to do. I wouldn’t really be exaggerating to say the bottom fell out of my world when I came across adblockers and what they are doing to my sites. I have worked pretty hard every day for six years on my sites. I’m now wondering whether it’s worthwhile continuing, given the fact that one day (probably very) soon, everyone will have adblocking software.
I will have to make one of three choices soon:
  1. call it a day on my sites altogether (really can’t entertain this thought)
  2. start charging subscriptions (don’t really want to do this)
  3. ask for donations (not sure if this would work)
I’m thinking if I can make more sites, I won’t have to resort to asking people to pay.
Your comments would be very welcome. I need all the advice I can get.
Tags: Adblockers, adblocking software, free materials, free websites
Posted in Adblockers | 47 Comments »

10 Blogs

April 30th, 2010
“10 blogs worth keeping an eye on”
Three of my PLN recently included me in their list of “10 blogs worth keeping an eye on”. Each of them made my day. There are so many fantastic blogs out there it’s quite humbling to be on these lists. Particularly because of the enormous admiration I have for these people. So thank you Sue Lyon-Jones, Janet Bianchini and Henrick Oprea.
So what’s this stamp below?
external image valelapenadesdercdeinte.jpg
I’m going to borrow the words of Janet Abruzzo, who described it so well, to explain more about it:

“It is part of an initiative called “Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog”, which means “It’s worth keeping an eye on this blog”. The chosen blog has to copy the picture above, with a link to the blog from which it has received the award . Then write ten more links to the blogs which you think are well worth a visit. They in turn if they would like to, of course, copy the image above and link to 10 blogs.”

Here are Janet’s, Sue’s and Henrick’s lists.
So difficult to choose just ten
Almost impossible. I chose those that uploaded posts very regularly. Here they are:
**Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day**
A constant source of very informative posts, links and updates on all things ESL, ELL and EFL from one of ESL’s most active bloggers. If you need a list of resources – Larry is sure to have a good one.
**EFL Classroom 2.0**
From David Duebelbeiss, who says: “When 1 Teaches, 2 Learn.” Stuff on language, linguistics, Web 2.0. as well as teaching recipes. From the creator of the EFL Classroom 2.0 ning. This blog is full of original and creative ideas. Always such compelling reading. You know you’re really gonna enjoy the new post.
**Teacher Reboot Camp**
Shelly Terrell’s posts on the latest developments and tools available to educators, from Twitter to Second Life. Her dynamism and entusiasm are evident throughout this must blog and are infectious.
**Jason Renshaw’s Blog**
A blog from the maker of EnglishRaven.com. Jason gives us his (often stirring) thoughts on ESL resources and activities and the wider world of English language teaching.
**Kalinago English**
Musings, information, ideas and reviews on ESL teaching and educational technology from the indomitable and wise blogger Karenne Sylvester, who always pops up in times of need
:-)
:-)
.
**Marxist TEFL Group**
The Marxist TEFL Group calls itself an ‘alternative campaigning’ blogging group focusing on the language teaching industry. They say their “ideas are rooted in the day to day experiences of ordinary teachers and language learners”. Always a real ride of a read.
**Nik Peachey’s Learning Technology Blog**
Tips, resources and teaching materials to help EFL and ESL teachers use ICT and new technology. A must if you want to use new tools in your teaching.
**Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog**
A well-conceived blog about teaching, learning, reflecting and being a 21st century learner & teacher. Contains excellent reviews of the very latest digital tools for the classroom. I have no idea where Ozge finds so many resources, but am glad she does.
**The TEFL Tradesman**
In his own words: “Sandy McManus – a.k.a The Tefl Tradesman – is dedicated to telling it like it is, spilling the beans, and dishing the dirt on the UK’s tacky TEFL trade and all those who are unprincipled enough to partake of it. If you work in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), or are quite simply mad enough to even contemplate it, this is the site to check out every week!” – Says it all
:-)
:-)

**Burcu Akyol’s Blog**
Impressions, reflections, reviews, tips and resources from an [inspiring] English teacher, blogger and international conference organizer. The blog is full of very good guest posts and explanations about some of Burcu’s adventurous and courageous projects.
Tags: bloggers, blogging, Blogs, ESL Materials
Posted in Blogs | 9 Comments »

Paired and group writing activity

April 27th, 2010
20 benefits of paired / group writing
This is one of those activities I’ve never read about in ideas and resources books but which is so simple and effective it must be in one somewhere.
It is the idea of communal writing – putting students into pairs, or groups of three, four, five… and getting each student in each pair / group to write exactly the same thing, down to the spelling, punctuation, paragraph breaks, etc.
(Of course each pair / group will give you a different piece of writing.)
external image writing-300x258.jpg
My instructions to students are as follows:

You will write as a pair/group.
You will all write EXACTLY the same thing as the other student(s) in your pair / group.
You will all write at the same time (please do not make one draft and then let other students copy it later).
EVERYTHING you write in your pair / group must be the same. Check that your spelling, grammar and punctuation are the same as those of your partner.
If there are things you do not agree on, write them on a separate piece of paper and I’ll take it later, or quickly e-mail it to me.

Why do I think this is an utterly and totally fantastic exercise?
  1. It’s collaborative.
  2. It turns a writing activity into a multi-skills task.
  3. Students learn from each other.
  4. In my experience, students tend to think more about what to write, which produces better quality ideas. It’s great watching students have fun brainstorming and bouncing ideas off each other.
  5. It’s a good opportunity for students to share their writing exam tips and hints (in their L1 if necessary).
  6. The finished piece of writing is often of a quality better than if students were to write individually.
  7. Mistakes are more likely to be ironed out within the group, leaving any incorrect work to be errors, which are more useful for the teacher to work on.
  8. The activity contains many elements of process writing, but student controlled.
  9. If you assign group names and tell students their work will go up on the board, they tend to write better for the future audience of their written work.
  10. Students think and talk about spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  11. It makes a nice change from individual writing.
  12. It gives the teacher a whole lot more time to monitor – five pieces of writing among 20 students is a lot easier than 20 individual pieces of writing.
  13. It drastically cuts down on marking / correcting papers – I take one finished piece of writing from each group (making the assumption the other students in each group wrote the same thing) and correct it.
  14. Give feedback is quicker. I return a copy to each student in the group and talk to the group as a whole.
  15. Stronger students can help weaker students.
  16. The teacher can use the points students do not agree on for a boardwork correction stage.
  17. If students mail the teacher the points they do not agree on, (s)he has a ready-made sample of work to copy and paste into an activity on the smart board / projector. This sample is likely to be useful in monolingual groups in that it is likely to consist of common errors.
  18. It’s fantastic for whole class writing project work. You can swap students around so each new student adds ideas to the original group.
  19. The activity can be used for grammar test practice activities where accuracy is key.
  20. It can be used for spelling tests and is fun if you make it a competition – the group with the most correct answers being the winner.
I hope you try this and then write a comment below. Or you could just write a comment below
:-)
:-)

Tags: fun, group work, pairwork, writing, written work
Posted in writing | 18 Comments »

Jigsaw Listening

April 19th, 2010
21 Reasons for Making Your Own Audio Files for Jigsaw Listening
My school’s resource room is brimming to the rafters with listening materials. There are CDs that go with coursebooks, audio accompaniments to graded readers, listening courses and a whole lot more. Add to this the millions of files online on websites and via podcasts and you have several billion hours of listening material.
But is that good enough?
Is it exactly what your students need in that lesson?
I’ve usually found the answer to these questions to be ‘no’. Sure, it’s practice, but it all seems too “textbooky / EFL classroom-ish”. None of the CDs, tapes (remember those?) or MP3s and WAVs was exactly what I wanted for my class.
So a long time ago, in 2005, I started making my own listening materials, using the free audio editor and recorder Audacity, which is my favourite piece of software ever in the whole wide world, ever.

external image audacity_logo.jpg
This post isn’t a how-to on Audacity, so I’ll direct you to Russell Stannard’s excellent teacher-training video for that.
Here I’ll describe a few things that work for me when making jigsaw listenings tailored to my students’ needs of the moment.
external image jigsaw-150x150.png http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/75/Jigsaw.svg/600px-Jigsaw.svg.png
Jigsaw Listening
OK. When was the last time you saw a jigsaw listening CD? Never. Thought so. I think jigsaw listening is one of the most valuable communicative activities around. It’s an audio information gap activity. Different groups of students listen to different parts of a text, then exchange information with each other to complete a task – piece the info together, find out who or what is being talked about, etc. It is great as the centerpiece of an integrated all-skills lesson.
The fantastic things about recording jigsaw listenings yourself are:
  1. you control the level and content of the audio text.
  2. you can build the rest of the lesson around the jigsawed listenings.
  3. you can use them to recycle vocabulary, grammar and other language taught earlier.
  4. you can make games out of them.
  5. you can make the listenings from student-generated work.
  6. you can use them to introduce factual content (giving each group different sets of facts).
  7. students love the fact they have to listen and then share and find out.
  8. the element of having to pass on information heard seems to make students “listen harder”.
  9. today’s technology means iPhones, laptops and classroom PCs do away with the need to drag 12 tape recorders/CD players to class.
  10. you can use the jigsaw listening for anything – introduce an important piece of school news by cutting it into different recorded pieces.
  11. get students to put events in a chronological order.
  12. you can beef up a lackluster textbook reading be recording it as a jigsaw reading.
  13. you can add intrigue to graded readers by creating jigsawed summaries.
  14. focus on different tenses by giving groups parts of the story set in the past, present and future.
  15. use it as a critical thinking activity – give students different parts of a set of instructions / cooking recipe / directions, etc for them to piece back together logically.
  16. liven up mystery stories.
  17. explain grammar by giving students different parts of the puzzle.
  18. explain word families by giving students different information about a word (collocations, parts of speech, antonyms & synonyms, use in phrasal verbs, etc).
  19. it can save you time (especially if you re-use the audio). They can take as little as ten minutes (the time it normally takes to do three one-minute recordings plus editing, saving, etc. The students then spend ages (all quality time) on the listening and piecing back together of the text.
  20. it’s free.
  21. you never have to visit that dusty resource room again.
If you have other suggestions for jigsaw listening, please share them in the comments below.
Thank you.
Tags: Audacity, audio, jigsaw listening, listening, mp3
Posted in Audio Files | 15 Comments »

Teaching and Your Health

April 12th, 2010
Look after yourself
Had a life-changing experience last Thursday. I had my blood pressure checked for the first time in five years. Always thought I was fit and healthy. I exercise, don’t smoke, drink only at EFL conferences and watch what I eat.
But then I keep forgetting my profession, for all that’s great about it, is usually in the top 5 of the world’s most stressful jobs. More on why in a later post.
When the nurse read my blood pressure reading and asked me what medication I was on I was a little surprised. “None,” I said. She told me my BP was 175/104. Those numbers meant little to me but I wanted to know more after another nurse, a nutritionist and a doctor told me the figures were seriously high. The doc said he’d fast-track me to see a specialist cardiologist.
external image blood-pressure.jpghttp://www.edrugsearch.com/edsblog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/high-blood-pressure-hypertension.jpg
The first Internet result I looked at on the search “blood pressure 175/104” said: “You shouldn’t be in front of the computer reading this; you should be at the ER.”
I thought about those numbers and how my job, websites and everything related might influence them. I suddenly realized there were many stressful aspects to my life. Work, maintaining 8 websites and wanting to make 18 more, the worry of how much adblocker add-ons and software (another future post) are damaging the future of my sites (and the free web), making conference presentations and workshops, getting blog posts done “on time” etc. etc. etc – things most of you reading this will readily identify with.
I always thought I was indestructible. Being told you have high blood pressure and what the dangers are shattered that illusion.
I spent the weekend having a serious think and immediately changed my life.
Below are some things I hope you think about
Sleep management
Manage to get lots. Go to bed earlier. Wake up later. For years I’ve been getting up way too early (4.45) and going to bed too late. I’ve always thought napping was a waste of time (silly me).
Exercise
It’s vital to good health. I exercise a lot. Wonder what my bp figures would be without it. Join a gym, park as far away from school as possible, walk and tell your colleague upstairs instead of mailing him/her. Get out of that chair in front of that computer.
Eat well
I’ve immediately cut down on salt, started eating walnuts every day and have vowed to say farewell to Ronald and his unhealthy fodder. Packed the supermarket trolley with fruit from all over the world, a kilo of walnuts and oily fish. I do like a nice walnut
:-)
:-)

Coffee
Drink less. I had to cough out the number 15 when the nurse asked me how many cups a day I drank. She stared at me. I immediately cut down to two a day and will stop altogether in a few weeks. The nurse said I shouldn’t go from 15 to zero overnight. Day 3 on two cups a day. Don’t miss it. I think I’m sleeping better, but early days.
Say ‘No’
I’ve spent my career saying yes to whatever came along – new courses, promotions, projects, workshops… Naturally, I’ve learnt loads and done lots. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s OK to say no. It gives you more time to spend making other things even better. Saying no can greatly and instantly relieve stress.
Play time
Play more with your students in class. Aim for fun. Whatever the lesson content, it can and should be done with fun. Enjoying your classes more will reduce stress.
Rant
Don’t keep things inside you. If you’re fed up about something, tell someone. A problem shared is a problem halved. There was a laughter club at my old college. I think a rant club might be interesting.
Get out more
All work and no play makes Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (and girl). Nuff said. Get away from that computer.
Think health
Have check-ups more regularly. Especially if you’re the more experienced and wiser side of 39.
Share the love
Spend longer with the ones you love. Hug them more and longer.
A great site for basic info on blood pressure and what the numbers mean – click on the picture below:
external image blood_pressure_chart-300x280.jpg
Will keep you posted on this post on visits to the cardiologist.
Tags: blood pressure, Health, walnuts
Posted in Health | 36 Comments »
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