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Text types: Mensaje / Nota

A message / sticky note is a brief communication.
The main idea here is being brief, to the point, no unnecessary words to make it more beautiful are needed.
It is a short message/note we write to a person that usually is not with us to tell her/him/them something, ask a favor or in some cases both.

Find below some important features to keep in mind when writing your postcard:

  • Greeting (if needed): you usually introduce yourself
  • brief explanation on your absence (what happened, where are you, where have you gone, when are you coming back...)
  • the idea or favor you are asking from that person
  • farewell

Remember that to know the type of text you are writing and the main features is essential to score highly in your paper 2, and that is going to be a 25% of your final score.

It does not matter how slowly you go
as long as you do not stop
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ab Initio Internal Assessment: Educación

I am working on getting these activities on paper [just for schools] as a part of a personal social project I want to start as well, but in the meantime I am just putting everything together here. Enjoy!

1.- Observe the image
2.- Answer the questions in the space provided
3.- At the end of the presentation click on "exportar el texto", a .doc file will download to your computer with the questions and your answers
4.- Turn it in to your teacher
5.- Read his feedback carefully
6.- Come up with an action plan to improve and set a specific goal and time to review your progress
7.- Review your progress

Please, if you find a minute, give me some feedback in the comments. It is really useful.

Sharing education, 
sharing a book...
that's what changes the world
Brad Meltzer
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¿Qué hora es?

Telling the time in Spanish is just one more thing we need to teach, no matter which curriculum you are following, at early stages.
After several years bringing in materials to class and checking them with my students I've put together this post compiling everything you need for these classes.
One thing I've learnt over the years is that the more times you re-visit something the easier for your students to internalize the content. Telling the time is one of those things you can find everywhere, and so, it should be something you re-visit every single class. Also, you can review it integrating the time into different activities.
For instance, to check understanding on my students we do an activity call Tuitea tu clase, I usually do it once a week in my class and is perfect to combine it with reviewing the time in Spanish, give it a try and let me know how it goes.
This presentation you find below has explanations, videos and activities to check if your students have learnt the time in Spanish, and at the end even give your total score in percentage, so I tell my students to do it individually and use it as a class grade. Easy, simple and effective ;)

More resources:
It is a beautiful thing when a career
and a passion come together
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ab Initio Unit: Educación

This unit is perfect for making connections to the rest of the themes in your ab Initio course.
For example, we can talk or connect education and sports, global issues, time, geography, physical descriptions, character, nationalities, etc.

Attention: The recorder for the IO just works on Mozilla Firefox.

We learn about education in Spanish through a Power Point. This is our main document with links to activities, questions, visuals, etc.
It is advisable to start introducing, at least, some vocabulary related to the unit, for that, you can use the flashcards below:



La escuela [pdf]
¿Qué hora es? [interactive online]
- ¿A qué hora es? [interactive online]
Individual Oral resources for Educación [web]


Individual Oral:
Choose one visual stimulus from below and spend 15 min preparing for your oral exam. Remember that you just can take with you 10 concepts=key words=phrases and that you are not allowed to read them during your exam.

Idea: you have the pictures here, why don't practicing a bit at home or in your free time?

emember that for learning to happen we need attention, we need your attention. In order to boost up your attention you might want to connect any topic you are studying to personal experiences, beliefs, find practical applications, share it with your family, talk with your friends about what you are currently learning, find a buddy that can explain what you don't understand, etc.

Education is a journey not a race
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It happened in 2016 / Speaking activity: Castellers

This activity has been designed for my Spanish students, therefore most of the responses will be in Spanish and focused in the IB exam format.
1.- Look at the image in this post and describe the scene [be as specific as you can, to the detail]
2.- Mention the topic this image is related to and justify it
3.- Give your personal point of view
4.- Develop your ideas and don't forget about supporting details 
5.- End with a personal reflection
Think about these three questions, they can help you develop your ideas:

  • What's going on in this picture? / ¿Qué está pasando en esta foto?
  • What do you see that makes you say that? / ¿En qué te apoyas para decir eso?
  • Do you find any connection to your own culture? / ¿Encuentras alguna conexión con tu propia cultura?

Then, join the conversation by posting comments below and responding to the comments of others. Your teacher can give you personalized feedback replying to your comments below.

Context information for the image:
Castellers de Vilafranca form a human tower called "castell" during a biannual competition in Tarragona city, Spain.
Image's source: 
Website: Reuters
Photographer: Albert Gea
Location: Tarragona, Spain.
Date: October 2, 2016.

Relax and learn!

Related links:
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Writing visual activities to get started with paper 2 in ab Initio

We, teachers, know that abInitio is a tough course and we are always looking for new ways of helping our students to rush through the syllabus. 
I found this activity great to help my students to develop their writing skills at the very beginning, scaffolding them with visuals to come up with a story. But also works great with more advanced students to help them develop more creativity in their tasks.

Remember that is also crucial that all your writing activities involve text types format, as it is taking into account when it comes to grading.

Ab Initio paper 2 resources
El individuo y la sociedad
Trabajo y ocio
El medio urbano y rural
Cuestiones globales
Datos personales, apariencia y carácter
Geografía física
Medios de comunicación
La ciudad y sus servicios
Tiempo meteorológico
Salud física

All images used are from http://publicdomainvectors.org/, if you are looking for free images to use in your classes, I highly recommend this site, it is awesome!

Too often we give children answers to remember
rather than problems to solve
Roger Lewin





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