Monday, May 27, 2013

"Connected Learners"

Hello everyone!

My english class has written a book, and I think that YOU should read it!
It contains lots of information on how teaching and learning could be done in a better and more modern way. It is a step by step guide, on how to make the classroom more global and connected, and how we can benefit from that.

I am not going to write too much about what the book contains, you should read it for your self! Here is the link where you can purchase it:

All the money we ear from the sales will be used on a class trip.

I hope that you read the book, and that you like it, please comment what you think about it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Social inequality in films and literature

We are living in a world with huge social inequalities. While some people live in luxury with four cars, private pools and money enough for three lives, others may live in poverty, in sheds, or on the streets only a few neighbourhoods away.

This week I saw the movie "The Blind Side". It is about the homeless boy Michael Oher. He has got little education, his mother is a drug addict, he has lived in several foster homes and he doesn't seem to have a very bright future. However, he meets Leigh Anne Tuohy, who takes him into her home. She makes sure he gets into a school, gives him clothes, food and love. Michael ends up as a successful football player, all thanks to Leigh Anne's care.

The film really makes you reflect on topic of social inequality. Especially in the end, where Leigh Anne shows a couple of news notices. They are all about young, black, men who have been killed. They have all had little education, but are described as great in sports. She says that that could have been Michael, if she had not taken him into her home. This movie shows really well how big the differences are, but also how small they can be. If Michael had not met Leigh Anne he would not have ended up as a professional football player. One person believed in him, and that made the whole difference. Movies like “The Blind Side” can be open your eyes on how much social inequality there actually is. They can help us see the realities we may have never thought of, or been told about.

Social inequalities is not something new, it has probably always existed. The book "The Secret Life of Bees" takes place in the 1960s in USA, and tells about differences between the living conditions for the black and the white people. This book has got a lot of the same message as “The Blind Side”, except that it is from 50 years earlier. Reading books like this one can give you a perspective on how social inequality has changed over the years. You can actually learn a bit of history by reading books like this!

Books are almost always good storytellers, and can give you a view on a topic from a completely different point of view. I think it is very helpful to zoom in on the life and thoughts of one or two persons, and getting to know them, instead of just learning about the whole situation generally. You feel like you get to know the main character, and understand their opinions and experiences. It is so much easier to connect with one person, and you can feel empathy and sympathy for them. That is probably why reading books or watching films makes it easier to understand really is. You get to experience it through another person, instead of just reading the definition in a boring text book.

There is a lot of social inequality in the world, and it is often difficult to see it. The great thing about books and movies is that they show stories the viewer/reader can relate to. I think that is the reason why books/movies have so much influence on people.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Here are my thoughts on the book. 

Page 45: “Beneath those photos were five more that Grandpa Portman had never shown me. I wondered why, until I looked closer. Three were so obviously manipulated that even a kid would see through them: one was a laughable double exposure of a girl “trapped” in a bottle; another showed a “levitating” girl, suspended by something hidden in the dark doorway behind her; the third was a dog with a boy’s face pasted crudely onto it. As if these weren’t bizarre enough, the last two were like something out of David Lynch’s nightmares: one was an unhappy young contortionist doing a frightening backbend; in the other a pair of freakish twins were dressed in the weirdest costumes I’d ever seen. Even my grandfather, who’d filled my head with stories of tentacle-tongued monsters, ad realized images like these would give any kid bad dreams”.

This paragraph is important in the book because it introduces the reader to the theme. The pictures are the red thread through the whole history, and this is where Jacob finds them. This starts the whole story. The pictures are the reason for the story, and in this particular paragraph is where Jacob starts wondering what if his grandpa’s stories actually are true. He always thought they were pure fantasy, but these photos make him think twice. He has to decide whether he should trust his grandpa’s stories, or just forget about them.

Page 79: “My grandfather had described it a hundred times, but in his stories the house was always a bright, happy place – big and rambling, yes, but full of light and laughter. What stood before me now was no refuge from monsters but a monster itself, staring down from its perch on the hill with vacant hunger”.

This paragraph describes the setting of the old house on the island in Wales, where most of Grandpa Portman’s stories take place. It describes both how the house was for Grandpa Porter, and what Jacob sees today. The house, the setting has two sides, the happy place in the loop where the kids found refuge, and the sad, scary abandoned house. There is a dark side of the story, with monsters, and a happy side of the story, where Jacob finds friends and happy times.

Page 243: “He could see the monsters. The moment she said it, all the horrors I thought I’d put behind me came flooding back. They were real. They were real and they’d killed my grandfather.
                “I can see them too,” I told her, whispering it like a secret shame.
                Her eyes welled and she embraced me. “I knew there was something peculiar about you,” she said. “And I mean that as the highest compliment.””

This paragraph describes the plot very well. The most important part of the plot is the fact that Grandpa Portman’s stories are real, all the monsters are real, everything that Grandpa Portman ever had said was real. The peculiar children exist, and Jacob, who has always been a bit different, proves be one of them.  This is what the whole book is built on, and when Jacob knows that both the monsters and the peculiars the plot starts building up.

Character development:
Page 302-303: “So I squeezed my eyes shut, because I didn’t want its gaping jaws to be the last thing I’d ever see, and gripped the shears in front of me with both hands. Time seemed to stretch out, like they say it does in car crashes and train accidents and free-falls from airplanes, and the nest thing I felt was a bone-jarring collision as I slammed into the hollow.
I killed it, I thought. I really killed it. All the time I’d spent being afraid, I never dreamed that I could actually kill one!

In this paragraph, Jacob realizes how much he has changed from meeting the peculiar children. He has grown to trust himself, and his grandpa’s stories. He has gone from being a scared, careful boy, to actually killing the monster, and saving both his life and many others. We get to know Jacob closer and closer, and during the book he discovers more and more about himself. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I have just finished reading this book, and I really enjoyed it.
It was both interesting and different from many books I have read before. At first it seems like a normal story, about a boy who goes to England to discover more about his grandfather, and his childhood. But, soon it turns out that Grandpa Portman's stories all were true. Both monsters and peculiar children really do exist! I really love the way the vintage photos in the book complements the story, they really add a special atmosphere to the book.
I also think that the story was great. It is all fantasy and made up, but it was not so unrealistic that is seemed weird. However, I am not sure if I liked the ending or not. It was quite unexpected, but a little weird.

Here are two of the pictures from the book, some of them are really creepy. If any of you have read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Todays work

My class is working on a book project. We are going to write a book together, and today we were supposed to start working on it. We got a couple of questions, an we had to choose one of them to answer. I decided on working together with my friend, Hanne ( ). Our question was: "feel free to write about other ways to collaborate". We have written a text about collaborating and getting in touch with people from all over the world via twitter and Skype. Both Skype and Twitter are both social medias that are great to get in contact with other people, and it is perfect if need information, but can't find it. Even if you feel like you have read through almost all homepages, and all books on a subject, there will always be someone who know more. You just need to get in touch with them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reading books

I am going to read an English book, and I have chosen to read "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children". I read about it here:

It has got very good reviews, and many people have rated it with 5 stars. The title really attracted me, it is weird, funny, and seems at bit scary. I think that books with good titles usually are good books. I also like that the author has mixed in photographs in the book, this is different, and something I have never seen before. It is very unusual and creative, and I think that may add something great to the book. Almost all of the reviews I have read says that it is a very good story, and that the author has written it very well. There are also some people that were disappointed with the ending. I really hope that the ending isn't that bad, because I hate a bad ending of a good book. One review said: "I just had to read it to the end!" I take that as a good sign, and I hope that it is as good as it seems.

I am looking forward to read this book

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trace effect

In class today a played a game called "Trace Effect", and we saw a movie called "Edward Scissorhands". It is a very cute movie, and I recommend everyone to see it! The game is made by the U.S. state department, and it is meant to tech students from age 12 to 16 about American English language, and American culture and society. It is also a way of for English learners abroad to use the language in a new way. If you want, you can try it for yourself here:

When you enter the game, you have to make an account. When you have done that, you have to wait for ages for the game to load so that you can start playing. It took way to long time to load, and I spent quite a lot of time waiting and eating chocolate. When it finally loaded in, I was pretty excited to start playing. But, I was quite disappointed. The plot is that Trace, a student from the future uses a time machine, and travels back to 2012, out time. But, the machine gets broken, and he has to find a girl called Emma Fields to be able to travel back. To find this girl, you have to complete many tasks. The game was very slow, and it consisted of a lot of walking around. Just walking and walking, looking for people, and looking for places. I was supposed to find a girl named Kit, and to do that I first had to find a library. Then I had to go to an office to get a student ID, an after that go back to the library. I thought I had completed a task, but then I had to go to a sandwich shop and deliver sandwiches. I did not really understand why I had to do this, and I really found it pointless, so I gave up after that.

I think the games used way to long time to start up. I waited and waited, and when I finally entered the game I expected it to be interesting. I think the game was to slow, because you have to walk around a lot, and it was repeating itself too much. However, I think it is a good idea, and that it could be a great alternative to regular learning/teaching if it is developed a bit more. I think it can be a great variety in school work, especially for younger kids. I think the age group is a bit wrong. It fits better for kids aged 10 to 12, even if it is a bit boring.

I will give this game a two on the dice, simply because it was to boring! Everything took way too much time, and I was bored to quickly. Also I believe the age group is wrong, but it is a good idea!

                                                          A two for now, but...

                it could get a five if it changes a bit, and changes age group to around 10 to 12.