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domingo, 16 de setembro de 2012

September 2012 Newsletter

© Clever Pants 2011
What a summer it has been! The crisis certainly hasn’t kept the sun from shining…

Back to School Quotes

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
 John Dewey

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”
 Robert Maynard Hutchins

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever." Mohandas Gandhi

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world"
Albert Einstein


As the changing of the season approaches, our attention turns to the trees and gardens around us. Let’s hear it for the trees!

idiom (n): an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow
To say that big or great things start very small.
“It’s a small business now, but mighty oaks from little acorns grow!”

Lead someone up the garden path
If someone leads you up the garden path, they deceive you, or give you false information that causes you to waste your time.
“I feel like you’re leading me up the garden path instead of just telling me the truth!”

Beat around the bush
If someone doesn't say clearly what they mean, making it hard to understand, they are beating about (around) the bush.
“Stop beating around the bush and answer the question”

Barking up the wrong tree
If you are barking up the wrong tree, it means that you have completely misunderstood something or are totally wrong.
“Am I close to the right answer, or completely barking up the wrong tree?”

Can't see the wood for the trees
If someone can't see the forest for the trees, they are too focused on specific details to see the picture as a whole.
“I need a fresh perspective on this problem. I can’t see the wood for the trees here!”

As easy as falling off a log
Something very easy or simple to do is as easy as falling off a log.
“Learning English is as easy as falling off a log!”

To (not) be out of the woods
If you are out of the woods, you have emerged safely from a dangerous situation, though the idiom is oftenused in the negative.
“The doctor says she’s getting better, but that she’s not out of the woods yet.”

Get the wrong end of the stick
If you have the wrong end of the stick you have misunderstood something.
“I thought she had said that she was married, but itturned out that I’d got the wrong end of the stick”


Carly Rae Jespen - Call me, Maybe?

As you listen, complete the lyrics

I threw a wish in the well,
Don't ask me, I'll never tell
I looked to you as it fell,
And now you're in my way

I'd trade my soul for a wish,
Pennies and dimes for a kiss
I wasn't looking for this,
But now you're in my way


You took your time with the call,
I took no time with the fall
You gave me nothing at all,
But still, you're in my way

I beg, and borrow and steal
Have foresight and it's real
I didn't know I would feel it,
But it's in my way


Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
And you should know that
I missed you so, so bad

part chorus

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
And you should know that
So call me, maybe?

Your stare was___________
Ripped jeans, skin was_____
Hot night, wind was________
Where you think you're ______, baby?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is_______________
But here's my____________
So call me, _____________?

It's hard to look___________
At you_____________
But here's my______________
So call me, ___________?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

And all the__________
Try to____________
But here's my_____________
So call me,___________ ?

Top eco-tip: if you print the newsletter out, do it in black and white at low resolution to reduce your use of ink.

© Clever Pants 2012


Only great minds can read this. It is weird, but interesting!

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too .

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. 
Azanmig huh? 
yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! 

Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with tennis balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the tennis balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes".

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The tennis balls are the important things-your family and friends, your health, and your favourite passions-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff. 

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the tennis balls. The same goes for life: if you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you”.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Take care of the tennis balls first-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, "I'm glad you asked."

The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend. 

Author unknown 

“Experiment” and photographs: Maria Teresa Relva 

I wish all my students a very successful school year! 

quinta-feira, 13 de setembro de 2012

Speak English

ENGLISH is easy

Many words in English are easy to understand


Fast food
Hot dog




Shopping Centre
Snack bar

no problem
Full time
Part time
Made in
Top 10                

Portuguese                                             English
Natural                                                   Natural
Total                                                      Total
General                                                  General

Cidade                                                    City
Velocidade                                            Velocity
Simplicidade                                         Simplicity

Nação                                                    Nation
Sensação                                                Sensation
Observação                                            Observation

terça-feira, 11 de setembro de 2012

Showcase 1

This showcase is a homage to Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

NASA´s Mars Rover, that extraordinary accomplishment, is also mentioned.

There are some older magazines with news related to space and souvenirs from Kennedy Space Center, in Florida.

The other showcase is about London. There ia a tea towel of Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrates 60 years of reign in 2012 and a reference to the Olympic Games that took place in London. Two outstanding athletes are the focus of the news: Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
There are some postcards and keyrings from London, too.

sábado, 8 de setembro de 2012

Common mistakes

The misuse of the apostrophe leads to many mistakes

TICKETS is the correct word (no apostrophe in the plural)

Nothing lasts forever... except for that horrible tatoo

sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2012

“Ich bin ein Berliner”

In 1963, West Berlin and East were separated by the Berlin Wall. President Kennedy had the most overwhelming reception of his career at Berlin City Hall on 26 June, when he delivered one of his most inspired and inspiring talks:

“Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was Civis Romanus Sum. Today in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner.There are many people in the world who really don´t understand, or say they don´t, what is the great issue between the free world and the communist world. Let them come to Berlin… Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in… We…look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one-and this country, and this great continent of Europe- in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner". 

This photo was taken in East Berlin (near the Wall) in 1981. Photos were not permitted. 

After the Berlin wall was dismantled (1989), we can find a piece of it in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston or in Portland, Maine.

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston (MA) in 2000.

A piece of the Berlin Wall in Portland, Maine in 2000.

Nowadays you can buy in Berlin many souvenirs on the political issues of the 60´s.

terça-feira, 4 de setembro de 2012


" Não há segunda oportunidade para uma primeira boa impressão”… 

Setembro é regresso à escola! O primeiro dia de aulas é sempre um acontecimento muito importante tanto para alunos como para professores, independentemente da escola ser a mesma ou nova. Nessa data, existe uma emoção particular, consequência da natural expectativa de todos, alunos, professores e famílias. 

Em especial, a adaptação a uma nova turma pode levar tempo e motivar alguma ansiedade. Enquanto que há crianças a enfrentar essa mudança de forma natural e até desejando o início da escola, outras sentir-se-ão deslocadas, necessitando de apoios escolares e familiares mais atentos. Os professores experimentam também sentimentos parecidos: uma turma simpática e pronta a aprender motiva-os bastante; mais do que outras, nas quais os alunos tentam pôr à prova até onde podem chegar no mau comportamento. 

Recordo-me do meu primeiro dia de aulas como aluna. Não conseguia esconder o meu nervosismo por estar num ambiente tão diferente do de casa, onde permaneci até aos seis anos, como era habitual naquela época. E lembro-me ainda da minha preocupação em corresponder às expectativas, como por exemplo, ter os cadernos sempre apresentáveis.

Mais tarde, como mãe, senti a falta dos meus filhos, quando aos três anos começaram a frequentar o jardim infantil, o que constituiu, simbolicamente, os seus primeiros atos de independência. Segui, permanentemente, uma regra de ouro para os fazer sentir seguros, procurando nunca depreciar a imagem dos seus professores e, ao não dizer mal daqueles que eles gostavam menos, desvalorizava as suas queixas, apesar de averiguar, com cuidado, o que se passava, ouvindo também a opinião de outros encarregados de educação. 

Hoje em dia, como professora, sinto, muitas vezes, certa nostalgia por não encontrar na escola colegas com quem mantive relações de amizade, devido a transferências ou, pior, por não colocação. 

Depois, as semanas imediatas antes do início das aulas são de preparação intensa para o ano letivo. Surge então, quase de forma espontânea, a dúvida repetida, anualmente, sobre o que poderá motivar os alunos a aprender inglês? No entanto e para além desta questão, os anos de experiência demonstram a seguinte evidência: a relação de empatia entre o professor e a turma tem grande relevância e é essencial que a primeira aula corra da melhor forma, pois como diz o ditado: “não há segunda oportunidade para uma primeira boa impressão”… 

Hoje em dia, no começo de cada ano letivo, além da renovação deste conjunto de reflexões, constato ainda com preocupação, que devido aos muitos baixos índices de natalidade em Portugal, sente-se, cada vez mais, a falta de alunos nas escolas e já não apenas no interior do país. Está talvez aí a razão principal para o aumento de professores desempregados.