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Monthly newsletter for and by English learners and teachers

Issue 21/15

March 2015

Editors: Maja Ivanović, prof. Komercijalna i trgovačka škola Bjelovar

Irena Pavlović, prof. mentor Srednja škola Čazma email:

Facebook: Sparkles.newsletter CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE: Romana Gašpar, prof. mentor School of Economics and Tourism Daruvar

Inside this issue: Poets from the Lake District




Critical Thinking Skills


Millennium Teachers


County Competition


Inside Story


Two. We are turning two. And it feels like it's been only a few months since the two of us were sitting on a bus, discussing what it means to be a teacher in the 21st century classroom and teach teenagers nowadays. We have recognized the need for quick access to information, for a variety of topics which should be 3in1: interesting, useful and fun, and for fresh ideas to spice up our everyday life in and out of the classroom. But most of all, we have shown it is possible to be constructive in today's world. Most people see only the negative side of everything and never do anything but complain. The laws that we need to obey are faulty, the programmes we are supposed to follow are outdated, there is not enough ICT equipment in our classrooms, we are overworked and underpaid. And so on and so forth.

And that is all true. But there isn't much we can do about it. We can choose to be negative and pessimistic, but the situation won't change - just because we are bitter, angry or even depressed, the world is not going to turn itself upside down. What is more likely is that our students will become the same, reflecting our disappointment and showing the same level of 'enthusiasm'. However, what we can do is change our perception of how things are. It simply isn't true there is nothing good in our everyday work - if nothing else, there are many amazing young people with a strong desire to learn. And because of them we have to enter the classroom with a smile, ready to do our best, give them all they need and motivate them to make a step further.

Just like we have made. Instead of whining, we've put our heads together, we've created something and hopefully given a good example. Thanks to all those wonderful people who have helped to make the spark even bigger. Let's keep up the good work. All of us. ▪ I.P.

Did you know? - DR. SEUSS Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was an American writer and cartoonist. He was most widely known for his children's books, which he wrote and illustrated under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss. His 46 published children's books are characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter. The most-celebrated ones include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Fox in Socks, The King's Stilts, Hop on Pop, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. His works have spawned numerous adaptations and he won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1985 and again in 1961. His birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association. ▪ I.P.

Once upon a time in MARCH March 1, 1974 - Seven former high-ranking officials of the Nixon White House were indicted for conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the Watergate break-in. March 5, 1770 - The Boston Massacre occurred as a group of rowdy Americans harassed British soldiers who then opened fire, killing five and injuring six. March 5, 1946 - The "Iron Curtain" speech was delivered by Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill used the term to describe the boundary in Europe between free countries of the West and nations of Eastern Europe under Soviet Russia's control. March 10, 1862 - The first issue of U.S. government paper money occurred as $5, $10 and $20 bills began circulation. March 10, 2013 - The first issue of Sparkles© magazine was published online. March 12, 1938 - Nazis invaded Austria, then absorbed the country into Hitler's Reich. March 12, 1994 - The Church of England ordained 32 women as its first female priests. In protest, 700 male clergy members and thousands of church members left the church and joined the Roman Catholic Church which does not allow women priests. March 15, 44 B.C. - Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Senate chamber in Rome by Brutus and fellow conspirators. After first trying to defend himself against the murderous onslaught, Caesar saw Brutus with a knife and asked "Et tu, Brute?" (You too, Brutus?) Caesar then gave up the struggle and was stabbed to death.

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So, do you like what you see on these pictures? Fancy this amazing landscape? Feel like taking a walk and draw some inspiration from the lakes, woods and picturesque villages? Well, you are not the only one. With a template as beautiful as this, it is no wonder that the district has been home to some of the most famous poets in English literature. The spectacular landscape has been a huge influence on the Romantic poets of the late 18th and 19th century, known today as the Lake District Poets.

The Lake District, also known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. It is a haven wherein you can experience nature at its very best. Historically split between Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, the Lake District is now entirely in Cumbria. The land which comprises this district is nested at the middle of breath-taking terrains, crystal clear glaciers and serene bodies of water. It is a popular holiday destination, famous not only for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells) but also for its literary associations.

Together with Robert Southey and Thomas de Quincey and, later on, John Ruskin and Alfred Tennyson, they sought creative inspiration among the dramatic peaks, meandering tarns and misty fells and left a significant trail not only in English literature, but also on the entire history of poetry. ▪ I.P.

The first poet who decided to come to this beautiful part of England is also the Lake District’s best known son, William Wordsworth. Apart from his sister, Dorothy, Wordsworth took with him his greatest friend, Samuel Coleridge, who already had a considerable reputation as a poet, having produced some of his best-known works.


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Wordsworth was born in Cumbria, in 1770. His parents died at an early age, leaving him and his four siblings orphans. The course of his early life brought about his interest and sympathy for the life, troubles and speech of the “common man” which proved to be of the utmost importance to his entire work. Wordsworth’s earliest poetry was published in 1793 in the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. Beside his family life, equally important in his poetic life was his friendship with Coleridge. It was with him that Wordsworth published the famous Lyrical Ballads in 1798. While the poems themselves are some of the most influential in Western literature, it is the preface to the second edition that remains one of the most important testaments to a poet’s views on both his craft and his place in the world. Wordsworth’s most famous work, The Prelude (1850), is considered by many to be the crowning achievement of English romanticism. The poem, revised numerous times, chronicles the spiritual life of the poet and marks the birth of a new genre of poetry. Wordsworth spent his final years settled at Rydal Mount in England, travelling and continuing his outdoor excursions. Devastated by the death of his daughter, he seemingly lost his will to compose poems and died in 1850, leaving his wife to publish The Prelude three months later.

The leader of the British Romantic movement was born in 1772, in Devonshire. The youngest of fourteen children, Coleridge was a student at his father’s school and an avid reader. His father had always wanted his son to be a clergyman but his views began to change over the course of his early years when, together with Robert Southey, he constructed a vision of pantisocracy and planned emigrating to the New World and set up a commune there. However, the project was abandoned and Coleridge began his career as a writer. In 1795 Coleridge befriended Wordsworth, who greatly influenced his verse. While his early work had been celebratory and conventional, he began writing in a more natural style. The following year, he published his first volume of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects. He lived near Wordsworth in Somersetshire and they collaborated on a joint volume of poetry - the collection that is considered the first great work of the Romantic school of poetry and contains Coleridge’s famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Over the next two decades Coleridge lectured on literature and philosophy, wrote about religious and political theory, and lived on Malta in an effort to overcome his poor health and his opium addiction, off of financial donations and grants. He published poetry and prose, notably Sibylline Leaves, Aids to Reflection, and Church and State and died in London in 1834.

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CHECK IT OUT! - OSCARS 2015 The Oscars, which used to be known as The Academy Awards until 2013, is an annual American awards ceremony honouring cinematic achievements in the film industry. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a statuette, officially the Academy Award of Merit, better known by its nickname Oscar. The awards, first presented in 1929, are overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Although there are some twenty-five categories all together, some are considered more important that the others. Here are the ones usually highlighted, together with the 2015 winners. ▪ I.P. Best Picture, Best Directing & Best Original Screenplay Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Supporting Actor J. K. Simmons Whiplash as Terence Fletcher

Best Actor Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking

Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette Boyhood as Olivia Evans

Best Actress Julianne Moore Still Alice

Best Adapted Screenplay The Imitation Game Graham Moore from Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

Best Original Song "Glory" from Selma Music and Lyrics by John Legend and Common

A TRIP TO SARDINIA After having finished the first project year successfully, with mobilities to France and Spain, and hosting our partners in Daruvar and showing them the beauties of the Plitvice lakes, the second project year started with a trip to Arzachena, Sardinia, Italy. Students Davor Brkić, Matija Ivan Volšanski and Hrvoje Heron were privileged to enjoy the beauties of Sardinia and Venice. Davor and Matija had a task of presenting the traditional cuisine of our region and Croatia, rural houses and farms, while Hrvoje had to bake Peasant’s pie, prepared according to the traditional recipe of this area. Dinka Ivanović, headteacher, Miroslava Bukač Nađ, culinary teacher and Romana Gašpar, the project coordinator, also participated in this mobility. Beside doing the tasks and discussing the tasks for the next mobility in Romania, the hosts justified the name of the project My Heritage, Your Holiday by taking us to see the beautiful National park Arcipelago di La Maddalena, natural stone formation Capo d'Orso and Nuraghe La Prisciona, ancient ruins from Nuragic civilization. The Croatian team also got a chance to see Venice. Being hosted by Italian families was the highlight for the students as not only did they get to know how they live but they needed to use foreign languages to communicate and they could all hang around together. Matija Ivan Volšanski said about his trip to Sardinia: “I had never flown by plane before and the flight from Venice to Olbia, together with all the things I saw and experienced, was an out-of-this-world experience for me. Sardinia was like a movie scene…sunshine, beaches, palm trees….The Italians are warm and friendly, their food is excellent…. The hardest thing was having to say goodbye to my new friends.“ ▪ R.G.


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"Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skillfully and mindfully employed by characteristically intelligent, successful people when they are confronted with problems, the solutions to which are not immediately apparent. When we draw upon these mental resources, the results are more powerful, of higher quality, and of greater significance than if we fail to employ those habits." Thus, they are useful and even necessary for both, teachers and students. Take a couple of minutes and explore them...

Have you tried‌. creating a class blog or Wiki??? Encourage your students to respond to in-class lessons or current events and topics, and devise a system for posting thoughts, news or impressions of them to a class blog or Wiki. They will love improving their creative writing skills and seeing their work appear online, and parents will love being able to feel more connected to the classroom. As the school year progresses, it's often great fun to watch a class' page fill up with posts and discussions, and see students, parents, and educators engage in more frequent and ongoing dialogue.


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The 20th issue of Sparkles© listed the twenty-five signs you’re teaching in 2015, showed the components of the 21st century classroom, compared the 20th and 21st century view of education and suggested a few ways of morphing into a new millennium teacher. Now, we give you a list of things every modern teacher needs to know. Make sure you tick off all the items on it. 1. Select the right platform to communicate. √ 2. Send large files. √ 3. Take a screenshot on PC, Mac, and mobile devices. √ 4. Appreciate memes. √ 5. Explain how and why to use technology to those who don’t use it. √ 6. Use digital media in light of privacy, copyright, and other legal issues. √ 7. Communicate clearly. √ 8. Search for, install, organize, use, and delete apps. √ 9. How to create, open, use, and share a variety of file types. √ 10. Help students share files. √ 11. Subscribe to and manage YouTube channels, podcasts, learnist and pinterest boards, and other dynamic sources of digital media. √ 12. Create and maintain digital portfolios. √ 13. Blog. √ 14. Share learning data with students. √ 15. Research effectively. √ 16. Manage your own social media and internet use. √ 17. Plan around a lack of technology elegantly. √ 18. Personalize learning. √ 19. Troubleshoot stuff that breaks. √ 20. Skim and process large quantities of information. √ 21. Use the cloud to your advantage. √ 22. Model digital citizenship. √ 23. Casually name-drop reddit. √ 24. Support students in finding their own voice. √ 25. Use formal or informal learning management systems. √ 26. Leverage the relationship between physical and digital media. √ 27. Highlight the limits of technology. √ 28. Visualize learning data for students. √ 29. Record, process, mash, publish, and distribute digital media. √ 30. Connect with other educators both in person and online. √

~ MISCELLANEOUS ~ English language competition - county level On February 26, the county level of the English language competition for second and fourth-grade students was held in High school ÄŒazma. The atmoshpere was great, the students did really well, and the mentors were extremely proud. Here are the results. Congratulations, everyone!

Sparkles #21  

The birthday issue :-)

Sparkles #21  

The birthday issue :-)