Christmastime is Here!

Christmas was well-celebrated at IES Clara Campoamor this year.  For our students, we showed presentations about Christmas as a cultural tradition.  First, we discussed the origins of Christmas, and then talked about the difference between characters from the Bible and characters from popular culture.  Then, we looked at some of the well-known Christmas characters, like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Finally, we asked ourselves if everyone celebrates Christmas, and then learned about the holidays of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, which are both celebrated around this time of year.  The students then made Christmas cards out of construction paper, markers, and glitter to present to their friends, teachers, and family.    

On the teachers’ end, we enjoyed time together with a poetry recital, holiday lunch, a performance by the school choir, and churros and chocolate.  I even tried learning Spanish Christmas carols, singing a fun rendition of “Los peces en el rio.”  It was a time to take stock of all the special people we’ve had the great fortune of meeting. 

And of course, this year I brought back the Santa Claus costume.  Here you’ll find a handful of photos taken at the final English department meeting of the year.  We don’t have everyone in these photos, but we do have a good number of teachers.  

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I very much look forward to returning and bringing new and exciting activities to school in 2013!

Marie Carmen, Helena, and Michael


Inma (wearing a festive holiday pin) and Santa Claus
Two Americans (Thomas and Michael)
Marie Carmen and Papa Noel
Hail, hail the gang’s all here!



A Swedish teacher at our Clara Campoamor

Today we had a very special visitor, a young Erasmus student teacher from Sweden: Elisabeth Persson. She met the students in 2nd year C and talked on her country. This was the presentation she prepared. I hope you will enjoy it.

Tack till Elisabeth!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Two new words for our students: Analemma and tutulemma

On Friday the 30th we visited the Planetarium of Fuenlabrada where our students worked and learnt more about our planet, the Solar System and the Universe. To this visit, Cuca Legaz, our Spanish teacher came with us and after the visit she sent me one interesting picture from one of her friends. The picture shows what astronomers call an “analemma” (analema in Spanish), that is a composition made of several pictures of the Sun taken from the same place at the same time along a year; the result is a very curious image showing the movement of the Sun in the sky. Looking for information about this pictures, I’ve found another composition similar to the analemma called “tutulemma” (tutulema in Spanish) that shows the same images of the Sun taken from the same place at the same time but with an interesting difference because one of the picture is taken while a solar eclipse is occuring. Analemma and tutulemma, amazing images, amazing words…

image001 tutulemma2_tezel

Terrifying Nature: Hurricanes (II) – Spanish students send their support to Staten Island

Last Thursday 30th November students from the groups 1st year CSE A, 2nd year CSE A and C found out more on the terrifying power of natural disasters, hurricanes in particular, with the help of two teachers, Alejandro (Biology) and Jaime (English), together with two of our American language assistants, Michael and Kayla. Since one of our language assistants, Michael, is from Staten Island and Staten Island has been one of the areas most affected by hurricane Sandy we decided it might be a good idea to include info and pictures displaying the terrible damages caused by the hurricane in some neighbourhoods of New York. Thus, Michael brought the pictures he had used in his Hurricane Recovery Project and we could display them in our school dining room. Big thanks to the photographers and him!

[Update (12th December): The Typhoon Bopha has hit the Philippines and killed 902 people. This typhoon has been the strongest so far this year. You can watch some scary pictures of the damages here. You should remember that hurricanes and typhoons are tropical cyclones. The difference is just geographical: in the western North Pacific, tropical cyclones are called typhoons; in the Atlantic, tropical cyclones are called hurricanes and in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean tropical cyclones are called cyclones.]

55 students also wrote really moving support notes and drew fantastic pictures for the students in one of the schools most affected by the hurricane. From our Clara Campoamor school we send them our best wishes.

Cheer up & Keep fighting!



Optical illusions

This weekend I found this fantastic video via microsiervos:

The author, Brusspup, has been extremely kind and has granted us permission to include the video and his remarks on the video:

“I did 3 anamorphic illusions. Rubiks cube, a roll of tape and a shoe. Which one is your favorite? I like the shoe the best.

Oh and lets not for the kitty cat. Hyder thought she was anamorphic for a bit there.

I’ve included the images in this video for you to download and try yourself. Print them on 8.5 X 14. Cut the paper any way you’d like to add more of an effect.

Rubiks –
Tape –
Shoe –

Have a nice weekend