More on Global Classrooms

As Mercedes wrote the other day, ten students from 3˚ESO recently participated in the Madrid Global Classrooms conference. This was the culmination of a project the students have been working on since September.global_classroom

“But what is Global Classrooms?” you may be asking yourselves. Global Classrooms is a model United Nations project designed to engage students in global issues while having fun, practicing English, and interacting with students from other bilingual high schools throughout Madrid. Each pair of students represents a country and participates in a debate with other countries to find a solution to a global problem.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 2.07.46 PMThis year, the topic of debate was Expanding the Role of Women in Government, and our students represented the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Turkey, Guatemala, and Lebanon. Students thoroughly researched what each of their countries has done to improve women’s education, jobs, and roles in society. They then wrote a “Position Paper” – a formal essay detailing their country’s perspective and recommendations on how to improve women’s roles in governments around the world.

At the conference itself, students had to give an “Opening Speech” (a 90 second speech addressing all of the other countries), discuss and debate why expanding the role of women in government has been difficult to achieve, and write “Resolutions” (their suggestions for how the countries of the world should work to solve the problem).

Mercedes and I are happy to report that our students were excellent participants in the Global Classrooms conference. They participated often in discussion, worked collaboratively with other delegations, and took on leadership roles in the writing of resolutions.

Check out these photos of the conference! Again, congratulations to all of the students who participated!

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GLOBAL CLASSROOMS

“Global classrooms ” has been a New, exciting and unforgettable experience. After a long term of hard work, students got the best rewards: sharing their opinions, meeting friends,  having fun and, above all, being confident when speaking in English in front of unknown people.

CONGRATULATIONS to: Samuel, José Miguel,  Sandra, Gonzalo,  Elena, Emelia, Jaime, Marcos, Azahara and Claudia.

THANKS to Jessica.

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Star Wars Re-Watch (Spoilers All)

 

I have been waiting for the new Star Wars movie for years. Growing up the Star Wars story was my favorite, and it continues to hold a special place in my heart. Last week my roommate and I decided that in order to get ready for the new movie we needed to re-watch the older films. I have provided links to The Nerdist re-watch reviews as well which I found very entertaing even if I do not agree whole-heartedly with some of the criticism.

 

We decided to watch the films starting with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.  Although The Phantom Menace received harsh reviews from the Star Wars fan community when it first came out, there are still some really good parts to the film. I enjoyed how George Lucas mirrored Episode 4 with a lot of the scenes. The ending certainly provided me with a bit of nostalgia for the older films. Another thing that I enjoyed were the lightsaber battles. It is important to remember that before that scene we had never seen a battle with 2 healthy masters of lightsaber technique. The movie did feel a little long, but all in all I enjoyed it and I am happy that it is a part of the series.

http://nerdist.com/star-wars-rewatch-episode-i-the-phantom-menace/

Re-watching Episode 2: Attack of the Clones was difficult. There are simply not enough redeeming qualities to say that it is a good movie. There is too much computer generated imagery (CGI), and the acting is somewhat horrible. The romantic scenes in particular are atrocious and forced. I agree with the writer of the Nerdist review in most respects with his assessment of Episode 2 except in his criticism of Yoda. I enjoyed watching Yoda fight. When I finished this film I felt relieved, but excited for the next movie.

http://nerdist.com/star-wars-rewatch-episode-ii-attack-of-the-clones/

Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith is one of my favorite movies. Unlike the other two prequels, I always feel a strong connection to the characters when I watch Episode 3. Natalie Portman in particular does a great job as Padme. The movie is appropriately dark and leads us right into the original trilogy story lines.

http://nerdist.com/star-wars-rewatch-episode-iii-revenge-of-the-sith/

The main thing that stood out to me while I was re-watching Episode 4: A New Hope was how funny some of the dialogue was. My roommate and I were laughing pretty hard at some of the banter going on between the droids. I didn´t think that I was going to enjoy this installment so much, but I really did. Other than the comedy though, the movie was still cheesy and dated. The nerdist reviewer has a better opinion of this one than I do.

http://nerdist.com/star-wars-rewatch-episode-iv-a-new-hope/

I think that during this re-watch I most enjoyed Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi is my favorite, but this time around Episode 5 takes the cake. I liked watching Luke train, and how wise Yoda looked. The ending was also enthralling leaving me unable to wait to watch the next film. The battle between Darth Vader and Luke also reminded me that Luke still has a long ways to go to completing his training at that point.

http://nerdist.com/star-wars-rewatch-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back/

This time around I did not enjoy Episode 6: Return of the Jedi as much as I remembered. The movie felt a little long.  I did fully enjoy the last lightsaber battle and Darth Vader turning on his master. It was tragic watching Luke try to save his father as he died in his arms. Watching the conclusion to this chapter of the story has always left me wondering what would happen next, and with the start of the new trilogy I received some answers.

http://nerdist.com/star-wars-rewatch-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi/

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

Today, the third Monday of January, is recognized as Martin Luther King Junior Day in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most widely known activists in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. He was a key leader in a national movement to improve the rights and freedoms of black people in the United States.

 

Dr. King is most famous for the speech he delivered in front of more than 200,000 people at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he declared,

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

While Dr. King is now most famous for those four words, “I have a dream,” the entirety of his speech is powerful and moving. By clicking on the image below you can listen to the actual audio recording of Dr. King giving his speech at the March on Washington. You will also be able to see the transcript of the speech, including which parts he crossed out in the moment, and which parts he improvised without having written them down beforehand. As you listen to the speech, pay attention to metaphors you hear, and think about what Dr. King was trying to convey.

Dr. King Speech at the March on Washington
Note: You may notice that Dr. King uses the word “Negro.” At the time of his speech, “Negro” was a common way of referring to black people in the United States. But because that word has historically been used in a very negative way to refer to African Americans, today it is considered highly offensive and inappropriate. Although, there are some contexts in which black people in the U.S. have re-claimed the word in a positive way.

While Dr. King was the most well-known civil rights leader, the movement was made up of thousands of people who for years worked to improve the most basic rights of black people in the United States. Many of these people continue that important work today. Here, you can see a video of John Lewis, another well-known civil rights leader and current U.S. Congressional Representative, talking about what the civil rights movement accomplished.

Rep. John Lewis