Spelling Bee 2014



I am excited to announce that the 2014 spelling bee will be held at IES Velázquez next May 14th. Thanks to all the other bilingual coordinators and teachers who are preparing the finals and workshops for the participating students.

Please find here the list of words for each year. Only students in the bilingual sections are expected to study the lists for Social Sciences and Biology.

Spelling Bee – 1st year

Spelling Bee – 2nd year

Spelling Bee – 3rd year

Our school finals will be held at our school in the first week of May. Two students will be chosen in each group and five students in total per year will represent the school at IES Velázquez. Have a look at the list and revise the vocabulary items. You may be one of the happy few! 🙂



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!



Terrifying Nature: Hurricanes

Two weeks ago a superstorm hit the East coast of the United States and devastated some areas of New York City and Staten Island. As you know, one of our language assistants, Michael Young, is from Staten Island and feels personally affected by this dramatic event. 42 lives were lost in New York city, almost half of whom came from Staten Island. Thousands of people are still without homes and are living in temporary housing.

This can make us reflect on the terrifying powers of Nature and how natural disasters can damage our modern society more than we like to think. During this week some of the groups will find out more on how hurricanes are formed and act and we will invite some of our students to write support notes to other students at schools on Staten Island.

As a a starter, please feel to watch this video made by David Dilillo, one of Michael’s friends and also of our school (he visited us last year and gave an interesting talk on Geometry in Photography).

Within two Worlds

© 2012 GoldpaintPhoto

Music composed by Serge Essiambre entitled, ‘Believe in Yourself’. – sergeessiambre.com.

I was surfing the Internet and came across this terrific video. I contacted the photographer at twitter.com/GoldpaintPhoto and he was so kind as to grant us permission to include the video here:

I include here the video info available on Vimeo:

“Within Two Worlds depicts an alternate perspective by giving us the illusion of times movement, signifying a beginning and end within a world of constant contradiction. It appears you are traveling in the midst of a dream, half-sleeping, half-waking, and touching the arch connecting heaven and earth.

I discovered my passion for photography shortly after my mother’s passing while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) 3 years ago. This time-lapse video is my visual representation of how the night sky and landscapes co-exist within a world of contradictions. I hope this connection between heaven and earth inspires you to discover and create your own opportunities, to reach your rightful place within two worlds.

Locations include:

Tumalo Falls, Three Sisters Wilderness, Mount Shasta, Big Bend National Park, Mono Lake, Aurora Borealis over Crater Lake National Park, Texas, Painted Hills, the High Sierra, and the Aurora Borealis over Sparks Lake.

Please feel free to share #withintwoworlds! Special thanks to all for your continued support and encouragement.”

You can visit the photographer’s website: goldpaintphotography.com, his Facebook: facebook.com/goldpaintphotography or his Twitter: twitter.com/goldpaintphoto.

Have a nice week! Remember too next Thursday is Thanksgiving so I’d like to start thanking @GoldpaintPhoto for letting us use their video again.

Enjoy the awesome images and music!

Spelling Bee

Last Friday, May 11, we had the final of our spelling bee contest at our school.
These contests are extremely popular in the USA and children like taking part in them. One of our American language assistants won the spelling bee at his school when he was a bit younger and suggested it to the teachers at our Clara. We thought it would be a perfect excuse to get our students to revise vocabulary of the subjects they are studying in English and we agreed. We prepared a list of words (Spelling Bee final list) and asked our students to master the difficult spellings 😉

Out of 166 students, 18 students managed to win a seat in the final.

The finalists, Michael and the audience
The judges voting

The competition was tough. There could be only ONE winner. Our winner was Antonio (1st-year E) and he got a book as a prize for his skills at spelling. He’s definitely the best spelling bee at our Clara this year. We also gave one special prize to the best spelling bee in each class. They got one homemade bookmark celebrating our first spelling bee contest (thanks to Michael).

The Three R’s

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

These are the three R’s. Our school wants to be greener and this week we are celebrating activities with the objectives of making teachers and students:

  • reduce their water and electricity consumption and the rubbish we produce,
  • reuse objects if that is possible, and
  • recycle as much rubbish as possible.

These objectives are never easy to fulfill but there is much at stake: our Earth.

What is your carbon footprint? Here you can calculate it. There is a version for children here.

There are thousands of things which can be done to reduce our consumption and waste. In this fantastic American website you can explore and read on how to help save our planet.

But maybe you like simulation games too. If so, there are two funny and interesting interactive websites you might like to explore:

Recycle City (http://www.epa.gov/recyclecity/mainmap.htm) – Click on the buildings and you can find out how workers and people recycle a lot of waste.

Dumptown City (http://www.epa.gov/recyclecity/gameintro.htm) – Become the manager of the city and try to recycle without losing your job 😉