Thursday, June 14, 2018

Our Heroes, Our Videos

Hello, students!

Our video is private.

Let me know if you are not able to view it using this link.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Pleasant Day

We had good weather for our field trip.

Dr. Peng made a slide show from the pictures she took. It is HERE.

We took more pictures after that.

I told everyone about an assignment I'd been given to do a 'random act of kindness' before midnight Friday. I chose to give some of our chocolates to the city park workers who were in the hot sun preparing the flower beds. Bushra said SHE wanted to do the act of kindness in my stead.

And she did.

Here is a link to our Flipgrid for talking about our heroes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Who Are Our Heroes?

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

We are gearing up to visit Jackson Park with all of its war memorials and other monuments. This is a good time for us to share with others who our heroes are.

We will start with the story of Viola Desmond and how she came to be considered a Canadian hero. Then we will create our own tributes to the heroes in our lives.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

You and the Police

See if your phone is Alert Ready here.

In May we will go to the Police Training Centre in Sandwich to see a mock rescue and enjoy our annual ESINC Day.

This video was made in London, but the same rules apply here in Windsor.

Listen to these conversations:

Being pulled over

Reporting a break-in

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Library

Two years ago, the seniors' class visited the library and were given a tour by the librarian.

After the tour, students went on a scavenger hunt and proved to me that they could use the self-check machine. Actually, they showed me that they could not use it and that we should have done more practice runs in class. Ha!

Scavenger hunt

new library card
Hamdi can use the self-check.
at the information desk

Here is a wonderful collection of library dialogues for you to listen to.

Listen to this tour of a big library, then answer the questions.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Our Field Trip to Windsor Sculpture Park

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

photo of Louis Odette from
photo -
Next week, weather permitting, we will take a field trip to Windsor Sculpture Park. This open-air art museum started life as Odette Sculpture Park, named after the generous benefactors who established the collection with commissioned and purchased works of sculpture, Louis and Patricia Odette and the L and P Odette Foundation.

I have created a little book to help us prepare for our adventure.

Watch this video about washing Tembo.

To continue with our study of articles, let Jennifer teach you about articles with geographical names.

When you finish, check out some of the links in the sidebar or watch more videos with Jennifer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The First Europeans in Canada

Good morning, class!

If you choose to, you can watch this 30-minute documentary about L'Anse aux Meadows. Don't worry if you can't understand all the words. Just relax and watch. When you finish, ask me for the worksheet. I have five questions for you. Don't worry; I will tell you exactly where to find the answers.

Also here are some photos of the historic site as it is today.

This week we are learning about the first settlers in Canada and in this area. We know that the French settled Windsor first. This Thursday we will visit The Francois Baby House and Museum. We will study a bit about the foundation of Windsor and also a bit about the War of 1812 before we go. This may help us appreciate the historic site more.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Health Access Week

Hello, students!

This Tuesday is Health Access Day. Our bus trip to Fogolar Furlan Club fits in nicely with our current topic of nosocomial or hospital-acquired infections and staying safer in hospital.

If you would like me to make you an emergency info card for your wallet, you can enter your information in this survey. Don't worry. Once you hit SUBMIT at then end, nobody will be able to see the information but me. Only I have the password, and this blog is a secure website.

The link to the questionnaire is HERE.

If you would like to copy my template over to your own Google Drive, click THIS LINK.

To practice spelling and syntax with our words, log into Spelling City. Your assignment is waiting.

Otherwise, here are some links to activities that support our module on staying safer in hospital.

Explore these steps for avoiding hospital-acquired infections.

Study vocabulary with sound.

For level 6/7 students, here is a fascinating story on America's National Public Radio about the human microbiome.

You could also watch this TED Talk about the human microbiome with subtitles in your first language. In the picture below, you see how to turn on subtitles in many languages. Hover your mouse over the bottom toolbar to see the subtitles icon.

Rebecca, here is the audio file.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Where is Fogolar Furlan Club?

Since the government is boycotting Caboto Club (as am I, but don't tell my partner that), Health Access Day has been moved to Fogolar Furlan Club this year.

You have asked me to post the link to the map here on our classroom blog.


For those who love the city bus more than our school bus, here is the transit map.


If you wish to play some language games with our vocabulary terms relating to Google Draw, log into Spelling City. I have an assignment waiting for you there.

Scroll down if you want to listen to article lessons from Jennifer. There are many other English sites in the sidebar.  -->

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The English Articles System, Part 2: Indefinite or Definite?

Hello, students!

This week we began to talk about when to use the indefinite articles (a/an, some/0/any). It got a little confusing on Tuesday. We found out that we can use 'a' to make a generalization about a singular count noun.

A child should not be left alone all day.

We can also make a generalization with a non-count noun and with the plural form of a count noun by using no article at all!

Children should not be left alone all day.
Water is necessary for life.

I think that this lack of an article should not be confused with zero article that is interchangeable with "some" when we are talking about indefinite plural count nouns and non-count nouns. Perhaps we should give them different names.

Let's see if Jennifer can simplify things for us. She has a knack for explaining English. Enjoy your long Easter weekend!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The English Articles System - Part 1: Count or Non-count?

Hello, class!

You have requested a series of modules covering the English articles system. I would love to teach you this. It is a very deep and complex subject and will take a few weeks to explore. Even then, we won't have mastered every aspect of this topic. That's okay. We will have some very helpful rules of thumb that will help us out 90% of the time to determine which article to use. Another 5% will come from memorization of exceptions or specialized rules (a cold, the flu, geographic locations). The last 5% even native speakers do not always agree on. I hope you can be happy with less than 100% perfection since familiarization with article use is a lifelong journey.

We will start with the very basics: count nouns, non-count nouns, and nouns that can be both count and non-count, depending upon the intended meaning. Jennifer (English with Jennifer, JenniferESL on YouTube) has some wonderful videos on this topic to which I would like to direct your attention.

7 Things You Should Know about Uncountable Nouns

More Practice with Uncountable Nouns

The worksheets we'll be using during our first week or two can be downloaded from my website,, under FREE - GRAMMAR.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Rights and Responsibilities of a Citizen

Hello, students!

Here are this week's helpful links.

Discover Canada - Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship (with option to listen to chapter) - What are my rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen?

Enable Flash and explore the virtual Charter in your language.

Here is Discover Canada in LARGE PRINT.

Steps to Justice

Refugee Rights in Ontario

YouTube has many videos about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For our pronunciation topic, watch Rachel's English.

Friday, February 16, 2018

New Cohort, New Priorities

Hello, students of the seniors' class.

We have a new mix of students, and our recent needs assessment shows that we as a group have new priorities. The survey results show that the most popular topics were, in this order:
  1.  The English articles system
  2.  Canada and citizenship (rights and duties, anthem)
  3.  Legal Aid
  4.  How to use an ATM
  5.  Hospital Safety
As for activities, I got a surprise! Eighty percent of you want to use iPads weekly. The majority of you want to go to the computer lab either weekly or now and then. What would you say to going to the lab (for one hour) on weeks when we have a Friday class and using the iPads during weeks when there will not be a Friday class?

We've said in the past that we all like field trips in good weather and we like occasional guest speakers, so I will continue with those. Let me know if you have ideas for places to visit. We have to limit these trips to places within walking distance unless everyone has a bus pass.


P.S. Here is a little clip that expands on what we were talking about in class regarding gun laws in the U.S.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Let's Get Cracking!

Enough dithering, let's tally the votes! Create your own user feedback survey.

Here is the link.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Winter Break is Coming

What are we up to lately?

We are keeping busy learning about calcium and vitamin D. We can read nutrition labels.

Wednesdays are our educational technology days. We have iPads and can use Flipgrid for speaking and listening practice and assessment. We are also about to learn to use Google Cardboard since we have six VR viewers.

This is the penultimate week of school before winter break. On the day of the big party, our room will be the quiet games room. We will teach each other some games. Huarong will teach a card trick. Weiying and her friends will teach us to play Mahjong. Nabil, Hamdi, and Raja will teach us to play chess (just the basic moves). Dr. Peng will teach massage. Thanks to Maria, we have a portable massage chair tucked behind our cabinet! I will bring all my games and be ready to teach SET, Quarto, tangrams, and maybe even Mancala.

Did you know that 2018 will be #CCYT, or Canada-China Year of Tourism? I didn't either!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Our Remembrance Day Guests

Hello, class!

I'm not sure who is still reading this blog now that we have given up computer lab time on Fridays, but I will continue to post as a sort of reflection journal. Okay? Also this will help our classmates who are at home to follow along.

In late October we had a visit from Ted Antaya and Gerry Becegneul. That was very special. We will never forget their stories or their service.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fran├žois Baby House and Museum

I am SO glad you, my students, talked me into more field trips. We are learning so much together!

After a day of learning a bit about the role of the Fran├žois Baby property in the War of 1812 and also about its role in the founding of our city--once known at South Detroit, we headed over to see the house and museum for ourselves. What a great decision that turned out to be!

We played crokinole. We saw a very old hand-operated printing press for newspapers. We read a lot, saw many artifacts, listened to old French folk songs, and even saw Chief Tecumseh's actual FLAG. That gave me goosebumps. I was not familiar with the story of Chief Tecumseh. The movie brought tears to my eyes.

Shadd and Tecumseh

Crokinole / Croquinole

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Flowers and Poetry!

It's not often that we have an excuse to study names of flowers, but that is one of the most important features of Jackson Park. It contains the Queen Elizabeth II Gardens.

So we learned the names of ten flowers (you already knew the word "rose.")

If it ever stops raining, we may finally be able to take our field trip. When we do, we are going to practice phrases such as:
  • Let's...
  • Do you want to...
  • Would you like to...
  • ...take a stroll?
  • ...take a selfie?
  •  ...go look at that statue?
  • ...go look at that memorial?
  • ...go look at that monument?
  • ...go sit on that bench?
  • badminton?
  • with the Chinese yo-yo?
  • Do you know the name of that...
  • ...plant?
  • ...tree?
  • ...flower?
 When we visit the park, we may see a statue of a famous poet. Here is a poem he wrote.

A Red, Red Rose -- Robert Burns, 1794

O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

Hello, students!

Well, I did not even know that I liked history! The trench image cards made this week interesting, don't you think?

Here is our class Flipgrid. Please introduce yourself. If there's time, please also tell us what you learned this week. Was it interesting? Did you learn any new useful language?

Please watch this Heritage Minute. How much could you understand?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Computer Lab Hiatus

Hello, students of the seniors' class.

Well, it's been a good run. When I took over the seniors' class, going to the computer lab was not a weekly thing. Back then our class was small, only six or eight students--all men! They were from Somalia, Chin State in Myanmar, Eritrea, Iraq, and China. We started going to the computer lab every Friday after break.

Then the class changed. Those gentlemen--one by one--left the YMCA. One got his citizenship. One moved to the east side. And so on.

Meanwhile, Bernie spread the word among his friends at another school. One by one, YOU drifted over to me from that school. I'm glad. We had to ask for more seats. IRCC gave us more seats. Then we had to ask again. IRCC gave us more seats again.

We have learned a lot in the lab over the past several years. But during this needs assessment, you have almost unanimously voted to go to the computer lab either "never" or "occasionally."

So this blog may remain dormant for some time. We'll see whether it is still useful on iPad days.