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

François 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 François 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?
  • ...play badminton?
  • ...play 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.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Our Needs Assessment

Because our class is all about 'Back to the Well,' we have spent a lot of time priming our brains for the vocabulary and concepts of PBLA and the periodic needs assessment. After much exploration and discussion, we are finally ready to cast our votes.

Our needs assessment is now in Google Forms! We may be older, but we are not always old school!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Tech Talk Friday

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Today we talked about technology for daily life. After brainstorming some apps and tools we already know how to use, we watched this wonderful video about a grumpy old man who learned to use Instagram and what motivated him to do so.

After the short film, Awatif opened Instagram on her phone and found this page. She now follows "Drawings_for_my_grandchildren." I was also able to do this.

Next I gave you a list of apps and tools we may wish to learn to use in our class this year. You were to discuss these ideas in your groups. One group asked me the meaning of Google Cardboard. I had ordered three over the summer and put one together, so I was able to demonstrate how we can take a tour of another place on earth or visit a museum without leaving the classroom. Several of you were very keen to learn more. Awatif asked where she could order the cheaper "knock-off" version of a virtual reality (VR) viewer online. Here are some possible links for online shopping. I paid only $3 each for mine. Note that I had to remove my iPhone case in order for it to fit in the viewer.

eBay listing - this is the one I got
AliExpress has one like it.

We'll continue on Monday to talk about the possibilities for exploration into day-to-day tech tools this term!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Need Something to Do?

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Are you enjoying the last weeks of your summer break? Did you know that there is a conversation class each Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 until 3:00 at the YMCA? Yes! It is upstairs in the first classroom.

My mother and I joined the conversation circle this week. Zakieh told us about three things happening in Windsor:

Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. is "Women Only" swim time at the Jewish Community Centre at 1641 Ouellette Ave in Windsor. The cost is $5.

Friday, August 25, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. - Bruce Park Outdoor Movie Night! Come early for snacks and fun. The movie is free; bring a couple of dollars for snacks for your family. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket. The movie will be good for children and adults.

Monday, August 28, 2017 from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m.  - Bike Riding. Meet at the YMCA and walk to the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative office on Wyandotte Street and Bruce Ave to borrow bicycles. We will ride together and return the bicycles after the ride.

See you soon!


Monday, August 7, 2017

You're Never Too Old

Wow, check out this Japanese woman who has learned to write computer programming code. She has designed an application to introduce young people to a part of Japanese culture that she fears young people will not learn about otherwise.

How is your summer going?

My mother is returning to Windsor this coming Sunday for her second visit of the summer. During her last (short) visit, I could not do very much with her since I had just had surgery. But now I'm feeling much better and have enough energy to take her to the Detroit Institute of Arts, visit a beautiful park where she can paint, and so on. She will stay for two weeks.

After my mother leaves, I will start to think about planning for our new school term. I have collected your feedback forms from last term and will use them in my planning. Also, I have gained some new skills over the summer! I used my down time to take a class. It was fun. I hope I can bring fresh ideas into our classroom this fall.

Are you almost ready to come back to school?

Cheers! --Kelly

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Greetings

Hello, extra keen students!

If you are reading this, you are a keener! You visit my blog even during summer break.

Would you like to see pictures from the annual YMCA gathering that our classmate Baoli attended in London? Those are HERE.

Qinsi has asked me many times about ordering silkworms. Why don't we do a silkworm project in our classroom this year? I can easily find silkworms of the "feeder" type that people feed to their pet reptiles, but I am having trouble finding quality silkworms for silk production. Let's try to find them.

I will bone up on "project-based learning." Can you guess what that idiom means (the words in bold)?

Oh, by the way, I sailed through my operation. This is an idiom. It means there were no complications. It was easy. I'm certainly relieved about that.

Have you seen the free 22-minute film in the Sesqui dome theatre yet? I was wrong about the colour. It's a big RED igloo-shaped theatre, not white. I might try to go on Monday, July 10th.

What are you doing this summer? Leave a comment below.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Big Summer Review

Hello, students!

This week we are winding down from a wonderful school term. We are playing games to review prior modules' vocabulary and concepts. We are taking a field trip or two. We might even watch a movie.

Here is the jeopardy game for Thursday. You can play at home with your spouse or by yourself.

Jeopardy - Big Summer Review


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We Can Bargain at a Yard Sale

Here is the audio file for the listening assessment (if you have issues with Flash, try using MS IE instead of Chrome).

Audio recording and upload >>

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Our Ping-pong Field Trip

Tareq is a celebrity now! His face was spread all across the front page of the Windsor Star today.

I hope this link to the video remains valid for several months. I'm sure you would like to alert your friends back home that you were in the news. http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/seniors-learn-the-language-of-ping-pong

Today we wrote a Language Experience Approach book to capture our experience and turn it into a way to learn language. For the rest of the week, we will work with the grammar and vocabulary in this story.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Internet Can Help Us

Hello, students!

This tour of the brain may help us.

Here is a TED talk that will help us. Turn on subtitles to help you understand.

Sandrine Thuret: You can grow new brain cells.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Alzheimer's Disease

Hello, students of the seniors' class,

We did a needs assessment by passing around pamphlets that we picked up on Health Access Day. You chose three topics you would like to explore further: Alzheimer's Disease, the VON, and the Clinic Seeker app.

Let's start this week with Alzheimer's Disease. Although it's an ambitious undertaking, I'd like to show this movie in two parts. We will have quite a number of terms to learn before we can watch it, but I know we can handle it if we break it down over time.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017



This morning I was unable to find more information on Jennifer Brea and her disease. Now I've found it. You can watch her TED Talk with Arabic or Chinese subtitles.

This one has Chinese subtitles.

This one has Arabic subtitles.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Language Lessons

It's about time for another needs assessment. Until then, let's enjoy this touching little video and explore its message.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

We Taught Each Other

Spelling City is now in the sidebar ----->

What great presentations you all did! You really rocked it.

You made posters.

You gave presentations. You spoke clearly, took turns, and used props well.

We even improvised a ping-pong table and had a live demo!

Excellent work, everyone!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What Can You Teach Me?


This week we have divided into groups in order to share our expertise with one another. One group will teach the rest of us how to play ping pong. That will come in handy when we take our field trip to the open air ping pong table in Kiwanis Park.

The second group will teach us how to fish. Weimiao and many other students in our class are very accomplished Detroit River anglers.

The third group will teach us how to knit. That group needs for me to post three short videos for them. Here they are.

Cast on:
The knit stitch:

Cast off:

Friday, April 7, 2017

Leisure Time

Some of us have too much idle time on our hands. That's not good for our mental and emotional well-being. It's better to keep our bodies and minds active, isn't it?

We're compiling a long list of free and low cost things to do in Windsor, especially downtown and within easy reach of public transit.

We are also exploring the idea of teaching each other how to do something. For example, some of us know how to knit and others wish to learn. Some of us know how to play ping pong; others are dying to know how. Let's have a knowledge and skills exchange!

Log in to Spelling City to do some spelling and vocabulary activities with this week's words.

In May we are going to take a field trip to the open air ping pong table in Kiwanis park.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Eat Safer Fish

I'm sure you all did great on your reading assessments. I'll mark them on the weekend.

Meanwhile, here is a spelling test. Log in with your username and the password.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Get Ready for Fishing Season!

Hello, students of the seniors' class.

This week we are learning how to get information about suggested servings per month of fish caught in the Detroit River based on our weight, fish species, cleaning, and cooking methods.

Here is the video that will be the basis of our listening assessment.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Learning to Use 211

Would you like to search for a topic on the Southwest Ontario 211 website?

Here is a video we will watch in class during the second week of this module.

If you want to practice our new words, log into Spelling City with your username and password.

Enjoy spring break!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We are CCAC Experts!

Hello, students of the seniors class!

Join me in thanking Jenna Martin for coming to answer all our questions this week.
Please click HERE to log into your Spelling City account. You can take the spelling test and play many word games with this week's words.

Click here if you want to listen to the story of Herman.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ESINC Day is Thursday

This week we have practiced calling 9-1-1.

Thursday we will have guest speakers from the police department. Some classes will walk to the library for Emergency Services Information for Newcomers to Canada.

We've talked about the various types of emergencies.

Do you have an emergency preparedness kit?

Listen to these conversations. Someone is reporting a break-in.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Did You Get the Message?

Hello, seniors!

Here are some listening activities to help reinforce the week's learning.

Telephone Conversation and quiz

Useful Telephone Phrases

Emma's Tips for Telephone English

See you Monday (Inshallah!) I miss you all so much.