Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Summer Break 2017

Teaching & Learning is now officially on Summer break! 
It has been a school year full of new challenges. Now it is high time to have a
 break and relax to be able to face the new year with energy and creativity. 
Meanwhile, do enjoy your Summer to the fullest, 
forget about your worries and be happy!
Hope to see you soon. <3

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

July 4th - Independence Day

Declaration of Independence

The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence on July 4th, 1776 in the United States of America. On this date, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies' separation from Great Britain. The Constitution provides the legal and governmental framework for the United States, however, the Declaration, with its eloquent assertion "all Men are created equal," is equally beloved by the American people.
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the USA's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. There, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country. Here you can read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration.

The US Flag
photo credits: US Flag Vector
The Stars and Stripes originated as a result of a resolution adopted by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia on June 14, 1777. The resolution read:
"Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation."
The resolution gave no instruction as to how many points the stars should have, nor how the stars should be arranged on the blue union. Consequently, some flags had stars scattered on the blue field without any specific design, some arranged the stars in rows, and some in a circle.
Strong evidence indicates that Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was responsible for the stars in the US flag. At the time that the flag resolution was adopted, Hopkinson was the Chairman of the Continental Navy Board's Middle Department. Hopkinson also helped design other devices for the Government including the Great Seal of the United States. Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 14th.

Hurrah for the USA, 1915
Over time, various other summertime activities also came to be associated with the Fourth of July, including historical pageants, picnics, baseball games, watermelon-eating contests, and trips to the beach. Common foods include hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, apple pie, cole slaw, clam bakes and some incredible fireworks.
While the Fourth is celebrated across the country, historic cities like Boston and Philadelphia draw huge crowds to their festivities.
In Boston, the USS John F. Kennedy often sails into the harbor, while the Boston Pops Orchestra holds a televised concert on the banks of the Charles River, featuring American music and ending with the 1812 Overture.
Philadelphia holds its celebrations at Independence Hall, where historic scenes are reenacted and the Declaration of Independence is read.
Other interesting parties include the American Indian rodeo and three-day pow-wow in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Lititz, Pennsylvania, candle festival, where hundred of candles are floated in water and a "Queen of Candles" is chosen.

If you want to know more about American and British holidays and celebrations, visit the wiki: British & American Festivals and Holidays!


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

eTwinning Quality Label for our Project @ Zarco

The project "Let's get to know each other" developed by the 11th grade professional courses @ Zarco Secondary School in Matosinhos has been awarded the eTwinning Quality Label.
An immense THANK YOU to all the participants.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Portugal Wins the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest!


Our adorable Salvador Sobral has won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Amar Pelos Dois', written by his sister, the also talented Luísa Sobral. Thank you all for the amazing support!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Please vote for the Portuguese song in Eurovision

The Portuguese song this year is really incredible. Written by Luísa Sobral and sung by her brother Salvador Sobral, "Amar pelos dois" (Love for the both of us), makes us fly in space and time, feeling the true power of love. If you enjoy the sound and the voice of #Salvadorable, please vote, using the number below, according to the country you're in. Thank you very much! 

100 Years of Our Lady of Fátima Apparitions

Credits: Ana Figueiredo
Today is a very special day, 100 years ago, three shepherd children experienced the apparition of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, at Fátima. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The apparitions at Fátima were officially declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church. Popes Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI voiced their acceptance of the supernatural origin of the Fátima events. John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fátima with saving his life following an assassination attempt on the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima, 1981. He donated the bullet that wounded him to the Roman Catholic sanctuary at Fátima, Portugal and it was placed in the crown of the Virgin's statue.
On May 13, 1917, Lúcia described seeing a lady "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun". While they had never spoken to anyone about the angel, Jacinta divulged her sightings to her family despite Lucia's admonition to keep this experience private. Her disbelieving mother told neighbors as a joke, and within a day the whole village knew. Further appearances were reported on June 13 and July 13. In these, the lady asked the children to do penance and Acts of Reparation and make personal sacrifices to save sinners. According to Lúcia's account, the lady also confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fátima.
Credits: Santuário de Fátima
Pope Francis is in Portugal for the centenary celebration of the Marian apparitions of Fátima, which wouldn’t be complete without the presence of the Pope as he is part of the message of Fátima. Francisco and Jacinta, two of the childrem who saw Our Lady, will be canonized today, during Pope Francis's mass at the Santuary.
To know more about Our Lady of Fátima and this special place, visit the page Santuário de Fátima.

Bênção das Velas (Blessing of Candles)
Credits: Santuário de Fátima

Friday, 12 May 2017

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

For a dear Friend, who is an inspiration for everyone.

If you want to know more about Fibromyalgia, you can click here or here.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Let's Get to Know Each Other powered by eTwinning

The eTwinning project "Let's Get to Know Each Other" was developed in the English classes at Zarco Secondary School, through an online partnership with schools of Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Poland and Hungary, with a total number of 246 students and 14 teachers from 7 different countries across Europe.
The students created an e-magazine on different aspects of each country's identity. Together with the crucial intercultural contact, a special motivation for written tasks in English has been created by using the Twinspace as a web 2.0 tool for active learning.
You can see all the project clicking here:

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Happy Pi Day!

Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.
With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.
There are many ways of celebrating Pi Day. Some of them include eating pie and discussing the relevance of π.
And it's just a coincidence, but it is also Albert Einstein's birthday... So, one more reason to celebrate!
Read here and here on T&L for further information about Pi Day!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

London Bridges

How many bridges are there in London?

Thirty-four bridges span the Thames. The oldest is London Bridge, which was originally made from wood. It was replaced by a stone bridge with shops and houses along its sides.

Lambeth Bridge
Lambeth Bridge is the central bridge of the three bridges in the photograph on the left. Nearest the camera is Westminster Bridge and in the far distance is Vauxhall Bridge. Seen from the London Eye observation wheel.

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge has stood over the River Thames in London since 1894 and is one of the finest, most recognisable bridges in the World. It is the London bridge you tend to see in movies and on advertising literature for London. Tower Bridge is 60 meters long with towers that rise to a height of 43 meters.

London Bridge is between the City of London and Southwark. It is between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge. London's original bridge made this one of the most famous bridge in the world. The first London Bridge is thought to have been built by the Romans sometime in the first century, with several rebuilds over the centuries. Throughout its history, London bridge has been a busy thoroughfare, and was once lined with shops. The road over the bridge was only about 4m wide between the shops. It was so narrow it often jammed with people, horses and carts. The present London bridge opened in 1973.

London Bridge
The Millennium Bridge
The Millennium bridge is a pedestrian bridge erected to connect the Tate Modern Art Gallery to the City and St Paul's Cathedral. Almost immediately after opening the bridge had to be shut because of dangerous swaying. It has now been reopened. The bridge is about 320 metres, costs 16 million pounds to build and only takes pedestrians.

Southwark Bridge

Southwark Bridge is a road-bridge linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott and opened in 1921.

Blackfriars Railway Bridge

Blackfriars Railway Bridge is a railway bridge crossing the River Thames between Blackfriars Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster and Lambeth. The current bridge opened in 1862, is the second on the site and replaced an earlier bridge that had opened in 1750.

Westminster Bridge

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Dialects and Accents in Britain

There are three general types of British accents in England: Northern English, Southern English, and the Midlands accent. One of the most obvious features is whether "bath" is pronounced like the a in "cat" (as it is in the US and in Northern English dialects) or like the a in "father" (as it is in Southern English dialects). The generic British accent, meanwhile, is known as "Received Pronunciation," which is basically a Southern English accent used among the elite that erases regional differences. Here's a video of one woman doing 17 British accents, most of which are shown on the map.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Great Vowel Shift

Credits: Olaf Simons @ English Wikipedia
If you think English spelling is confusing — why "head" sounds nothing like "heat," or why "steak" doesn't rhyme with "streak," and "some" doesn't rhyme with "home" — you can blame the Great Vowel Shift. Between roughly 1400 and 1700, the pronunciation of long vowels changed. "Mice" stopped being pronounced "meese." "House" stopped being prounounced like "hoose." Some words, particularly words with "ea," kept their old pronounciation. (And Northern English dialects were less affected, one reason they still have a distinctive accent.) This shift is how Middle English became modern English. No one is sure why this dramatic shift occurred. But it's a lot less dramatic when you consider it took 300 years. Shakespeare was as distant from Chaucer as we are from Thomas Jefferson.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Anglo-Saxon Migration or how English started


Here's how the English language got started. After Roman troops withdrew from Britain in the early 5th century, three Germanic peoples — the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes — moved in and established kingdoms. They brought with them the Anglo-Saxon language, which combined with some Celtic and Latin words to create Old English. Old English was first spoken in the 5th century, and it looks incomprehensible to today's English-speakers. To give you an idea of just how different it was, the language the Angles brought with them had three genders (masculine, feminine, and neutral). Still, though the gender of nouns has fallen away in English, 4,500 Anglo-Saxon words survive today. They make up only about 1 percent of the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary, but nearly all of the most commonly used words that are the backbone of English. They include nouns like "day" and "year," body parts such as "chest," arm," and "heart," and some of the most basic verbs: "eat," "kiss," "love," "think," "become." FDR's sentence "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" uses only words of Anglo-Saxon origin.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Where English comes from

Credits: Stand Still. Stay Silent. Blog
English, like more than 400 other languages, is part of the Indo-European language family, sharing common roots not just with German and French but with Russian, Hindi, Punjabi, and Persian. This beautiful chart by Minna Sundberg, a Finnish-Swedish comic artist, shows some of English's closest cousins, like French and German, but also its more distant relationships with languages originally spoken far from the British Isles such as Farsi and Greek.