Wednesday, October 23, 2019

TY House Speech Competition

Maxim Meddah gives an account of the annual TY House Speech Competition:

On Sunday 29th September, the annual Transition Year House Speeches took place once again in St Columba’s College. Each house was represented by two pupils. The topic the pupils could choose was up to them. Some were serious and some were humorous. The contestants were marked out of ten points for delivery and content and five points on lack of reliance on notes. They each spoke for three to five minutes.  

Glen was represented by Antoine Dulauroy who spoke about how Astrophysics can change your view on the world and Akin Babajide who spoke about why the idea of world peace is naive. Gwynn was represented by Tom Casey who spoke about why the earth is flat and Peter Taylor who spoke about anxiety. Stackallan was represented by Marcus O’Connor speaking about the profound message of Kung Fu Panda and Andrew Maguire on the importance of team sports. Edna Johnston spoke about being a twin and Amalia Falkenhayn speaking about being tall represented Iona. Representing Hollypark were Emma Hinde talking about ‘the power of words’ and Caroline Hager speaking about Flying.  

The event started with the announcement of the first speaker Edna Johnston by the evening’s MC, Guy Fitzgibbon. Edna then commenced with her speech which was about being a twin. She talked about her least favourite response to people finding out she has a twin which was “Oh I know a set of twins” and her favourite response being when people look in shock with their mouths wide open. In retrospect, her speech was really about being her own person and that she and her sister are not one and the same person but two individuals that merely look alike. The next speech was by Antoine Dulauroy. He talked about the two different ways someone's view of the world could be affected by astrophysics, showing us how big the universe really is. The first point was that you feel tiny in such a huge world and that nothing matters. The second being seizing that feeling of feeling small and meaningless and use it as a pretext to trying scary and challenging new things. In the end, he mentioned his dream, or rather his objective of becoming an astrophysicist.

The third speech, a humorous one, was given by Tom Casey and he talked about the earth being flat with the example of a grapefruit. His first reason was that if the earth was round an aeroplane which flies from the northern hemisphere to the southern one should arrive upside down, which quite evidently does not. He also reasoned that all the water would pour down the face of the earth if it were round. His speech entertained the audience well and by the end of his speech the whole room was filled with laughter. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

INOTE 2019

Some reactions and resources from the annual conference of the Irish National Organisation for Teachers of English.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Articles of the Week


This is an ongoing listing of links to the Articles of the Week used with our Leaving Certificate pupils, from September 2013 onwards.

The idea came from the American teacher and writer Kelly Gallagher, and it fits very well into the Leaving course, getting pupils used to reading interesting articles and thus helping them in both the comprehension and composition sections of their Paper 1, as well as expanding their knowledge base and vocabulary and providing interesting topics for discussion.

Click here for Gallagher's current articles, and read more about the theory behind the scheme in his excellent book Readicide: how schools are killing reading and what you can do about it. Pupils have to mark up the articles with annotations before class discussion.
  1. October 2019: 'A psychotherapist explains why some adults are reacting badly to young climate strikers' by Caroline Hickman, The Conversation, October 11th 2019 [climate change, teenagers].
  2. September 2019: 'Curiosity: we're studying the brain to help you harness it' by by Ashvanti Valji and Matthias Gruber, The Conversation, September 13th 2019 [neuroscience, learning].
  3. September 2019: 'A California high school found students' cellphones too distracting, so they're locking the devices up' by Safia Samee Ali, NBC News, August 21st 2019 [education, learning, teenagers, technology].
  4. May 2019: 'How Exercise Affects Our Memory' by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, May 1st 2019 [exercise, physiology, neuroscience].
  5. January 2019: 'Aviation is the red meat in the greenhouse gas sandwich' by John Gibbons, the Irish Times, January 29th 2019 [environment, aviation].
  6. January 2019: 'Filling the Silence with Digital Noise' by the Nielsen Norman Group, November 18th 2018 [technology, learning].
  7. November 2018: "Window for saving Earth from ecological annihilation closing" by John Gibbons, the Irish Times, October 16th 2018 [ecology, environment].
  8. October 2018: "'Fortnite' teaches the wrong lessons" by Nicholas Tampio, The Conversation, October 12th 2018 [gaming, adolescence, technology]/
  9. October 2018: "Why true horror movies are about more than things going bump in the night" by Aislinn Clarke, The Conversation [film, horror, comedy], October 3rd 2018.
  10. October 2018:  'Is Serena Williams right? A linguist on the extra challenges women face in moments of anger' by Kieran File, The Conversation, September 11th 2018 [women, gender, sport].
  11. September 2018: 'Why you should read this article slowly' by Joe Moran, The Guardian, September 14th 2018 [reading, internet].
  12. September 2018: 'The ideal school would put children's development before league tables' by Sue Roffey, The Conversation, September 17th 2018.
  13. September 2018: 'Another Angle: For the love of God, put down the phones' by Adrian Weckler, Irish Independent, August 20th 2018 [technology, phone].
  14. May 2018: 'Neuroscience is unlocking mysteries of the teenage brain' by Lucy Foulkes, The Conversation, April 23rd 2018 [adolescence, neuroscience].
  15. March 2018: 'The Tyranny of Convenience' by Tim Yu, New York Times, February 16th 2018 [modern life, technology].
  16. February 2018: "The death of reading is threatening the soul" by Philip Yancey, Washington Post, July 21st 2017 [reading, books, internet].
  17. January 2018: 'Why more men are wearing makeup than ever before' by Glen Jankowski, The Conversation, January 15th 2018 [make-up, masculinity].
  18. January 2018: 'Why 2017 was the best year in human history' by Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, January 6, 2018 [history, progress, health].
  19. November 2017: 'Boys must behave if women are to be safe' by Fintan O'Toole, The Irish Times, October 31, 2017.
  20. October 2017: 'A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans' by Michael McCarthy, The Guardian, October 21, 2017.
  21. October 2017: 'We can't stop mass murder' by Shikha Dalmia, The Week, October 6, 2017.
  22. October 2017: 'What every teacher should know about ... memory' by Bradley Busch, The Guardian, October 6, 2017 [learning, memory, teaching].
  23. October 2017: 'Think the world is in a mess: here are 4 things you can do about it' by Alexandre Christoyannapoulos. The Conversation, November 16, 2016 [activism, citizenship, economics].
  24. September 2017: 'The power of silence in the smartphone age' by Erling Kagge, The Guardian, September 23rd 2017 [technology].
  25. September 2017: '5 reasons why people share fake photos during disasters' by A.J. Willingham, CNN.com, September 8th 2017 [journalism, psychology, social media].
  26. September 2017: 'Can you identify the psychopaths in your life?' by Rob Hastings, iNews, August 29th 2017 [psychology].
  27. February 2017: 'Our roads are choked. We're on the verge of carmageddon' by George Monbiot, The Guardian, September 20th 2016 [environment, transport].
  28. January 2017: 'Girls believe brilliance is a male trait' by Nicola Davis, The Guardian, January 27th 2017.
  29. January 2017: 'What do teenagers want? Potted plant parents' by Lisa Damour, New York Times, December 14th 2016 [adolescence, parenting].
  30. November 2016: 'Trump makes it easy to vote for Her' by Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald, November 6th 2016 [politics, America].
  31. October 2016: 'How being alone may be the key to rest' by Claudia Hammond, BBC, September 27th 2016 [rest, reading, introversion].
  32. September 2016: 'Why Parents are Getting Angrier' by Nicola Skinner, The Guardian, September 3rd 2016 [parenting, psychology, childhood].
  33. September 2016: 'Burkini beach ban: must French Muslim women become invisible?' by Delphine Strauss, The Irish Times, August 22nd 2016 [culture, Islam, France].
  34. May 2016: 'How can Lidl sell jeans for £5.99?' by Gethin Chamberlain, The Guardian, March 13th 2016 [economics, retailing, manufacture].
  35. April 2016: 'Teaching men how to be emotionally honest' by Anrew Reiner, New York Times, April 4th 2016 [gender, adolescence, masculinity].
  36. February 2016: 'Then and now: how things have changed for teenage girls since the 1950s' by Clare Furniss, The Guardian, January 29th 2016 [teenagers, gender, sexism].
  37. January 2016: 'Teenagers risk being defined for life by their social media posts' by Karlin Lilllington, Irish Times, January 14th 2016 [social media, teenagers, identity].
  38. January 2016: 'Welcome to the Anthropocene, a new geological era for the world', The Week, January 8th 2016 [geology, climate change, environment].
  39. November 2015: 'Birth Order Determines ... Almost Nothing' by Jeanne Safer, psychologytoday.com [psychology, parenting, childhood].
  40. November 2015: 'How psychopaths can save your life' by Kevin Dutton, The Observer [psychology].
  41. November 2015: '10 benefits of reading: why you should read every day' by Lana Winter-Hebert, Lifehack.org [reading, entertainment, education].
  42. October 2015: 'How much can you really learn while you're asleep?' by Jordan Gaines Lewis, The Guardian, October 6th 2015 [neuroscience, learning, adolescence].
  43. September 2015: 'Fifth of secondary school pupils wake almost every night to use social media' by Sally Weale, The Guardian, September 15th 2015 [social media, learning, teenagers].

Friday, October 11, 2019

INOTE Conference 2019

Notes and links from the keynote at the annual conference of the Irish National Organisation of Teachers of English in Portlaoise on Saturday 12th October 2019.

Link to presentation

Collection of tweets and resources.

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researchED

 Books


Vocabulary

    Online

    Some more recommended books

    • Sinead Gleeson: Constellations
    • Emily Pine: Notes to Self
    • Tim Winton: The Boy Behind the Curtain
    • Rachel Cusk: Kudos, Transit and Outline, as well as Coventry (essays)
    • Robert Macfarlane: The Old Ways, Landmarks, Underland.
    • Joseph O'Connor: Shadowplay
    • David Park: Travelling in a Strange Land
    • Melatu Uche Okorie: This Hostel Life

    Wednesday, October 09, 2019

    researchED Dublin

    On Saturday 5th October, the first-ever researchED event in Ireland took place at SCC. Below, a video of impressions (credit to Ian O'Herlihy) and plenty of Twitter reaction.

    English teachers, current and former, were strong on the ground, including Alex Quigley, Daisy Christodoulou, Carl Hendrick, David Didau, Leona Forde, Kate Barry, Rebecca Foster, Conor Murphy and Edmond Behan.