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The Grapevine - June 1998 - Volume 5-4.
End of the Year Activities. WB01432_.gif (3228 bytes)
 In this issue:
From Miriam's Desk 
Types of Writing 
Kind Compliments The show Must Go On
What is Closure? A Fun Bee Quiz.
Knock Knock Jokes News from IETV.
Don't Be Afraid to Fail Suggestions for Evaluation.
Teacher Feedback. Announcements.
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From Miriam's Desk.

 It is hard to believe that the year is nearly over and this is the final edition of The Grapevine for the 1998-9 school year. This year had its ups and downs (teachers involved in the Bagrut examinations would probably claim that there have been a lot of "downs" and very few "ups"). The number of new teachers who joined the system at the beginning of the school year was relatively small but these teachers have, thanks to the efforts and help provided by the English counselors, become welcome members of the "Family of English Teachers". English counselors were also busy coordinating regular in-service staff development groups, providing in-service workshops on a variety of subjects (e.g. Whole Language, Cooperative Teaching, English with Television etc) and providing assistance and support for teachers with special needs.

Secondary school teachers this year have had to deal with uncertainties and bureaucratic problems regarding the Bagrut examinations as a whole and the oral Bagrut in particular. I thank you all for your understanding and your patience and sincerely hope that by the time you receive this newsletter all the problems will have been solved and I wish you and your pupils all the very best of luck in their exams.

This edition of The Grapevine is devoted to ideas of what to do with your classes towards the end of the year when you are battling with the heat, with "half" classes and with burnout (both on the part of the pupils and you, their teachers). In some cases when you no longer have textbooks with which to teach. Personally, I would suggest using some of the end of the year lessons to teach our pupils in the elementary and junior high schools joined writing (joining the printed letters in a natural way and not making the pupils learn a whole new way of writing). This is a skill that I feel has been sorely neglected over the years, it is something that our pupils are very interested in learning and it is something that will help them write more fluently in the future.

 The annual summer day for English teachers will be held this year on Tuesday, 18th of August. In addition to hearing from you as to the type of subjects that are of interest, we especially invite teachers to participate and give workshops, or parts of workshops, on things that you have been doing over the year that you feel would be of interest to other teachers. Invitations giving the details of the Summer school will be sent out to schools before the end of the school year - please make sure that they are passed on to you.

The year 1998-9 will see the birth of the new curriculum. This very important document will influence the teaching of English in the years to come. In order to give teachers the opportunity of getting to know the new curriculum, we will be holding an in-service course next year which will deal not only with changes resulting from the curriculum but will also deal with the trends and directions of English teaching in the future such as "whole language" in the elementary and junior high schools, cooperative teaching, etc.

We will be holding a course for coordinators which will give them the opportunity to discuss issues relevant to their work in addition to enabling them to be involved in workshops given by people in the forefront of the teaching profession.

Due to a request from the field, we will be offering courses in "Proficiency in English". Depending on the demand we hope to offer these courses in Haifa, in the Krayot and in the Hadera areas.

 "Teaching Reading and Writing in Heterogeneous Elementary and Junior High School Classes" is the title of another course that we are planning to open this year.

We are very anxious to get your feedback as to the various courses that we are planning to open in October 1998. Opening the courses will only be possible if there are enough participants.

 I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for all your hard work this year and to thank my counselors for the hours and hours of time and effort they have put in during the course of the year. The words "thank you" do not do justice to show my appreciation for all that they have done.

Have a very very well earned rest,


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Types of Writing. 
Print Script Joined
A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l Mm N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z  A a  B b  C c D d  E e  F f G g  H h I i J j  K k L l Mm N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u  V v W w X x Y y Z z  A a Bb Cc  Dd Ee Ff  G g H h I i  J j K k  L l  
M m N n O o P p  Q q  R r  S s  T t  U u  V v  W w X x  Y y Z z 
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Kind Compliments
Enlarge and photocopy this page for your pupils and give them a few days to fill it in. You can then collect the forms and play a guessing game by reading out hints and having the other pupils in the class guess whose form it is.
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Spotlight on the Five Minute Entertainment........ or .........   The Show Must Go On.               By Dee Stein.

Towards the end of April beginning May, the average home room teacher drops the bombshell, (usually while you are quietly enjoying your coffee in the teacher's room)… "Oh! Dee, we are putting on an end of term show and you have a five minute slot …. Nothing big …. Feel free to do what you want with the kids … I'll come and see it when you're ready."

At one time, early on in my career this had the effect of causing me to choke on my coffee and in general sent me into a state of inner collapse. But the years have brought me a sense of proportion, a sense of humour and a set of strategies that I would like to share with you.

  1. Do your best to keep the show an entertainment and avoid turning it into a five minute disintegration of any and every relationship you have built up through the year with your pupils.
  2. Start selling the idea of the show …. Drop one liners such as "by the way I'm working on ideas for the end of the year show … If you have any, share them with me…" They often don't and at this stage will willingly accept yours.
  3. When you present the text… read it with humour and keep saying "Don't worry, we can change the parts that are too hard" .. or "Let's try it one or two times …. If it doesn't work, we'll change it". I've seldom had to change too much …. Here and there I make a sentence easier to say.
  4. Keep the language simple every day English that kids can learn by heart.
  5. Have one liners … thirty kids in a class coming out at different times saying one or two sentence dialogues sounds as if the class has mastered a Shakespearean play.
  6. Cater for shy pupils by having two or three kids coming out and saying the same line … "Where's Yossi gone?"…
  7. Don't forget that a play involves walk on parts holding the sign that has the name of the play on it. There are also Hebrew translators to give the parents a clue as to what is going on.
  8. Utilize the kids to draw props and find costumes….essential items to motivate participation. "Cut out" boxes wrapped in silver foil become TV sets. Make props large and funny. Pupils love painting and cutting and the art teacher is usually a big help too.
  9. Utilize the stage. Have narrators at the front ….Arrange for the kids to enter from all different angles.
  10. Try and incorporate parts of popular songs or music from TV shows. Pupils feel good about participating when they hear familiar sounds.
Now we have the How, let's think about the What..

Try and incorporate language or themes dealt with in class as this solves the problem of having to learn new vocabulary and the kids feel comfortable with familiar language.

In class three we learnt transport and simple dialogues. I called the play "Going Places". It revolved around two boys who were bored and looking for friends to play with but each time they bumped into different groups of kids and asked them to play it turned out they were going somewhere.

E.g.: *Hi Yossi, Let's play.

Sorry, I'm busy.

Where are you going?

To America.


By plane…..

Yossi was dressed in holiday clothes and carried a suitcase. Different groups were going to Haifa by bus or to the library by foot..

We also sang the Bus song from Candy Can Do It.

In class four I linked body parts to the story of Little Red Riding Hood. We focused in on the part where Red Riding Hood talks to the wolf dressed up as grandmother.

The class divided into three groups: the wolves with ears, Little Red Riding Hood in red paper capes and the chorus who sang. "I have two eyes to see with, two ears that I can hear with." At the intervals the kids held up cut out eyes and ears..

Then " Who can you see?"

We see, Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother..

Group a: Oh grandmother what big eyes you have….

Group b: So that I can see you

Chorus: Be careful Red Riding Hood.. Open your eyes, that's a Wolf in disguise…

Eventually the wolves were dragged off the stage as we sang the song…"Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, Not I.

A good recipe for Class Six is to do the English news broadcast linked to your home area. I recorded the music from Boker Tov Israel and divided the class into different sections from the program. In this play the kids wrote the text and I assisted. Each group chose a section and wrote the text. Some were the announcers. Some did the sports sections dealing with the commentary and pantomimed actions of the class six football championships. Others presented an advertisement. Some were the helicopter traffic reporters. They had a cut out helicopter and a kid behind the scenes drumming to be the helicopter blades as the kids said: "Good news pupils. There is a big traffic jam and yes …. Dee is stuck in her car …. You can have a five minute break".

Some were Danny Roups and talked about the snow falling in the teacher's room and they showed teachers frozen to their chairs….

The sky is the limit with five minute shows. Other shows included:

  1. The fight between David and Goliath.
  2. The night before the pupils begin Class Seven. (This included tips from big brothers and sisters on how to behave …. E.g. "Don't sit next to me on the bus". And scenes showing two girls who can't decide what to wear, etc.
  3. Save the environment with Michael Jackson clips.
What can I say …… The time has come, the time is now …… Start thinking …. Five minute shows ……. You know the home room teacher is on the way.

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  What is Closure?

 Closure is a natural stopping point in a lesson, unit or year which points back to the objective and captures its relevance. Closure keeps the big picture in view, either by relating the objective to other fields or topics, or by raising a related question to ponder. Closure allows for a meta-awareness of the study process on the part of the pupil. Closure ensures that the objectives are met and applied, as students cognitively map what new knowledge they have gained and adapt it as building steps to gain more knowledge.

Closure is NOT a summary but rather a commencement in light of the new knowledge. With closure you pass the torch to the learners, who are now the doers and teachers of the objective. Closure is not a teacher activity, but an act of the learner. Students internalize what they have learnt in closure and verbalize it to themselves or to each other. Closure refocuses students' attention on the objective. Answering a question related to the objective, or performing an activity that confirms mastery of the objective gives students the opportunity to recognize what they have learned. Closure is like looking back upon the trail so that one knows which way one has come and where one can now go.

Different types of feedback activities facilitate closure; class discussions, feedback to the teacher and the class, self-evaluation, peer evaluation, teacher evaluation. All these provide a base for the pupil to think back and view the process they have been through as a journey that has taken them from one specific point to another.

This issue of The Grapevine has quite a few suggested closure activities, we hope you will find them useful.

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A Fun BEE Quiz.

  Tell your pupils that the answers to all the following questions have the word "BEE" in them. Ask them the questions and have them guess the answers - they will get the hang of it after the first few.

  1. Name the famous insect artist. (Pablo BEEcasso)
  2. Where do wealthy bees go to live? (In suburBEEa)
  3. How do stinging insects taste? (BEElicious)
  4. What do you call a stinging insect that can speak two languages? ( A BEElingual)
  5. What Middle Eastern country has the most stinging insects? (Saudi AraBEEa)
  6. What might a father do to his son (of a bee) if he misbehaves? (BEEt him)
  7. If a bee doesn't understand something, what might he/she say? (This is BEEyond me)
  8. What do you call a bee that always gives in to authority? (OBEEdient)
  9. Which classic composer do bees like the best? (BEEthoven)
  10. What is the favorite resort to which bees go during their vacation? (Miami BEEch)
  11. What rock group do bees prefer? (The BEEtles)
  12. What do we call a bee that is about to be married? (BEEtrothed)
  13. What is a bees favorite sport? (RugBEE)
  14. How would you describe a bee who is feeling content and satisfied? (HapBEE)
  15. When a bee gets tired, what happens? (He gets sleepBEE)
  16. What do all mother bees tell their children before they go to school? (BEEhave)
  17. What do bees like eat for breakfast? (BEEcon and eggs)
  18. What is a bee's favorite drink? (BEEr)
  19. What do you call a newborn bee? (A baBEE)
  20. What do we call the written history of a bee's life? (AutoBEEiography)
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Knock Knock Jokes.
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Juno 
B: Juno who? 
A: Juno what time it is? My watch is broken.
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Owl 
B: Owl who? 
A: Owl you know unless you open the door?
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
B: Anita 
A: Anita who? 
B: Anita umbrella because it's raining.
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Axe 
B: Axe who? 
A: Axe your mother if you can come out.
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Warren. 
B: Warren who? 
A: Warren Peace is a great Russian novel.
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Sweden 
B: Sweden who? 
A: Sweden my tea with 2 lumps of sugar.
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Venice 
B: Venice who? 
A: Venice your next birthday?
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Wooden 
B: Wooden who? 
A: Wooden you like to go out with me?
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Noah 
B: Noah who? 
A: Noah good place to eat?
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Wilda 
B: Wilda who? 
A: Wilda movie be on TV tonight?
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Ken 
B: Ken who? 
A: Ken I come in?
A: Knock! Knock! 
B: Who's there?  
A: Sonnie 
B: Sonnie who? 
A: Sonnie me knocking.
  Shoshana Leshem wpe3.jpg (1140 bytes) WB01432_.gif (3228 bytes)
News from Israel Educational Television.

 Textbooks for Junior High School from IETV.

Educational Television Courseware for English teaching are published by the Ministry of Education. Any English staff interested in using the materials is entitled to in-service courses for which 'gmul' is received. IETV counselor in the Haifa District, Atara Magid, will meet with interested staff at their school or in a regional facility on a day and time convenient to the staff. The meetings can take place at any desired frequency and are in the form of workshops aimed at planning the unit, discussing teaching issues and adapting the materials to the different levels.

IETV is the only publisher which puts out materials with accompanying video cassettes. The broadcasts provide exciting episodes and challenge pupils to follow a drama in English. They allow the learners to identify with the young people who appear on the broadcasts and motivate discussion on the varied educational topics presented.

Radio Fever is a relatively new book for 8th grade. It provides varied reading data and tasks, emphasizes cooperative learning through structured group work and provides activities for multi-level classes. It challenges pupils by offering bonus points for extra work and language portfolio ideas. The video cassettes include ten episodes about the W.Y.S Radio Team as they learn to work together and serve the community. Music and songs highlight the issues that are raised and many of the lyrics are printed in the textbook and provide interesting listening and reading practice.

Take Five is the new courseware for ninth grade. It relates the story of a team of students at a university school of film and television. The series exposes learners to the world of television production through the book units athrough eight video episodes. The themes in the book deal with film and media studies, interaction within the teams and cultural awareness. The courseware will also include a multi-media CD.

Both Radio Fever and Take Five consist of a pupil's book, a workbook, a comprehenteacher's guide, audio and video cassettes. Teachers interested in finding out more about the materials are welcome to call Atara Magid 04-8226905.

Before you make your choice for next year, see what Israel Educational Television has to offer!
Behind the scenes of Take Five -
the new courseware for 9th grade from IETV.
The launching of Take Five will take place on the set of Take Five on Monday, June 1st, 1998 at IETV, 14 Klausner St., Ramat Aviv. There will be 2 sessions, from 10:00 - 12:00 or from 14:00 to 16:00. The program will include a visit to the set of Take Five, a preview of the new series and an instructive lecture by Mr. Irv Kaplan (Sheriff Goodman). Refreshments will be served and a sample copy of the pupil's book will be distributed to the participants. Please call to register for one of the sessions; 03-6466656. All teachers are welcome.
Take Five and Take Off!  

Radio Fever open lessons.

Two open lessons using Radio Fever have been scheduled towards the end of May. Invitations have been sent out to all coordinators. 1.Tami Solomon from Rabin Junior High school, Kiryat Motskin, is giving an open lesson on Wed., May 20th, 9:30- 12:00. 2.Adelle Rosenberg from Kiryat Haim New Junior High is giving an open lesson on Mon., May 25th, 8:30 - 11:00. Thank you to Tami and Adelle and other teachers for their cooperation and effort. Any teacher who offers to have an open lesson enables us to learn from them and reflect on our own teaching. Kol Hakavod!

Atara Magid

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 Don't Be Afraid To Fail.
You’ve failed many times,
although you may not remember.
You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
You almost drowned the first time
you tried to swim , didn’t you?
Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat?
Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs,
also strike out a lot.
R.H. Macy failed seven times
before his store in New York caught on.
English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejections slips
before he published 564 books.
Don’t worry about failure.
Worry about the chances you miss
when you don’t even try.
A message published in the Wall Street Journal by UnitedTechnologies Corporation 1981, Hartford, Connecticut 06101.
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Suggestions for Written Evaluation.

Grades in report cards help summarise a student’s progress for both the student and his or her parents. Teachers’ messages to both the student and his parents make the report seem more personal. It is a means to maintain proper relationships between home and school. From the written comments, many parents form their opinion of the school’s concern for their child. Thus it is important that the message begins with a positive approach and be tactfully stated, concise, and grammatically correct.

For our end of the year issue I have chosen to enclose positive messages that deal with behaviour, personality, improvement and growth. The messages given here are intended to be a starting point. The teacher should feel free to adapt these messages as necessary to make them relevant to the needs of each individual student.

Below is a list of useful adjectives for “positive’ teacher’s messages;


Zehavit Linn wpe3.jpg (1140 bytes)
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Feedback to The Teacher.

Give your pupils a turn to rate you as a teacher. Prepare a feedback form for your pupils to evaluate you as a teacher. Simply tell your pupils that you would like their help in becoming a better teacher. Leave an option for the pupils to answer anonymously. You can ask open questions or create an evaluation table with a pre-determined set of grades.

For example:

1 - excellent, 2 - good, 3 - OK,  4 - needs improvement, 5 - bad


Always, Usually, Seldom, Never etc.

Here are some suggestions that you can include in your feedback form:

  1. My instructions are clear.
  2. My lessons are interesting.
  3. I respect you.
  4. I treat you fairly.
  5. I am considerate of your feelings.
  6. My lessons are varied.
  7. I am patient.
  8. My expectations are reasonable.
  9. My tests are fair.
  10. I discipline fairly.
  11. I make the lesson worthwhile.
  12. I treat you as an equal.
  13. I teach at your level.
  14. I understand you.
  15. I give you extra help if you need it.
  16. I let you participate enough.
  17. I give you fair grades.
Additional comments or suggestions:


Do you want to talk with me privately?

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Phone the office for a membership form: 02 6796029
In-Service courses next year.

All the in-service courses offered to English teachers in the Haifa district will be on a permanent day. Please watch for notification at your school as to the day of the courses and keep that day free.  

Haifa Summer Study Day.

The Haifa Summer Study Day will be held on the 18th August. Please watch out for notification at your school as to the venue.

If any teachers or groups of teachers would like to present a topic or a special project, please contact Miriam or Margalit in the office on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  

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Tell Me
Tell me I’m clever,
Tell me I’m kind,
Tell me I’m talented,
Tell me I’m cute,
Tell me I’m sensitive,
Graceful and wise,
Tell me I’m perfect-
But tell me the truth.
                              Shel Silverstein
wpe3.jpg (1140 bytes) WB01432_.gif (3228 bytes) The Grapevine is the Haifa District English Inspectorate Newsletter.
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