Archiv für den Monat August 2012

Day 3 – Veijle

No school today – wahey. Marianne had the day off for her studies (in order to be some kind of counselor for English in the future, she needs to take courses and do exams), but her studies do not continue until next week, so we took the boys and went to Legoland! Fun, fun, fun.


Yay, was lots of fun – and I still have learned a lot about Danish schools, e.g. it’s common that parents take their kids out of school when they want to go on holiday – they might get a note from the school that they are responsible for their kid’s performance in school, that’s it.

I think it’s simply amazing that I’m staying with Marianne, a English/Danish teacher and her husband Flemming, whose a headmaster, and their son Peter. Great food and good wine encourage great talks and tonight I introduced two more people to the wonderful world, of Pinterest. I just love that app.

But today’s highlight had nothing to do with school, but with Peter. Just before bedtime he was standing in front of me, with his toothbrush in his mouth. It took me a while to guess that he wanted me to brush his teeth for him 😀

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Day 2 – Veijle

I’m knackered… It’s just past seven and i feel so exhausted. Just not used to being in school anymore, and I actually find it much more tiring to observe a lesson, than being actively involved. Today I mainly observed year 5 and year 6 in English and Danish.


Anyway, what did I observe in general?

  • kids call their teacher by their first name
  • kids get into school and take their shoes off
  • school starts with assembly (all the kids singing a song)
  • students spend much more time (almost 80%) working on their own
  • there’s a toilet in every classroom
  • cellphones are allowed – teachers don’t consider themselves as police
  • students use material created by their teacher, not so much exercise books
  • two PCs in every classroom
  • students read for their entertainment
  • regular library hours
  • students are together from year 1-9
  • It’s too early to draw any conclusions, but what striked me most was that error correction [in english] didn’t take place. Nevertheless the students did really good in an overall performance. They read books to each other, and worked indepedently, e.g. The class went to the school library and chose books for themselves that they like to read and were given plenty of time to read in class. They played little games as brain break and moved around quite a bit. Their homework was often things like ‚write 8 sentences about an animal‘ – there was plenty of room for one’s own creativity and the results were very different. All work has been praised equally – even though there were major differences. Another assignment was to read for 20min and do the corresponding exercises, there was no „you have to read up to chapter 6“. It seems like whatever they do, is just fine. Maybe this is internal differentiation par excellence, I was surprised that there was no final „official“ solution. But than again, this is just a first impression…
    In general, the lessons seem to be more laid back and less planed to the minute. In addition, I noticed that the layout of the classroom was very different, some kids were actually facing the wall. I guess, it helps them to stay focused.


    I expected to see more technology-based teaching, but nope, it was all paper and blackboard (well, i had wifi) But what I really liked that the teacher had plenty of time to focus on the individual student. When I talked to the head of middle school Lone about my first impressions, she said to me something, that needs to be taken in…

    we let our students be who they are, and then we teach them.


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    Day 1 – Veijle

    I’ve arrived safely in Børkop and just had a lovely welcome by Marianne and her husband Flemming. We’ve already been talking about our school systems and i came across mayor differences: they don’t do grades. They don’t do exams. How weird is that, and the kids actually still work, how odd. 😀

    My actual job shadowing starts tomorrow, yay. I must admit I start to get nervous/agitated/excited… but looking forward to everything. Here’s a link to the school

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    The adventure begins

    I’m sitting in the ICE 578 to Hamburg, the first leg of my journey to Denmark. Starting tomorrow I will participate in the daly school life of Mølholm Skole in Veijle for a week, I’ll shadow their lessons, and probably be involved in some of the lessons, too. I’m curious to find out about their school system, what could the most awkward differce be? I know for a start, that they call their teachers by their first name… Every night I’m going to blog about my adventures here, and for now I have got know idea what to expect. Lone, the headmaster, has sent me my timetable already. I’ll start tomorrow with a period of Danish, maybe the kids teach me the basics or the most important phrases… I’ve downloaded the visit denmark app and are already learning phrases like „God dag“, „hej“ and „tak“… I’ve got another 8h to learn more advanced phrases (i’m hungry, i’m thirsty…) before I’m picked up from the train station.


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    25% : 1. Halbjahr: 30% Mitarbeit, 70% Aufgaben

    25%: 2. Halbjahr: Cache

    25%: Dokumentation

    25%: Kolloquium

    Die Note für den Seminarkurs setzt wie folgt zusammen:

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    Live the Media

    That’s what you need to do, there’s no point in having a new social network/app explained to you. Just get an account and see for yourself.


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    How inspiring… Aimee Mullins on TED

    Do you know the meaning of disabled? You surely do, but do you also know its definition? I was deeply shocked when I watched Aimee Mullin’s fantastic talk on TED this morning. Her talk made me realize that basically all synonyms of disabled according to reputable thesauri are cruel, negative, no to say inhumane. The definition was so brutal that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use that word again without feeling ashamed.
    What should we use instead? I don’t know. Maybe challenged? But that sounds a lot like a typical New York Times euphemism, e.g. writing „the people are economically challenged“ instead of simply writing „the people are poor“. What are your feelings on this issue? Is there a need for the word „disabled“, or can we simply drop it from our vocabulary? A person might be in a wheelchair, might be an amputee; nevertheless at the end of the day, he’s a human being just like you and me.
    Feel free to comment.

    I deeply recommend to take 20min out of your time and watch the talk, I’ll promise it’s worth it.

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    Pinterest – I’m addicted already

    I’m addicted to Pinterest – what an amazing online tool. Thank you, Falk. Pinterest basically let’s you collect information online, and all have it pinned to a board, you’ve created. You can have several boards, e.g. I’ve got one for teching, one for classroom management, one for food, one for christmas and so on.
    My favorite feature includes the social media of it: you can repin ideas, and see what other users have pinned with similar interests, so you can find out more information, like the pyramid scheme. I’m really loving it.

    Check out my educational board here. i came across some really cool ideas for next term, can’t wait to give them a go 😉

    Pinterest is a great resource for teachers, but it’s also a great tool for your students – I’ll have them interact and do brainstorms on Pinterest. It’s perfect for them, because the visuals are very appealing to them.


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