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Summer classes and 5 British Summer traditions that foreigners will never understand!

Summer is truly upon us and here in Mallorca we are all melting in the 30+ degree heat!

Eden Education is still at work, but lessons are definitely more ‘chilled!’

These girls are learning the words for fruit and vegetables with some ‘swimming pool shopping!’

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Alongside children’s language sessions Nicole is preparing a drama student for a big play in Northern Island in August, teaching adult TEFL and craft and conversation.  There is plenty of space over the summer for new students so do get in touch on 629 535466 for some summer fun!

British Summer Time

I won’t lie, I really don’t miss Summer in the UK.  My memory is of waiting 10 months for the sun to shine and getting about 3 days of nice weather.  However, there are some quirky British summer traditions that do make me smile.  Here are 5 of them

  1. Barbecues in the rain: We Brits are a determined bunch. If we want to barbecue, we WILL barbecue, even if it rains!  That is what umbrellas were made for!
  2. Stripping down at the slightest sign of sun:  it may only be 20 degrees, but the sun is out, so you are bound to see shorts, vests and shirtless men on the streets.
  3. PIMMS: This is one summer tradition I do miss!  Big jugs of PIMMS with an entire fruit salad in them. YUM.
  4. Festivals:  Another one of my favourites.  3 nights in a tent, usually in the rain and covered in mud, with great friends and great music.  Showers never felt as good as they do post-festival!
  5. Summer solstice at Stonehenge:  This is one I have yet to experience… taking a picnic with a flask of something hot to Stonehenge at around 4.50am to watch the sunrise.  Sounds lovely- unless of course it’s raining!

Wherever you are spending it, have a beautiful, fun summer! 🙂

Get in touch at nicole.eden@hotmail.co.uk or on whatsapp at +34 629 535466

 

 

 

 

 

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Crafty bookmarks and the importance of movement

After letting out a huge sigh of relief to mark the end of the English language IGCSEs we thought it was time for a bit of light relief at Eden Ed.

We have been making these cute bookmarks. They are super easy and a lovely way to mark your pages at school or at home.  See how to make them here.

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I have also been learning about the importance of movement.  In Eat Move Sleep, How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes, Tom Rath states that we are not made to sit for long periods of time and that it can be detrimental to health.  He believes that we should be moving once every 20 minutes for several minutes and that 3, 10 minute walks a day is more beneficial than one 30 minute walk.

With this in mind I downloaded an app called ‘mindbell’ which can be set to go off at intervals throughout the day.  When the bell sounds I have been getting my younger students up and out of their seats for a quick game of follow-my-leader, some jumping jacks, or a short, brisk walk.  It is a really fun way to reset and refresh ready for more learning!

What can you do today to better mental and physical health by moving more?

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Why you are wasting your time revising (and how not to.)

When I ask students how they study material for tests and exams, the most common answer I get it is ‘I read over it.’  This is not revising, it’s reading, and that’s if you can actually stay focused/ awake while doing it.  Studies have show that this method is ineffective and does not improve you understanding or help you to remember facts and figures.

 

So how should you study?  

Research shows that shorter, repeated sessions give better results.  Your method of study is vital.  Here are 3 of my favourite, proven effective methods.

  1. Flash cards.

An oldie but a goody! To make a flash card you write, for example, a term on one side and the definition on another.  When making flashcards with students I encourage them to use coloured paper and pens, draw images and use numbering.  This will help your memory out as it gives it a visual to associate with what you are trying to learn.  If you are inseparable from your phone you can also use apps such as AnkiApp and Chegg flashcards, which have really clever ways of sequencing your information.

When you go through your flashcards have 3 piles.  The first is a pile which, when testing yourself, you remembered easily; the next is a pile you got but had to think a bit, and the third is the pile you couldn’t remember or only got partially correct.  Put the first pile aside and continue with the exercise until you have no cards left.  You are done for that session.  Make sure you return to them within 3 days to commit the information to your long term memory.

2. Traffic lights

This has a similar premise to flashcards in that you only go over the information you need to repeatedly.  Write out everything you need to know and then go through it with 3 pens- one red, one green and one orange/ yellow.    Highlight or underline using the following key.

Red- I don’t understand this/ can’t remember it

Orange- I partially understand/ remember this

Green- I totally have this mastered!

Write out only the orange and red green parts again.  Refer to any text books/ notes/ internet until you understand the red sections better.  Now go through with your pens again using the same traffic light method.  Repeat until all your information is in green.

3.Voice recording

If you can stand to hear your own voice, record information you need to memorise and play repeatedly to yourself.  You can also ask yourself questions and leave gaps for responses!

Have your own great way of studying?  Had success with one of the above methods?> Share it in the comments below!

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3 Top Tips for exam stress

For year 11, 12 and 13 students, the time is now upon us when even those who have been most complacent over their school years will probably be feeling the pressure.  That’s normal, and it’s good!  There would be more cause for concern at this point if you weren’t feeling the pressure.

Here are 3 quick tips for handling the last few weeks leading up to exams.

  1.  Make a time table- and stick to it!

Make yourself a timetable for your spare hours.  Colour it in, make it pretty, stick it where you can see it.

DO NOT over schedule your time.  This will only stress you out further.  Studies prove that revising in short bursts is most effective.  Plan your revision in 20- 40 (MAXIMUM!) minute segments.  In between segments GET UP! Move about- do not go straight to your phone or your will be distracted.  Walk about a bit, do some yoga moves or running on the spot- whatever is your thing.  This will stop you feeling the slump and keep your brain awake.

2. Up your basic self-care

Yes, you’ve heard it all before 100 times, but that is because it is IMPORTANT!  Now more than ever you need to be taking care of your health both mental and physical.

Get 8 hours of sleep- cramming at night WILL NOT help you.  It has been proven that a late night study lesson can leave you mentally fatigued for up to 3 days.

Exercise.  Leave time in your schedule to exercise, this is not something to let go of for your busy schedule.  If you spend a long time doing sports usually, then yes you might have to cut down for a while, but don’t cut it out completely. It will keep your brain moving as well as your body and help you to manage stress.

Eat well.  What we eat affects our body.  If you eat junk you will, well, like junk.  Sugary foods and sodas may initially give you a lift, but what comes up must come down, so you will also get a slump in energy later.

3. Get some me time

This is important for your mental health and can work wonders when you are experiencing stress.  Try to get at least 15 minutes of quiet time, (before bed is perfect) when you can put your mind on something else.  Do not use social media or your phone during this time- this time is for focusing on you.

You could do some light reading about something you enjoy, listen to some music that makes you feel good, or listen to a meditation (seriously, try it, especially when you go to sleep- I highly recommend Jason Stephenson on Youtube!)  You could also use the time to write out everything that is in you head.  This is called free writing- don’t censor, don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense, just write for a set amount of time, then you can throw it away if you like.

Following these tips can help keep you sane during the run up to exams and may even improve your grades.

Tried these and have feed back? Leave it in the comments below of tell us about your own methods for dealing with stress.

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Free teen mentoring

As promised, here is the video explaining the free teen mentoring sessions (worth 40 euro) on offer during the month of April.  One has already been taken so there are 4 hours left.  Rest assured that there is no catch, obligation or sales pitch coming your way.

If you are interested in a session for your teenager you can call me on 629 535466 or email nicole.eden@hotmail.co.uk

Click here to watch the video on facebook

 

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IGCSE Exam dates

Eeek!  It’s almost upon us.  The Cambridge (CIE) IGCSE dates have now been released.  Dates for English are as follows:

First language English:

Paper 2 Reading Passages (extended)  5th May PM

Paper 3 Directed Writing and Composition (extended) 10th May PM

English Literatue:

Poetry and prose 22nd May

Drama and unseen text 26th May

With only 6 weeks to go (and only 4 of those teaching weeks at school) I will now be opening up a limited number of extra hours to IGCSE students only during evenings, weekends and the Easter holidays.  This can be used for revision, exam practise, mentoring and/ or study skills.  My time is in high demand at this time of year so make sure you get your share by contacting me as soon as you can!

 

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National Theatre in Mallorca

Trained as an English and drama teacher and having lived in London for 10 years, I had no shortage of excellent theatre to feed the frustrated actress inside me, before I moved to the island.  I had not expected to fall in love with Mallorca, but I did.  However, being an island, it is missing a few of the things that make me happy in life, such as decent music and good drama.

While I will go to the theatre for just about anything, musicals and family entertainment shows don’t nurture my soul in the way real, gritty plays do and I have missed them oh, so much!  Yet, unbeknownst to me, the National Theatre have been screening live at our very own CineCiutat at San Juan, S’Escorxador!

NT live is an initiative which is making the best of London theatre available to audiences across the UK and Europe.  Last night I saw Ivo van Hove’s stripped down interpretation of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and what a wonderful return to the theatre it was for me!  The sparse, stark set meant all attention was on what was being communicated both verbally and non verbally between characters and reminded me of the power of the English language and why I teach it.

NT live is showing at least once a month, the next play being Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land on April 6th with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.  So, if like me you are craving a little culture, or want to practise your English (or Spanish- there are subtitles,) get yourself down to S’Escorxador and I will see you there!

 

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