Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Violence Against Children : UNICEF Campaign !

"If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much."

Marian Wright Edelman

Violence against children is everywhere. But most of the time people turn a blind eye. It’s hidden behind closed doors. It’s invisible.

All children have the right to live free from violence. Violence which harms their physical and mental growth. Violence which holds back every society.

But violence against children is entirely preventable when people come together and say that it is not acceptable. When they make "the invisible visible".

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson raises his voice in support of a new UNICEF initiative to prevent violence against children. Watch the video below: 


During summer season, school holiday, after-school clubs and community centers have an important role for children and young people offering cultural summer activities. They keep young people occupied.

So, here a great opportunity to propose to children and young people. The UNICEF campaign #ENDviolence against children. 

These after-school clubs and community centers know well the problem. They can help children who suffer violence at home, bullying on the internet or on the street.

UNICEF proposes an interesting competion. Visit the website and look for information.

  • The website can be read in three languages: 

English, Français, Español.

Some activities:

  • Organize an #ENDviolence against children event, bringing children and community members together to paint, draw, make posters, record videos about ending violence.
  • Organize an #ENDviolence against children walk or flashmob to raise awareness about violence against children. 
  • Make sure you inform your local media and ask them to run special stories on the #ENDviolence initiative.
  • Ask for volunteers teens or young people to reach out to support a child victim of violence in their community by volunteering as a tutor or mentor. 
  • Find an organization near you to learn more about how you could help.


1. Write, stamp, stencil, tag #ENDViolence somewhere that inspires chidren: on themselves or a friend, on paper, in the sand, on a wall... just let them be creative!

2. Take a picture;

3. Upload it to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Statigram;

4. Don't forget tje hastag #ENDViolence and mention @UNICEF


The top 5 photographers will receive a UNICEF tshirt and an ink stamp branded with #ENDViolence.

The top 10 photos will be showcase as a part of the International Day of NonViolence (2 October 2013).

Deadline for Competion: 14 August 2013.

Educate: Teachers:

This is a subject that teachers must not avoid! There are always a student in our classroom who suffers from any kind of violence.

Since the International Day of NonViolence will be celebratede the 2 October 2013, schools can propose activities:

  • Talk to your students about the issues surrounding violence against children and what local support is available to children who have experienced violence as well as to those who have witnessed it. 
  • Prepare a panel discussion open to the school community. Invite local experts on violence against children to talk about what local actions are underway to address it and examine where weaknesses lie 
  • Start a #ENDviolence against children group in your school to discuss local actions that can help end existing violence and abuses against children and to break the cycle of any potential future violence against children from occurring. 
  • Develop a school project. Dedicate a week or a month to the issue. Tell UNICEF about it, tell local press about it, tell the world about it!
For other information visit UNICEF website or UNICEF competion

"Telling children about what bad can happen and is happening around the world is good, but telling them about what good has been done and can be done is more important to shape a bright tomorrow."



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Monday, July 29, 2013

Talking about Maths Education

As I early wrote, in those last days before holiday time, I am sharing some simple ideas, suggestions or digital resources for teachers.

Mathematics curriculum is one of the most difficult to students in school. Virtually everyone 'hates' maths. Students feel incapable or incompetent in maths.

So, teachers are experiencing new ways to captivate the attention and interest for the discipline and helping make learning maths engaging for their students! A great number is using games in maths class. 

Here three videos about teaching Maths in different school levels or contexts:

Credits video: Edutopia

The first one, a teacher teaches Maths as a social activity. It is in Anchorage, Alaska. The master teacher established a cooperative-learning environment in an upper-elementary classroom. 

The second one, at University of Washington | Bothell, students work with a professor to develop a teaching tool for Mathematics by using the Microsoft Kinect. 

Credits video: David Ryder Pictures

Easy to use and instantly fun, Kinect gets students’ whole body—and attention—into learning fun. Students use their arms as the hands on a technological resource that seems like a game.

The last one, Dan Meyer on TED Talks asks, "How can we design the ideal learning experience for students?

Credits video: TED videos

"Dan Meyer is a full-time high-school math teacher, his perspective on curriculum design, teacher education and teacher retention is informed by tech trends and online discourse as much as front-line experience with students."

Meyer has spun off his enlightening message - that teachers be less  "be less helpful" and push their students to formulate the steps to solve math problems -- into a nationwide tour-of-duty on the speaking circuit.

The debate between abstract and contextualized, “pure” or “applied” math belie the real problem: one that Dan Meyer makes so clear in this TED Talk: students simply aren’t engaged. 

And what about girls in maths curriculum? A study by University of Toronto researchers, published in the journal Psychological Science founds  "that playing an action video game can virtually eliminate this gender difference in spatial attention and simultaneously decrease the gender disparity in mental rotation ability, a higher-level process in spatial cognition."


Games are a great resource for every school curriculum. The educational benefits of digital games to a 'digital generation' is quite proved.

Teachers must not be afraid to introduce games in the classroom. But before, they must learn  how to use them as educational and motivational resources.

"We’re no longer intimidated by math, because we’re slowly redefining what math is.”

Dan Meyer

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Schools : Women in Science : Rosalind Franklin, resources

Rosalind Franklin
credits: Getty Images

"My jaw fell open and my pulse began to race.”

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin is the X-ray crystallographer. Her work producing X-ray images of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) was crucial in the discovery of the structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick. 

Franklin was born in Nothing Hill, London on 25 July 1920. And she died from ovarian cancer in April 1958, aged just 37.

Franklin also made critical contributions to our understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, viruses, coal and graphite.


Goodle Doodle Rosalind Franklin 93rd Birthday

Today Google doodle celebrates the life and work of British biophysicist and X-ray cristallographe Rosalind Franklin, whose research led to the discovery of the structure of DNA.

The Doodle marks what would have been Franklin's 93rd birthday, and the photograph that should have earned her a far more famous place in the History books.

The second "o" in the doodle contains her image, while the "l" has been replaced with the DNA double helix.

Rosalind Franklin

The scientist has perhaps become best known as "the woman who was not awarded the Nobel prize for the co-discovery of the structure of DNA".

Many voices have argued that the Nobel Prize should also have been awarded to Rosalind Franklin, since her experimental data provided a very important piece of evidence leading to the solving of the DNA structure

However Watson, Crick and their fellow laureate, Maurice Wilkins, were only nominated for the first time in 1960, two years after Franklin had already passed away.

The story goes that he took some of her x-ray crystallography images without her knowledge and showed them to his friends, Francis Crick and James Watson, who were also trying to discover the structure of DNA.

Photo of the famous x-ray: Sodium deoxyribose nucleate from calf thymus, Structure B, Photo 51 taken by Rosalind E. Franklin and R.G. Gosling

Franklin excelled at Science and attended one of the few girls' schools in London that taught Physics and Chemistry. 

When she was 15, she decided to become a scientist. Her father was decidedly against higher education for women and wanted Rosalind to be a social worker. 

Rosalind Franklin
credits: unknown

Ultimately he relented, and in 1938 she enrolled at Newnham College, Cambridge, graduating in 1941. She held a graduate fellowship for a year, but quit in 1942 to work at the British Coal Utilization Research Association, where she made fundamental studies of carbon and graphite microstructures. This work was the basis of her doctorate in physical chemistry, which she earned from Cambridge University in 1945.

Wilkins, Crick and Watson were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1962.

credits: unknown

Crick later acknowledged that Franklin's images were "the data we actually used" to formulate their 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA.

The most significant of those images is known as Photo 51, which is also the inspiration for an exhibition currently at Somerset House in London.

In 1972 she refused to accept the Annie J. Cannon Award of the American Astronomical Society because it was awarded to women only:

"It is high time that discrimination in favor of, as well as against, women in professional life be removed". 

Rosalind Franklin

Happily, 12 years later the Royal Society awarded her its highest honor, regardless of gender, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship. At 91 she is professor emeritus at UCSD.


I am a big fan of Google doodles! You know it! It is not the first time I write about Doodles. I believe that Doodles can be interesting digital resources for educators.

Doodles are the fun, surprising, and spontaneous motivation that we can include into our lessons to teach about famous writerspoets, scientistspioneers.

Why not include a Doodle into school lesson? It's something captivating and will incite the curiosity of your students to a subject, when you are teaching important skills in serious curriculum. 

Passion is what will make our students enter in the classroom waiting for something special in the middle of a lesson everyday. 

Rosalind Franklin

This Doodle is a wonderful digital resource to promote Science and Physics studies to girls in school and university. Rosalind Franklin is another good example to share with young girls who are your students.

Rosalind Franklin as Marie Curie good examples that girls and women who choose scientific careers, stunning success is possible.

Some resources:

  • If you want to learn more about Rosalind Franklin and the tempestuous story of DNA, you will enjoy reading Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox (Amazon UKAmazon US]).
  • Defending Franklin's Legacy | NOVA 

ExoMars rove Rosalind Franklin

Other resources: ExoMars Rosalind Franklin

Mars rover launched in 2019 has been named after pioneering scientist Rosalind Franklin, hero of DNA research.
The honour followed a public call for suggestions that drew nearly 36,000 responses by citizens from all ESA Member States rope following a competition launched by the UK Space Agency in July 2019.
The six-wheeled vehicle is equipped with instruments and a drill to search for evidence of past or present life on the Red Planet.
The attachment to the European Space Agency (ESA) rover saw her name travel beyond Earth.
Visit ESA ExoMars Rover : from concept to reality and invite your students to watch the video
"She could never have imagined that over 60 years after her dead there would be a rover sent to Mars bearing her name, but somehow that makes this project even more special."
Jenifer Glynn, Franklin's sister



update: Mars 2019
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Monday, July 22, 2013

European Languages: a digital resource

Yes, I continue for some days. Not yet on holiday. Soon, I reallly hope.

So, if you are teaching Humanities, Languages, here an interesting digital resource about European Languages.

Your students will learn the 'word" in different European Languages, dialects and minority languages, visualizing it on a digital map. 

The link is 'The word for "word" in European Languages' here

Curriculum: Languages; Geography.

Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Elementary Education.

Objectives: Intercultural values. 

Tools: Internet; tablets; smartphones.

It is a simple resource, but students will love to learn the same "word" in different languages and correct geographic context . Don't forget to tell them that dialects and minority languages are written in italics.

At the same time, they can learn a bit of Geography about Europe and countries' frontiers.

They will understand that culture is not so different from a country to another.

You can to start a pen-pals project on Internet, by email, for example, with some of these European countries. Students love pen-pals.

For the youngest, create a school account that they can use only in the classroom with your help.

Thanks to @Amazing_Maps.


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Friday, July 19, 2013

Cultura em férias escolares

© António Sacchetti 

Lembram o 4º Festival das Artes e férias culturais? Pois não poderia deixar escapar esta actividade que pode preencher um fim-de-semana prolongado de jovens em idade escolar que estão de férias.

Tem lugar na Quinta das Lágrimas, Coimbra (Portugal) e está a decorrer de 16 a 23 Julho 2013. Conta com  vários eventos, concertos, exposições, cinema e muitos outras propostas de arte.

O Festival divide-se por vários espaços destacando-se o anfiteatro da Colina de Camões que medeia a traça contemporânea do edifício "Os Quatro Elementos", de Gonçalo Byrne, e a mata centenária da Quinta das Lágrimas, "entretecendo um diálogo entre a quinhentista Fonte das Lágrimas, a Fonte dos Amores (século XIV), o Jardim Romântico de oitocentos e o Jardim Medieval."

Anfiteatro da Colina de Camões

Este ano o tema é "Natureza". Depois dos temas Noite, Água, Paixões e Viagens, este ano, o 5º Festival das Artes abre-se ao tema da Natureza e a escolha parece óbvia, já que tem o centro na linda "Quinta das Lágrimas".

As actividades estão distribuídas por sete ciclos: Música, Cinema, Artes Plásticas, Conferências, Artes de Palco, Gastronomia e Serviço Educativo.

O programa poderá ser consultado aqui


Todos sabemos como a educação das crianças e adolescentes deve ter uma forte componente artística e cultural. E já que as escolas por vezes não podem preencher os currículos com actividades culturais, cabe aos pais e educadores proporcionarem  em tempo de férias escolares momentos de cultura. Então nada melhor do que aproveitar momentos como este e associar a cultura à Natureza.

Festival de Artes 2013 é um desses momentos em que se pode aliar o saber aos espaços abertos e ao acompanhamentos de pais e educadores numa série de actividades que procuram desenvolver capacidades cognitivas associadas à livre expressão, sentido crítico, e gosto pelas artes.
Através deste projecto intergeracional, é possível identificar e promover gostos e experiências que  levam ao público juvenil várias expressões estéticas e lúdicas.
Diferentes propostas de actividades capazes de mobilizar os jovens, suas famílias ou associações educativas, numa iniciativa onde acontecem momentos de formação, convívio, arte, e lazer. 

Actividades dinâmicas de valoração pessoal e cultural que proporcionam aos jovens a oportunidade para experienciar ou desenvolver valores. 

Nada melhor do que rumar até Coimbra e inscrever as crianças e adolescentes nas várias actividades que o Serviço Educativo propõe.

Jardineiro do Sol | Teatro
foto: Daniel Palos

Propostas diversificadas que vão da música ao teatro, literatura, escrita criativa, ciência viva, exposições, e roteiros de sabores da natureza.

Destaco Jardineiro do Sol, para os mais novos. Um pequeno espectáculo de animação teatral pela Camaleão - Associação Cultural, dias 17 e 23 Julho pelas 11:00 horas com o custo de 1€.

Nível etário: infantil e pré-juvenil (jardins infância; pré-primáro; primário.

Objectivo: Fornecer aos espectadores uma actividade de adequada fruição artística, mas também informação sobre o que é o Sol e como influencia a vida no nosso planeta, com especial incidência na Botânica.

De realçar ainda Descobre a Natureza Animal, dia 20 Julho pelas 11:00 horas. E os workshop Paisagens da Escrita com o escritor Mário Cláudio e Sabores da Natureza.

Nível etário: Intergeracional

Sonho de uma Noite de Verão


Mas o ciclo que quero destacar é o Ciclo da Música. Uma proposta de educação musical variada e que não deve, de modo nenhum, ser desperdiçada. 

Todas as escolas públicas e privadas deveriam incluir o ensino de música. Jovens estudantes de música ou não, o programa é variado e abrange vários géneros.

Objectivo: Desenvolver a criatividade, a sensibilidade. A música contribui para a formação integral dos jovens, reverencia os valores culturais, desenvolve o sentido estético, promove a sociabilidade e a expressividade, introduz o sentido de colaboração, e auxilia o desenvolvimento motor, pois trabalha com a sincronia de movimentos. A música fez bem para a autoestima das crianças e dos jovens, já que alimenta a criação..

Nível etário: Todos.

Sagração da Primavera, Concerto da Juventude, Basófias, Sonho de uma Noite de Verão, Os Pássaros, As Flores e Pastoral são alguns do concertos a que os jovens devem assistir e comentar. A consultar o programa completo aqui

App para iPhone e Android

Suponho que a aplicação mobile do Festival das Artes 2012 está actualizada para 2013, mas não pude confirmar.

5th Festival das Artes is taken place in Coimbra, Portugal,  16-23 July 2013.

Summer nights in Coimbra are filled with the sounds of classical music. And, during the days, art exhibitions, cooking classes, historical lectures and interesting conferences can be found around the city.Festival das Artes is a celebration of culture for people of all ages. This year’s event runs from 16 to 23 July.

For 2013, the theme of this year’s festival is "Nature".
With most of the events being held in and around the gardens of Quinta das Lágrimas, the chosen theme seems very appropriate. Other garden locations and cultural institutions will play host to events of the festival.

Quinta das Lágrimas Amphitheater
photo: Daniel Palos

Music, Cinema, Ballet, Theater, Gastronomy, Art, Conferences, Education. A schedule of festival events can be watched here.

Education cycle offers several activities and workshops for different generations: music, science, theater, gastronomy, exhibitions. 

If  you are living in Portugal or visiting the country near Coimbra, don't miss this wonderful festival. You and your kids will enjoy cultural events in a beautiful garden. The project aims to bring together different generations.

And of course, follow the 5th Arts Festival on Facebook.


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