A Favorite Tool: “Tridimensional Notebooks”



A Favorite Tool or Resource – Prompt 34

   I was strongly inspired by the post of Nina “Everything”, where I learned about “Poundland Pedagogyand Nina’s creative way of really transforming almost anything in a learning tool.

     Some years ago, I read the wonderful book “Slow Down to Speed Up” by Lothar J Seiwert and, in particular, the chapters shared by Ann McGee-Cooper, who helped me to understood quite clearly how my way of managing time and sustaining motivation should be carried away with success, differently from what the traditional and respectable methods driven by “the left side of the brain” suggested.

     According to this author, people using mostly their right side of the brain are keen to a “Poundland Pedagogy” approach of tools to be used creatively in the classroom.

    So, I spontaneously invite my young students to improvise and try new ways of doing things, in particular, finding inspiration to write, creating a mix of drawing and writing, trying new ways of spreading beauty in whatever their imagination is dwelling upon.

    This brings us back to the learning tool question. As we work together in a writing workshop, I do my best so that each young student may have a special and highly personalized notebook. We even try to make it look like a “tridimensional object”:

  • I usually cut every picture, image or even a piece of colored wrapping paper I think that may be found beautiful or interesting by my kids and give them to be fixed with glue on their notebooks.
  • I also use those pictures or images as a motivation to keep them writing as I do myself.
  • They often use plenty of different sticky notes.
  • We collect small size pictures of modern and ancient paintings stamped in napkins, or different qualities of paper and illustrate our writing with them.
  • We fix along the notebooks pages, with glue or “bostick” glue sticks, little empty transparent plastic bags or small colorful envelopes where they may collect ideas, little secrets or just to keep personal thoughts inside their writing notebooks.
  • We also decorate our notebooks with our own photos, or artistic stamps, even small pieces of fabrics.
  • We use multicolored pens, and often we inextricably intertwine our thoughts with those of others, just by changing notebooks while writing about a common subject, at regular intervals.


Interview – A Singular Path

Words for LifeCreative Commons License Leonard J Matthews via Compfight

#EdublogsClub – Prompt 33

      Today we share the joy of welcoming in our Writing Wworkshop, our dear ex-student, Júlia Marçal,  organizational psychologist and free lancer in a series of enriching initiatives  that have been building her singular path in the professional realm.

     OE – Júlia, please share with us a life experience that may have been passionate for you throughout your early school years.

     JM –  What touches us deeply remains recorded not only in our memory but also in our soul. So are the souvenirs I keep while being a student at Colégio Amor de Deus. A very funny  episode, that I remember vividly, refers to my experience, while a 6th grader, during a visit to the Lisbon Zoo. As we were having lunch –  students and teachers all together –  near the monkeys jail, one of the tiny ones, suddenly approached and seized the yoghurt from Mrs Sandra Pedrosa. There was a burst of laughter!  l 😊

     OE – Could you indicate the main factors that have modelled the original path you have been mapping as an independent professional?

     JMParticipating in different kinds of projects, being in touch with a variety of  tasks and people have been the main motivating factors so far.   Projects as my own book: “A Comida como Almofada Emocional – Why do we eat withouth feeling hungry?” become possible and allow me to put my creativity in practice and make my work known.

     OE  Which advices would you give to a young person newly arrived at the job market in order to be guided in this complex world, in the search for a job?

      JM –  The advice I would give to these young people is to choose a job aligned with their own values and personal interests, as it makes it easier to keep motivated. Another advice would be: don’t stop looking for different and better opportunities, in order to learn new competencies and abilities, which is fundamental in a job market facing constant change.  

     OE – If you could enjoy two years of financial freedom to survive with a moderate well-being, what activities would you chose to devote yourself. Why?

    JM –  Under these conditions, I would devote to writing, one of my great passions, as well as to projects related with empowering people at both  personal and professional levels.  

    OE – Thank you, Julia, for accepting to participate in this Edublogs Challenge. And keep up with your joyful comitment and creative work.

Júlia Marçal and Inpi

Author of “A Comida como Almofada Emocional

and Unforgettable Student at CAD

Advice For New Teachers

Imagem: Escrita Livre

  1. What was the best piece of advice a veteran teacher gave you and why?
  2. If you could tell your first-year-teaching self one thing, what would it be and why?
  3. Tell a story about a lesson you learned in your first year of teaching that has impacted you throughout your career.
  4. Put together a list of resources you think every new teacher needs.


1 – “You must link personal creativity with the common real world: both will become richer.” This advice opened me a royal path to engage with perseverance in long term group activities without losing my inner compass and to give my best to deal with life school challenges.

2 – Be free, follow your intuition: Listen to the kids, ask them to write down their most beautiful questions, collect them, and bring them all together to each one of them as a bunch of flowers to engage deep conversations and make them taste the power of writing.

The reason I would tell such things is because I’ve been given similar advices and they have perfectly fit with my way of dwelling in class. My young students, 32 years ago, were challenging and inspiring at the same time. Listening to their own questions and unleashing their hidden freedom to express their inner world in written words was a deep joy.

3 – As I was standing in the corridor trying to reach the right classroom, a little 5th grader suddenly came to me, took me by her hand all along the corridor with a charming smile until my destiny. She showed me my way quietly, with an exquisite delicacy, as if I was a rare piece of crystal and could easily break.

Such gentleness touched me deeply and it lives in my memory as a metaphor of what is mysteriously at stake in the privilege of communicating so closely with children.

4 – Even if a new teacher comes to a school that isn’t totally innovating yet, and where there is plenty of “talk and chalk” lessons, I thing he needs, at least, to be sure of this two resources: the warm support and sharing with his colleagues in the school community and the freedom to create new approaches of his duties, mainly inspired in his own students’ higher expectations.  


Three Challenges in the Heart of Summer

Imagem: Oficina de Escrita

 I chose to answer to “Challenging Situations“, as I subscribed to the #EdublogsClub, in my old personal teacher blog, that I had left in rest for quite a while.

    The reason of my coming back is simple: my beloved school is on the edge of taking the path of innovation: this leaves me free again to share whatever I may be experiencing in the immense new world of 21st Century Education.

    And, as usual, the simple fact of sharing it, through blogging, in a rich Educators Community as Edublogs, is a strong motivation to reflect upon what I’m learning or which challenges are obliging me to take some steps out of my confort zone.

     Actually, I’m working in at least three completely different projects that may be considered as “challenging situations” not to speak about  having to think in English, even if I may eventually choose to write in French, for a break.

        First, and most difficult to me, I’m taking a course on Arduino “for absolute Beginners” with the precious help of instructor Michael James. I’m supposed to write down my learning in a notebook divided in four sections and even to keep an online portfolio with the slow steps I need to fulfil in order to conceive and build a project.

     Secondly, as I’m a Tutor and my School is working on “Living Values” as the global theme of the school year, I’m trying to relate what we are studying about SEL and Emotional Intelligence – mostly through Prof. Maurice Elias writings – with the curriculum of Philosophy about Values for my 10th graders. I have already read the thoughful post of Mélanie Ruiz and found wonderful information about emotional intelligence.

    “Last, but not least” I’m working on the divulgation of a book for youth written by an ancient student of mine, Filipa Sáragga, that it is in itself a mine of different and essential values: there is a Blue Princess that must overcome the fact that she has been born different in order to forgive bullies, accept herself and allow to be loved.

    So, these are the three “Challenging Situations” dwelling in the heart of my holidays and making me come back to blogging.