viernes, 30 de junio de 2017


My adventure living in Ponferrada with my wonderful and generous host and fellow teacher Ana and her partner Javier (a great cook), and teaching at IES Bergidum Flavium has come to an end.  It is bittersweet for me. I am really excited to see my three kids, and travel with them through northern Spain for a week showing them where I have been. I am also a bit sad to say adiós to the kind and friendly teachers, staff and students at the school.  It has been an amazing experience to assist six different teachers, and teach six grade levels, spanning a vast range of abilities from PMAR to second year bachillerato, including the students in the bi-lingual class.
 I have enjoyed teaching English especially helping with pronunciation and I love the Burlington text books!  They are written with interesting articles about current topics in many diverse English speaking countries.   I have learned many things while reading with them with the students.

The thing that I have enjoyed the most has been talking to the kids, giving them a chance to get used to the American pronunciation and talking with them about things that I personally believe are important life lessons.  
 I learned a lot about so many things that were so new and different to me just a short time ago.  I had been to Spain three times before, on a vacation, a business trip and also to visit and travel with my son after the semester he studied in Sevilla. I wanted to come back to Spain and immerse myself in the language and culture and I was lucky enough to come to Cacabelos and Ponferrada.

When I researched Cacabelos on the Internet, I was a bit apprehensive thinking that I would be living in a rural and isolated town of 5,500 people.  I had no idea if things were within walking distance. A week or so later I found out that I would be living in Ponferrada with a population of about 65,000.  I knew both towns looked beautiful, surrounded by mountains, but didn’t know much else.  I have always lived in Chicago, which is really big, with a population of well over 3 million, so I knew it was going to be a big change for me.
 I was delighted to arrive and find that I would get to live in a town where I could actually walk anywhere or take a TUP bus and be independent.  I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to ask Ana for rides to get around!  It is a big challenge to navigate the streets here for several reasons though.  I am used to streets in most towns being laid out in a grid and intersections having tall and obvious street signs that you can see while riding in a car, before you got to the corner.  

Locals know their way around town here and don’t even notice the fact that so many corners don’t have the street names on the buildings anywhere, and they are used to the roundabouts that dot so many intersections of three or more different streets, offering you so many ways to take a wrong turn.  I am lucky that I have a great sense of direction and I can read a map, but it hasn’t been easy.  

I managed getting around town, but I still have not managed to embrace nor get used to the way Spaniards eat, especially the meal times.  I make sure to eat protein to charge my battery in the morning.  I love my carbs, but carbs and coffee won’t get me through the morning, especially if lunch isn’t until after school.  For me lunch is around noon and dinner around 6 or 7.  So if lunch is late, so is dinner, but it was hard for me to wait because some nights, it would be really late, when I was thinking it was actually my bedtime.  

I had to make sure to bring cheese and fruit to school and keep cashews in my purse, so I could eat something with nutritional value when hunger would strike.  I needed to arm myself with healthy choices because with a bakery on every block, I didn’t want to make a habit of heading for my favorite chocolate napolitanas three times a day.  I discovered bizcocho and churros, and figured out which café has churros with sugar sprinkled on them.  You may have figured out that I am a chocaholic and I have a sweet tooth, so most days I thought it best not to leave school during break.  Luckily when I did, I never got lost coming back.
For me, recreo was a new concept.  I have never seen a school have a break simultaneously for teachers and students.  I am used to everyone eating lunch at school during staggered lunch periods.  When the bell rings after 6th period the building empties so everyone can go home and eat lunch, I found that surprising.  In the US, the kids have many sports, activities and club meetings at the school after the last period ends.  There are some groups that have practice before school begins too, and many students also have private lessons or other organized sports groups outside of school too.

During the school day, it is always the students that change classrooms in the US, but here, the teachers are the ones who move around.  It is also different that all of the teachers here share one office all together as well as one bathroom.  I haven’t been in a school before where there are metal shades on the exteriors of the windows to keep the hot sun out, but thankfully you have them!
To the students, I wish you the best of luck in your studies!  Stay for bachillerato!  Some of the things you are learning you may not use, but if you learn English you can be certain that it will open doors for you around the world, especially in Spain and Europe. Do your homework, participate, and practice.  That’s how I learned Spanish when I was your age!  Never stop learning, I know I never will!

Andee Kaluzna


En una tarde calurosísima, que recordaremos mucho tiempo, despedidmos este año a los chicos y chicas de 2º Bachillerato de la promoción 2011-2017.
Discursos de Emilio de la Calzada, director, de Dolores Sánchez en representación de las familias, de Xavi Cuyás en representación de los profesores y  de Candela y Carolina primero y de María y Javier después  en representación de sus compañeros, junto a la música de Josué, alumno de 1º Bachillerato, hicieron del acto un evento que deseamos perdure en la memoria de los ya exalumnos/as.
                                         NO OS OLVIDÉIS DE VUESTRO INSTITUTO

(En móviles, música de fondo no audible)

martes, 27 de junio de 2017


Aquí tenemos los relatos ganadores del último concurso literario del IES Bergidum Flavium.
Quedó desierto

Relato de Gabriel López, 1ºA


Relato de Irene de Castro, 2ºB


Relato de Laura Quiroga, 2ºBHC


Relato de Laura Alba, 1ºBHC


Relato de Katia Coelho, 4ºB

lunes, 26 de junio de 2017


Bueno...pues ya estamos en Alaska. Fran Ventura, el realizador-aventurero del canal 24h de TVE que se interesó por nuestra iniciativa Bicis para Educar y prometió llevarla (en forma de banderín para su bici) y darla a conocer en su nueva aventura en bicicleta desde California a Alaska, ha cumplido su promesa. MUCHAS GRACIAS FRAN .. y te esperamos en Cacabelos para que nos cuentes tus experiencias en primera persona. UN ABRAZO ENORME DESDE ESTA COMUNIDAD EDUCATIVA

jueves, 22 de junio de 2017

Premio Aulas Ecológicas 2016/17.

Un año más, y ya vamos por la tercera edición, los alumnos de la ESO han participado en el Concurso de las Aulas Ecológicas. El premio ha sido pasar una refrescante jornada en Cúa, que este año se ha disfrutado especialmente por el calor que no nos abandona. !!!Enhorabuena a los ganadores, 2ºC !!! Y muchas gracias por vuestra participación. Un recuerdo especial  y nuestro agradecimiento a las/los voluntarias/os de 1º de Bachillerato de letras. NOS VEMOS EL CURSO PRÓXIMO y BUEN VERANO.

miércoles, 21 de junio de 2017


¿Qué es un glaciar?

Seguro que tienes una idea de qué son los glaciares, pero los alumnos de 4º de ESO de Biología y geología  nos explican de una manera divertida, ingeniosa y muy ilustrativa qué son y cómo se forman esas enormes masas de hielo e incluso nos invitan a un viaje en drom para descubrir algunos de ellos.

Os dejo el vídeo que han elaborado para que lo disfrutéis. ¡Enhorabuena por vuestro trabajo chic@s!!

vídeo elaborado por: Héctor Martínez, Tamara Canedo, Martín López y Diego Vilor.

martes, 20 de junio de 2017


Tammy is from New Jersey, near New York, but now she lives in A Coruña. She has lived in Spain for five years. She works for the editorial Burlington Books and she travels far and wide to give cultural talks to the students. 
On Tuesday, June 6th she came to our school to check if the students still remembered what they had learned about USA, but did they?
Well, someone thought that Donald Trump was the first president of US! No way! He's the 45th! George Washington would turn in his grave if he knew. Also, many students confused sons to mean children and they said that Barack Obama has got two sons. It is true that he has got two children, but they are daughters.
It is said that USA and Britain are two countries divided by the same language. Tammy gave examples of words that are used in American English that are different in British English, such as underpants / pants, elevator / lift, French fries / chips, trunk / boot, cookies / biscuits.
Tammy also told us about an incredible woman from Nebraska, Molly Schuyler, who holds the record for eating around 6 kilos of steak, three baked potatoes, three side salads, three rolls and three shrimp cocktails in just twenty minutes and she only weighs 55 kilos. Her competitors were green with envy. How does she do it?
Tammy reminded us about the pilgrims that came to the New World on the Mayflower and that they celebrated the first Thanksgiving dinner with the Native Americans that helped them survive the first winter. She ended up with the the quiz "Who wants to be a millionaire?"
The smart ones received the unique, limited edition, state-of-the-art writing machines. I hope they will use them to write top mark tests. Let's hope for the best...!
Thank you Tammy for your entertaining talk.

lunes, 19 de junio de 2017


One of the compulsary readers in 2º ESO is the book "All about the USA". After reading and listening to it the students got to know the country, they learned about its history, traditions, famous American people, places of breathtaking beauty, myths and legends. 
In the second term, the class of 2ºBC ESO read the book with the help of Elizabeth, the language assistant from Arizona, who explained the facts  and helped the students to improve their pronuciation.
We decided to get the students to do some further research. First, the classs was divided into seven groups of three students  and each group was assigned a number of states which shared similar characteristics. Next, all the members of each group had to search for information, discuss their findings and finally do a powerpoint presentation to the class. They worked very hard indeed.
Last but not least, we decided to create a map where they could show pictures, some essential information, the names of the 50 states and the capital cities.
We photocopied a big map of the USA and cut out the states from hard paper of different colours. In the third term, Andee, the language assistant from Chicago, helped us to carry out the project.
All the students cooperated and joined efforts to achieve their goal.
The students are proud of their work. Well done!😊

And this is the final result, a map with different layers.

jueves, 15 de junio de 2017


Third term
On April 19th Andee Kaluzna, an American volunteer, came to our school to share her experiences with us and to learn about our country. One of our reporters, Lorena Merayo in 1ºBach CIT, tells us about this incredible woman who has come from the other side of the Atlantic to take part in the Teach in Spain programme for the third school term. The objective of the programme is to boost our knowledge of English and broaden our minds with this cultural exchange. Here is Lorena's report.

Her name is Andee. She was born on July 8th, in Chicago, near the shore of Lake Michigan, which is her favourite place. She has three children, two sons and a daughter. Her family is Jewish and she is Jewish too.   

When she was young, she studied business to be a buyer for small fashion shops. She had a plumbing business. Her job is unusual. She is a landlord who has rented a big building to a business for the past five years. 
This stay in The Bierzo is her fourth time in Spain. She visited Barcelona (for a plumbing business fair), San Sebastian, Seville and Madrid. She has always liked Spain and the Spanish way of life. In primary school, high school and university she took Spanish classes. She wanted to live in a country where people spoke Spanish, so she decided to take advantage of this experience.
Andee paid $800 for the programme to come here, plus the airfare. In Spain she has tried octopus, pork tripe, cheek and lips, beef tongue, wild pig and so on. She likes Spanish people because they are friendly and kind.
Andee says that in the United States, students cannot call their teachers by their first names and the students are the ones who move around the school. She told us many interesting things like the importance of sports in schools there. Also, if you do sports, your marks will improve!
It is really interesting to meet people from other countries! Thank you Andee!😘

miércoles, 14 de junio de 2017


Dilan Canedo, a student in 1ºC ESO has written about his experience in Villadeciervos. Dilan and his schoolmates got to the village on Monday, May 8th and stayed there until Friday. This is his report.
I went on an excursion to Villardeciervos last week . We arrived on Monday at about eleven o´clock in the morning but we had to wait for Tordesillas school to arrive too. When they arrived we went to the living room, we introduced ourselves, and a receptionist told us where our rooms were. In the afternoon we went to visit the village. We did it as a game and we had to ask people how to get to the places that teachers told us to find. The people were very nice to us. 
On Tuesday morning, we went to a mountain that is near La Sierra de la Culebra and from there we could see it . It is very big and beautiful. In the afternoon, we had two workshops. In one of them the teachers told as about the different footprints and horns of some animals . After dinner, we went for a walk. 
On Wednesday, we were outside all day. We went to a natural park, Los Arribes del Duero. 
The teachers explained things about the park. It is a fantastic place. We walked a lot and we saw Griffon vultures. We visited a pottery workshop too, and I got presents for my family.
On Thursday, we went to Sanabria Lake. It is a very big and beautiful lake. We visited the castle of Puebla de Sanabria too.
On Friday, we collected our things from our rooms and after breakfast, we had a recycling workshop. After lunch, we said goodbye to our friends from Tordesillas. It was very sad.😢
It was a fantastic week for me.  


Ayer nuestros alumnos realizaron las primeras pruebas de la EBAU 2016-17, estrenando ley de proceso selectivo para acceso a la universidad.
Muchos nervios, como siempre. Con los apuntes en la mano, repasando hasta el último minuto.
Lengua castellana y literatura fue el primero y luego Historia de España. Por la tarde, Inglés.
El examen de Historia dio lugar a serios conflictos en toda Castilla y León, pues parece que preguntaron contenidos que los profesores no habían recibido información para explicar. No nos sucedió pues solo a nosotros ya que, como siempre, nuestros profesores cumplieron perfectamente con su trabajo.
nervios repasando en los pasillos

nuestros estupendos representantes

El miércoles 14 hemos continuado con los exámenes de Matemáticas I y II, Latín, Biología, Historia de la Filosofía, Dibujo Técnico, Geografía, Física y Griego. En todos el alumnado ha salido satisfecho, presentándose algunos solo a firmar si no necesitan esta nota para la final.

Paula queda muy satisfecha revisando las respuestas de María, Ana y Laura

Mañana jueves terminamos.