Rita Neves from Portugal explains how she supports her students virtually and how she helps them to reflect on climate change and its implications whilst they are at home.
Rita Neves is a teacher in Agrupamento de Escolas Anselmo de Andrade in Almada, a city in the west coast of Portugal, and she has more than 30 years of experience.
eTwinning has improved and enhanced teaching practices in my school. Innovative pedagogical methods and ICT tools were introduced making learning more dynamic and meaningful to students. Knowledge sharing and an increase of collaborative work in multidisciplinary teams has enhanced the quality and success of our teaching and learning for students.
My students have been more active in class and have improved their intercultural and communicative skills, which has had a positive impact on their academic results.
Also, eTwinning projects have helped to develop various 21st-century skills, such as autonomy, critical thinking, citizenship, and creativity.
During school closures, teachers encouraged their students to work from home and asked them to complete different activities. The situation, with school closures, learning remotely and social isolation, has been unnerving for students.
Thanks to our eTwinning project, we have developed learning activities in our TwinSpace. This has allowed students to improve their language and intercultural /interpersonal skills by collaborating internationally and staying connected with others.
Students were invited to join chat sessions (“Meeting against Coronavirus”) with their European partners twice a week to support each other during this period. They have been very active in the chat sessions, by sharing their views and concerns with their peers, and getting to know them better by discussing how they spend their time during social isolation.
Given the annual eTwinning theme for the year, I decided to invite my students to reflect on the environmental impact and reduced air pollution during lockdown.
As a warm-up activity, I asked them to compare satellite photos of Earth before and after the Covid-19 pandemic and asked them to calculate their carbon footprint, compare results and reflect on how they could reduce their carbon footprint.
I then invited my students to complete a table with causes and consequences of climate change. As part of this, they had to list environmental problems and then present solutions for these problems in the discussion forum. Their final activity was to create a poster for Earth Day 2020.
However, Rita is not the only one. Many other Portuguese teachers are reminding their students not to forget the importance of climate change and environmental challenges.
Samuel Branco, a teacher with 23 years of experience, continued to work with his students on various projects related to climate change, recycling and robotics.
In one of the partnerships our school has to look for solutions for cleaner oceans by using robotics. During the lockdown, students were assigned the following homework: research and identify the main causes of ocean pollution, think of a game that allows people to be sensitised, develop a leaflet and select videos that help people become aware of ocean pollution. Thanks to eTwinning, students were asked to exchange information with their European colleagues. Thus, they could understand how the culture and habits of each country can result in different strategies.
Ana Cristina Figueiredo, a teacher with 22 years of experience, gave a new meaning to her eTwinning project by fully understanding what being part of an interconnected world means.
This year our project is called ‘Going Global for a Sustainable Planet’. When we chose this theme we were unaware that “going global” would soon have a totally different and even more relevant meaning. eTwinning is helping us to stay in contact with the rest of the world, proving that even though we are in a challenging situation, things keep on moving and we are going to overcome this pandemic, continue working together and living together better than ever before.
Estefânia Pires, a teacher with 24 years of experience, continued to motivate her students by creating a project on ocean conservation.
Within the scope of the eTwinning project ‘Go Fish’, we developed a story linked to the theme of litter and its impact on marine ecosystems. We had a video conference via Zoom with researchers from the SERMARE Research Centre from the University of Coimbra. During the first part of the project, students are creating a piece of work on marine animals involving their families and they are also sharing on social chats what they are doing during the quarantine.
To develop your teaching practice during this time of confinement, you can join the free online course “Addressing the Climate Crisis in Your Classroom”. This course will help you to make sense of the scientific evidence behind climate change and how to use it in the classroom via innovative projects and activities.