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Welcome to SMILE

Welcome to the first SMILE Project newsletter. SMILE stands for Soft Mobility Integrated Learning in English, it is a new Erasmus Plus project working with Primary School teachers and children in different European countries. The aims are to use the "English Kitchen" approach to teach the children about bicycles as a means for sustainable transport and also for them to learn English. 

SMILE is the scaled-up version of a previous project called English Kitchen, funded by the Lazio region in Italy and implemented in several public primary schools in Rome.

english kitchen logoEnglish Kitchen was created by the idea that it is possible to facilitate learning processes through a practical and cooperative approach, the translation of words and concepts into concrete actions, gestures and social interaction. The means chosen to implement the SMILE project is 'the bicycle'. 

A process of enrichment and academic training offers innovation through the implementation of a series of participatory workshops in which the teaching of the English language is conveyed through practical activities related to alternative sustainable mobility and in particular to knowledge, use and recycling of the bicycle and its components. Read more

First Workshop In Skopje 


Project partner Eco Logic (http://www.ecologic.mk) conducted its first workshops in 2 elementary schools from the Municipality of Centar, Skopje. Around 50 children were involved in the workshops along with the team from Eco Logic and mentors from the schools.

The children were introduced to the basics of a bicycle, the names of the different bicycle parts and the basic tools needed to fix a flat tire and through this workshops got into the “English Kitchen” mode. We were pleasantly surprised of the level of English that the children already knew. 
 

Interactive Lesson In Vilnius 


On December 14 the first SMILE interactive lesson was organized by Andrea Natalini (ReBike ALTERmobility), teacher Margarita Juzėnienė and Rima Aleknavičiūtė-Stasiulė (Susivienijimas “Žali.LT) in Vilnius at the Simonas Daukantas pre-gymnasium.

Students from the 5th class were very involved and enthusiastic in all activities. The lesson made teachers think clearly about the module structure and how SMILE works. The kids and teachers then gave project members a lot of positive feedback. 

After the class, a workshop session was held to evaluate the resources and follow-up materials were delivered to teachers in order to help them continue the activity in the future. Read more 
 

SMILE is based on three main pillars: CLIL principles, sustainability (related to urban mobility) and non-formal education practices. 

If you want to find out more, visit the SMILE Web site, explore the information there.

A training toolkit of materials is coming soon.

Vilnius Simonas Daukantas Pre-gymnasium 


In the middle of January teacher Margarita at Vilnius Simonas Daukantas pre-gymnasium did SMILE activities with students of class 2A. They had a great time, worked in groups, improved their collaboration skills and made brilliant cyclollages “A bike of our dreams”. At the moment children are testing SMILE activities for the project
 

In March, 2016 approximately 20 English-speaking teachers participated at a meeting about the project.  During the event the teachers discussed the main ideas of SMILE and analysed the portfolio of all five proposed learning modules. Teachers can now use all the material in their classes.

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SMILE Is Best Practice

SMILE was presented as one of the best practices at the final workshop of PASTA project (an EU funded project on sustainable and active mobility research).

PASTA is - Physical Activity Through Sustainable Transport Approaches - it aims to improve transport and health by promoting active mobility in cities (i.e. walking and cycling) including these in combination with public transport use) as an innovative way of integrating physical activity into our everyday lives.

More about PASTA: http://www.pastaproject.eu/home/ 
 

Kazlų  Rūda „Elma“ school-kindergarden 


The idea of learning English in another context and to develop the knowledge of sustainability was accepted with enthusiasm of the all community at the Kazlų Rūda "Elma“ school-kindergarden.

The project idea and activities had a lot of support from parents. Teacher Renata Gurgždaitienė though that she will face the problem of limited time for doing the activities with the children, but they were really happy to participate and do different tasks.

The number of children involved in SMILE activities at the moment is 40, the age  is 7-10 years old. 27 children have already tested the first SMILE module and the children are motivated to continue.

The teacher plans to adapt and try some of the activities with younger children. Teacher Renata is really happy to see the value of the SMILE project, and the smiles of children are the best proof of its necessity.
 
Kazlų  Rūda „Elma“ school

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Researching SMILE  
 

At this stage of the project, the SMILE partners are carrying out research on innovative teaching methodologies and tools used in Primary Schools. Specifically this concerns the use of non formal learning contexts targeted at children and addressing the three main pillars of the project: CLIL, sustainability and non-formal education practices.

The main aim of this research phase is to collect inputs from best practices in Europe in order to inspire and increase the quality of the SMILE toolkit.

Do you know any courses / methods / formats / projects that you consider to be good practice in this field?

Please let us know and contribute to the development of the SMILE project!!!

For further information, you can download the research guidelines here.

Contact us

SMILE Web Site Online 


The SMILE Web site is now up and running. You can visit it and find out more about the project, contribute to the research being carried out and the teaching and learning tools that are being prepared. Read more 
 

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SMILE Kickoff Meeting 

SMILE kicked off its activities with a meeting of project partners in Vilnius, Lithuania. The meeting took place between 11–14 December 2015.

Partner organizations were presented and then coordinators from ReBike ALTERmobility introduced the project basics and specific aims.
Vilnius image
They presented the experiences of the English Kitchen project, previously implemented in Italy at local level.

Lithuanian partner Susivienijimas “Žaili.LT” arranged collaboration in SMILE with English teachers from two schools. These teachers made short presentations about their schools and shared expectations of project activities and results.

Project implementation steps and the responsibilities of each organization were discussed, important decisions were made and agreements signed.

Partners also had the opportunity to explore the city centre of Vilnius. 

SMILE To Present At EUROGEO 2016


Members of the SMILE Project are planning to present the project activities and outcomes at the European Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2016 in Malaga Spain on September 29-30 2016.  .. Read more 
 
SMILE project partners are from Italy, Macedonia, Lithuania, Belgium and Greece. More
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Other Stories: EU policy on sustainable transport http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/sustainable/index_en.htm

Civitas: citizens can apply for an EU Sustainable Energy Award http://www.civitas.eu/

European Cycling Challenge register your city http://www.cyclingchallenge.eu/

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Copyright © 2016 EUROGEO, All rights reserved.
 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
 
This newsletter reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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