Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Important Changes in Our Lives

This week, we have some reading, spelling and writing to study:
  1. Spelling practice: Past Time Irregular Verbs
  2. Read my wedding story.
  3. Read Mei Ling Lee's story about coming to the U.S. She is a student like you. How is her story like your story about coming here? How is her story different?
  4. Talk about the stories with a classmate.
  5. Write a short past time story about one important change in your life.
  • Did you get a job?
  • Did you graduate?
  • Did you become a citizen?
  • Did you get married or have a baby?
  • Write your story. Later, we will get some photos for your story and put your stories on our blog so you can read about each other.

My Wedding Storm
by Venette Cook

I got married in January 2008 at the end of a very terrible rain and wind storm. Maybe you were here in San Francisco then. Some newspapers called the storm, "The Storm of the Century!" There were many floods, and the wind was powerful and dangerous. Many, many trees and fences blew down. The traffic was terrible everywhere. Also, many people lost electricity for days and days. We had no power at my house on my wedding day, so we had to do many things to get ready in the cold and in the dark. Our family and friends had to travel in such terrible weather on dangerous roads. We said, "No one will forget this wedding day!" Some people told us that it is very lucky to get married in the rain. That was good to hear! My husband and I felt so nervous about the weather we forgot to be nervous about getting married. We had a great wedding day!

Living Here
by Mei Ling Lee

Click on her story to read. Then click back to this page!

Write your story. You can write on paper, or on a computer. I will show you two ways to write on a computer. We will check your spelling and grammar today.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Story: When I was younger, I was a teacher in Lisbon, Portugal, for two years. I enjoyed living and working there. I went back to Lisbon in 2004 with my daughter, Xana. She was born there before I came back to San Francisco. I wanted her to see her first home. We had a good time there!

When I first started to live there, I got very lost one time on the bus. I was on my way to teach in the evening. I had to teach in the morning, too, and I was very tired. So, I stopped watching the street signs carefully and I didn't know when to get off the bus. I was very nervous about being lost and late to work. I wasn't sure which way to go. Of course, it was more difficult to speak Portuguese because I was nervous. I remember I felt very hot and I also felt like I could not breathe very well. I remember my confusion very well. I think I found my way to work on time, but I am not sure!

After that, I learned to be more careful about taking the bus. I practiced asking questions about transportation so I would not be so nervous! I began to enjoy going around my new city much more. Lisbon is beautiful, and I really loved to walk around the city in my free time on the weekends. I liked to look for new places up and down the hills near the old city and near the river.

Write: Make a comment this week:
  1. What do you think about Muni?
  2. Do you have a story about getting lost in San Francisco? Did someone help you? Were you late?
  3. What do you think about the Muni website? When can you use this to get around in San Francisco more easily?

Internet Work: When I lived in Lisbon, it was very hard to learn the bus system. There was no easy phone number to call and at that time there was no Internet! We are luckier now in new cities. This week, we are studying about transportation and questions. Look at the SF Muni website, and find some bus directions. You will read this word: itinerary- this means the directions for your trip, which buses to take, and where to walk. Itinerary is an excellent transportation word.

First trip:
  1. You begin at A: 750 Eddy Street
  2. You go to B: SF General Hospital
Second trip:
  1. You begin at 750 Eddy Street
  2. You go to SF International Airport
  3. What is the quickest trip?
  4. What is the most expensive trip?
Third trip: You want to take a friend sightseeing in Golden Gate Park.
  1. You begin at A: type your home address.
  2. You go to B: Type this: California Academy of Science
  3. How long does it take?
  4. How much is the fare?
You can try some other addresses, too.

Did you read Chapter 5, "Saving the Train"? Watch this part of the Railway Children. The children speak quickly, but you can understand the story very well, I think!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Did you ever need to go to an emergency room? Did you ever need to call 911? I have been to emergency rooms two times. I had a swimming accident, and I broke my arm. You read that story about me and my dog last week. I also called 911 about my neighbor many years ago. I had a next door neighbor who was very dangerous. He used drugs and alcohol a lot. Sometimes he had very loud arguments with his girlfriend or with his mother. Sometimes I heard gunshots, but not often. I called 911 about him one or two times. My other neighbors also called. We were all very nervous about him and his family. I am very happy he moved away!

This week, please read about 911 emergencies. You can call and they will speak to you in your language. You should not call 911 for every problem. Read about when to call.

Click here for a vocabulary handout.

Do you have a 911 story? Do you have an emergency room story?
  • Click on comments and write about what happened to you!
  • Check your English verbs, vocabulary, and spelling before you publish.

Every year, unfortunately, there are many pedestrian accidents in San Francisco. Here is a song about crossing streets safely. We all need to be careful, not only children! You can see the lyrics, too.

Did you ever have this problem? You want to cross the street, but you can't because you're not old enough to cross by yourself yet. We've all been there, right?...Well, we've got a song to tell you what to do about it."

(Song Lyrics)
When you're on the corner, and you want to cross the street.
One thing to remember before you move your feet!
You need a little help from a grown-up friend.
We'll cross this street together, just take me by the hand.
'Cause I am here for you and I will cross with you.

Yesterday I saw Elmo standing there
He was all alone, he couldn't cross-he wasn't going anywhere.
I said come on, and let me see you smile
We'll take a walk together across the road awhile,
Cause I am here for you and I will cross with you.

Hold my hand, when you cross the street.
Hold my hand, cross at the corner and look both ways.
Hold my hand, you can count on me 'cause
I'm going to help you the best that, the best that I can.

Just standing on the corner can be such a waste of time
But we can fix this little problem, just put your hand in mine.
And we can cross and then you'll say aloud
I crossed the street the right way and now I'm very proud
'Cause I am here for you and I will cross with you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Did your mother and father teach you to be safe when you were young? My parents taught me about safety, but I still had some accidents. Sometimes we are not careful. Sometimes other people are not careful. Sometimes we are in a dangerous place.

How about you? Did you have an accident at work? Did you have an accident on a bike, or in a car? Did you have an accident at home? Please take the survey on the right and we will find out about our class.

Next, listen to six people tell about traffic accidents.
I read online that there were 4,400,000 accidents at work in the U.S. in 2008. This report said this large number means that 5 persons for every 100 persons had an accident. No one died from these accidents at work, but some of the people had to miss work. There are more accidents that are fatal. (Fatal accident means the accident kills someone.) Please be careful at work, at home and everywhere. Don't have an injury! Don't hurt yourself!

Read my accident story. Then you can write a story, too.

Last summer on my first day of vacation, I decided to take an extra long walk with our dog, Teddy. I usually walk with my husband and our dog to the beach near our house. That day, my husband was busy in Oakland, so I decided to walk in the San Bruno mountains. I wanted to take a different walk, and wanted to walk in a beautiful, quiet place. I was tired and I wanted to get some good exercise.

After about one and a half hours, I was very tired. Our dog loves to walk very fast. He was excited to be in a new place. We were almost back to our car to drive home. He pulled forward on his leash to chase a bird or animal. I pulled backward to slow him down. When I pulled, I fell down and hurt my wrist.

I knew it was a serious injury. I decided I needed to go the emergency room for an x-ray. I did not have too much pain, so I drove my dog home. Next I went to the hospital. I called my husband, and he hurried to be with me at the hospital. I had a broken wrist and broken thumb!

I was so unhappy, but it didn't hurt too much. Now I have to be more careful with my strong dog. I shouldn't walk for a long time with him when I am tired. I will be more careful. Safety first!

Please tell your accident story this week.
  • When did you have an accident?
  • Where were you?
  • Did you go to the hospital?
  • What did you learn about safety?

Click and make a comment. You need to choose anonymous, and copy the strange letters when you click post. We can read each others accident stories.

Also, watch about an accident at work in English for All. There are video lessons about safety and injuries at work.