with half term approaching (wow, that's gone quickly, I hope it's been productive!) I thought I'd just write a quick post to say that the ShelterBox Spanish Challenge 2015-16 is open for entrants and it would be great to have you involved!
Yesterday was another fun day out for Carlos and I. A 5am start allowed us to head up to High Wycombe and get to the home of everyone's favourite, www.languagesonline.org.uk more or less by the start of a Links into Languages event organsied at RGS Wycombe. I had planned on talking about games to support learning, similar to the presentation I gave a few weeks ago at Fernhill in Farnborough. However, a last minute e-mail lead me to radically alter things (ensuring I was NEVER going to finish on time, whoops!) and really go into the topic of thinking differently. This is something that seems to have really got under my skin recently, fanned by the words of wisdom of John Connor and Chris Harte, and seeking to add meaning and cognitive challenge to our pupils' learning. Anyway, I'll write more about that at some point very soon...
I've decided to embed both a slidecast, with audio, and a slideshow without the audio that you can just click through, thus not having to spend an hour listening to me drone on! I'm intrigued as to which version people find more useful!
A few years ago in a meeting I was accused of being a one trick pony by a colleague. That was an accusation that really stung and has stayed in my head ever since. At times those of us who are interested in finding ICT-based solutions to those problems which surround us are accused of being tech-obssessives. In my eyes the best solution is the one which works best on all sorts of levels, both for the teacher and for the learners. If that's powered with electricity or if it started out life as a tree, if it's made of plasticine or makes a noise, c'est la vie, who am I to say no? All of that mini-rant leads up to explaining this non-ICT based presentation, looking mostly for ideas that busy practitioners can incorporate into their teaching immediately. Yes, there are a couple of ICT hints thrown-in for people who couldn't attend my session in the morning (see post on blogs, podcasts and magic websites) and yes, there are a few longer-term elements which we looked at.
I hope this all makes sense, I decided to leave the sounds of chaos as we played games in the session in, to allow anyone who listens to gauge the response of the teachers involved. If you'd like to clarify the rules for any games then feel free to get in touch. Alternatively feel free to download any slides or materials below.
Back in July I blogged about some ideas for projects inline wih the new KS3 curriculum coming on line. And having now followed up on my 2 main ideas, I thought I'd feed back on them a wee bit.
I originally saw the concept of writing a fairytale as being on a basic level with a year 7 group, allowing them to have a feeling of achievement. However, I have a very dramatic year 10 group of VERY mixed ability and decided that they would be an ideal bunch to use the idea with.
Lead in: we'd been working on the imperfect tense just before we came onto the fairytale, so the fairytale gave us a great opportunity to look at reasons why to use the imperfect or preterite- it generated a surprisingly large amount of debate, even from the less able pupils which really cheered me.
2) vocab hunt from other fairytale books (I used Jack and the beanstalk, cinderella and snow white to focus on key fairtake vocab and key preterites / imperfects, our language focus- for my example Download Fairytale vocab hunt )
3) imperfect and preterite practice
4) the pupils brainstormed ideas which would appeal to the primary school audience they would be performing for, and decided that my toy bullfighter, Carlos, should be the star.
5) they got writing different scenes in small groups and then reviewed each other's sections, before I then did a final edit.
6) rehearsal and performance- with the key focus being intonation, every language teacher's eternal battle!!
7) I posted the video onthe blog along with an ipod / mobile version which they've now all downloaded- extra reinforcement of the language with no work by me, yippee!
All in, a superb experience- real context, real language, real learning!