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BBC Primary ‘goodies’

October 30th, 2014

I’m making a list of useful links that parents might use with their children to practice and reinforce their Spanish, and was struck by how many ‘goodies’ there are provided by the BBC. So I thought I’d share! NB I’ve focussed on Spanish but they all come in a variety of languages – see individual sections)

1. The Lingo Show

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/lingo-show/

For younger learners (preschool onwards), The Lingo Show started out as a website featuring ‘language bugs’ who teach Lingo a few words in their language. As it was so popular, it became a TV series with episodes featuring  Jargonaise (French), Wèi (Mandarin) and Queso who teaches Spanish, and then a second series featuring the German, Welsh and Urdu bugs was made and broadcast in May 2013.

The website has fun activities as well as links to songs that feature.  Current languages include Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German, Sinhala, French, Welsh, English, Italian, Urdu.

Here’s an example of a song featuring Queso from Youtube, and the link to a counting song

2. BBC Primary Languages website

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primarylanguages/spanish/

The ‘old’ Primary Languages website with ‘animales animados’ and Jhonny (sic) and co was great (and you can still access the archived version minus games here) but I was really excited to be involved in ‘revamping’ the site and rebranding it. It was developed when languages were to be compulsory and the KS2 Framework was THE bible of primary language learning, but it still stands in my opinion. This site was written to be accessible to KS2 pupils and is organized in topics. It includes:

  • vocabulary with sound files to help pronunciation;
  • interesting tips and facts about Spanish/French/Mandarin;
  • vocabulary games;
  • videos;
  • songs;
  • links to other helpful resources

There were limitations to the things that could be done e.g. interactivity, ‘free’ writing, games beyond vocabulary recognition level  etc. And I sometimes wonder what happened to other ideas and resources that I saw and wrote that have never appeared on the site – including sentence building games, lesson plans. worksheets  and notes for parents.

I’ve used the site with Y2 recently and they love the songs – they listen as they work and have started singing along. Sometimes they want to see the words and other times they want to watch without. The tunes are excellent – the composer did a good job of making the words fit in English Spanish French and Mandarin to the same tune!

I’ve signposted it to my colleagues as well as a way that they can ‘do their bit’ to reinforce Spanish learning; non-threatening as it’s all there for them.

3. Bitesize (now the home of Learning Zone)

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The ‘repository’ of all the BBC videos used to be the Learning Zone Class clips, but they have moved to Bitesize (actually since I started writing this post!) The Learning Zone is still there in archive form and still works; it just won’t be updated. If you scroll down to Spanish in the Primary section, there are lots of clips of programmes on a variety of subjects:

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However, these videos – and others – are now listed on BBC Bitesize. There are categories for Spanish according to the ‘Key Stage’ system:

KS1 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zhyb4wx

KS2 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zxsvr82 

but also for Scotland.

second level (9-12 year olds) Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z72mn39 

(NB there are other languages too  in all the above sections! French, German, Italian, Mandarin)

These two clips come under KS2 School and are from a series called Adventures Abroad; a playground game called Abuelita ¿Qué hora es? that I’ve played with classes, and a programme about primary school routine in Spain that I know has been used and enjoyed by others who found Papo the parrot particularly amusing.

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The Stories poems and songs section is particularly interesting as it includes lots of traditional tales such as The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The Sun and the Wind and Frau Holle as well as traditional songs like Old Macdonald and new ones like this one about Don Quijote!

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And that brings me on to…

4. Virtually there

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yzd0d/clips

This is a series of programmes in which a child, Ashleigh, is helped with her Spanish by friends in Spain via video conferencing. It also includes some songs and cultural information. (Also in French and German)

Here’s the trailer…

and here are the episodes:

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Something I’ve noticed is that the clips all have a QR code option for sharing which I like! That means that I can make a display of all the QR codes and then learners can access them whenever they wish (as long as they have an iPad or mobile device!); for example, as an extension/further learning for early finishers.

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I really like Virtually there. Ashleigh isn’t a KS1 child; I’d say she’s nearly secondary age so it would appeal to older KS2 learners and also KS3 beginners. I also like the mix of ‘live’ episodes and songs; the gender song is one of my favourites.

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So, there’s a round up of BBC online ‘stuff’ for primary learners. Hope it’s helpful!

Día de los Muertos

October 27th, 2014

I had a bit of a pinning session last night on Pinterest and came across some things I thought I’d share.

Firstly, some lovely GIFs that are spread throughout the post – great as a ‘greeting’ on the board even if you’re not going to do any more about Día de los Muertos.

Next, a template to make La Catrina that is from Flickr – here’s the link to the finished item

A simple bilingual poem that I’d pinned previously; it seems to have disappeared from the original site so good job I pinned it!

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I like the ideas on this site for making a “skull mask” (see below left) as well as this idea for making “name skeletons” using children’s names in cursive handwriting and mirrored as the rib cages (below right)!

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A post from Zambombazo using the Google Doodle of which there are many more (search Google Doodle Dia de los muertos)!

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And two delightful videos: one I shared last year along with links to other resources, and then this one that is a story about a grandma and a child - La niña y la abuela (click the picture and the video will open and play)

I also found Slideshares that explain the two films in simple Spanish with screen shots from the videos on Aprendemos juntos which has lots of other video links, infographics and much more!

La niña que recuerda presentation along with lots of other resources

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And I’ve mislaid the song I’d saved (obviously not well enough!) so here’s a favourite of mine – and my classes!

Los animales and Little Languages – the story so far.

October 3rd, 2014

I’m conscious that I haven’t posted since before school started so I thought I’d share something I’ve made this week.

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At WCPS, Foundation and Key Stage 1 teachers follow the Little Languages scheme of work for Spanish. It’s simple to use, has clear instructions and best of all, builds up from a +/- 10 minute activity/ies in FS to 10- 15 minutes in Y1 and 15-20 minutes in Y2. The activities can be repeated during the week or just done once, and there’s lots of repetition. Sound files are included to support the teachers (none of whom are fluent or confident Spanish speakers) and visuals too.

I’m timetabled to teach two Y2classes this half term which is great, so I’m following the same scheme but making it a bit more in depth and adding my own bits to it! At the same time, I need to ensure that the third class have a similar experience; their teacher is doing their lessons with half a class at a time as the other half go swimming and then the other half when they swap.

The last few weeks have been based around animals.

Week one we sang an adapted version of  Vengan a ver mi granja featuring a kitten (un gatito) and a duckling (un patito). We sang the song with actions then played Patito/Gatito, a game with cuddly toys.

We sent someone out of the room and hid the ‘gatito’. When they returned we had to find ‘gatito’ by listening to the rest of the class repeating its name; the nearer the person got, the louder we said ‘gatito’. One class was really good at the dynamics whilst the other needed a bit of help as they were loud from the start and didn’t leave themselves enough leeway to get louder without screaming! Then we played with ‘patito’. This led to horror when someone hid the cuddly in the class play oven! The next week, we added ‘perrito’ to the game. Very popular and the children recalled the words clearly after so much repetition.

Download wk 1 gatito patito

The next week we moved onto a story about wild animals called ¿Quién soy? in which you see small parts of a wild animal who asks ¿Quién soy? before revealing themself and saying ‘Soy un elefante / un tigre / una jirafa’ etc. Whilst reading the story for the first time, we assigned each animal an action and children showed they understood by doing the action on subsequent retellings. For example, un elefante was arm as a trunk; una jirafa, arm above head like a long neck; un tigre was claws in front; and un león was the same but whilst swishing your hair. They also joined in with ¿Quién soy? and some with the response too. Another game followed in which children mimed an animal and asked ¿Quién soy?, challenging their classmates to guess. Again, plenty of volunteers and lots of language. We also used masks to play a similar game with the images from the story; we looked at the clue images, chorusing ¿Quién soy?, and the child wearing the correct mask jumped up and announced ‘Soy….’  

Their favourite is…

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… accompanied by puffing out the cheeks (which strangely helped them to say the word!)

To continue the theme I made a simple labelling sheet with 8 animals, three of which they hadn’t met: un mono, una cebra, una serpiente. This led to a really good discussion about how they could work out which animal these words matched.

 

Mono looks like the start of monkey.’

Cebra looks like zebra.’ ‘It starts with a s sound not a z or a c though’

Serpiente sounds like snake because it’s got a sss at the start’ (that followed me reading the word with a very sibilant s!)

Download jungle animals worksheet

This week, the lesson was to be based around Alarma en la jungla. But I couldn’t it. I’m sure I’ve got it so Im not buying another copy until I’ve had a good look, and I couldn’t find a powerpoint or PDF online (that didn’t require me to sign up to something requiring my credit card details!) so I had to find an alternative.

Step forward, Animales salvajesThis is a lovely book that I bought in Spain for 2€ which has a little rhyme giving a clue to the animal hiding behind the ‘plastic page’. Look at the example below!

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We’d met all but one animal so I planned to read it to the class, sharing the book so that everyone could have a look, emphasising or explaining key words to help them guess. For example, the first animal is described as ‘verde’ and they have a chart of Spanish colours on the wall so that gave them a clue that it wasn’t the elephant! However, I was aware that my colleague in the 3rd Y2 class couldn’t speak Spanish and wouldn’t be able to read the book to the children. So I made a powerpoint with embedded sound for her so she could just show the pictures and turn the pages whilst the text and sound came from the IWB. And I added a question to each slide too ¿Qué es? as it’s a common question that they’ll hear repeatedly.

Download animales salvajes

Except we had two special assemblies so we didn’t use it! However, we’re all ready for next week. And hopefully the sound on the IWB in one of the classes will be fixed as the children are eager for a repeat of Veo a un animal on the BBC Primary Spanish website.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 18.25.09Firstly, it’s a guessing song about wild animals.

Secondly, they like the funny pictures and the catchy tune.

And thirdly, they are particularly impressed because I wrote it (and all the other Spanish/French songs, games and vocabulary /information pages on the site)  and this has elevated me to superstardom in their eyes!

We did however have a great game of ‘Secret leader’ in which we all sat in a circle and chanted a word whilst doing an action. We sent a child out and nominated a leader who would change the action whenever they wanted (I changed the word in response to their action as it was the first time we’d played but one child did it themselves so we’ll see what happens next time!). The child returned and had to work out the Secret leader.  “Oh, it’s like ‘Wink-faint’ isn’t it?” said one child which made me think of the days when we used to ‘murder’ each other and die violently and gorily! This class are only 6 years old though ;) Again, a game with lots of repetition with the action reinforcing the spoken word.

I’ll report back on how we’re progressing at a later date. Hope you enjoy the resources I’ve shared.

El que busca encuentra

August 12th, 2014

Following on from yesterday’s post, I forgot to say that there is a Facebook page for Muy Interesante Junior that has little snippets from the magazine as well as previews of upcoming editions.

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…and you can follow @MuyInteresante on Twitter for interesting facts in Spanish in 140 characters or less.

A regular feature of Muy Interesante Junior each month is the El que busca encuentra spread. It’s a bit like Where’s Wally? or ¿Dónde está Wally? (did you know that he’s called Charlie in French, Walter in German and BenJ in Swiss German? Find out more here) in that you have to find people in a very ‘busy’ picture! Here’s a section of the picture.

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What makes it different is that each edition there is a different theme for the ‘puzzle'; this edition it is “Mujeres célebres.” Alongside the puzzle is a section which gives you the images that you must find along with a couple of sentences about the person. With the new programmes of study in mind, I can see this as a great opportunity to engage learners in short texts as well as increasing their general knowledge, in this case about famous women, and revising and learning structures and vocabulary .

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For example, the short texts include details about countries of origin, occupations, years of birth and death.

1. You could ask questions about the women based on the facts. For example:

  • ¿Quién es de Francia?  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel)
  • ¿Quién es cantante? (María Callas, Edith Piaf)
  • ¿Quién viene de Europa?  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Madre Teresa de Calcuta)
  • ¿Quién es de un país que habla español? (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Evita Perón, Gabriela Mistral)
  • ¿ Quién ha ganado un Premio Nobel? (Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Gabriela Mistral)
  • ¿Quién nació en el siglo veinte? (María Callas, Indira Gandhi, Edith Piaf, Evita Perón, Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Katherine Hepburn)
  • ¿Quién murió antes de cumplir cincuenta años? (Juana de Arco, Evita Perón, Nefertiti, Amelia Earhart, Edith Piaf)

 

2. You could also use Clare Seccombe’s Tesoro o basura idea and board along with this PDF of the names  (Mujeres célebres) and ask learners to sort words according to given criteria (either with the information, or having found out as much as they can previously):

  • Las actrices son ‘tesoro'; las demás son ‘basura’.   (Edith Piaf, Katherine Hepburn)
  • Las francesas son ‘tesoro'; las demás son ‘basura’.  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel)
  • Las que murieron en el siglo veinte son ‘tesoro'; las demás son ‘basura’  (María Calas, Indira Gandhi, Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Amelia Earhart, Evita Perón, Camille Claudel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Gabriela Mistral, Madre Teresa de Calcuta)

 

3. You could use the information strips to work on large numbers and dates; say a date and identify the person:

  • mil novecientos siete – nació Katherine Hepburn
  • mil seiscientos noventa y conco – murió Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  • mil trescientos setenta antes de Cristo  – nació Nefertiti

And what about putting all the women in a timeline and using ordinal numbers to describe their position?

 

4. You could ask learners to find me the word for

For example:

  • The Nobel Prize (El Premio Nobel)
  • opera singer  (la cantante de ópera)
  • her unique voice (su singular voz)
  • the Pharaoh (el Faraón)

 

5. You could ask learners to fill in a form based on the information given: here are some I’ve made

Pen and paper form

Blue clipboard Stars

and then make up simple personal identification sentences about the women, using structures with which they are familiar:

Se llama Gabriela Mistral.

Es de Chile.

Es poeta.

Nació en mil ochocientos ochenta y nueve.

Murió en mil novecientos cincuenta y siete.

Es famosa por ganar el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1945.

 

6. The information given could be extended with some research;

  • find an image and write a physical description
  • discover specifically where they were born and describe where it is (compass point, size, near to etc)
  • find out a poem written / song sung / film starred in / speech made / dress designed by the person and describe it using adjectives

and not necessarily just in Spanish. What a great way of bringing Spanish into other areas of the curriculum by having the inspiration in Spanish and continue it in English?

 

Of course, you can do activities without even reading the information!

7. You could describe the images of the women in Spanish and ask learners to identify the person from your description – or ask a learner to describe to the class or their partner.

Lleva un vestido negro. (Coco Chanel)

Lleva pantalones , botas y una chaqueta. También lleva una bufanda, un casco y anteojos de aviador. (Amelia Earhart)

Lleva una túnica /un vestido blanco y un tocado blanco y azul. Lleva un cetro de oro. (Nefertiti)

 

8. Or you could play ¿Quién es? (Guess Who?)  with yes/ no / don’t know questions being posed until the correct person is identified.

¿Lleva pantalones? Sí

¿Tiene el pelo rubio? No

¿Es Katherine Hepburn? Sí

You could extend the game to include the entire picture rather than just the 14 featured women – that could be a game that goes on forever!

 

And that brings us back to the ¿Dónde está Wally? element. Each of the women is hidden in the picture and, once they have been found, learners could describe where each is hidden in Spanish too. For example:

  • Madre Teresa de Calcuta está en el primer piso. Está a la izquierda, al lado de la ventana, entre dos chicos que llevan jerseys verdes.
  • Evita Perón está en la planta baja, a la izquierda de la escalera. Está al lado del tobogán.
  • Amelia Earhart está a la derecha en el primer piso. Está al lado de un robot grande.

And for those that need an extra challenge, there’s a list of additional people/items to find in the picture – good for dictionary skills!

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The latest edition of Muy Interesante Junior has ‘Grandes genios de la Informática’ as the theme of El que busca encuentra – time to start thinking where that may lead.

But I’ll leave that for another time ;)

If you have any ideas that I haven’t considered, please share them in the comments!

Muy Interesante Junior

August 10th, 2014

My lovely husband John went to México in April and I promised afterwards that I’d share some of things that he bought back. However, I never got past the first item(s)! Time to put that right! photo 4 I was overjoyed that he returned with a copy of Muy Interesante Junior. Although I’ve never seen the Junior version before, I was aware of Muy Interesante from browsing quioscos over the years. It’s a (Mexican) factual/scientific magazine with the strap line “La revisita para saber más de todo” and the Junior version is along the same lines aimed at younger readers.  And I immediately thought: ‘Excellent! Non-fiction texts of varying lengths and for a variety of purposes – just what the new Curriculum ordered!’ As you can see from the cover and below, the edition has lots of interesting content including fact files, comic strips, activities, puzzles and articles. There are five regular sections (below with the focus for this edition in brackets) and also sections of Preguntas y respuestas, Club Junior and short Noticias.

El que busca encuentra  (Mujeres célebres)

Mundo salvaje (Serpientes)

Tecnología (Cómo funciona el Internet)photo 4

Cuerpo humano (El sistema inmunitario)

Tierra en alerta (tormentas solares)

Here are some bits that I particularly liked.

1. La Tortilla

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Many pupils eat this type of tortilla but how much do they really know about them?

This double page spread is all about MEXICAN tortillas. How to make them, the origins of la tortilla, interesting facts, records, statistics, health information and language related to la tortilla too. There are even  ‘dichos’ or sayings linked to la tortilla.

2. Protege a tus protectores

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In the section on El Sistema Inmunitario, this section is all about how to give your immune system a hand. Good for talking about healthy lifestyles and also for giving instructions in Spanish. Lots of cognates and making connections with things that they already know about staying healthy as well as the (short) length of the bullet points make it accessible to young learners.

3. Rocas del espacio exterior

photo 1 Space is one of the topics that I’ve found works really well as a cross curricular one in Spanish, and this series of articles (there are five pages worth!) add plenty of new information to my knowledge! Specifically, lots of information about asteroides, meteoros and meteoritos, and new vocabulary like una estrella fugaz, la lluvia de estrellas and los meteoroides. 

I found the graphic below interesting – good vocabulary list too! And I discovered that the seven gold medals handed out on 15th February at the Winter Olympics in Sochi all contained part of a meteorite that fell on Russia on the date in a previous year (doesn’t say when!)

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4. Las maravillas naturales

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In the middle of the magazine there were two inserts – the first was a set of 18 double sided cards featuring ‘las maravillas naturales de la Tierra’ – one side has an image and the other a short description of the place. Good for countries, recognising landmarks by their Spanish name e.g. Monte Everest, las Cataratas de Iguazú, la Selva Amazónica etc and for map work. I can also see how you could use the short descriptions for simple reading  activities:

You could give learners three cards and ask them to identify a landmark according to given statements. You could mix English and Spanish e.g. which place is one of the Seven wonders of the world? (Cataratas de Iguazú) ¿Dónde están los pilares de piedra? (China) Which place is the model for one of the habitats in Avatar? And what is the ‘habitat’ called?(Montañas de Zhangijajie en China; las ‘Montañas Aleluya’) And so on.   Or you could make two sets and learners work in pairs to read a sentence and identify the card by listening and following.

5. Del huevo al pollito

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The other insert is a double sided poster – one side has information about how an aeroplane flies and the other a really informative spread about the life cycle of a chicken, complete with pictures of chick embryos. You’d have to pick and choose which bits to share with younger learners but lots of good information that would be really useful for CLIL Science lessons.

photo 1photo 3There are so many other parts that I could highlight – in fact, too much material to assimilate in one go.

I can see that the articles on skyscrapers and tall buildings will be great for looking at large numbers, and I’ll certainly be coming back to the section on Héroes y Superhéroes as it looks at fantasy superheros as well as what makes a real hero, finishing off looking at some real superheroes like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Rigoberta Menchú (like the Hispanic touch!)

 

The bad news is that you can’t subscribe to the magazine from the UK – they’ll only send it to Mexico :(

However, all is not lost as there is a website

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 15.23.16          You can’t access the whole magazine but there are selected parts. The current edition online has three highlighted articles on the shape of the moon, dinosaurs and saving the rain forests, and each concludes with links to another three related articles.

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Then there are Temas de interés and Galerías of interesting photographs, again each linked to further articles and albums so there’s lots of content available if you explore!

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Additionally, you can do a web search and find out what was in previous editions  e.g. la sexta edición, la séptima edición,  la octava edición. This isn’t much help with the website as you can’t back track on there but… you can purchase ‘back copies’ via Muy Interesante Junior app in the App Store. (Sadly no Android version yet although you can get Muy Interesante in the GooglePlay store) Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 20.50.07

The app is free but you must purchase each ‘magazine’ for £1.99 or, at the moment, you can subscribe for a year (6 editions) for £5.49. I’ve just downloaded one copy so far (wanted to check the quality before committing myself!) and am very impressed. All the pages (80 odd) and the posters and the photo cards. Well worth the money I’d say, even if it’s only for ideas and information for you because (with ADE hat on!) if you want to use it with your class, you need to purchase a copy for each iPad so it might not be something for all the iPads in a class set. You might buy it for a few, or project it from one device using AppleTV or Reflector or Airserver etc for small groups to use as part of guided reading.

That’s all for now – I’m off to read my newly downloaded June/July copy!

I’ve saved my favourite activity/pages for another post – coming soon!

Señor Brócoli

June 26th, 2014

I love visiting IKEA and wondering around the children’s department as my attention is invariably grabbed by something I think I can use. It’s not often that a  specific lesson is ‘born’ as I browse, however.photo 1

Meet Señor Brócoli. Our eyes met and I was inspired!

I saw his pockets and thought of using him like a food triangle , filling his pockets with play food. And a lesson was formed, which was a bonus as I had a lesson observation looming and this was perfect!

I had adapted a presentation by Rachel Hawkes that she had shared on TES Resources previously for use with Year 4 in their unit on healthy eating but felt that it would work well with Year 6’s unit on food as well. The preceding week had been healthy eating week and we had made Wordles and Tagxedos of healthy eating vocabulary (they only had 40 minutes to find the words, type them in and print them so it wasn’t in great depth!) That was the starting point for the lesson.

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We then played ‘ping pong’ with food vocabulary, seeing how long they could keep the rally up.

Having gone over pronunciation, pupils used the vocabulary from slide 3 cut into slips to classify vocabulary according to certain criteria using Tesoro o basura sheet; feminine nouns, plural nouns and finally healthy foods were the treasure.

The next step was to consider what healthy means as it’s not easy to decide definitively. That’s where Señor Brócoli came in. Using plastic play food, pupils ‘fed’ him, placing food in his pockets. The pocket into which they placed their food item corresponded to the frequency with which you should eat it – top pockets are smaller and correspond to a veces, the middle pocket to a menudo, and the bottom pocket to todos los días. The pupils all wanted to take part and say the appropriate phrase in Spanish.Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 21.44.33

They then classified the food in the triangle (slide 7)

I assigned each table a text from slide 8 to read, and encouraged them to ‘magpie’ useful phrases. They compiled lists together and then shared them with other groups.

The final part of the lesson was to write their own short text using slide 10.

If we had had more time, slide 11 was the extension activity with pupils suggesting food to match the definitions.

Pupils really enjoyed the lesson and didn’t want to go to lunch – and that’s very unusual. And it proved to be an outstanding observation too.

Throughout the lesson pupils RAG-ed their work using the fruit scale  – ¿eres un tomate, una naranja o una manzana? That was a hit too; much more appealing than traffic lights!

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 21.46.32Señor Brócoli will appear again soon; Year 4 are looking at healthy lifestyles too!

Download the presentation – adapted from Rachel Hawkes’ PPT and with Tesoro o basura from LightBulb Languages La_Comida_sana_y_malsana final

Download lesson plan sano malsano lesson

 

 

 

 

Seasonal poems

June 26th, 2014
A journey through seasons by Luiza Vizoli

A journey through seasons by Luiza Vizoli

Having worked on adapting a verse of La Primavera by Antonio Machado last week (see here and here for previous posts about this) , Year 5 were set a new poetic challenge this week.

Whilst I was out of action with my broken ankle, some students from BCU taught my Y5 classes using the QCA SoW unit Las cuatro estaciones as their starting point. They taught about the weather, the months of the year and the seasons, and judging by the recap lesson we had, they were successful in their aim!

This week we reviewed the seasons and thought about how we might write simple poems about them. I suggested we thought of colours as everyone was familiar with at least 5 colours that they could match to a season. I  introduced other adjectives, including reminding them of ones we had used in connection to music (Autumn term) and the planets (Spring term)

I modelled a simple structure, saying we were aiming for something like a Haiku not a sonnet; about half of them understood what I meant!

La primavera es verde y amarilla.

La primavera es bonito y alegre.

Me gusta la primavera.

Having given a sheet with some adjectives on it (including some unsuitable ones for this task like alto and bajo) and access to dictionaries, off they went.

And I was really pleased with some of the results.

Amelia has missed most Spanish lessons since Christmas as she has spent Tuesday afternoons at a local secondary school doing some G&T work.  Today she wrote the poem below in 10 minutes.

photo 5And these children impressed too, especially this one from Sam who finds Spanish tricky at times.
photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

They are simple, yes. But they demonstrate to varying extents that they can

  • write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structure that they have learnt
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
  • describe people, places, things and actions … and in writing       (Languages Programmes of Study: Key Stage 2)

Looking forward to next week when we will continue in this vein and present our poems using technology!

#etuk14 – the Twitter Storify

June 23rd, 2014
As I spoke about Twitter and mentioned Storify, I felt it was only right to make one of the tweets hash tagged #etuk14.
And below that, I’ve shared the #etwilfie Storify made to celebrate the wonderful eTwinning selfies taken over the last 3 days. The winner is the last one, Robert who was exceptionally dedicated to the cause!

 

Twitter thoughts – the results

June 22nd, 2014

140 charactersLast weekend I created a survey using SurveyMonkey entitled Twitter thoughts with the aim of ascertaining a range of views on Twitter. I publicised the survey on Twitter and Facebook and asked others to share the link too.

Thank you to everyone who responded – the survey limits responses to the first 100 as I don’t have a Pro account (i.e. I used the free version!) and that number was met. I posed the questions in preparation for a presentation on Twitter this weekend at the UK eTwinning Conference in Nottingham; I’ve shared the presentation and some links in my previous post  I thought that people would be able to access the results via the link I posted in the presentation but obviously you can’t see the results unless you’re the originator of the survey, and I needed to share so here is the link – Twitter thoughts – a survey Below are the graphics from questions 1-3; you can access the analysis via the link. Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 20.59.21   As you can see, it’s a resounding win for Twitter there. The question didn’t ask people to specify whether they meant Twitter.com or the Twitter app so this figure will be an amalgamation of the two. I’d expected more votes for Tweetdeck to be honest. Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 21.00.49   Given the people that follow me on Twitter and that fact that most of my Facebook friends that may have filled in the survey are in education, I  wasn’t surprised that the highest votes went to CPD, T&L and sharing ideas. I liked the response in the comments section “hearing views from people I might not normally encounter. and funny people” I also thought that the following response was interesting – it’s true that Twitter has become a vehicle for “getting things done” “contacting customer service departments of big companies” Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 21.01.28   The graphic for top 3 uses of Twitter baffled me; in fact, I learned more from looking at the statistics which also baffled me at first! The figures are expressed as a percentage of those that rated that option so of the 10 people who rated  ‘following celebrities’ in the top 3, 2 put it first (20%), 1 second (10%) and 7 in 3rd place (70%); the three percentages add to 100% Another response I liked was in the notes below this section; the respondent noted that one of their top 3 was “Being nosy at what others are up to”   The final section invited comments on the following question: Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 21.23.08 Three of the eighty five people who responded to the question said that they wouldn’t encourage people to join Twitter; one expanded on this

“I wouldn’t I would just explain how to use it if they are interested and say what I like about it.”

There were lots of responses that mentioned the MFLTwitterati (hardly surprising!) networking and CPD too.  There were also several mentions of news and moving information around;

because it bundles news and you don’t waste time browsing news portals anymore”

“Fastest way to get a message to a wide range of people”

There were mentions of support and being like an online staffroom as well as a place to learn from others.

There was also a respondent who had a more negative view;

“I’ve really gone off of Twitter lately, it’s such an echo chamber, not really seeing anything new, just lots and lots of retweets and old stuff resurfacing”

Some comments I particularly liked -

on relationships -

“It’s a great place to network with like minded people, sharing great practice and when you end up meeting at a conference or cpd event in person it’s like you know them already!”

on CPD and learning

Where else can you talk/listen to so many knowledgeable people at no cost to yourself apart from your time?”

Because in these cash-strapped times it gives unlimited access to the best brains in the business and learning opportunities”

on your part in making things work-

“Create your own network which provides exactly what you want from it.”

“Because it’s fun, and you make it want you want to be. And we need the nice people to outnumber the idiots.”

“Loads of potential benefits as long as you realise what it can do.” I think the above comments are particularly relevant; Twitter is what you make it. Sometimes judicious use of the mute, unfollow and even block buttons are needed; sometimes I go off it for periods of time but I’d probably agree with the many positive comments about support, ideas sharing, friendship and learning. Why would you encourage people to join Twitter? “Because it is power”

Are you a Twit or a Tweep? #etuk14

June 21st, 2014

I”ve been presenting today on Twitter at the UK National eTwinning Conference in Nottingham at the National College of Leadership. Below is my presentation – the videos have obviously not uploaded so I’ve embedded them below.

I’ve also added a link to my Pinterest where I’ve bookmarked some useful links to Twitter, particularly in education.

Are you a Twit or a Tweep? – Twitter from Lisa Stevens
Link to Teachers TV video
Pinterest links