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More IKEA inspiration!

February 7th, 2016

I had to go to IKEA to buy a chair for my son and, as well as the obligatory meatballs and scented candles, I always end up buying something to use in the classroom. I now own every puppet that IKEA has produced and a large number of their cuddly toys not to mention various storage solutions (boxes and pop up tubs) and stationary items. So what could I possibly discover this time?

  1. Flowers 
  2. Postcards
  3. An insect hat

IMG_8159I bought a bunch of artificial Gerbera daisies (my favourites) to use in teaching colours to Y3. No brown, grey or black but every other colour I need. They’ll make a change from flashcards 😉

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I have a set of 5 Tolsby frames as each of my schools have five tables of 6 pupils in each class. I use them for instructions when we have a carousel activity but thought that these postcards would be good to give them Spanish specific table names. The fruit and vegetable ones will be great with year3/4 as we look at fruit words in both year groups, and the animals for year 4/5.  The animal ones in particular will be good for phonics too – conejo, pájaro, zorro, ardilla, reno (or is it a ciervo?) I’ll put the words for the fruits over the English word for the fruit ones I think.

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And then there’s this hat. Would go well with work on mini beasts or describing animals (as we are currently doing in year 5) or just as a prop to go with the moustache and beard I bought last time I went. I was very tempted by the bat cape but restrained myself. This time…

No doubt I’ll have to visit IKEA again soon so watch out for more ideas. I’m already planning a lesson involving scented candles 😉

La lotería de Navidad

December 22nd, 2015

Sorteo-Navidad-Foto-EFE_MDSIMA20111127_0145_4For many, Christmas in Spain really starts today with El Gordo, the special lottery draw.

The prize is big and, unlike other lotteries, it is not won by a single person but shared amongst thousands of people. Also, unlike other lotteries,  the numbers are sung by school children as you can see in this clip from the BBC.  

“You don’t buy it you don’t win…simple as that” said Costis Mitsokakis the only man in his village not to win four years ago. I wonder if the makers of this year’s advertisement had that story in mind when they came up with the story of Justin?

I love this video and used it in assembly a few weeks ago to talk about giving without expecting anything in return.

Stop press:

The winning tickets for this year’s El Gordo was sold in Roquetas del Mar, Almería. You can watch the whole thing here on the El País website. The winning number — 79140 — appeared on 1,600 tickets, with each ticket holder winning 400,000 euros.

 

Christmas in Mexico

December 21st, 2015
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My ‘angelito’ from Chignahuapan, home of the glass ‘esferas’ that hang on ‘arboles’ around Mexico.

Want to know about Christmas in Mexico?

Here are some useful links:

Why Christmas? offers a simple description including key events.

Read this article to find out about Christmas in Mexico, including the unique Noche de los rabanos in Oaxaca.

Find out about Christmas in Mexico here and then ‘turn the page’ to compare it with the celebrations in Spain. In which ways are they different?

Mexican Christmas recipes anyone?

And here’s a cute video with some facts and singing!

This article explains the importance of the poinsettia to Aztecs who called it cuetlaxochitl which means “mortal flower that perishes and withers like all that is pure.”

Here’s a story about The Legend of the Poinsettia:

And another story, this time about Las Posadas.

This site has links to lots of articles if you want to explore more, but I’ll leave you with a couple of Mexican Christmas songs.

The song that is sung during posadas:

A short radio programme with some suggestions of carols from the childhood of Betto Arcos en Veracruz, including  Los peces en el río

And how could I not include Feliz Navidad?

 

Christmas in Spain

December 20th, 2015

Loving this short summary of key events over the Christmas/New Year season in Spain!

Christmas in Spain in 30 seconds

Xmas in Spain12 grapes, coal and red underwear? Watch this video to understand Christmas in Spain in 30 seconds! 😉 #XmasInSpain ⛄

Posted by Spain.info on Thursday, 17 December 2015

Some other related posts:

El pequeño petirrojo 2.0

Los Reyes Magos

A few years ago I posted a different Christmas carol in Spanish in the run up to Christmas – the 10th day was Fum Fum Fum and you can go back through the previous 9 days from there.

A lovely retelling of the Christmas story in Spanish and in video form too

A bit of Bublé singing Feliz Navidad or a version on iPods/iPads/iPhones

The story (in Spanish) of how Father Christmas thought about moving Christmas to July

Inspired in IKEA 2.0

December 13th, 2015

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I love visits to IKEA as, along with the scented candles and plastic bags, I invariably come away with all sorts of unexpected items.

In 2008 I posted Inspired in IKEA and quickly followed it up with Inspired in IKEA part 2. I continued being inspired in on A visit to IKEA in 2010 and with Breakfast from IKEA and En la granja de IKEA in 2011. And then there was my (continuing)  love affair with Señor Brócoli.

On Friday I decided it was time for the annual trip to buy gingerbread for the tree – and a gingerbread house too as my domestic goddess status doesn’t extend that far.

I always get excited when I approach the children’s section but this time I nada surprise as I met the LATTJO collection  mid way around. What an exciting development!

This little video showcases the new range

IKEA have started a collaboration with world class storyteller DreamWorks Animation highlighting the power and importance of play. DreamWorks Animation brings the LATTJO world to life through more than 25 short animated stories that celebrates and expands the imaginative world of the LATTJO characters.

Well, first of all I saw the Jenga-like stacking game with coloured bricks adding to the fun. I know that Jenga is used widely in language teaching – see Eleanor, Amanda and Erzsi‘s blogs! – and this could well add another dimension to its use. IMG_7377
Then I came across these cones – great for directions, target practice with a bean bag (for practising colour, number, counting up the score etc) IMG_7378
Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 20.54.45 And then I saw these number ‘sleeves’. The suggestion was to put them around bottles of water to make skittles which is a great idea.

I immediately thought of using them as arm bands and making human ‘skittles’, not to be knocked down but for counting activities. For example, give a sum in Spanish/French/German and the answer has to stand up, or children have a pile of cards with word problems in Sp/Fr/Ger that they have to assign to the correct ‘skittle’

I was also rather taken with the large inflatable die and the giant sacks but then I saw the dressing up! Oh my! I actually started jumping up and down!

I find puppets and dressing up to be an excellent way to get children talking in an imaginative way as I’ve shared before and here for example. So what did I see?

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Moustaches and beards. I think I look rather fetching with a beard, and you can still talk and see the mouth even wearing it!

And then there were wigs…

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…and other made head gear! I was particularly taken with the snail head, and also the brain which I decided to try on but I think – well, know!- I have a very big head as it kept popping off!

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And then if you’re feeling like splashing out more than £3-£6, you can get full dressing up costumes! The parts are available separately too 😉

You can also be an eagle or a bat, and you can add monster claws to make your rat scary!

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Queen

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Robot

 

Getting away from the dressing up and LATTJO, I made it to the children’s department where I found some great cushions. I bought the sunshine one and I’m going to use as an incentive/ to reward excellent work. Impress Sra. Stevens and make her smile like the sun, and you get to sit on the cushion next lesson. I may yet add the cloud to my collection for excellent ideas, but, as with everything, it’s where to put it between lessons! IMG_7395
IMG_7393 My final inspiration came in the shape of these piglets. Can you guess my thoughts…?

Indeed. Los tres cerditos. (Their Mummy is available too!)

Oh, one last idea – these GLON templates for a house, some flats, a church-like building and a mosque-like building look great for describing the town, particularly thanks to the variety of building shape that accommodates the shapes the children I teach see around them!IMG_7396

I hope I’ve managed to communicate my excitement. I didn’t buy all the items but I may well do over time. I do have the moustache and beard, brain hat, sunshine cushion and two sets of the number sleeves though!

#eTwAmbsUK – eTwinning Ambassadors Conference

December 7th, 2015
eTwinning Ambassadors from across the UK met together at NCL in Nottingham to find out what’s new in eTwinning, share ideas and plan for the future. It was great to see so many old and new friends, and meet up with LiPS ladies, Erzsi, Vikki and Fátima as well as other language mates like Helena and Aurelie.

Although I felt very rough the whole time (illness not alcohol induced!) I managed to sketch note the presentations. You can find them below.

If you’re interested in eTwinning or any of the other British Council programmes, feel free to contact me via the contact form or check out Schools Online

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Susan Linklater shared the work plan and priorities for eTwinning (have to admit that the stats made my head hurt so I missed most of them...)

Susan Linklater shared the work plan and priorities for eTwinning (have to admit that the stats made my head hurt so I missed most of them…)

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Gary Sheills (Mr Stats!) presented on eTwining Live, the new eTwinning portal aided by Kevin McCabe.

 

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John Rolfe updated us on British Council news and priorities for 2015-16

 

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Helena Butterfield shared how to use Webex to present eTwinning Webinars

 

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George and Lesley gave ideas on how to engage school leaders and enthuse them with eTwinning.

 

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Nick and Anne facilitated a session about the Ambassador’s Handbook

 

Do you teach Primary Spanish?

December 5th, 2015

british-council-logo-2-color-2-page-001-hrAn exciting opportunity for anyone whose primary school teaches Spanish.

If you’re interested, please respond to Vicky Gough at the address below.

 Support for Spanish in your primary school!

The British Council has lots of positive experience in delivering language lessons to pupils remotely. We are planning to pilot a programme that would enable schools to have a native speaker teacher live from one of our teaching centres in Argentina for one or two sessions a week to support the school in the teaching of Spanish.

For this pilot we are looking for two or three primary schools, preferably at different stages in their development of languages at primary level, to help us develop this offer for schools in the UK. This is likely to involve one or two weekly sessions for a 5 or 6 week period in the Spring term.

If you are interested and can meet the requirements below, please send an email to vicky.gough@britishcouncil.org by December 14, giving details about how Spanish is taught in your school.

Technical requirements:
· Videoconferencing equipment which works on H323 or SIP protocol and can connect with external equipment via a SIP or public IP address
· Videoconferencing equipment must be connected to a projector or display that is big enough for the whole class to see
· 2MB dedicated upload/download speed, preferably on a fibre optic dedicated connection

Other requirements
· Support of the Head teacher
· A teacher who can be present in the classroom during sessions (either a Spanish teacher or the class teacher)
· Spanish teacher/class teacher to be available for a 20-minute weekly coordination meeting outside the regular session/s
· A school representative to attend a planning meeting at the start of the pilot and an evaluation meeting at the close

#PracPed15 – Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning

October 21st, 2015

Evernote Snapshot 20151016 104158My session at the wonderful Practical Pedagogies conference centred around the use of technology to enhance Primary Language Learning.

Key points I made included:

  • technology is not  just for the pupils but also for the teacher;
  • it is just one tool we have to use;
  • it is not always the best tool for the job.

I went on to suggest online tools as well as apps that might be useful in a range of contexts and situations.

My presentation is below and there is wiki with links to tutorials, examples and ideas that accompanies it. Feel free to ask questions via the contact form or @lisibo on Twitter.

Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning from Lisa Stevens
And thanks to Marisa for sharing her notes (and photographs!) here.

#pracped15 – impressions and sketchnotes

October 21st, 2015

IMG_5969Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.40.04I had the joy and pleasure of going to France last week for the Practical Pedagogies conference at International School of Toulouse. It’s not every day you get to go on a course that involves a ‘plane journey, and I was wondering about the wisdom of my exploits as I sprinted from one side of Brussels Airport to the other with 20 minutes to make my connecting flight thanks to high winds delaying my incoming flight… I made it, and it was well worth the travel and the late night.

What a conference! Why? Well, there were many reasons!

    1. The welcome received at IST was wonderful. The staff went out of their way to help us. For example, I tweeted that I was having plug adaptor woes (mine didn’t have a ‘top hole’ so wouldn’t go in the socket, the one loaned by the hotel wouldn’t work either as my plug wouldn’t go into it…) and within minutes I was presented with a working adaptor and was able to charge my ‘phone (thanks also to Chris Mayoh who seemed to have a case full of adaptors that he was lending out!)
    2. The organisation. Never have I been to such a well organised conference. Things ran to schedule, the gaps between sessions meant that you always had time for coffee even if you stayed behind to ask a question at the end of the previous one, and I never felt the vertigo I often feel as I rush from one place to another without breathing.
    3. The company. What a great bunch of people! I laughed until I cried at points and enjoyed the friendship offered by those I already knew, those who I’d only previously known online, and those who were completely new acquaintances. Fun and games involving hats, Lycra, yards of beer and bowling alleys spring to mind.
    4. Ewan McIntosh. That man has been so pivotal in my thinking and development as a teacher and learner, right from when he was still a language teacher and spoke at Language World at Oxford Uni. He will forever be known in my house as ‘the man who made Mum buy a Nintendo DS’ for which my sons are very grateful. Every time I hear him speak or read his blog he challenges me to think and consider what I do, how I teach and how I can best facilitate learning. And he is also very human and it’s great to talk to him. Loved this description of him:

And  5. The variety of sessions was amazing! Covering any subject you could name plus cross curricular ones as well as technology and even ukelele playing. It was very hard to select just 7 (I was told I had to choose my own session) but I did.
To sum it up in a tweet:

  I tried to sketch note all the sessions I attended, only failing twice as I couldn’t draw during the Drama workshop and it was hard during the AIM one as I needed to use my hands to gesture (and I’m also rubbish at drawing hands!) Anyway, I’ve uploaded my notes below.

Ewan McIntosh - opening keynote @ewanmcintosh @notosh

Ewan McIntosh – opening keynote @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Novel departures - Estelle Ash and Isobel Patrick (IST) @estelleash @isobel_patrick

Novel departures – Estelle Ash and Isobel Patrick (IST) @estelleash @isobel_patrick

 

Boosting language acquisition through a FUN reading program - Patricia Burgaud and Joanne Allcock

Boosting language acquisition through a FUN reading program – Patricia Burgaud and Joanne Allcock

 

Stimulating writing using technology to encourage reluctant readers - Julian Wood @Ideas_Factory

Stimulating writing using technology to encourage reluctant readers – Julian Wood @Ideas_Factory

 

Immersive Learning - Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

Immersive Learning – Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Practical Straegies for teaching EAL students - Nick Fretwell (IST) @Nick_Fretwell

Practical Straegies for teaching EAL students – Nick Fretwell (IST) @Nick_Fretwell

All in all, an amazing time during which I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot too. I hope there’s a #PracPed16 – or 17 if Russel needs longer to recover 😉 – already planning what I might offer to present! (This year’s offering is in the next post!)

If you want to find out more, check out Russel Tarr’s reflections on the event, and notes etc are here

PS I think that every good school needs a ‘crime scene’ in the foyer complete with police tape, forensics suit and evidence. Talk about capturing the imagination!

Practical Pedagogies Conference 2015

September 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.38.53I always get excited when people invite me to speak at conferences but I was very excited when Russel Tarr (created Classtools.net and was famously attacked by Gove for using Mr Men to help teach History resulting in a mass Mr Men Twitter avatar protest in solidarity!) asked me if I’d like to speak at a conference he was planning in Toulouse. A trip to France? Don’t mind if I do! And when he told me who else was speaking, I was even more excited and also perhaps a little daunted when I saw who else was speaking!

Practical Pedagogies takes place at the International School of Toulouse on October 15th and 16th and is

A high-impact training conference for classroom teachers by classroom teachers.
Two days of inspiring keynotes70+ workshops and networking activities: only 150 Euros!

 

I’m very much looking forward to the conference as there are so many different sessions under the umbrella theme of “Creativity, internationalism and innovation in the classroom” that it was very hard to choose which I’d like to attend. The programme is packed with goodies as you can see! And Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh  who is keynoting and also delivering workshops always inspires and challenges!

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My session will be about using ICT in the Primary Language Classroom:

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There are threads for

  • Pedagogy, Personal and Professional development including sessions by Miles Berry (@mberry), David Rogers (@daviderogers), Bill Lord (@Joga5) and Marisa Constantinides (@marisa_c);             
  • Computing including sessions by Miles Berry (@mberry) and Chris Mayoh (@chrismayoh);
  • Drama, Music and Design and technology including a session that I want to attend on Using drama games and activities across the curriculum led by G. Fearnehough (@gfearnehough), Curriculum Leader for Drama at IST, and E. Renou (@emmanuelrenou31), Modern Foreign Languages teacher at IST;
  • History including a session about collaboration between History and Geography (and beyond!) led by Russel Tarr, author of ActiveHistory, and Matthew Podbury, author of GeographyPods.
  • Science which offers diverse sessions on data logging, helping EAL learners and using SOLO taxonomy;
  • English and Literacy with sessions led by Julian Wood (@ideas_factory), and staff from IST about using picture and story books to work creatively and cross curricularly (hopefully I’ll get to attend one or both);
  • Mathematics with sessions on using Lego and Geogebra;
  • Assessment and reporting with a session entitles Marking:Is it really worth it?;
  • Tech tools including sessions by Dave Stacey @davestacey and John Sutton @HGJohn;
  • CAS (Creativity, action, service) and TOK (theory of knowledge);

and of course

  • Languages that features people I know like Isabelle Jones (@icpjonesand those who I have yet to meet like Dico Krommenhoek (@dico_kr). Oh, and me! I’m very much looking forward to finding out more about AIM and how IST use a FUN reading programme to boost comprehension and expression with their upper primary language learners.

There’s still time to register if you’d like to attend. It costs 150 euros (very reasonable) and if you can get a cheap flight it’s not much more expensive than two days of INSET!

And if you can’t attend in person, you can follow on Twitter! You can follow the Twitter account @pedagogies and the conference hashtag is

 

#pracped15

 

It’d be great to see some of you there and if not, converse via Twitter. And of course I’ll share my thoughts (and sketch notes!) on my return!