May 2009 – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Month: May 2009


I picked up the above tweet earlier from Chris Craft, a teacher at CrossRoads Middle School.

Intrigued, I checked it out and found the following.

A few things struck me;

You might also want to check out SpanTube, Chris’ channe on which you can find videos made by his classes. they include a series of films featuring Eugene who really should pay more attention in Spanish class as she seems to misunderstand lots of signs around school!

Can I join your class, Sr Craft??

Jayne Jackson, one of the delegates who attended the Next Steps in ICT for the Primary Languages Classroom (And active member of Talkabout Primary MFL) has made the following in response to the course. She tried to embed it as a comment on the blog post but unfortunately the comment feature in Blogger is limited in its use of html code so I’ve posted it here.

Jayne also let me know that she’s started a wiki for her school following on from the course.
It’s always good to know what happens ‘after the event’.

AC_Voki_Embed(300, 400, ‘4affb83a3247802aa8e435b684bab9f8’, 1458056, 1,”, 0);

PS I’m in the middle of making all the Slideshares of my presentations into Slidecasts – it is taking some time but the first session is done!

The Premiership season is over – how will I get to sleep at the weekend without Gary and Adrian?

Liverpool may not have won the Premiership, nor the Champions League but they still have the one and only ‘Nando xx

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jNZ2ZhrOXA&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

Looking forward to seeing him in action for Spain soon!

PhotobucketI had the pleasure of delivering the Next steps in ICT for the Primary Language Classroom at University of Cumbria in Lancaster on Tuesday. I had delivered the same in Cambridge last month, and whilst the presentations were identical, the days were quite different with the delegates taking a greater lead this time in guiding where we went. That always keeps you on your toes!

Below are my presentations from the day – you can also find these on the event wiki which was set up for us to ‘play around’.

Thank you to my 6 ‘victims’ as I referred to them on Twitter; to my Tweetmates who responded to my request to say hello; and to CILT for giving me this opportunity to share my enthusiasm for ICT and Primary Languages with others.

Don’t stop movin

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Not a post about S Club 7 (athough I will say that my boys are big fans of Hannah who’s in Primeval now!) but about something that was reinforced in my mind last night.

The Assistant Head at school had been asked to run part of the PDM on EAL (English as an additional language) and to give some brief ideas on how to make life easier for EAL pupils at school. We don’t have many but it is an important issue – and one that is relevant in general too! On a recent course she had attended, the presenter had taught them some Welsh to put the delegates in the position of an EAL learner, and Jan had asked me to emulate this – her exact request was ‘you know an oscure Spanish dialect don’t you? Could you teach us some?’ Not sure how the Catalans would respond to hearing Catalan described as such but I took the challenge.

The idea was to teach numbers 1-12 and then do some basic maths but without using visual prompts like fingers, cards, notes, actions or mimes until about half way through the session. Thus the staff were put in the place of a learner who is capable to doing the task – all our staff can add and subtract numbers up to 12!- but don’t have the vocabulary to understand the task.

What struck me was how hard I found it to teach without using actions – I literally had to put my hands in my pockets or hold them together to stop myself gesturing. I found it really uncomfortable to see the looks on my colleagues’ faces as they tried to work out what I wanted them to do – and I think I caved in quicker than I should have done. My style is very much waving my arms around, pointing, miming and using any clue I can to enable the pupils to understand.

When asked how they’d felt, it was obvious that the exercise had hit the mark as the staff immediately pinpointed the difficulty of understanding the task being the biggest stumbling block, and how much easier it had been once actions had been introduced, or the list of numbers being written on the wall. One colleague said that she’d given up trying after a few minutes as she was so baffled; another that she’d felt so inadequate and small as others had caught on more quickly than her, and almost humiliated (once she’d understood it) by the simplicity of the task that she’d been unable to do.

So, despite my discomfort at teaching in a way that is alien to me, I think the exercise served to underline just how important gesture and mime are in enabling understanding.

We played a game from Digital Dialects as part of my mini-lesson. Well worth a look if you want to learn – or even just look at – some basics in a wide range of different languages!


One thing of which I have been reminded this weekend is how effective it is to let the kids do the evangelising for you when it comes to the use of new technologies.

It started at Teachmeet when we were brainstorming ideas for encouraging the reluctant teacher / colleague to get involved in exploring and using new tools. As I have grown in confidence with my use of technology and used it in the classroom, pupils have told their class teachers about things we have done and asked if they can use it in other areas of the curriculum. And I’ve been asked to tell the staff about podcasting and recording audio at a staffmeeting next month which is real progress.

That was Friday. Then on Saturday, my eldest asked me to help him make a Photostory for his Victorians topic. He found the pictures, worked on the transitions and cropping them to size, then worked on the script before recording the narration and composing some music as background. Isaac had got the idea from watching me learning how to make Photostory last year and has used them in a previous topics too – water and Egyptians. He’s also become adept at searching for relevant Youtube video clips. And his use of technology has sparked an epidemic in his class. Once he’d shared his presentations, others in the class went home and emulated him.

On Sunday, I spent the afternoon making an animation with my other son Jude. He’d previously found plasticine left over from model making with Year 2 (we made monsters to describe in Spanish) and decided to make some models. Jude’s a fan of ‘show and tell’ at school, and had taken a couple of the models in with him. When he got home he announced that he’d put his name down for show and tell next week to show ‘the animation I’m going to make’. This was a week or so ago and he announced on Sunday that his slot was on Thursday so could we get on with it please!

Having got over probems with webcams in the house either missing driver CDs or being incompatible with my Mac, we used the iSight camera, ICan Animate and iMovie to produce the below. And Jude is very pleased with himself, having saved it onto a memory stick to take into school. And he’s particularly pleased to have posted it onto Youtube. No doubt Jude too will start a spate of ‘copying’ but that’s a good thing.

I’m really proud of my boys – and I’ll continue to hope that their hard work inspires their peers.
And their teachers too! Isaac’s teacher has been inspired to use Nintendo DS for Numeracy having watched his niece playing Brain Training so let’s see what happens next.

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IMG_2055, originally uploaded by José Picardo.

Having spent all day in London animating, I leapt onto a train to Birmingham, then home where I picked up my car and drove rapidly (but within the speed limit!) to the NCSL in Nottingham for TeachMeetMidlands09.

I’d been looking forward to this for ages and it was unfortunate that I arrived too late to hear the presentations by likes of Dan Needlestone (@nstone) and Ian Usher (@iusher).

I did catch lots of great presentations though and you too can see them by going to the Flashmeeting replay. You can also see my presentation about what’s been going on at my school, showing examples of the sorts of things I’ve been using with pupils – Voki, Voicethread, Twitter, Slideshare – all saved on our new wiki.

And I had a lovely time chatting to friends old and new, having my Macbook customised with green Post-its and glacier mints, and leading the way in making the most of the provisions ;o)

Looking forward to the next TeachMeet I can attend – I’ve heard talk of TeachMeetGran Canaria……


Friday was a busy day, starting off in London with an animation course run by Oscar Stringer at Institute of Education.

Working in two groups, we spent the day developing our animation skills, producing two short animations from initial idea to finished film complete with transitions, titles, sound and music. We used ICanAnimate to capture the animation then exported the film to iMovie to ‘finish’ it. My group used my Macbook and a Hue webcam – and it was lovely to meet the man behind Hue in the UK during the day as well (mine’s on order from Amazon – went for the blue one in the end!) whilst the other group used an iMac and a driverless webcam.

James, Carolyn and I took our inspiration from the Mr Men. Firstly, our models followed the principles of Mr Men (which are also important principles for plasticine animation – big features, bold shapes and simple designs) and secondly, we made an animation with a message – suitable for PSHE and based on friendship in the playground – a lonely girl on a bench wanting to join in with a game of ball.

The day reinforced all that I already knew about animating – the importance of keeping things simple, of planning well before you start, of working in collaboration and of how much fun it is!
We laughed so much making the animations – my group’s is posted below. This is the English version. We recorded three different ending – with the bench saying THE END in English, French and Spanish – so that we can use it in our classrooms and dub it in different languages.

If you want to find out more about animating, I can’t recommend Oscar’s courses enough. He has a real gift for making it all seem very simple (and it is) and conveys the great potential that animation has as a tool for creativity, collaboration, innovation and progression. Check out his website and his blog to find out more.

Amazing what you can do with a carpet tile, some plasticine and an idea!


I was really touched to read the latest post on Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom in which Joe Dale talks about my podcast Lisibo talks!
His opening sentence – ‘Primary language teacher and MFL blogger Lisa Stevens is an inspiration to many thanks to her indefatigable enthusiasm and willingness to experiment with new technologies’ – made me blush furiously as did many of the other kind things Joe said. However, I really do hope that those who read the post choose to watch the video clip from Teachmeet at BETT09 as I really want to encourage people to have a go and experiment with technology and new ideas. And I’ve added the video here too.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/Ae74ZJO3Pw]

PS Just posted a new episode of Lisibo talks! from the eTwinning Spanish links meeting in Manchester last Tuesday.

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