active learning – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: active learning

¡Danza del Corral!

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Another (new to me) book by Sandra Boynton

Following on from my previous post, I also purchased this book. Whilst not a new publication, it’s new to me and I thought I’d share how I might use it.

This book also features Sandra Boynton’s trademark quirky animals with all the favourites including cows, pigs and the funky chicken!

Here’s the opening of the book that sets up the ‘story.’ What do you think it’s about? I’d encourage learners to use the cover picture, the illustration on p1 and the text to try and work it out. What are the animals on the cover doing? What is the cow doing? I’d expect ‘dancing’ and ‘playing an instrument/singing’ to be included in the responses. Depending on the learners’ knowledge of music/life experiences, they might put the dancing and the fiddle together to mention barn dancing, but some might need a bit of a steer in that direction. You could show a video of some barn dancing to give them an idea!

Next I’d look at the text. Which words can you pick out and suggest a meaning? ‘Aplauden’ (clap/applaud) and ‘danza’ (dance) are the most obvious but watch out for false friends ‘corral’ and ‘pies’! If learners have met body parts they might recognise ‘pies’ and possibly ‘manitas’ from manos (several finger rhymes that my learners have met include the word manitas though) So what are the instructions? Stamp your feet and clap your hands. Again, I’d expect my learners to recognise ‘¿listos?’ as I use it often, but it would be a good opportunity to learn it otherwise. So, are we ready for the barn dance?

The book then continues with instructions to do an action with an animal. Above we have hopping with a bunny, walk with a duck and dance with the mad chickens, clucking all over the place. Below you can see that there are also animal sounds to explore – which animal makes these sounds?

The whole book is one long dance routine and it’s a great text to get learners involved!

Here are some ideas!

  • Read the text and learners do the actions.
  • Give learners an animal and they stand up or hold up a picture each time their animal is mentioned.
  • Match the animal to the action. ¿Brinca o galopa con el conejito? Brinca con el conejito. ¿Y con los pollos locos? Baila con los pollos locos
  • Match the sound to the animal. ¿Qué dice beee – una vaca o una oveja?
  • Explore more animal sounds; compare English and Spanish animals; explore other languages. I’ve got a great book called Animals Speak that would be great for this! (This post is about it, and another Sandra Boynton book!)
  • As learners move around, hold up an animal picture and they change the way they’re moving according to the story.
  • Follow the instructions and have a barn dance!
  • Rewrite the instructions replacing the animals with members of the class – baila con Charlie; brinca con Evie; da vueltas con Israel; corre con Mariah etc
  • Make up a routine with each learner adding a new move to the previous one(s) like Granny’s Shopping – how many moves can you remember and perform?
  • Work on verbs – lots are -ar so could you work out how to say I jump if given the verb paradigm of a regular -ar verb?
  • Make your own dance routine using the verbs
  • Alter the instructions so it’s not brinca CON un conejito (jump/hop WITH a bunny) but brinca COMO un conejito (jump/hop LIKE a rabbit) then write your own sentences for a game that could be played in PE or at break!

Those are just a few activities that immediately spring to mind – do you have any to add?

Update time!

At the end of May I wrote about the #30DaysWildMultilingual challenge run by Multilingualism in Schools, and I thought I should ‘report back’ as promised!


Each day of June there was a simple challenge linking languages and the natural world that could be completed by children (and adults!) of all ages. They included finding the names for flowers in other languages, counting hops, litter picking and eating outside. Some were even be linked to our topics (likes and dislikes, weather and colours)

Throughout June I posted the challenge each morning on Twitter and encouraged the school community to join in, posting my own ‘entry’ each day later on along with any that had been sent in. Some days another member of staff joined in, some days the activity was reflected in the forest school activity completed by the youngest children and some days families sent photos via Twitter or interacted with the post linguistically rather than graphically.

A couple of times I had the ‘luxury’ of unexpected time with classes which meant that we were able to work collaboratively on one of the challenges. Y5 used the website In Different Languages to complete butterfly or caterpillar multilingual art.

Y6 completed the task later in the month so chose one of the prompts and used GoogleTranslate as well as the above website to complete their artwork.

All the interactions were collated on a Padlet. You can see that we were very busy! There’s a column per three days plus a few extras. It’s great to look back on. I’ve just had another look and I’m inspired to find new ways to complete similar activities in the new academic year.

Since the challenge was officially over, there have been a few more interactions on Twitter with participants; it seems I’m not the only one who is fascinated by languages and the ways they interact!

I’m looking forward to future collaborations with Multilingualism in Schools linking languages with other areas of the curriculum and our lives. I’m definitely planning to use the Language Portraits activity as well as the 10 minute language posters, and I’m excited about the prospect of a new project linked to COP26 in November.

June 2021

I love being in nature, whether it’s running, walking or just loitering. In recent times, this has become all the more important to me, not least as a way of finding peace and calm in a world that seems to have gone bonkers. I don’t think I’m alone in this either! There seems to be an increasing awareness of the value of being outdoors, partly because it’s been the only way to meet until recently but also due to a new habits formed by being ‘locked down.’ With all this in mind, I was so excited to find a tweet today about #30DaysWildMultilingual.

Every year in June, The Wildlife Trusts run the 30 Days Wild challenge – a challenge to do an activity linked to nature, every day, for the whole month, and Multilingualism in Schools decided, in conjunction with their local Wildlife Trust in Sheffield, that they would like to create a language based challenge aimed both at those learning a language at school and those who are growing up multilingual. Each day of June there is a simple challenge linking languages and the natural world that can be completed by children (and adults!) of all ages. They include finding the names for flowers in other languages, counting hops, litter picking and eating outside. Some can even be linked to our topics (likes and dislikes, weather and colours)

I’m really excited by this and will be sharing it with learners at both my schools as an enrichment activity. I recently asked children what sorts of things they would like to do to make language learning better; challenges, and activities in different languages came up so this is serendipitous. The Multilingualism in Schools Twitter account @LostWor_l_ds will tweet an activity a day using the hashtag #30DaysWild and #30DaysWildMultilingual but you can download all 30 challenges from their website or below, and complete as many as you want, whenever you want!

Even if you aren’t able to join in with all the activities, why not choose one to complete with your learners as a one off lesson? For example, why not use the Cloud spotting task as a way to practise using a bilingual dictionary, or as a way of exploring other languages using Google Translate or online dictionaries?

Or learn a song about nature and take it outside to sing (although we’re allowed to sing inside now, it’s far better outside, especially if this lovely weather continues!)

For me, although I teach Spanish at both my schools, language learning is about languages plural, and it’s vital that ALL languages are seen as important, especially those spoken and/or understood by our school and local communities. I really hope that children will use these challenges to share their own languages and also explore others as well as – or even instead of – expanding their Spanish vocabulary. I’m also looking forward to children getting outside and exploring, appreciating the school grounds as well as their local environment.

If you do join in, make sure to tweet @LostWor_l_ds and use the hashtags #30DaysWild and #30DaysWildMultilingual or, if you don’t use Twitter, email lostworlds@sheffield.ac.uk or leave comments on their website.

There’s more to explore on the LostWor(l)ds website – expect another post in the near future!

If you’re interested in the wildlife aspect particularly, it’s also worth checking out your local Wildlife Trust website for details of events near you. I’ve found that my local one – Birmingham and the Black Country – are planning special events (not language related) for the Big Wild Weekend including a camp out, a quiz and talks from experts.

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!

Señor Brócoli

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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.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

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

 

 

 

 

Last night was #DevonMFL Teachmeet. Despite being given warning, life took over and my contribution didn’t arrive in time for the night. However, rather than waste it, I decided to share it here!

So, here is my hastily – but not hastily enough – prepared short presentation on using games to learn Spanish in and out of the Primary classroom.

Teachmeet Devon 3.10.13 from lisibo on Vimeo.

I refer to various things in my presentation that may need further explanation – I’ve linked to some below but feel free to ask questions in the Comments if you need clarification.

Toenail game

La vaca Lola

More games etc can be found in this post/presentation called Games to learn and I also spoke at #ililc3 on using games and activities in the language classroom in a presentation entitled Let out for good behaviour!

What I didn’t say (I was trying to keep under 7 minutes!) was that Take Ten en español is brilliant for embedding language into the curriculum, and for supporting the non-specialist teacher! Check it out here! 

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 15.02.29My second presentation at ILILC3 was called Let out for good behaviour.

The blurb said

Let out for good behaviour? refers to leaving the classroom being (often) seen as a treat. There are many ways to ‘break free’ of the walls of your classroom, both physical and virtual, and this session will involve both. Participation is required as we explore activities and games, that will enhance teaching and learning whilst bringing a breath of free air to a stuffy classroom. Technology will be involved but you don’t need anything but your imagination and sense of adventure to enjoy the activities.

Although my presentation was somewhat spoilt by the weather meaning we couldn’t get outside and make a mess with chalk, there was much giggling as we played Punto de contacto, went on a QR quest to solve animal riddles, went Placespotting and tried to win chocolate by solving dominoes. And much more of course! It’s great to know that some of the ideas I shared have already been used in classrooms!

Below are my slides from the session.

[slideshare id=16644981&style=border: 1px solid #CCC; border-width: 1px 1px 0; margin-bottom: 5px;&sc=no]

 I prepared a wikispace instead of a handout which gives links to activities as well as further ideas, and the presentation makes much more sense if you read it in conjunction with bit.ly/lisibobehave  (like the bit.ly link?)
I was really pleased at the end of the session that my Swiss QR quiz has gone to a good home in Switzerland class! If you want to have a go at it, you can download the codes, questions and answers from here!
If there’s anything that needs explaining/clarifying, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

I’ve just received an email about an exciting new venture from Lingua@Hillcrest.  Based at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form centre in Birmingham, Lingua@Hillcrest is already known for its virtual visits to France, Spain and Germany including passport control, currency exchange, shopping and refreshment experience as well as language games.

Now they are offering …

Murder Mystery? 

 in French, German and Spanish

Why not challenge your students to solve the crime at

lingua@hillcrest

Birmingham

 

Using their language skills students take on a role in a team of detectives in order to solve the crime.

Investigations include

  • examining the scene of crime
  • forensics   
  • scrutinising news bulletins, recorded interviews & CCTV
  • analysing suspects’ bank and telephone records
  • cross-examining suspects

 

Recommended for year 9 – 11

Available every Monday

Bookings before 31 December 2012 – £150 per session or £250 for the full day.

After 1st January 2013 – £180 per session or £330 for the full day.

For further details www.hillcrest.bham.sch.uk/lingua

Contact 0121 464 3172  or email lingua@hillcrest.bham.sch.uk

 

Sounds fun to me and a great way to learn and practice language that can become very ‘borong’ after a while – personal identification, descriptions and so on!

Details of other activities at Lingua@Hillcrest are below.

 

 

Do you want to get your pupils ahead of the game in MFL?

fun, hands-on activities for KS3 in

French, German and Spanish

lingua@hillcrest,  Birmingham

Half day visits include:

  • Passport control
  • Exchanging currency at the bank
  • A carousel of interactive language activities
  • Simulated shopping in our international shopping village
  • Collecting stamps for every transaction completed
  • Buying refreshments and souvenirs at the shops

 

 Available every Monday

Bookings before 31 December 2012 – £150 per session or £250 for the full day.

After 1st January 2013 – £180 per session or £330 for the full day.

Discover how your pupils could benefit from a visit at

www.hillcrest.bham.sch.uk/lingua

To book a visit call us on 0121 464 3172 and ask for lingua bookings

or email us at lingua@hillcrest.bham.sch.uk 

“We had a great time on Tuesday – thank you all very much! We hope to be back next year!” Victoria School
 “Very well thought-out structure with good timings. Great content… Year 8 students loved it and have even greater enthusiasm for MFL.” Heartlands Academy

Lisibo’s been shopping again.  This time, though, it’s not IKEA that has inspired her but TK Maxx that has come up trumps.

In the sale (!) I found this Very Hungry Caterpillar felt set.

Ideal for –

  • telling the story to the class
  • getting pupils to follow the story actively by adding / moving/ substituting the felt pieces
  • animating – and because it’s a felt board, you can do it horizontally or vertically
  • small group work
  • independent play

Sad that Year 3 have finished with that story for the year and we’ll have to wait until next September to ry it out with them.  perhaps it’s time I invaded Foundation stage again…

The Hungry Caterpillar is a great story to use with kids as it’s familiar and repetitive.  The vocabulary is simple and everyday – numbers, colours, food – and it looks at healthy eating as well as the life cycle of the caterpillar / butterfly, so very cross curricular!

There are great resources all over the place for this story including

And that’s just gleaned from a quick Google search!

On Tuesday I was in sunny (yes, it was sunny!) Manchester, delivering my AQA course.

Apart from the problems with the internet, I believe a good day was had by all – lunch was once more a highlight!

Rather than repeat all the links, can I refer you to my last post where you will find all the ‘new’ links about PLL, and also some recommendations from other delegates of sites and learning materials that they’ve found useful.

I forgot last week to put a link to a resource listing many many games and quick activities for the PLL classroom, so here it is.

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