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Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

¿Qué hora es? Paper plate clocks

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017


Teaching the time is a trying task in any language; I’ve been comparing notes with my Y3 colleagues who have been battling through the time with their classes in Maths lessons as I’ve been working on it with Y5 in Spanish. And back in the day when I taught KS3 and 4 it was also a challenge as I invariably had to ‘remind’ them of how to tell the time full stop! It seems that, for some, the time is viewed much as the gif above – wobbly wobbly and hard to pin down.

So this year I put on my thinking cap and considered what might make it easier. Active things like TimeBallet help with hour and half past, possibly quarter past/to, but tends to get too complicated/fall apart for many with minutes. Singing songs like Uno dos tres ¿Qué hora es? works for the question form and hour/half past. Using mini clocks works for some but I wanted something a bit more supportive. So I decided we’d all make a prop to help them.

Cue the purchase of lots of paper plates and split pins, and the sharing of my gel pens, felt tips and fine liners. The idea – not very original perhaps but quite effective – was to make a personalised plate clock with key phrases on it to support learners as we rehearsed the time.

I demonstrated how to make it but also wrote a set of instructions (in 4 screenshots below and downloadable in one document from here) for the learners to follow after the demonstration, along with providing a larger image plate clock diagram between two so that the writing was clearer.

By putting the hours hand on top of the minute hand, I hoped to emphasise that the hour always comes first, and we wrote the verb Es la/Son las on it to remind learners how the sentence started. And by writing the hours and minutes in separate colours that corresponded to the colour of the hand was another attempt to make it clearer which phrase to use.

 

Everyone enjoyed making the clocks although some were a little wonky and needed a bit of ‘Sra Stevens magic’ before functioning correctly, and we’ve used them in two lessons now. On the whole, once we got over fiddling with the hands constantly and concentrated, it seemed to help some learners, and it was good to see them being used, much as they use the Maths equipment in numeracy lessons, to help children work out the answers to write in their books as well as in speaking work. Turn the hands to show the time then read the Spanish if the question is in English, or turn the hands so that they match the phrase in Spanish to work out where to draw the hands on a blank clock. Plus the children are all desperate to take them home which I’ve promised they can do once we’ve finished the unit.

There are some other good ideas on how to teach time here from Erzsi and Clare.

I’ve used the clock mini book idea in previous years with success as a self differentiating assessment activity:  pupils have to choose six times to demonstrate their understanding and confidence at telling the time so they need to choose carefully those that they know. Might yet do it this year…

If you have any ideas to add, feel free to leave a comment!

 

#pracped16 – Sketchnotes

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

practical_pedagogies__choose_your_sessions_I’ve just got back from the Practical Pedagogies conference at the International School of Toulouse. Organised by Russel Tarr, the two day conference brought together educators from around the globe. Here’s the rationale behind the conference which explains why I travelled to Toulouse at my own expense to speak (I wasn’t paid to it):

“Educational conferences can be prohibitively expensive for ordinary teachers, and often focus on abstract theory delivered by professional academics with very little hands-on classroom experience. Such events often appear more concerned with making money than with genuinely improving the quality of education being delivered within schools.

In contrast, “Practical Pedagogies” comes out of the belief that the best teacher-training conferences are delivered by practising teachers, for the benefit of each other and their students, as not-for-profit events.”

I attended some excellent workshops and chatted to so many people that further inspired me.

Below are my sketch notes of the conference that document the sessions I attended. I hope that they give you a flavour of the conference. You can find out more by checking out the Twitter hashtag #pracped16 (which was trending at various points in various countries over the two days!) or by looking at the conference website. I’m sure that many will share their presentations and that there’ll be lost of blogging so I’ll update the post over the next week or so to share them.

Opening Keynote by Ewan McIntosh of NoTosh.

Opening Keynote by Ewan McIntosh. @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Curriculum, controversy and current affairs: manoeuvring in a multicultural world by Mariusz Galczynski

Curriculum, controversy and current affairs: manoeuvring in a multicultural world by Mariusz Galczynski @MariuszEDU

 

Philosophy for Children across the primary Curriculum by Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81

Philosophy for Children across the primary Curriculum by Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81

 

I'm a teacher: Get me out of here! by Mike Watson @WatsEd

I’m a teacher: Get me out of here! by Mike Watson @WatsEd

 

Coding with cards by Yasemin Allsop @yallsop

Coding with cards by Yasemin Allsop @yallsop

 

The Art of Voice:bringing characters to life by Ben Culverhouse @ben_culverhouse

The Art of Voice:bringing characters to life by Ben Culverhouse @ben_culverhouse

 

You shipping it? Closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

You shipping it? Closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

More IKEA inspiration!

Sunday, 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 😉

IMG_8198 FullSizeRender-1
IMG_8197 FullSizeRender

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.

IMG_8196

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 😉

#PracPed15 – Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning

Wednesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Saturday, 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!

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.40.04

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

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.08.09

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!

 

ModernLanguages, ModernTeaching – Making Links

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

chainMy second session was all about cross curricular language learning; how languages support other areas of the curriculum like literacy and maths as well as how languages can be taught in conjunction with and through other subjects and vice versa.

Making Links – Cross curricular language learning from Lisa Stevens

I mentioned my Pinterest pages; here’s the link to my Roman resources for Spanish. And if you click through the presentation, you’ll find links to things like the music for The Carnival of the Animals, a slideshare of Querido Zoo, links to BuildyourWildself and Switchzoo for making hybrid animals and that cheesy song in Spanish about the planets.

Some resources I showed included:

Habitats matching activity sheets

LAT SP FR ROM NUMBERS 1-31

I also recommended looking at The Iris Project for  Latin/Greek resources, and LightbulbLanguages has some lovely Latin stuff as well as planets linked to maths and science, and much more. And check out TES Resources from Joan Miró resources from Helen Stanistreet and Rachel Hawkes.

I’d also draw your attention to the list of helpful sites and documents in the last few slides for further ideas!

Mi calendario 2015

Friday, December 19th, 2014

calendarioHaving a number of pupils who don’t celebrate Christmas, and to alleviate ‘Christmas saturation’ I tried to come up with a different activity for the last week of term for my pupils.

Most of WPS have spent the last half term looking at days months and numbers so a calendar sprang to mind. And I recalled making a 3D one years ago…

I couldn’t find the template so I searched online for a dodecahedron net, and then for 2015 calendar tabs in Spanish, and then made my own.

‘Ingredients’

  • dodecahedron net copied onto card – dodecahedron
  • copy of Spanish calendar tabs for 2015 – (you’ll need to reduce it to half size I discovered unless you print it straight from the site in which case it’s the correct size!)calendariolaboral2015
  • scissors
  • glue
  • felt tip pens
  • LOTS of patience!

‘Method’

I gave each child a net on thin card and asked them to decorate each pentagon to form a background. Some chose a pattern, some tried to draw a suitable picture for the month, others just coloured.

Then they cut out the net – I’d made all the bits to cut really obvious by using dashed lines but still children cut off the tabs!

They cut each month out and stuck one month per pentagon onto the net.

Then the fun began! You need to fold all the pentagons inwards, and all the tabs too.

Sticking it all together starts off easy as you make a basket shape with the base but gets more and more fiddly as you have less space to grip and hold flaps so that they bond. My advice is to make sure the you do a tab or two at a time and hold them until they are firmly stuck. The last few joins will be more flimsy as you can’t apply pressure but if you try to leave a pentagon with several flaps, you should be able to just tuck them in and hope for the best!

Here’s my finished example:

IMG_3287

 

I’ve since discovered this preprinted dodecahedron calendar calendario-deca-2015 on the same site – it wasn’t there last week! However, I prefer my version as this has capital letters for the months and days and having battled with children all term to stop ‘correcting’ the date that is written on the board when they copy it into their books, I’m not going down that road!

And there is also a Calendario rombico calendario-rombico-2015 which looks interesting! You need to follow the instructions here to make it!

Whilst the bottom strip on the calendar tabs is not needed, it fits beautifully with the unit we’re studying as we’re in the middle of discussing festivals and dates, and the calendarios will be  great for practising saying the date in Spanish after Christmas break. However, having spent my lunch hour ‘rescuing’  a large pile of them, I don’t want to see another one for a while!

 

 

 

Teachmeet Brum #tmbrum

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Last night I braved the cross city traffic and went to King Edwards Five Ways (nowhere near the Five Ways I know!) for TeachmeetBrum. Organised by @frogphilp aka Steve Philp of Paganel Primary, it was an intimate affair (but that’s not a bad thing!) but that’s a good thing as we all talked to one another!

I admit to spending longer on cupcake production than on my presentations, but I often do my best work when hoofing it and speaking from my heart.

I talked about using apps like PicCombo, 4Pictures 1Word and Icomania (iOS and Android) to inspire learners at the start of lessons as well as increasing vocabulary. I used them when teaching English last year; M+M loved the puzzle of working out how the picture were linked and then discussing what a duster and a red and white flag had to do with one another (answer – polish/Polish) There is a French, German and Spanish version of 4pictures 1word available in the Swiss (Fr/Ger) and Spanish (Sp) iTunes stores – you can download them if you have an account with that store. Alternatively, you can do as Dannielle Morgan did and create your own! She has made some for Year 7 French ,  Year 8 French and Year 9 French that she kindly shared on TES Resources
I didn’t make a new presentation but recycled part of an old one – see below!

Games to learn – TeachMeet International from Lisa Stevens

 

My second presentation was also recycled from MFL Show and Tell in Coventry – and I make no apologies for it as I think it was a really successful unit of work that both the kids and I enjoyed. Inspired by Go away Big Green Monster in Spanish, and the learning journey topic of Mythical Monsters, Year 3 and I embarked on a mission to write books in Spanish. See how we did it below, using non-technological means as well as iPads!

Year 3 Spanish story making from Lisa Stevens

The PPT of Señor Cabeza Naranja is all over the place for downloading (some with my name removed which bugs me no end!) – just Google it. However, the updated version is below!

Señor Cabeza Naranja (2013) from Lisa Stevens

Hopefully I managed to inspire someone, and failing that, hope someone enjoyed my cupcakes 😉

Night Zookeeper – Teleporting Torch app

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 18.14.58Just before Christmas I wrote about Night Zookeeper’s Drawing Torch app , a brilliant app that encourages users to use their imagination and creativity to undertake missions, drawing with their magic torch.

I was therefore very excited this week to hear that Night Zookeeper has launched a new app – Teleporting Torch.

photo 1

The premise is similar – here’s the blurb!

Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch inspires you to draw pictures and write stories about magical animals!
Do you think you could become a Night Zookeeper? Enter a world of Spying Giraffes, Time Travelling Elephants and scary Fear Monsters.
On your journey you will take on creative drawing missions to protect the zoo from monsters and care for thousands of magical animals. Can you turn one of your friends or family into a strange animal? Could you paint the ocean, if a monster has stolen the colour blue? It’s time find out!

Some of the features are similar to the Drawing Torch e.g. you still ROAR! to unlock the Night Zookeeper story, and the drawing panel is still as cool! Where it differs from the Drawing Torch is that missions are delivered on a daily basis “like a never ending activity book” rather en bloc and you can now create your own missions.

Here’s a video explaining it.

The ability to create your own missions is particularly exciting from my point of view. In the original post, I documented my conversation with @nightzookeeper about the possibility of having the missions in other languages. 

Now you can write your own missions on www.nightzookeeper.com, there’s nothing to stop you writing them in other languages. Accents work (always a worry!) and it’s really easy. You can use existing templates or write your own.

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 17.47.20

I’ve written two in Spanish so far. I used the existing ideas and templates, simplifying the language a little and translating them. And i’ve only scrolled down a little bit – there are many more ideas that I have yet to read, and I’m sure I’ll be inventing my own ideas soon! So, there’s a food based mission, and a clothing based mission. Once learners have completed the mission, we could share them as a class with learners presenting their creations and then discussing them as a class.

photo 2

photo 3 photo 4

Another thing I love is that you can add as many zookeepers as you wish to each iPad meaning that I can do the challenges and so can my children; that’s great in the context of a class where learners are sharing iPads and can simply change the zookeeper to their identity and complete the challenge before passing on to another learner who can complete the same challenge or another!  You can also decide who will receive each challenge. So it’s easy to send different challenges to individuals, tailored to their interest, age or ability.

All pictures are saved in the Night gallery as well as on the iPad – here’s my gallery!

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The app costs £1.99 but I think that this is worth it as it is now so much more versatile and customisable. And it can be used across the curriculum, not just in literacy! Once I’ve played some more, I’ll no doubt be back with more ideas!