Entries RSS Comments RSS

Archive for the ‘Jo Rhys-Jones’ Category

Breakout! #ililc3

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Just like @msmfl, I’m so excited and just can’t hide it, so I’m going to

BREAKOUT! 

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ll be in the UK in February to attend ILILC3 or to give its full name, the ICT Link into Language conference taking place at the University of Southampton on 9th and 10th February.

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 14.59.19

The theme of the conference is Jailbreaking the MFL classroom and there are sessions on


Mobile technologies  

Social Media
Making the most of Web 2.0 Technologies  
The Global classroom  
Developing Speaking
Closing the gap  (SEN, SOLO, supporting learning etc)

There are many many excellent practitioners participating – I’m particularly looking forward to sessions from Clare Seccombe, John Connor, Jo Rhys-Jones, Dom McGladdery, Jen Turner and Amanda Salt (to name but a few!)  and keynotes by Joe and Isabelle,  and I’m really pleased that I’ve been asked to present.

 

#ILILC2013_I-am-speaking-at-with-QR-code

 

I’ll be delivering two sessions –

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 14.57.39 In I want to break free  we’ll be looking at ways to break away from ‘chalk and talk’ and involve learners, encouraging them to interact with and demonstrate their understanding as they learn using (mobile) technology. We’ll investigate some ways of doing this using tools such as Nearpod, Socrative and Memrise and whilst I’ll be using my iPad and Mac to present, that doesn’t mean you need a fruity device to join in as some tools are web based and others are both Android and iOS. And on top of that, we’re a friendly bunch so I’m sure people will share!
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. Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 15.02.29

On top of the conference, there’s the Show and Tell on Saturday night at which ANYONE is encouraged to share a snippet sized piece of good practice, song or activity. Everyone has a good idea and has something to say so it’s great to hear from new people each year. You can sign up for it here.

Why should you attend?

  • it’s excellent value CPD
  • the speakers are excellent
  • you’ll learn so much
  • it’s the friendliest funn-est conference you are ever likely to attend
  • you’ll learn as much from conversations as from the sessions
  • your batteries need recharging
  • if you don’t, you’ll miss @bellaale ‘s sequel to Academy Copout!
  • I want to meet you!

And, back to the song at the start. Whilst I’m sure not everyone is at the end of their tether (at least I hope not!),  it’s good sometimes to ‘breakout’ from things that are just not working for you, or your learners, look at things from another perspective and find a new ‘way’. Come to ILILC3 and you might just find the inspiration, support and encouragement that you need!Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 15.13.02

 

 

 

 


 

Literacy and PLL in tandem – resources for free!

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

It seems that some people are just incapable of getting *completely* into holiday mode and just can’t stop themselves from working!

Jo Rhys Jones is one of these mad people and over the last week or so she’s been populating her wonderful Talkabout Primary MFL NING with resources that she’s developed for a project to celebrate National Children’s Book Week.

So far she’s shared resources for the books

Bon appetit Monsieur Lapin

Je m’habille et je te croque…!

Je ne veux pas aller au lit

La gallina hambrienta

Lots of stuff there that can be used straight away or translated into Spanish, French, German or whatever other language you fancy.  You can also take the ideas and use in English literacy.

I like Jo’s idea that this type of thing can be used as a transition project with KS3 working on materials to present to KS2 and KS1.

Feel free to add to Jo’s ideas – I know she’d be really pleased if you did – and share them back again.

And if you’re involved in ANY way in language learning with primary aged kids and aren’t a member of Talkabout Primary MFL, make sure you join.  You’re missing out on so much!!

Mi calendario

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


I had a most bizarre conversation at the Primary Language Show a fortnight ago. There I was with Jo Rhys-Jones eyeing up the new puppets on the Little Linguist stand when one of the staff exclaimed – ‘Oh, Lisa! Did you win the calendar in Birmingham?’ I replied that I did indeed – as part of the Birmingham Primary Language Conference in November! I’d almost forgotten as I had never received said calendar.

Catherine (I believe it was!) responded that she was very sorry I hadn’t received it yet – they (Little Linguist) knew that there were two winners but had no idea who had won. Apparently, they found out from my blogpost about the conference – how cool!

So, as I have now received said calendar,(see above) I wanted to say thank you to Catherine and all at Little Linguist for their detective skills, for recognising me in Liverpool and for reading my blog.

And 3CT thank you too as they have now got a calendar just like 3DS to help them with their current unit of wrk which is all about….dates!

¡Vámonos! is 1

Thursday, October 30th, 2008


Having congratulated José ‘Así se hace‘ Picardo on the 1st birthday of Box of Tricks yesterday, it dawned on me that it must be ¡Vámonos!’s birthday soon – and then I realised I’d missed it in all the fun and excitement of the IoW conference!

So belatedly, Happy Birthday to my lovely pink blingy blog ;o)

As I explained in my first post on 23rd October last year, I procrastinated and vacilated for a long time before finally taking the plunge and starting a blog. Having said that, I have loved blogging – it suits the chatty, enthusiastic, got to share the news part of me, and also satisfies the part of me that is frustrated by day to day stuff. And it means that I can write which appeals to the part of me that hasn’t seen much action since my Uni of Sheffield days.

Of course, I don’t just blog for my own satisfaction – I hope people find my blog interesting and useful – but I really think I’d carry on even if I didn’t get read. At times this year, I have hidden from reality by blogging and it has kept me going through the hardest and saddest time of my life.

And it has also restored my feeling that I do have something to say that’s worth hearing – sometimes it’s hard when everyone at school tells you that you’re so good but you know that they actually don’t really know if you are or not as they have no idea of how Primary languages or new technologies work. So it’s important to me that my peers – like Jo and Joe and José (and others whose names don’t start with Jo!)- tell me what’s what.

Added to which, without this blog I probably wouldn’t have met and made friends with so many people across the country and world who have enriched my life so much with their advice, thoughts and funny comments.

So to all those who have read ¡Vámonos! over the last year, keep reading and …. xxx

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTS4PdjbOVs&hl=en&fs=1]

IoW Conference 2008 here I come!

Monday, October 20th, 2008


Only a few days left now until the Isle of Wight Conference this weekend.

I’ll be heading down on Friday for two days (Saturday and Sunday) of PD and social networking at its best – there are so many sessions on offer that we’re spoilt for choice – and I’ve got to fit in delivering one of them with the lovely Jo Rhys-Jones with whom I am also hosting a ‘Round Table’ – I hope this refers to a discussion not a piece of furniture ;o) I’m really looking forward to hearing some inspiring presenters like Mark Pentleton, Drew Buddie, Chris Fuller, Adam Sutcliffe – I could go on and on – and meet up with friends, old new and virtual!

To see what’s on offer – and it is a very impressive lineup – check out Integrating ICT in the MFL classroom, the blog of the mastermind behind the conference, Mr Joe Dale.

I acknowledge that it is a long way, but it is well worth the trip, and is a bargain at £100. And it’s not too late to book! Download the booking form from here – you know it makes sense :o)

Talkabout Primary MFL wikispace.

Saturday, July 5th, 2008


This weekend really is turning into ‘catch-up’ time as I blog things that I really should have mentioned over the last few weeks when they were ‘hot off the press’ but didn’t due to time etc etc!

Talkabout Primary MFL, as I’ve told you before, is a Ning network started by Jo Rhys-Jones as ‘an interactive network for those teaching (or considering teaching) foreign languages in Primary school; a place to share your worries/successes with supportive colleagues.’
When I joined in June last year, there were 10 members – now there are 203 and counting! I’m so pleased that word is out that it’s the place to be for ideas, support and discussion. I certainly make sure that I tell everyone about it when I speak – in fact, joining Talkabout is one of my Top Tips!

Well, now Talkabout has gained a Wikispace! A wikispace is like a word processing document to which lots of people can contribute and share. There are so many people contributing great ideas, writing blog posts, sharing resources and experience, offering advice and support, that things could easily be missed. As Jo explains in her post that announces the arrival of the wikispace,

I’m hoping it will help organise the blog posts as this network grows bigger, and although documents can be uploaded directly, just adding a hyperlink saves space. I am also hoping that any members, particularly those who are members of groups, might like to add/edit their own group pages, simply by ‘joining’ the space. You do NOT have to join the wiki to view it – so to see what I’m trying to describe, click the link below. I’ve only just started adding things – so the more people who volunteer to ‘join’ and add things themselves, the jollier! This space is for YOU to use.

So why not pop along and check it out! And contribute! The more the merrier!

Note to self – that includes you!

IoW Conference 2008

Friday, July 4th, 2008


Having been told not to say anything for a bit, when I was given the all clear to blog about the IoW Conference, I’ve been a bit slow off the mark! But…más vale tarde que nunca as dear Nando would say!

October 25th and 26th 2008 will see many teachers from across the UK (and beyond?) gathering at Nodehill Middle School in Newport, Isle of Wight for Joe Dale’s annual IOW Conference. As usual, the focus is on creative language teaching using ICT, and it promises to be a great weekend. This year, there’s so much going on that it has been extended to two days with a Show and Tell event on the Saturday night so that everyone can share, not just those who are presenting.

And speaking of presenters – look at the line up!

  • Sharon Tonner – ICT specialist, ex- High School of Dundee, now working for a Scottish Uni!
  • Jo Rhys-Jones – AST in MFL, Kingswear Primary School
  • Lisa Stevens – Spanish Teacher and eTwinning ambassador, Whitehouse Common Primary School,
  • Carole Nicoll – Language Factory
  • Drew Buddie – ICT coordinator, Royal Masonic School for Girls and eTwinning ambassador
  • Nick Mair – HoD in MFL, Dulwich College
  • John Warwick – Deputy Head, St Luke’s School and eTwinning ambassador
  • Kathleen Holton – HoD in MFL, Argoed High School
  • Mark Pentleton – Radio Lingua Network
  • Lesley Welsh – AST in MFL, English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College and SSAT languages lead practitioner coordinator
  • Chris Fuller – Spanish teacher, Edgehill College and SSAT languages lead practitioner
  • Sharon Balch – French teacher, Swanmore Middle School
  • Doug Dickinson – Independent ICT consultant
  • Kathy Wicksteed – Languages advisor for new KS3 curriculum
  • Adam Sutcliffe – MFL teacher, The Gordon Schools and Glow Champion
  • Lesley Haggar-Vaughan, Shireland CLC manager
  • Julie Adoch, HoD in MFL, Heathfield Foundation Technology College and her students

They will be tackling topics including-

  • Mobile Phones
  • Wikis
  • Primary Languages
  • Ning networking
  • Songs
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Games based learning
  • Gender differences
  • Videoconferencing
  • eTwinning
  • Digital Voice Recorders
  • One Stop Animation
  • PowerPoint
  • Interactive Whiteboards and Voting Systems
  • Blogging and Podcasting
  • Assessment for Learning
  • New KS3 curriculum
  • Web 2.0 tools
  • vodcasting
  • eCreativity

Having had the privilege of speaking last year on Primary Languages and eTwinning, I’ve been asked again – must have done something right ;o) – and this year I’ll be co-presenting with Jo Rhys-Jones. It promises to be a highly entertaining session as we always end up in fits of giggles when we meet up, and I’m sure plenty of that fun will be manifest in the session.

So, watch out for the delegates pack that Joe will soon be launching, and take the opportunity as term nears a close (in England – I know Scotland has already broken up) to put in your PD request whilst there’s still money in the budget, and while everyone else is just hanging out for the holidays!!

Check out Joe’s blog for more information and for reports on last year too here and here. See also here, here, here and here. And not forgetting here! And for my response, read Trains Ferries Buses and Ford Anglias. (note to self – go via Southampton not Lymington this year!)

QCA Spanish Unit 14 – Yo soy músico

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

yo soy músico

Here comes part three of my reflections on the units I’m currently using in KS2 Spanish. If you’ve read the other parts on Units 5 and 11, you’ll recall that I’ve taught the units to half of the school and am now teaching the parallel classes until the summer break. So the current groups are probably getting a better deal as I refine and adapt from the first run, but may not finish the unit in its entirety as the end of term leads to much lesson disruption!

As with Units 5 and 11, Unit 14 has an opening stimulus from which the unit stems. In this case, a song. Based on the well known children’s song, I am the Music Man, Yo soy músico has proved popular with Year 5. The QCA Unit which can be downloaded from here in PDF and RTF, gives the lyrics – you just have to sing it! Helen Myers has recorded a music only version – clever lady!- which can be found here, and if you want to hear how it sounds with a class in full voice, check out the WCPS Spanish podcast in the right hand column – although I’m sure you’ve all subscribed to it in iTunes ;o)

At the top of the post is the Powerpoint I made to go with the song. Note that it has two parts. The first half is in the first person singular – Yo soy músico, which is the version used in the first instance when the teacher (or volunteer class member!) is the Music Man. The second part is in the first person plural – Somos músicos – as the class join in with the whole song and we all become Music Men. I used animations having listened to Nick Mair talking in Oxford about boys learning best when there is action and movement in the graphics. There is an initial disadvantage as the class comment on the guitar playing pig etc mid-song, but after the first view, this stops and it really helps memorisation.

Scheme of work for Year5 spanish summer yo soy musico

Looking at the medium term plan above, you can see that the objectives for the first lesson are to express simple opinions about music. This proved popular as we listened to some different types of music and decided if we liked them or not. In a previous unit on free time we had learned the phrase la música pop / rock / clásica and most recalled the phrase – and the accompanying action –

  • la música – hands on ears like you’re listening to music then ..
  • …pop – makes your hands pop from fists to spread fingers whilst making your eyes wide
  • …rock – rock from side to side
  • …clásica – conduct an orchestra
  • …heavy – mosh!! (a clear favourite I must say!)

We added jazz (jazz hands) and folclórica (play a guitar) which took some explaining as few knew what it was! Several pupils commented on the use of cognates – and when one asked what tecno music would be, another piped up that ‘it’d be la música tecno, silly’

I expressed an opinion in Spanish about the music using facial expression then encouraged the class to offer their own opinion in Spanish. Again, the phrase was not unfamiliar but, for some, had to be dragged from memory banks!

We then sang the song which soon involved the whole class. The first couple of times, everyone sang all the instruments to learn and fix the words – and of course we did actions for those who are kinaesthetic learners (and to keep everyone awake!). Having looked at pronunciation of the words we had a quick look at accents – why do música / saxofón / batería have accents – I explained it using people’s names – when we see a name in English we know (usually!) how to say it as there are stress patterns – it’s AlexANder not AlEXander and accents help show us how to say words. Pupils completed a simple sheet to finish the lesson – labelling and also trying to use their LLS to work out what six instruments were in English. Some of the words were obvious and others needed a bit of thought – but a few did work out los platillos are cymbals by thinking of plates!

instruments lesson 1 – Get more College Essays

Next lesson began with a recap of vocabulary and game of Simóm dice. Then we sang the song, firstly using Soy músico but with each table alloted the flashcard of a musical instrument to represent. This led to hilarity as the ‘piano’ table worked out that they had to stand up and sit down every verse – as you can guess I chose this table carefully!! We looked at the words of the opening to the song and used Sé tocar… and then Toco ….. to say which instruments we could and couldn’t play – an ‘on the ball’ pupil suggested ‘toco regular el piano’ and ‘no toco la guitarra muy bien’ as answers – not bad eh? It’s really encouraging when pupils ‘play around’ with language because they’re trying to express themselves more accurately.
We then looked at the second half – Somos músicos, venimos de Madrid etc’ and discussed how this might differ in meaning from the first half.

We went on to recap our opinions about music genres and this time tried to add some simple reasons for the opinion – because it’s slow, because it’s boring, because it has rhythm etc. Pupils made up sentences in groups adding all the bits from the two lessons to see how long a sentence they could make using connectives such as ‘y’ and ‘porque’.

types of music flashcards

At the start of the next lesson we recapped our opinions and started to present them in written form on graffiti wall posters – the word ‘graffiti’ made eyes sparkle although it was somewhat controlled graffiti! Whilst the class worked on this, I worked in the corner with my laptop and and microphone to record members of the class expressing their opinions about music – this was the start of WCPS Spanish podcast. The look of wonder on pupils’ faces when they heard their voice comin gout of my laptop and then the IWB was great – one lad, Zach, commented ‘But I sound really Spanish!’. (Pictures of posters to follow!)

Next we listened to some Spanish music and Latin American music, comparing and contrasting the instruments heard. I borrowed a CD from the library that had a vast array of South American music types on it, and I took in some of my own music – Tomatito, Heroes del Silencio, Joan Manuel Serrat, Los Nikis, Gloria Estefan, Alejandro Sanz, Operación Triunfo. We listened and decided which instruments we heard, and gave opinions on the singers / groups.
Then I role played buying a CD – using a ActivPrimary flipchart (in Box of Goodies as can’t upload to .DocStoc). In pairs with one as customer and one as assistant, the customer had to

  • say they wanted to buy a CD
  • express their opinion about a type of music and say which type they prefer
  • agree to buy an item., and we recorded some examples (see podcast!)

The roles were swapped so that everyone got to play each character. We recorded some examples for the WCPS Spanish podcast as well. This time I’m going to add discussing buying an MP3 file to this bit ;o)

Having looked at accents and stress patterns as well as considering types of music, looking at the rhythm, especially the rhythm of words made perfect sense and we spent a good while clapping out phrases and trying to copy rhythms in the next session. At times it was rather haphazard, freestyle clapping but there were signs of promise from some who managed to copy accurately and understood the use of dynamics to mark stress. ‘Guess the phrase from the rhythm’ was a popular game – it’s amazing how much concentration it takes to clap a simple phrase!

The last few sessions were given over to Year 5 producing their own rap/song in Spanish. I allowed them free rein over this with the proviso that it had to be in Spanish (obvious to me but you’d be surprised!) As a whole class we discussed how the task might be tackled and we came up with a start for those who couldn’t think of a way in, then it was up to the groups to do their bit!
There were several things to note from these lessons for next time.

  1. Some groups needed more support than they were given – perhaps more time working together as a whole class before setting groups off on their own.
  2. Groupings are key, and all the ‘musical’ kids ended up in two groups – they would’ve been better perhaps split up to help those whose rhythm was a bit off!
  3. When recording pupils’ final productions, don’t put your iRiver anywhere near the drums! Sadly, a couple of good outcomes are drowned out by the percussion.

I’ll upload those that will not damage eardrums to the podcast and/or Box of Goodies as soon as this post is finished ;o)
There were a couple of groups that tried to sing their performances to tunes from The Sound of Music – good idea, I thought. Some stuck to opinions on music, others tried to work in vocabulary from other units such as Personal introduction vocabulary and sporting likes and dislikes.

The other Year 5 class are very different to the first group and I expect this half term to pan out differently to the previous one. I think this time we’ll look at the pre-performance interview suggested in the QCA Unit and perhaps try to adapt a song rather than write rap. I’ll keep you informed!

NOTE – if you’d like ideas on this Unit in french, check out Talkabout Primary MFL where Jo Rhys Jones has spookily just blogged about the same unit!

Animation for Education goes NING!

Sunday, June 15th, 2008


After a conversation with a few of us in Nottingham at the UK National eTwinning Conference yesterday, and a crash course in NING building from NING queen Jo Rhys Jones, Oscar Stringer has created a NING network called Animation for Education for those wanting to discover more about animation in education.

As Oscar explains in the site’s blurb, he aims for it to be –
A place to share ideas, thoughts and examples of work. With the aim to help you develop confidence in using animation in the classroom.

So, why not do as Isabelle Jones and SpookingDorf did after reading my tweet about it and join? You’ve got nothing to lose and lots to gain :o)

Getting animated in Nottingham

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

I’m currently in Nottingham at the NCSL at the British eTwinning Conference.

This morning I went to a workshop by Oscar Stringer on animation – the theory being that it will become ingrained in my brain if I do the workshop enough time ;o)

Here’s the video I made with Jo Rhys-Jones and a lovely lady called Sue based on minibeasts. Hope you enjoy it – we’re very proud.