Jo Rhys-Jones – Page 2 – ¡Vámonos!

Category: Jo Rhys-Jones

As you know if you read a previous post, I am strangely fascinated by the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s mainly to do with Terry Wogan’s irreverent commentary and the hilarious subtitle bloopers that occur on Ceefax when they instant-translate the hosts speaking rather than the singing which is often dire.

This year, I’ll be away in Spain and will probably let the whole thing pass me by as the two reasons I watch are inaccessible and, more importantly, I’ll have better things to do ;o)

However, I can’t let the occasion pass with out celebration so I was really pleased when Jo Rhys-Jones began a new NING network – The Alternative Eurovision Contest for Schools.
As Jo explains in a post on Talkabout Primary MFL,

‘Have just created a new ning – The Alternative Eurovision Song Contest for Schools – it will incorporate many of the ideas above (Geography, citizenship, ICT, Literacy as well as language links), with set tasks for your class to complete beginning with labelling their chosen country on a Frappr map like the one on this main page and building to our own contest so we can vote on each other’s contributions. I hope it will be in the style of Sharon Tonner’s VOTW with lots of support and help on the ICT side and plenty of flexibility on which tasks you choose to complete and how/when you do them. Then classes should be able to view/listen to each other’s work as the project gradually builds.’

Whitehouse Common have chosen to represent … you’ve guessed it … Spain!
We’ve completed the first task – placing our flag on the Frappr map and are now working on task 2 – a promotional video showing the best of Spain. Plenty of images from which to choose there!

Jo has made a Slideshare full of ideas to help you use the event in your classroom, but why not join the fun on the NING? And it is meant to be fun, I keep reminding myself as I wind up Chris Fuller who has also chosen to represent Spain- may the best entry win… as long as it’s ours ;o)

Inspired by Jo Rhys-Jones post on Minibeasts, and her suggestion of some suitable French videos on Youtube to support it, I went in search of some Spanish equivalents – then got sidetracked!

Having followed Jo’s links to Papillons, (complete with operatic French version of Anything I do, I do it for you), I decided to search for Spanish butterflies – mariposas. I came across a clip of ‘Mariposas de Asturias‘ which is very similar (the music is more relaxing!)

Then my search took me off in a different direction when I came across a video clip called Mariposas Silenciosas. Not about butterflies, but a game that can be played in small groups to improve concentration, coordination, and also provide a bit of calm!

Then I investigated Luis Pescetti further and found more videos that I thought might be interesting. Keeping to the minibeasts theme, how about Cienpies about a centipede-

This is followed by an action rhyme with nonsense words – a bit like Gingangoolie (not sure if that’s how you spell it as I’ve never tried writing it down!) – with simple actions that get faster and faster. Amazing how muddling it can be to do simple actions fast! And here’s another – Aiepothis time, the rhyme is said in different voices depending on the speed, starting as an elephant, very low, and finishes higher!

Another rhyme along a similar vein, but this time with ‘proper’ Spanish words – in this case a traditional Spanish rhyme – Palmas, higos y castañas.

Also on a minibeast theme, scroll down to the seventh song on this page for La canción de la pulga about a flea that jumps on a dog, bites it and then has a full tummy!

In fact, having found lots of his videos on Youtube, I then went to his website and discovered lots more too see and do. Words and (very usefully) mp3 files for songs as well as videos and jokes. Well worth investigating. From a quick look, I can see a Spanish version of London Bridge is falling down, as well as Un kilómetro a pie (referred to in a previous post on Active learning) and a lovely song called Mocos about bogies!!

And on that note, I’ll leave you to explore for yourself!

As I’m coming to the end of my reports, I thought I’d point you to some other places where you can find out about the Primary Language Show.

In his usual efficient way, Joe Dale has published the show notes and audio of his sessions in Manchester on his blog – Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom.
Si if you want to find out about ICT…so what (free tools that you can use to enhance all four skills in the MFL classroom) or Podcasting from Idea to iTunes, pop along to Joe’s blog. In fact, if you wnat the answer to just about any ICT related question, you’ll probably find it there! Also worth checking out are Joe’s pictures from Manchester – see if you can spot me!

Another colleague with whom I met up in Manchester was Jo Rhys-Jones of Talkabout Primary MFL fame. We spent the two days swapping notes on sessions so I was glad to see that Jo had followed up her promise to tell us more about one of the sessions that had intrigued me most, all about Minibeasts. As the mother of two small boys, minibeasts are something about which I have learned much in the last few years, and Jo reports back on Linda Owen’s session at PLS in which Linda described a spiralling scheme of work covering Reception to Year6. Jo has added has added some of her own ideas too – well worth a read.

The CILT website declared the show ‘absolutely outstanding’ , quoting Lorna HarveyCounty Advisor for Primary MFL in one of our neighbouring LAs, Staffordshire. ‘I got such a lot out of it, as usual. I really appreciate the opportunity to hear from so many people with so much expertise, and this has a real impact on my work.’

I’d agree with Lorna.
Anyone else got anything to share from PLS that I’ve missed? Perhaps an idea that you’ve had, a short report on a session or a comment on the event overall? Feel free to leave comment below.

This session was resented by the very entertaining Nigel Pearson, one of the Primary Language Advisor at CILT and Katja Neubauer, Junior Director of the European Initiative at the Kings School in Rochester.

Beginning by acknowledging that unfortunately England aren’t in Euro08, Nigel and Katya suggested ways in which the event could be exploited and celebrated. Here are some of their suggestions –

Use it as an exercise in ICU:

  • Look at the logo – colour, shapes used, design
  • There are 16 countries taking part from across Europe – what language(s) is /are spoken by each on? Where are they in Europe? (compass points)
  • Flags – kids could make them, wave them and chant the names of the countries whilst you bang rhythm on a tambourine.
  • Mark countries on am map
  • Have a table of progress to be filled in throughut the tournament.
  • Trix und Flix are the mascots (descriptions / design your own) – it takes place in Austria and Switzerland from 7th June -29th June (dates – how long is it? What day of the week does it start on? Etc) Cities are Innsbruck, Salzburg, Wien, Kalgenfurt, Geneve, Zurich, Bern Basel (country and location)
  • Web searches for information about host towns

Nigel and Katya then introduced us to some vocabulary to do with fitness and football such as run, jog, head (the ball), jump etc with actions and a range of games to practice and reinforce –

What’s missing? ¿Qué falta?

Hot or cold ¿Frío o caliente?

Corners – like NSEW

Flashreading – flash the card very fast – ¿qué es?

Echo the word – using different voices

Throwing words – using a ball, throw it at a word – class read word it hits or teacher says the word and pupils throw it at the correct word. (headers whilst counting in TL)

What’s on the card? ¿Qué hay en la tarjeta? Using sí and no, can also be done with drawing part of a gallows to add to the competition, and could also be developed fromsingle word responses into sentences e.g. Un estadio; Es un estadio; pienso que es un estadio.

Memory game – numbers on front of card, guess the word behind it – practices number and vocabulary too. Kids (and us adults playing today!) are fiercely competitive!!

Number football – headers that you count – can always mime! Or a penalty shootout. And why not some Klinsmann dives!

Further football linked activities included –

Describe a player – uses personal identification questions and answers

Footballers are heroes for many of our pupils so why not let the kids research and use ICT for presentation of their favourite (foreign) player?.

Design shorts / strip for football – can add other equipment for football. Add extra information to reuse vocabulary in different contexts eg colours used for school uniform, favourite colours, eyes etc

Blow football – shout appropriate cheers like animo, venga, gol etc

Songs – Katya and Nigel presented a song in German about football to the tune of Frere Jacques– I’ve quickly translated into Spanish:

Juego al fútbol, juego al fútbol

Es genial, es genial

Muchos muchos goles

Muchos muchos goles

Uno a cero.

Uno a cero.

You can modify the lastline to add more scores, add countries etc

España cuatro, Francia tres or

España gana, Alemania pierde – I think you might be able to guess who I’m supporting :o)

Nigel also shared a French song from the World Cup. I quickly opened Audacity on my laptop and recorded it -i

t’s in My Box of Goodies on the right! :o) (Thanks to Nigel who kindly said that was OK!)

Football sans frontières

Ça c’est super.

Brésil et Bulgarie

Pays Bas et Italie

Belgique et Tunisie

Allez! Bonne chance!

(Nigel kindly told us when to go up and down using his hand ‘stepping’ – that’s the ‘hand thing’ referred to for those who wondered!)

The session concluded with a couple of websites that might be helpful – there will no doubt be more nearer the time, and I’ll post any that I find.

As I’ve blogged before, Euro 08 is already in focus at my school through Chris Fuller’s Euro08 project which joins schools across the country as we find out about our allocated participating country prior to meeting up in June for a tournament of our own. Already in training – Jo Rhys-Jones looks rather nippy and Chris Fuller climbs – and that’s just the teachers 😮
There’s room for more schools to be involved – let Chris know if you’re interested!

Tomorrow I’m off to the Primary Language Show in Manchester. It’s the first time I’ve been able to go for both days and, although I’ll miss the conference dinner (booked out by the time school decided I could go) and am not staying over but travelling in both days from home (don’t fancy hotel rooms at the moment), I am really looking forward to it. As CILT proclaimed today –

The 12th annual CILT Primary Languages Conference takes place this Friday 29 February and Saturday 1 March at the Manchester Conference Centre, and is the biggest event of the year for all those involved in or interested in primary languages.

With language learning due to be in all English primary schools by 2010, and 70% of primary schools already providing some form of language teaching, interest in the show is growing each year and both days of the conference are now fully booked.

With sessions on a wide variety of topics related to PLL including the use of ICT and story, football and dance, there’s something for all interests, and it will be hard to choose which sessions to attend.

I’m hoping to meet up with Jo Rhys Jones and other members of Talkabout Primary MFL for coffee and cake – we might even let Joe Dale (who is speaking on podcasting) join us as the token male if he behaves :o) So there will no doubt be plenty of blogging going on after the weekend – keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Although the conference is fully booked ( I applied four weeks ago and the plenary sessions on Friday and also the dinner were fully booked then) you can still attend the resources exhibition for FREE! So if you’re coming, why not leave a comment or contact me via Twitter.
Hope to see you there!

Tablas en español.

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My current fascination with Youtube continues! There will be no doubt be more posts later in the week with more of my discoveries, but here is the first ‘joya’.

The ideal for Primary Language Learning (PLL) is that the learning is embedded in the curriculum.

During my browsing, I discovered some lovely little videos of tables in Spanish. Some are chants and some are drills, ranging from 47 seconds to 1 minute 55, but all have captured the interest of my 6 year old – ‘I don’t know my tables’ – as well as 9 year old who is a maths whizz.

They cover the 2 to 10 times tables, multiplying by up to 10.

See what you think! My particular favourite is ‘tabla del 5’ but I’ve embedded all the videos in a custom player (fancy eh?!)

For more ideas on using Maths in PLL, check out Jo Rhys-Jones’ post on Talkabout Primary MFL.

¡Felices Reyes!

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I was off line for the New Year so a belated Feliz Año Nuevo to you all. And whilst my in-laws have no Internet access, they do have SKY so I was able to see in the New Year at 11pm GMT with those in the Puerta de Sol in Madrid on TVEi – and eat my ‘uvas de la suerte’ just like Gretel (clever pooch!). I discovered that, as well as ensuring you eat all 12 grapes to ensure your good fortune, your underwear has a deciding factor in your luck for the coming year. If you wear red undies, apparently it will bring you good luck and love. In Mexico, if you carry a suitcase onto your balcony, you’ll go on lots of trips, and by putting money on you windowsills, you won’t be short of money. If only …..

Tomorrow it will be El Día de Reyes in Spain and other Hispanic countries, the day on which presents are traditionally delivered by the Three Kings. Epiphany is a big deal in Spain with parades called cabalgatas in most towns when the Reyes Magos arrive on their camels (or sometimes in a boat in Barcelona or Málaga) on the evening of the 5th before distributing presents overnight into the waiting shoes left out on balconies with some straw for the camels. For photos, check out El Paí where there are a number of good quality pictures from 2007. There are a number of clips of these processions on Youtube – there is a slideshow from Priego, Córdoba with stills and short clips of their parades accompanied by an interesting music (!) and one from Rociana in Huleva features some very generous Reyes who are throwing rather large parcels instead of the usual sweets into the crowd.

I also came across a couple of amusing videos. The first is El rap de los Reyes Magos in which they plot (and execute) the downfall of Santa who is increasingly taking over present giving duties – not recommended for use with young children! And the second below is entitled Los padres son los Reyes Magos.

On the subject of presents, there’s a short voxpop clip in Spanish about the cost of buying presents for Reyes – good for more confident learners or for gist. Perhaps listen out for presents, or for the number of children / grandchildren people have, or even for cognates. A good discussion starter.That’s a bit tricky for younger learners, but they could write simple letters to los Reyes with their present requests – two sites to do this online are El Boricua from Puerto Rico and – in English or Spanish – or even draw and label them.

There are numerous sites with information about Reyes – have a look at my tabs on the right under reyesincluding recipes for the traditionalRosca de Reyesand some activities from Tucson Children’s Museum (a couple of the links are dead unfortunately).

And what would a festival be without a song – here’s one version of ‘Aquí vienen los reyes’ – the words seem sweet but unfortunately there is no music but the more usual version seems to be this one. As the site points out, it’s a bit odd as it suggests that the Reyes Magos can see Holland – either they have very good telescopes or they’re very lost ;o) There’s a .mp3 file with this one – always helpful if you want to use it and have no idea how it goes – but here’s another version by Rayito ‘con sabor flamenco y rumba’.

If you’re interested in French resources for Epiphany, Jo Rhys-Jones has provided some ideas and links on Talkabout Primary MFL.

And, as the prospect of returning to work dawns, this cartoon sums up my request to the Reyes Magos … ¡Felicidades!

Edublog Awards 2007

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The annual Edublog Awards are nearly upon us, nominations have recently been published and voting has begun – and it seems that I know rather a lot of talented bloggers!

First my Googlereader alerted me to the fact that Ewan McIntosh was nominated in the Best Individual Blog category.
Then I received an e-mail from Jo Rhys-Jones about Talkabout Primary MFL being nominated in the category Best educational use of a social networking service.
On further inspection of this category, I discovered that Jo has actually managed to get TWO nominations as her school,NING network Kingswear School Network has also been nominated. And then I found that Sharon Tonner has a nomination IN THE SAME CATEGORY for Voices of the World.
And finally this morning I caught up with news from Joe Dale that his blog Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom has been nominated in the category Best educational tech support blog.

Well – every one of them deserves an award in my opinion so I’ll be voting as many times as I’m allowed!

How can I persuade you to vote too? Well, they’re all lovely people and …. not sure I can so I’ll leave it to their blogs to do the talking! Please check them out and I’m sure you’ll be as convinced as me that these people are inspirational, creative and innovative people who deserve a more than a pat on the back for their contribution to education.

Click here to vote for Ewan’s blog –

Click here to vote for Joe Dale’s blog – Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom.

And click here to vote for Jo Rhys Jones’ Talkabout Primary MFL or Kingswear School Network and also for Sharon Tonner’s Voices of the World (if I’m only allowed one vote I’m in trouble ;O)

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Visit Talkabout Primary MFL

A few months I became a member of Talkabout Primary MFL – and what a good decision that has proved to be!

Set up by Jo Rhys-Jones ‘This is an interactive network for those teaching (or considering teaching) a foreign language in a Primary school; a place to share your worries/successes with supportive colleagues. Please let us know what works (or doesn’t) for you.’

I have contentedly made myself at home on the site, joining in discussions, discovering new resources, making friends and blogging about a number of things including European Day of Languages, the Rugby World Cup and teaching Primary Languages without a voice (my first ever blog post!!) And I will continue to do so.

I’m starting my own blog because I’ve always wanted to have a blog, and also due to the fact that NING is blocked at school. As one of the intentions of doing this is to support my colleagues as they begin to teach Spanish at WCPS, it’s important that they can gain access to the support when they need it.

However, I would thoroughly recommend joining Talkabout Primary MFL as you will discover a supportive network of people with a mixture of experience in relation to PLL , offering and discussing lots of ideas and resources to support and inspire.

So why not click on the badge in the sidebar and find out for yourself!

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