Wednesday morning saw me gazing at the sea, then moving swiftly past Butlins to speak at University of Chichester MFL Conference. I had a lovely day attending sessions in the morning and sharing some ideas about using technology and stories in the languages classroom.
Below are my sketchnotes of the sessions I attended, starting with Elaine Minett’s upbeat introduction to the conference, talking about challenges being seen as opportunities, followed by an idea packed session about using poetry by Concha Julian of the Consejería de Educación and finishing with Lynne Brackley’s session on using drama based activities in languages. I enjoyed using my dramatic skills in both of the latter sessions!
If you get the opportunity next year, I can thoroughly recommend attending as the conference was varied with sessions for primary, secondary as well as cross phase sessions, and they were delivered by a variety of people including PGCE students, teachers and representatives of organisations like the British Council, the Consejería de Educación and Language Angels. I enjoyed seeing Catherine on the Little Linguist stand once more (and buying a new book!) as well as visiting other stands including Institut Français and European Schoolbooks.
My very intense teaching week ends on Thursday evening, freeing up a week day to spend as I wish, and I was once more glad that I don’t teach on Fridays as it meant that I could attend a delightful day in London learning all about the Primary Latin Course. An early start and a cramped train journey both ways didn’t even dampen my excitement to find out about it (on the way) and enthusiasm to start sharing it (on the way back).
I could explain myself what the Primary Latin Course is but their blurb does it far better!
[The Primary Latin Course] has been designed working with UK primary teachers to help schools deliver Latin and Roman civilisation – without the need for any background in Latin. The course provides a gentle introduction to the Latin language for pupils in Years 3 – 6, aiming to establish reading fluency of simple sentences. Language learning is fully integrated into an immersive cultural and archaeological course set in ancient Herculaneum. The course is driven by photographs and evidence from the ancient site for pupils to explore and investigate.
All our materials are hosted online and available for free. There are Latin stories with clickable vocabulary and embedded audio, interactive reconstructions, online games, downloadable worksheets, activities and teacher’s guides.
During the day, delegates were taken through a couple of chapters of the course, experiencing learning Latin using the course, noticing and commenting on things about the language, admiring the amazing illustrations predominantly coming from actual things found in Herculaneum and marvelling at the quality and wealth of content available – for free! Will and Laila were excellent hosts, aided by Hannah and Tony amongst others, and the day was delivered in partnership with the Museum of London who allowed us access to their Romans exhibition as well as an artefact handling session. It was quite mind blowing knowing that I was touching things that were about 2000 years old!
As usual I sketch noted as much as I could and the outcomes are below. I hope they’re helpful!
Here are some links from the notes that I want to underline – and also so you can click them!
It was a high quality day and I’d thoroughly recommend you attending if you get the opportunity. I’ve been inspired to start a Latin Club at school – well, potentially at both schools! I’m looking forward to learning more as I explore the site and also to learning with the pupils. Watch this space for more news. And if you have any advice, leave me a message below!
This year at Language World I was invited to present some ideas for using technology for collaboration in language learning. I teach primary so the focus was on that age group but there are many ideas and tools that are equally applicable for young and old! In spite of some technical hitches and running out of time as there was so much to share, the ideas were well received and I hope that this will serve as a reminder/update for those who attended, and a snapshot for those who didn’t.
Below is my presentation. Whilst all the links work, the videos don’t I’m afraid but you’ll find some below to give you a taster.
I was asked to present an idea at the Primary Spanish Show and Tell at Language World in Hinckley last week.
The idea of the Show and Tell is that there are a variety of ideas presented, and on this occasion my fellow presenters were Anne Poole, who presented some fun games that can be played in any language, and Jesús Hernández from the Consejería de Educación who, accompanied by his trusty guitar, presented a few songs as well as activities to accompany a couple of posters that we were all gifted. Jesús also shared news of a new ‘revista’ for Primary Spanish that will be published by the Consejería with ideas like the ones that Jesús shared.
My part of the session focused on how we celebrated World Book Day this year at Whitehouse Common. You can see my part of the presentation below – the whole presentation will be available soon on the ALL website.
Today is International Children’s Book Day and I’ve got a new book!
It’s called Presiona aquíand it’s by Hervé Tullet. It’s the Spanish version of Press here and I bought it to share with FKS and KS1, although I’m sure some of Y3 would also enjoy it!
The book starts with a single yellow dot and asks the reader to ‘presiona aquí y da vuelta a la página.’ Magically, another yellow ‘círculo’ appears on the next page, and there follow lots more pages with lots more instructions and lots more ‘círculos’ – grandes y pequeños; amarillos, azules y rojos. I like the simplicity of the illustrations as well as the text, and I think it would be a fun book to share on the carpet with children coming up to press buttons, or in small groups as a special treat. You can children enjoying it in the trailer for the English version below. In our Y2 Spanish scheme (based on Little Languages) they look at sequencing and this would be a great addition to the activities that include counting and sequencing buttons, shapes and any little things we can find (dinosaurs, cars, fruit…)
I mentioned that I thought Y3 would enjoy it, and with that in mind I’ve been thinking about what we could do as a follow up activity. When we were working on colours before Easter and talking about colour mixing I (perhaps rashly) said that we could do some painting in Spanish towards the end of the summer term when we’ll be looking at shape and colour once more. This would be a lovely way to introduce or revisit some shape and colour vocabulary, and I can see us creating our own versions of the book as a story board, perhaps diversifying into other shapes depending on what action the ‘reader’ does. Or perhaps we could use the same approach, an action leading to the appearance of a new item to create Miró-esque art? Still a developing thought…
After I’d started writing this, I discovered that there are a couple of videos of the book too – see below – so it would be possible for class teachers who are non specialists to borrow my book and share it with their class. This video actually uses the book but lasts more than ten minutes and the presenter doesn’t just read the story but offers comments too. I wonder if Nursery and Reception would manage to sit still for that long, and worry that the ‘extras’ might put off the non-specialist teacher presenting as they don’t know what’s being said? The video below would be my choice as, although it doesn’t feature the book and the instructions are worded slightly differently, it is much simpler and lasts just over 5 minutes.
Hervé Tullet has lots of other lovely books too – I think I may need to get ¡Mézclalo bien! is this one is a hit…
One of the sessions I attended at Language World was given by Sue Cave. Entitled Language Detectives, it shared a project that Sue and a colleague had devised, originally for a day long workshop for more able primary linguists, based around children using their detective skills to decode unknown languages. Sue described it as ‘a morning of training in preparation for an afternoon trying to thwart a multilingual gang of criminals.’
The session referred to and worked on the Language Learning Skills (LLS) and Knowledge about Language (KAL) strands of the KS2 Framework (NB is still a very useful document!) We discovered that gesture is important but that it works best in conjunction with words, eye contact and prior knowledge, and I discovered that I’m not as good as charades as I thought I was. (Sorry Vicky!) We also discovered that knowledge of word classes as well as how to use a bilingual dictionary are skills that a good detective needs, and that listening to the sounds and intonation of a language is also helpful.
Having undergone our (very swift!) training, we used our skills to thwart the gang who spoke Spanish, Welsh, German and Italian, stopping them before they stole a valuable item!
Sue has very generously shared not her presentation but all the resources on her excellent website on the Sharing Good Practice section (scroll to the bottom)
One idea (of the many!) that I particularly liked was the Language Detective certificates that Sue gives out when a child makes a discovery about language and shares it with the class. Sue has generously shared her certificates in the Teaching and Learning section of the Sharing Good Practice page. As I teach Spanish not French, I’ve made some of my own that you can download from the link below.
Thanks for an inspiring session Sue, I know I’m not the only one who went away with my mind buzzing!
And thanks to Yvonne too for my ‘lucky dip’ magnifying glasses that fit the theme perfectly and will be put to sue immediately!
*This is a book review as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 #MCBD2018*
The Marvellous Mexican Misunderstanding is a delightful book about a little boy called Adri who overhears his Mum and Aunt Chiquita talking about the Day of the Dead and gets completely the wrong end of the stick. He asks his sister Tani lots of questions about the Aztecs, the Day of the Dead but she mischievously decides to use his ignorance of the festival as a way of teasing him, and confirms his fears. Over the seven days leading up to Day of the Dead, every visitor and every event seems to confirm his fear that he is going to die; the Dad brings him a skeleton costume for Halloween, the neighbour brings ‘pan de muerto’, his Mum makes his favourite food. On the eve of Day of the Dead, Adri writes letters to his family and prepares himself. Will the misunderstanding be unravelled or will Adri’s fear come true? You’ll have to read and find out!
The illustrations by Nefeli Malie are wonderful – bright and childlike, and coupled with the lovely prose by Evi Triantafyllides, they tell the story of Adri in a clear and appealing way, at the same time exposing readers to aspects of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) festival. And the book is not just a story. There’s a dictionary of Spanish and English terms related to the story as well as questions posed as ‘Mexican mysteries’ about the text that highlight facts about Mexico. The book itself forms part of the first ‘parcel’ offered by Worldwide Buddies.
Worldwide Buddies is a series of fictional, educational stories with characters from different countries around the globe that allow children to imagine a more beautifully complex world. Stories are designed to promote cultural awareness and introduce little ones to the diverse realities and wonders of the world, early on.
“A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding” is the first story of the series and will become available for purchase through their website in a couple of weeks: www.worldwidebuddies.com
Alongside the story, readers can also purchase a story box with additional games, toys and activities that accompany the book. You can find out more on their website or via Facebook or Instagram.
As Worldwide Buddies will start accepting orders for the books ($18) and story box ($35) soon. As they are based in the USA, I asked Evi if the book and story box will be available in the UK, and she confirmed that yes, delivery will be possible to the UK too.
As a teacher of Spanish to young children, I love this book as it is amusing and gently makes fun of Adri’s misunderstanding to reveal the wonder of the Day of the Dead festival, explaining how it is a happy festival and a time to remember those who have passed away. I’ll certainly be sharing it with my learners next year in the run up to November 1st. It also leads into a pertinent discussion about our fears often that fit well with the SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) agenda here. I look forward to reading more Worldwide Buddies books!
Details about #MCBD2018:
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
I shared the Chocolate rhyme previously but I think it’s worth sharing again as it’s been so popular with Y2. And, as this post shows with ‘mariposa’, any other four syllable word works. It would work with cucuracha, elefante or even Barcelona! The clapping is the same as for Double double this this in English so pupils find it less tricky than you’d think!
Today I had a ‘random’ lesson with Y6, one of those times in a two form entry school where I only have half the year group so need to do something different.
A series of happenstances made the choice easier:
A tweet from Janet Lloyd that Primary Language Network were offering a free resource about snowflakes
A flurry of snow
Recent work on infinitives and (se) puede.
So I decided that this afternoon, Y6 would work on the poem Los mágicos copos de nieve that I’d downloaded from PLN.
I removed the snowflake image and the header from the PPT slide so there was no clue to the topic other than the words and asked pupils to discuss in small groups what they thought the poem was about.
They immediately picked up it was something magical; someone suggested it was about a magic carpet; a fair guess. Someone else had picked up blanco and suggested it was about nine white rabbits, misreading nieve as nueve. Another picked up ‘repaid’ meant fast and another group that ‘frío’ meant cold. Between them they worked out it was about snowflakes.
We then looked together at the middle section where each sentence had the structure ‘Un copo de nieve puede + infinitive’
We identified the infinitives, reminding ourselves that infinitives in Spanish end with -ar, -er or -ir, and tried to deduce the meanings. Bailar and cantar had been met before. We linked girar to gyrate and gyroscope, and I was able to give a clue to volar by linking it to ‘un avión’ that we’d met last week in a lesson on transport and ‘una mariposa’ that we’d met when we drew mini beasts with finger prints: un avión puede volar; una mariposa puede volar’ Planear was a bit trickier but a dictionary soon helped!
We read the poem and then I let the pupils loose on the dictionaries with their imaginations. We only had 35 minutes but you can see in this post some of the outcomes.
Some chose to use the same verbs as in the poem (the resource from PLN has the 5 from the poem already in the template but I removed these to allow for more freedom) but others used their dictionaries to come up with some alternatives. One lad wanted to write ‘calm’; we discussed why that wouldn’t work and I suggested using it as an adverb by adding mente to the end. So he chose a suitable verb and added the adverb. He also decided that he wanted to use ‘despacito’ like how he paired it with ‘bailar.’
I loved the illustrations pupils used to show the meaning of the verbs. I particularly liked the ones with faces, and the shhh for susurrar!
If you want to download the resource, it’s available here.