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¡Hola 2015! #nurture1415 #teacher5aday

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 20.35.03With 2015 just a few hours away, and having met a (running) goal I set myself in September this afternoon, I thought I’d set myself some goals for the coming year. Equally, I had in mind to contribute to/’join in’ with two initiatives designed to encourage those in education – #nurture1415 and #teacher5aday.

2014 has been a year of readjusting to life in England. There have been frustrations such as breaking my ankle in April just as I was fully recovered from having broken my foot six months previously, and a turbulent time at school for a variety of reasons. However, those frustrations have had positive outcomes too: for example, I did take it easy as instructed and learned that it really is possible for me to sit for longer than 10 minutes.

Workwise, I’ve established Spanish at a new school, taken back the reins of Spanish at another and continued to work as Lisibo Ltd, speaking in Southampton, London, York, Solihull, Nottingham and Stafford, writing articles for TES Connect, ALL, Primary Teacher Update and Rising Stars, and consulting on projects with Osiris, Rising Stars, the BBC and a new app that came out this week called Pacca Alpaca.

Personally, I’ve got back to running. Twice! I’ve enjoyed singing with worship group at church and loved being part of the Cabaret once more, even managing to sing a solo early this month. And I’ve enjoyed concerts with Jude and his trumpet.

So here are my thoughts on the coming year, using the 5 John Muir Framework hashtags.

#connect – I’m aiming to be more confident to share my ideas with other staff at school. I think some wonder what happens in my lessons, and others don’t really mind as long as they don’t have to teach their Spanish lessons! However, I find it easy to share what I do with people outside school, so why not with colleagues? I’m looking forward to (re)connecting with people at BETT, ILILC and Teachmeets with whom I tweet and connect virtually, and I’m also going to get a Birmingham Primary Languages Hub off the ground but not going to try and sort out the whole of the city as that’s not going to do my well being much good!

#exercise – I’m going to start enjoying running again. I haven’t stopped running and I do enjoy the adrenaline rush but the joy I felt running in Switzerland seems far away sometimes. Work gets in the way, I know, as I can’t just go for a run when I fancy, and I am more limited with less public rights of way through fields etc here. However, I’m going to make a conscious effort to go for quality not quantity: no attempt on 1000 miles this year (but if it happens, so that’d be nice!) And then to …

#notice – I’m also going to worry less about speed and enjoy the sights and sounds as I run. Well, not all the time as that would drive me mad, but I intend to ‘seize the moment’ and pause to appreciate the view, and also to run without my headphones and music more often.

#learn – In Switzerland I learned German and even got to speak it sometimes! Since returning, I haven’t had much opportunity to practice but this year I want to keep it up, especially as my eldest is doing his GCSE. Just hope I don’t put him off with my tactic of ‘say things with confidence even if you’re not quite sure.’ I’m definitely going to keep developing my resource collection for German in primary language learning.

#volunteer – In September, I said I’d do a cross country club at one of my schools; we’re blessed with the sufficient grass around us (belonging to school and ‘shared’ with the local grammar school) to do it safely. I really enjoyed it and so did the kids that signed up. I hope to revive it once the nights get lighter and certainly in the new school year, not least because I had a waiting list of children who wanted to join in. And perhaps I’ll add an element of HIT to it too.

Most of all, I’m going to make sure that I remember that I am a mother, and that my children won’t be children forever – indeed, they are now 16 and 13. My job is important but they’re far too precious to neglect. That may mean that I’m not the perfectly prepared teacher every lesson but who is?

And I’m going to keep looking on the bright side of life and blogging my Smiles – it’s good for my mental wellbeing!

Día de los Muertos

Monday, October 27th, 2014

I had a bit of a pinning session last night on Pinterest and came across some things I thought I’d share.

Firstly, some lovely GIFs that are spread throughout the post – great as a ‘greeting’ on the board even if you’re not going to do any more about Día de los Muertos.

Next, a template to make La Catrina that is from Flickr – here’s the link to the finished item

A simple bilingual poem that I’d pinned previously; it seems to have disappeared from the original site so good job I pinned it!

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I like the ideas on this site for making a “skull mask” (see below left) as well as this idea for making “name skeletons” using children’s names in cursive handwriting and mirrored as the rib cages (below right)!

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A post from Zambombazo using the Google Doodle of which there are many more (search Google Doodle Dia de los muertos)!

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And two delightful videos: one I shared last year along with links to other resources, and then this one that is a story about a grandma and a child - La niña y la abuela (click the picture and the video will open and play)

I also found Slideshares that explain the two films in simple Spanish with screen shots from the videos on Aprendemos juntos which has lots of other video links, infographics and much more!

La niña que recuerda presentation along with lots of other resources

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 20.27.24

 

And I’ve mislaid the song I’d saved (obviously not well enough!) so here’s a favourite of mine – and my classes!

El que busca encuentra

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Following on from yesterday’s post, I forgot to say that there is a Facebook page for Muy Interesante Junior that has little snippets from the magazine as well as previews of upcoming editions.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 21.27.20

…and you can follow @MuyInteresante on Twitter for interesting facts in Spanish in 140 characters or less.

A regular feature of Muy Interesante Junior each month is the El que busca encuentra spread. It’s a bit like Where’s Wally? or ¿Dónde está Wally? (did you know that he’s called Charlie in French, Walter in German and BenJ in Swiss German? Find out more here) in that you have to find people in a very ‘busy’ picture! Here’s a section of the picture.

photo 2

What makes it different is that each edition there is a different theme for the ‘puzzle'; this edition it is “Mujeres célebres.” Alongside the puzzle is a section which gives you the images that you must find along with a couple of sentences about the person. With the new programmes of study in mind, I can see this as a great opportunity to engage learners in short texts as well as increasing their general knowledge, in this case about famous women, and revising and learning structures and vocabulary .

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For example, the short texts include details about countries of origin, occupations, years of birth and death.

1. You could ask questions about the women based on the facts. For example:

  • ¿Quién es de Francia?  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel)
  • ¿Quién es cantante? (María Callas, Edith Piaf)
  • ¿Quién viene de Europa?  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Madre Teresa de Calcuta)
  • ¿Quién es de un país que habla español? (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Evita Perón, Gabriela Mistral)
  • ¿ Quién ha ganado un Premio Nobel? (Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Gabriela Mistral)
  • ¿Quién nació en el siglo veinte? (María Callas, Indira Gandhi, Edith Piaf, Evita Perón, Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Katherine Hepburn)
  • ¿Quién murió antes de cumplir cincuenta años? (Juana de Arco, Evita Perón, Nefertiti, Amelia Earhart, Edith Piaf)

 

2. You could also use Clare Seccombe’s Tesoro o basura idea and board along with this PDF of the names  (Mujeres célebres) and ask learners to sort words according to given criteria (either with the information, or having found out as much as they can previously):

  • Las actrices son ‘tesoro'; las demás son ‘basura’.   (Edith Piaf, Katherine Hepburn)
  • Las francesas son ‘tesoro'; las demás son ‘basura’.  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel)
  • Las que murieron en el siglo veinte son ‘tesoro'; las demás son ‘basura’  (María Calas, Indira Gandhi, Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Amelia Earhart, Evita Perón, Camille Claudel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Gabriela Mistral, Madre Teresa de Calcuta)

 

3. You could use the information strips to work on large numbers and dates; say a date and identify the person:

  • mil novecientos siete – nació Katherine Hepburn
  • mil seiscientos noventa y conco – murió Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  • mil trescientos setenta antes de Cristo  – nació Nefertiti

And what about putting all the women in a timeline and using ordinal numbers to describe their position?

 

4. You could ask learners to find me the word for

For example:

  • The Nobel Prize (El Premio Nobel)
  • opera singer  (la cantante de ópera)
  • her unique voice (su singular voz)
  • the Pharaoh (el Faraón)

 

5. You could ask learners to fill in a form based on the information given: here are some I’ve made

Pen and paper form

Blue clipboard Stars

and then make up simple personal identification sentences about the women, using structures with which they are familiar:

Se llama Gabriela Mistral.

Es de Chile.

Es poeta.

Nació en mil ochocientos ochenta y nueve.

Murió en mil novecientos cincuenta y siete.

Es famosa por ganar el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1945.

 

6. The information given could be extended with some research;

  • find an image and write a physical description
  • discover specifically where they were born and describe where it is (compass point, size, near to etc)
  • find out a poem written / song sung / film starred in / speech made / dress designed by the person and describe it using adjectives

and not necessarily just in Spanish. What a great way of bringing Spanish into other areas of the curriculum by having the inspiration in Spanish and continue it in English?

 

Of course, you can do activities without even reading the information!

7. You could describe the images of the women in Spanish and ask learners to identify the person from your description – or ask a learner to describe to the class or their partner.

Lleva un vestido negro. (Coco Chanel)

Lleva pantalones , botas y una chaqueta. También lleva una bufanda, un casco y anteojos de aviador. (Amelia Earhart)

Lleva una túnica /un vestido blanco y un tocado blanco y azul. Lleva un cetro de oro. (Nefertiti)

 

8. Or you could play ¿Quién es? (Guess Who?)  with yes/ no / don’t know questions being posed until the correct person is identified.

¿Lleva pantalones? Sí

¿Tiene el pelo rubio? No

¿Es Katherine Hepburn? Sí

You could extend the game to include the entire picture rather than just the 14 featured women – that could be a game that goes on forever!

 

And that brings us back to the ¿Dónde está Wally? element. Each of the women is hidden in the picture and, once they have been found, learners could describe where each is hidden in Spanish too. For example:

  • Madre Teresa de Calcuta está en el primer piso. Está a la izquierda, al lado de la ventana, entre dos chicos que llevan jerseys verdes.
  • Evita Perón está en la planta baja, a la izquierda de la escalera. Está al lado del tobogán.
  • Amelia Earhart está a la derecha en el primer piso. Está al lado de un robot grande.

And for those that need an extra challenge, there’s a list of additional people/items to find in the picture – good for dictionary skills!

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The latest edition of Muy Interesante Junior has ‘Grandes genios de la Informática’ as the theme of El que busca encuentra – time to start thinking where that may lead.

But I’ll leave that for another time ;)

If you have any ideas that I haven’t considered, please share them in the comments!

Señor Brócoli

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

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

 

 

 

 

#etuk14 – the Twitter Storify

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
As I spoke about Twitter and mentioned Storify, I felt it was only right to make one of the tweets hash tagged #etuk14.
And below that, I’ve shared the #etwilfie Storify made to celebrate the wonderful eTwinning selfies taken over the last 3 days. The winner is the last one, Robert who was exceptionally dedicated to the cause!

 

#ukedchat MFL special

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

I’ve just co-hosted the #UKEdChat MFL special with @icpjones
We talked about many things including favourite activities, assessment, ‘great works of literature’, the role of technology and what languages should be studied. Great fun trying to keep up with the stream of tweets and reply/respond. It made for lots of frantic retweeting, and I need to reread the stream.

Here are the questions posed – thanks to @ukedchat who kept the questions coming from  the list that Isabelle and I had compiled, leaving us free to reply and respond to people!

  1. What’s your favourite #MFL activity?
  2. How do you/ will you assess your pupils with #MFL Progress?
  3. What great foreign literature have you used in lessons? From primary to post-16?
  4. Which language(s) are taught in primary and what songs/methods/rhymes work best?
  5. Is there a place for technology in #MFL? What tech/programmes/apps do you use?
  6. What’s your ‘can’t live without’ #MFL tool?

You can catch up on what was said – or rather tweeted – via this Storify. (Not all tweets seem to have been pieced up; for example, my first one in the Storify is actually the third of a series of several about QuizQuizTrade)

And there’s a summary of the hour as well as an archive of all the tweets here too.

One upshot of the evening is that start of #mflchat on the first Tuesday of the month. So if you’re on Twitter, join in. And if you’re not, join Twitter and then join in! Stop press – the first one has already been arranged!

Communication4all

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

My FB wall reminded me this morning (edit – was yesterday now!) to wish Happy birthday to Bev Evans and I sighed. She passed away a few weeks ago so it’s another sad day for her family and friends. Her husband Paul tweeted

and I thought – why not?

Bev set up up Communication4all  in 2006 to share all the resources she had made to enable inclusion within her own school, and continued to share there, and then latterly on TES Resources where she was @tes_SEN.  Her resources have been downloaded 4.5 million times in 248 countries. Amazing lady – and very much missed.

One of her legacies is her website. There is an MFL section containing numbers,  days, months and seasons in French, Spanish, German and Polish as well as multilingual greetings and a few French resources on animals transport and colour. Very attractive and clear – well worth downloading.

However, there is a wealth of other stuff on the site that could equally be used in primary languages.

For example, the Spring time dominoes feature no language and could be used to practice numbers and spring vocabulary: for example in Spanish

un pollito     un pato       un nido      un huevo    un cordero    un conejo

uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis

For Christmas, why not try this activity that uses 2D shapes to make Rudolph, Father Christmas an angel and a Christmas tree; not only is it themed for a season/festival but it also allows you to discuss colour, size and shape.

Take Rudolph.

¿Cuántos rectángulos hay? ¿y círculos? ¿De que color son los triángulos? El círculo marrón ¿es grande o pequeño? and so on!

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Getting away from festivals, Bev made lots of colourful board games, often with a literacy theme, that I;ve used before in the language classroom.

Her bright bold snakes and ladders board can be used for any topic; simply have a list of questions or instructions for each number to which learners refer, changing the list according to the theme. Or you could make question cards (perhaps the same ones you use for QuizQuizTrade) and learners pick one up when they land on an odd square. (The link is to the numbered version – picture is linked to unnumbered version)

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Where in the world is Barnaby Bear? is a good game to link geography to knowledge of the world. It’s in English but you could discuss the languages spoken in the countries visited, the flag and talk about colours (Clare Seccombe has some great resources for this on LightBulbLanguages) and perhaps some discussion of transport.

 I love the Catching flies game for counting and as an introduction to who eats what for young learners, and also Build your own Gruffalo which could easily be adapted to another language and used when talking about facial features – great for our unit of mythical beasts! Likewise, Elmer’s Colour Collecting game is great for colours and Build a bigger caterpillar for numbers!

The Hungry Caterpillar is a story that I use in Spanish and there’s a good healthy eating game linked to the story; great opportunity to use food vocabulary as well as ‘es sano’ / ‘no es sano’, and ñam ñam / beurk! or ¡Qué rico!/¡Qué asco!

Likewise, the Handa’s Surprise resource is a data handling one, reinforcing maths skills and asking children to make tactical decisions too! And there are more games/activities too based on other stories such as Dear Zoo, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hairy McClary.

Then there are all the editable labels – great for labelling table groups, making displays, creating flashcards on topics, creating clues for treasure hunts and generally making colourful resources. I particularly like the handprints and the wild animals!

One final thing I love – the colour sums in the Art section, and also the colour dominoes; love a good paint splat!

 

 

 

And that is only the things directly from the HOME page. I haven’t begun on the resources accessed via the sidebar. I’ll save that for another day, although feel free to explore before then. In fact, I’d encourage you to do so, and share with your primary colleagues as there is such a wealth of high quality resources’ hidden’ here.

One last thing – I am particularly nostalgic about the international rugby balls, originally created for 2007 Rugby World Cup and updated in 2011; that’s possibly one of the first times I ‘spoke’ to Bev and, having made them in English and Welsh, she made them in French and Spanish because we asked her. That’s the kind of lady she was!

 

Los Reyes Magos

Friday, December 13th, 2013

This lovely video caught my eye. It explains (in clear Spanish) the story of the Reyes Magos (Wise Men / Kings) in the Bible as well as sharing how they are important in the celebration of Christmas in Spain.

The video is linked to an iPod/iPad app called Los Reyes Magos de Oriente that costs £1.99 and is an interactive version of the story with activities for young children. (Haven’t investigated it yet as it costs money but I’m tempted…)

Although the video is simple, it is 7 minutes long so I wouldn’t necessarily play it in its entirety to my classes as they’d be overwhelmed I think, but I’d definitely play it in sections.

Another video that’s a bit long to play in one chunk is Dora la Exploradora Salva el Día de los Reyes Magos – but it’s great fun, and certainly worth using in chunks.

And I have to say that I love this clip too, although I’m always reluctant to show it in class as I don’t want to shatter illusions…

Resources

Thanks to MFL Sunderland and Clare Seccombe for this lovely colouring activity featuring a stained glass window style image of the Reyes Magos.

Crayola has a craft activity to make 3 stand up Wise Men whilst Kids’ Crafts have a template to make Three Kings paper chain dolls. And for the more adventurous, why not make cup and ball Reyes?

 

Other related posts

Two years ago I posted a different Christmas carol in Spanish in the run up to Christmas – the 10th day was Fum Fum Fum and you can go back through the previous 9 days from there.

A lovely retelling of the Christmas story in Spanish and in video form too

A bit of Bublé singing Feliz Navidad or a version on iPods/iPads/iPhones

The story (in Spanish) of how Father Christmas thought about moving Christmas to July

 

 

Jugando en español – #DevonMFL

Friday, October 4th, 2013

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! 

Baila “La Vaca Lola”

Friday, September 6th, 2013

A request on Twitter for catchy song led to someone volunteering one my favourites so, for the benefit of @taykllor here is …

La vaca Lola

 

The actions are illustrated below and here are the written instructions – hopefully between the two, all will be clear!

PicCollage

La vaca Lola, la vaca Lola  – mime horns for each phrase

Tiene cabeza – point to your head

y tiene cola – turn and mime a tail swishing 

La vaca Lola, la vaca Lola  – mime horns for each phrase

Tiene cabeza – point to your head

y tiene cola – turn and mime a tail swishing 

Y hace “Muuuu” – body roll and “muu” with enthusiasm!

(Instrumental – dance salsa with a partner as illustrated by the little people in the video. Always a hit!)