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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!)

Favourite books for PLL – De quelle couleur est ta culotte?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

 

When I first started teaching Primary languages, I went on a course run by LFEE in Salignac for French teachers (thoroughly recommend it – I worked hard but had the time of my life and rediscovered a love of French that I’d lost when I was made to start from scratch at secondary school.)  During my time there we went on a trip to Souillac and several of us spent a while in a bookshop looking for suitable books to use in our classrooms. And this was the one we all loved.

IMG_0037De quelle couleur est ta culotte? is a lift the flap book that poses the title question to a series of animals.

Each animal has a name that rhymes with its species e.g Lucie le Brebis, Mumu la Tortue and Émile le Crocodile

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and you lift the flap to find the answer:

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At the end there’s a big surprise as Armand l’elephant is a little forgetful…

I’ve used this story with EYFS – and younger in fact. They love the animals, recalling their names, and the colour of their pants. And everyone giggles hysterically in mock horror as the surprise is revealed – because we are, of course, surprised every time we read it ;o) I ask questions e.g. Valentine a la culotte rouge ou bleu?   Qui a la culotte rose? De quelle couleur est la culotte de Aimee? offering choices if needed and then we read it again with choral responses as we lift the flaps; sometimes a particularly confident child will want to ask the question too although it’s more usual to just say the name of the animal. When I shared it in Reception, we drew a washing line of pants and coloured them in for the animals. I’d probably make it into a game now, either on the IWB with a race to match the animals and pants, or as a team game with images of the animals and coloured underwear. And I’d also look to make the story our own, perhaps not about pants this time but about another item of clothing: De quelle couleur sont tes chaussettes? perhaps or a teddy bear: De quelle couleur est ton nounours? or even change it a little and ask Comment est ton chapeau? which could be answered with adjectives other than colour.

I used to teach Kindergarten at the (Catholic!) school with children from 18 months to 3 years, and was sharing this book with them when an inspector arrived. My momentary fear that the inspector wouldn’t share my love of the book, and that of the Kindergarten head who had a great sense of humour, was unfounded as she was giggling along with all the children and said she thoroughly enjoyed the French lesson!

I’ve found a sound file of someone reading the story too! De quelle couleur est ta culotte? sound file

 

Favourite books for PLL – Das ist ein Buch/Wo ist mein Hut?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

Moving to Switzerland added German books to my book case where previously there had only been French and Spanish. Not very many as books are exorbitantly priced  (I mostly borrowed them from the library) but some.

I love books. I am indeed a bookaholic and whilst I am very fond of my technology (and this series will feature ebooks), I’m not sure I’ll ever stop preferring the smell and feel of a ‘proper’ book to swiping an electronic device. So I had to purchase this book -

IMG_0041Esel (Donkey) asks Was hast du denn da?

Affe (Monkey) replies Das ist ein Buch.

Image

Esel has obviously not seen a book before and wonders if it texts, needs wifi or Tweets; Affe patiently replies Nein, das ist ein Buch until he decides that it would be best to let Esel read the book …

I love Das ist ein Buch because I’m Monkey when most people think that I’d be Donkey. I also like the ‘there’s more to life than swiping and tweeting and making noise’ message.

I think this would be a great story to share with a class, certainly the “Das ist ein Buch” refrain would soon be picked up, and the language is quite easy to decipher with clues from the pictures supported by actions from the reader. And it lends itself to adaptations with the scaffold “Kannst du…+ verb?”  with other things that a book might be able to do.

Below is an animated telling of the book and the whole book appears one one sheet here.

My second book is Wo ist mein hut

IMG_0043

 

“Mein Hut ist weg. Ich will ihn zurück” says Bär. He patiently asks the other animals if they have seen his hat but noone has until the deer asks a good question that jogs his memory!

I like this book as it is again repetitive with Bär asking each animal “Hast du meinen Hut gesehen?” and thanking them politely when they haven’t “Schon gut. Trotzdem vielen dank” so lends itself well to class reading. It could also be developed into a game where learners hide an object whilst one of the class is outside for them to discover on their return (good question practice) or in small groups with cards, with question Hast du ……… gesehen? and reply Nein, ich habe……. nicht gesehen if they don’t have the card or Ja, es ist hier if they do. You could easily substitute the verb for gestohlen (stolen) gegessen (eaten) versteckt (hidden)and so on.

 

So that’s two of my favourite German books – others include the Lieselotte series about a mischievous cow, and all the Pixi Bücher that you can buy very cheaply wherever you see the stand below as well as in supermarkets. I’ll post again with my favourite ebooks another time!

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Ser optimista

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Several times over the last weeks I’ve thought of a post from a while back about Transformers - are you an Optimist Prime or a Megatron, or, as Reepsiepie put it in the comments,  a radiator or a drain? There are times when I feel like a drain as life can be hard going and a struggle, but even in those times I try to look for the smiles and special moments to provide some light. That’s why I started my Smiles 365 blog. And also why I love the image above which I shall be placing above my desk and in my planner for next year as a reminder!

Anyway – it’s (nearly) end of term in England and time for a ‘rest’ and recharge before English school life starts again in September.

¡Qué lo paséis bien!

The benefits of learning languages

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Need to persuade people about the value of learning languages?
This infographic will help…

TeachMeet International – Games to learn

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-20 at 15.25.57I’ve just finished presenting at TeachMeet International, an online Teachmeet bringing together educators from across the world. Unfortunately the meeting was blighted by technical issues but we managed to get around them in various ways in order to share our ideas and experiences.

My presentation was on using games in language learning. I talked about games that are easy to organise, games that take you out of the classroom and then moved on to talk about two apps – 4 Pictures 1 Words and PicCombo that I think are really useful for vocabulary at an intermediate/advanced level.

Below is the Slideshare and you will be able to see it and other presentations (hopefully with sound!) soon via the link that will be posted on the TeachMeetInternational website.

Games to learn – TeachMeet International from Lisa Stevens

See Castellers de Vilafranca in London 19-21st April 2013

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

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I will never ever forget my visit to Cal Figarot, HQ of Els Castellers de Vilafranca. An overwhelming evening of fun, fear and awe that left me quite emotional as we watched – and participated in a small way – in a rehearsal of this very special group of ‘human tower builders’. (Sadly the photographs disappeared when my website was hacked, and the links to my school website are out of date too – I’ll upload them again when I have a moment!)  Therefore I am a little sad that I’m not in the UK at the moment as they’re ‘on tour!’

The Human Towers are a three hundred year old tradition of building multi-story human towers called “castells”.  The great Human Towers perform at many Mediterranean town festivals and are one of the oldest and most spectacular traditions in Barcelona and Catalonia.

The 170 member Castellers de Vilafranca, the world’s best Human Towers team, will debut in London on Friday, 19th April, at Potters Field Park near London Bridge.  Each tower will be an exercise in intense concentration, strength and balance as the barefooted participants form successively smaller tiers – resembling a human wedding cake – by climbing up the bodies of each layer to mount the shoulders of the previous tier until the tower is complete.

Once UNESCO had declared the Human Towers as Intangible Cultural Heritage [2010], a huge festival was hosted in the Old Estrella Damm Factory in celebration, in the heart of Barcelona during which a variety of concerts took place and human towers were built to commemorate the much anticipated recognition. It is estimated that over 2,500 people attended the large-scale event.

(from Estrella Damm press release)

The Castellers will in London from Friday 19th April – Sunday 21st April, performing in various places. The schedule is below and I’ve attached a PDF as well. If you are in or around London, or fancy a day trip, I know that you will not be disappointed. ‘Human towers’ are gobsmacking – and this lot are record breaking world champions!

A5 FlyerDEFINITIUScreen Shot 2013-04-16 at 18.11.06

 

CASTELLERS DE VILAFRANCA

THE HUMAN TOWERS OF BARCELONA

IN LONDON

19th – 21st April 2013

 

Friday 19th April

 

12.00 h            Performance at Potters Fields Park, Tooley Street, Southwark. London Bridge Station. Sponsored by Estrella Damm

17.00 h            Performance at Broadgate Circle, City of London. Moorgate Station. Sponsored by Estrella Damm

18.00 h            Performance at Broadgate Circle, City of London. Moorgate Station. Sponsored by Estrella Damm

Saturday 20th April

 

12.00 h            Performance at Clapham Common, near the Windmill, South Side, Lambeth. Clapham Common Station. Sponsored by Estrella Damm

13.00 h            Performance at Clapham Common, near the Windmill, South Side, Lambeth. Clapham Common Station. Sponsored by Estrella Damm

 

14.00 h            Performance at Clapham Common, near the Windmill, South Side, Lambeth. Clapham Common Station. Sponsored by Estrella Damm

Sunday 21st April

11.00 h             Performance at Millennium Bridge, near the museum, Bankside, Southwark. Mansion House Station

13.00 h            Performance at Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, Southwark. London Bridge Station. St. George’s Day Celebration

Supported by:

Estrella Damm, Barcelona 1876

Equity Point London

Delegation of Catalonia to the United Kingdom

Institut Ramon Llull London

Catalans UK

Vilafranca del Penedès City Council

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And if you can’t make it, they’ll be in Salisbury in June. And you can catch the passion in the below video.

 

PS There’s a movie about them too! The Human Towers