I was happy to be asked to present at the annual University of Chichester MFL Conference last week, and as I noted in a previous post, thoroughly enjoyed the positive and inspiring sessions I attended.
I delivered two sessions. You can access the resources and ideas from the session entitled Using Technology for collaboration in a previous post Sadly, TodaysMeet no longer exists but otherwise the ideas, recommendations and apps are the same!
The second session was entitled Tell me a story! and concerned the use of stories and books in the languages classroom.
The presentation is below to view. You’ll also find the links to some helpful posts and bookmarks below. I hope those that attended found the session helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment on the post if you have questions or comments!
Mi Madrid (including newly published videos of the songs!)
Storybird wiki Watch this space for what happens to this when Wikispaces shuts later this year!
Blogposts on books on ¡Vámonos! – lots of posts!
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.
Link to BetsyBelle’s webinar Out of this World on using apps in the Primary Language Classroom. Highly recommended viewing especially if you’re interested in the how as much as the why.
A little later than planned, and with huge apologies, here are my presentations from the East Midlands Primary Languages Conference held on Nottingham on 5th December!
Más vale tarde que nunca. Mieux vaut tard que jamais! Besser spät als gar nicht.
Firstly, my presentation on Crosscurricular links:
And here’s the presentation on Technology for collaboration:
It was a pleasure to speak, and I was also able to attend a few other sessions which are sketchnoted below.
A marvellous keynote by the ever effervescent John Rolfe.
An inspiring session by Chris Henley about being BRILLIANT – finding my WHY? and being Ms Different.
A Taste of Spain delivered by Carmen Santos from the Consejería de Educación in Manchester – loved making – and eating – my brocheta de fruta!
And Elaine Minett charing her Healthy Eating resources based around the story ¡Hoy no, Claudio!
I’ve been working with Anamil Tech on Pacca Alpaca for a while now. The apps Pacca Alpaca and Pacca Alpaca Travel Playtime have proved very popular and are now available in English, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Welsh.
Well, there is now a Youtube channel of free videos to accompany the app. You can subscribe to Pacca Alpaca for more kids learning videos in Spanish, English, French and Arabic here – http://bit.ly/paccayoutube
Here’s the first Spanish video, released today!
My session at the wonderful Practical Pedagogies conference centred around the use of technology to enhance Primary Language Learning.
Key points I made included:
I went on to suggest online tools as well as apps that might be useful in a range of contexts and situations.
Introducing Pacca Alpaca, a language learning app for little people!
It was lovely to work with Nicole again after the success of The Lingo Show which she created and produced (I did the Spanish on that too!) as I knew that the concept would be fun and interactive.
Pacca is a funny quirky and very inquisitive alpaca who travels on a magical carousel from his home in the Andes to explore, learning languages on the way as well as exploring his new environment. In this first instalment, he pops off to Australia!
Here’s what the ‘blurb’ says:
Pacca Alpaca – Australia!
Pacca Alpaca – Australia is a multilingual app aimed at children aged two to six and designed to encourage them to learn new languages and understand the world around them as they embark on an Australian adventure with Pacca the alpaca.
Pacca’s adventure unfolds in his home in the Andes Mountains, as he spots a new destination from afar and flies off in his magical carousel to investigate. When he lands with a bump in Australia, a local host greets him and takes him on a tour of the country. Along the way, the two play games, meet other animals and learn about shapes, colours and numbers. While they play, children can earn rewards as they complete challenges and learn new words in their chosen language – French, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic or English.
The app is the first in a series of adventure apps following Pacca and his friends on their travels across the globe, so watch this space for the next installment!
Things I like about it:
It’s not a free app – it costs £2.49 – so having it on a class set of iPads would need some negotiation but I’ll definitely add it to my list of apps that I recommend to parents/grandparents who want ideas for engaging children in learning outside of the classroom as well as putting it on my iPad for individual/paired play.
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.
…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.
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 .
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:
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):
3. You could use the information strips to work on large numbers and dates; say a date and identify the person:
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…
5. You could ask learners to fill in a form based on the information given: here are some I’ve made
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.
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;
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:
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!
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!
My lovely husband John went to México in April and I promised afterwards that I’d share some of things that he bought back. However, I never got past the first item(s)! Time to put that right! I was overjoyed that he returned with a copy of Muy Interesante Junior. Although I’ve never seen the Junior version before, I was aware of Muy Interesante from browsing quioscos over the years. It’s a (Mexican) factual/scientific magazine with the strap line “La revisita para saber más de todo” and the Junior version is along the same lines aimed at younger readers. And I immediately thought: ‘Excellent! Non-fiction texts of varying lengths and for a variety of purposes – just what the new Curriculum ordered!’ As you can see from the cover and below, the edition has lots of interesting content including fact files, comic strips, activities, puzzles and articles. There are five regular sections (below with the focus for this edition in brackets) and also sections of Preguntas y respuestas, Club Junior and short Noticias.
El que busca encuentra (Mujeres célebres)
Mundo salvaje (Serpientes)
Tecnología (Cómo funciona el Internet)
Cuerpo humano (El sistema inmunitario)
Tierra en alerta (tormentas solares)
Here are some bits that I particularly liked.
Many pupils eat this type of tortilla but how much do they really know about them?
This double page spread is all about MEXICAN tortillas. How to make them, the origins of la tortilla, interesting facts, records, statistics, health information and language related to la tortilla too. There are even ‘dichos’ or sayings linked to la tortilla.
In the section on El Sistema Inmunitario, this section is all about how to give your immune system a hand. Good for talking about healthy lifestyles and also for giving instructions in Spanish. Lots of cognates and making connections with things that they already know about staying healthy as well as the (short) length of the bullet points make it accessible to young learners.
Space is one of the topics that I’ve found works really well as a cross curricular one in Spanish, and this series of articles (there are five pages worth!) add plenty of new information to my knowledge! Specifically, lots of information about asteroides, meteoros and meteoritos, and new vocabulary like una estrella fugaz, la lluvia de estrellas and los meteoroides.
I found the graphic below interesting – good vocabulary list too! And I discovered that the seven gold medals handed out on 15th February at the Winter Olympics in Sochi all contained part of a meteorite that fell on Russia on the date in a previous year (doesn’t say when!)
In the middle of the magazine there were two inserts – the first was a set of 18 double sided cards featuring ‘las maravillas naturales de la Tierra’ – one side has an image and the other a short description of the place. Good for countries, recognising landmarks by their Spanish name e.g. Monte Everest, las Cataratas de Iguazú, la Selva Amazónica etc and for map work. I can also see how you could use the short descriptions for simple reading activities:
You could give learners three cards and ask them to identify a landmark according to given statements. You could mix English and Spanish e.g. which place is one of the Seven wonders of the world? (Cataratas de Iguazú) ¿Dónde están los pilares de piedra? (China) Which place is the model for one of the habitats in Avatar? And what is the ‘habitat’ called?(Montañas de Zhangijajie en China; las ‘Montañas Aleluya’) And so on. Or you could make two sets and learners work in pairs to read a sentence and identify the card by listening and following.
The other insert is a double sided poster – one side has information about how an aeroplane flies and the other a really informative spread about the life cycle of a chicken, complete with pictures of chick embryos. You’d have to pick and choose which bits to share with younger learners but lots of good information that would be really useful for CLIL Science lessons.
There are so many other parts that I could highlight – in fact, too much material to assimilate in one go.
I can see that the articles on skyscrapers and tall buildings will be great for looking at large numbers, and I’ll certainly be coming back to the section on Héroes y Superhéroes as it looks at fantasy superheros as well as what makes a real hero, finishing off looking at some real superheroes like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Rigoberta Menchú (like the Hispanic touch!)
The bad news is that you can’t subscribe to the magazine from the UK – they’ll only send it to Mexico 🙁
However, all is not lost as there is a website…
You can’t access the whole magazine but there are selected parts. The current edition online has three highlighted articles on the shape of the moon, dinosaurs and saving the rain forests, and each concludes with links to another three related articles.
Then there are Temas de interés and Galerías of interesting photographs, again each linked to further articles and albums so there’s lots of content available if you explore!
Additionally, you can do a web search and find out what was in previous editions e.g. la sexta edición, la séptima edición, la octava edición. This isn’t much help with the website as you can’t back track on there but… you can purchase ‘back copies’ via Muy Interesante Junior app in the App Store. (Sadly no Android version yet although you can get Muy Interesante in the GooglePlay store)
The app is free but you must purchase each ‘magazine’ for £1.99 or, at the moment, you can subscribe for a year (6 editions) for £5.49. I’ve just downloaded one copy so far (wanted to check the quality before committing myself!) and am very impressed. All the pages (80 odd) and the posters and the photo cards. Well worth the money I’d say, even if it’s only for ideas and information for you because (with ADE hat on!) if you want to use it with your class, you need to purchase a copy for each iPad so it might not be something for all the iPads in a class set. You might buy it for a few, or project it from one device using AppleTV or Reflector or Airserver etc for small groups to use as part of guided reading.
That’s all for now – I’m off to read my newly downloaded June/July copy!
I’ve saved my favourite activity/pages for another post – coming soon!
I presented at Language World as part of a triple act on using iPads in language learning. Joe Dale and Helen Bates preceded me talking about QR codes, sound recording, making screencasts and flipped learning before I took over to talk my favourite app – BookCreator.
I shared how to make a book in BookCreator (free/£2.99), how to add images, sound, videos and hyperlinks; how to change the background, how to make sound buttons invisible and how to avoid copyright issues by using QR codes or hyperlinks to videos! I also showed PicCollage (free) as a way of making my front cover, and Tellagami (free) for adding a “talking head”.
I ran out of time to share how you can combine books into one, meaning that you can make a class book with all learners working separately before putting it all together on one iPad (e.g. save to Dropbox and then open and combine) but I did share the news that BookCreator is now on Android – very popular that one!
You can find out more by checking out my post on iPads here which covers things I shared and much more! You can also have a look at this post to see the process of how my Year3s made their eBooks that I shared.
And here’s a tutorial I did on using Explain Everything (two years ago)
Presentation by Lisa Stevens aka @lisibo about the iPad app Explain Everything (recorded using the app itself) for TeachmeetBrum and TeachMeet iPad. November 8th 2012
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