Entries RSS Comments RSS

Posts Tagged ‘grammar’

SW London Primary Languages conference 17.03.17

Friday, April 28th, 2017

I was privileged to be invited to speak at the recent SW London Primary Languages conference organised by the Merton and Kingston Primary MFL Network. I had attended and spoken at a previous conference three years ago and was eager to attend another as it had been such a positive experience (Tube and a stinking cold not withstanding!)

This year I was asked to speak on Sketchnoting and I began the conference by doing some! Here are my sketchnotes of the sessions prior to mine, delivered by the ever inspiring Sue Cave and Kati Szeless.

Sketchnote of Sue Cave‘s talk on “Grammar Moves” (actively learning grammar)  at SW London Primary Languages Conference.

Sketchnote of Kati Szeless‘ session at SW London Primary Language Conference on encouraging non specialist staff to support and get involved in language learning. I can now count to 10 in Hungarian!

My presentation was very similar to the one on Slideshare below, but this time I had a go at a bit of live sketch noting and switched the order around a little to give people more of a feel of the HOW before I talked about the WHY. Thanks to Sue Cave for taking the photo at the top and the one below! I hope that people found it helpful; I certainly had some lovely initial feedback and quick chats immediately afterwards!

 

Sketchnoting for beginners #LW2016 from Lisa Stevens

La Maravillosa Medicina de Jorge – #WBD2016

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

IMG_1397My school decided that this year we’d have a Roald Dahl theme for World Book Day on March 3rd. Children came to school dressed as characters from Roald Dahl books – so lots of Oompa Loompas, Matildas, BFGs and Willy Wonkas not to mention a Fantastic Mr Fox appearing around every corner – and lessons were to have a similar theme. Serendipitiously I had purchased a copy of La Maravillosa Medicina de Jorge during my recent trip to Mexico so a plan began to form.

I had originally thought about a dictionary lesson in which children looked up ingredients for there own ‘medicine’ and wrote a list. Suitably purposeful and fun at the same time. Looking at the timetable I realised that I had Year 5 and 6 on WBD so thought I would ‘up’ the challenge. So I did. And I’m really pleased that they rose to said challenge!

Below are details of what we did. There was too much for one lesson; in fact, to do each activity justice I’d say you’d need at least two and a half hours, if not three. One class had 30 minutes…

The lesson began with me reading a chapter of the book – in Spanish of course. The chapter, entitled El maravilloso plan, is near the start of the book and is the one in which Jorge/George considers what to do about his intolerable grandma. He toys with the idea of blowing her up or using snakes or rats to scare her but, realising that he doesn’t have the means to do that, he spies her medicine and hatches a plan. It concludes with a rhyme in which he excitedly shares his plan. It lends itself well to dramatic reading and has illustrations that help with understanding, plus there are quite a few cognates. Additionally, it’s three pages long so manageable!

FullSizeRender_opt1. Listen to and follow a chapter

I copied the text* so that children (in pairs) could follow as I read and also displayed the appropriate image for the section on the whiteboard. I stopped after each section to ensure that they were following the story, and also used lots of actions and acting to ‘animate’ the story. It certainly engaged the classes as there was no chatting during the reading, and they were so engrossed that when I reached the part where Jorge/George jumps on the table and actually did it, they were rather shocked. Did get a few cheers afterwards!

If we’d had more time… I’d have done a ‘find the word for..’ activity, both in English and Spanish.

2. Read aloud a rhyming section

I read the last section then we went back and looked at it again. I decided that the first section was all we could attempt in the time we had. I read each line and the class repeated, then we read it again together. Then the class read it to each other in pairs or threes. It was a real test of their phonic knowledge as they’d only heard it three times, and had four minutes to rehearse before I asked if anyone wanted to have a go at reading it aloud to the class. There were between three and eight volunteers in each class who bravely stood and read it together, some with incredibly good pronunciation that made me want to jump up and down and squeal! I think the children were impressed too, especially as two of the classes had heard their native speaking classmate reading it aloud and hearing that it’s quite tricky to get your mouth around it even when it’s your first language!

If we’d had more time… I’d have worked on more of the rhyme and had groups rehearsing a section for a whole class poem recitation! Fits well with the school literacy policy and current focus on poetry. 

IMG_14023. Listen to a recipe and put it in order

Moving on, I’d created my own ‘maravillosa medicina‘. I cut the instructions into strips and gave each group (threes) a set. As they listened to me reading the recipe, they put the recipe into order. They did this very successfully without much problem. Before we checked our answers using the PPT, I asked children if  they could guess any of the ingredients. They were successful with shampoo and got close to engine oil (¾ said petrol), understood that paper was included and knew that ‘comida de gatos’ had something to do with cats! We went through the recipe and discussed what the instructions meant.

Download la receta

If we’d had more time… we could have done another sorting activity with pictures of the ingredients as an extra challenge, or a ‘fill the gap’ activity with the text if we were feeling extra adventurous.


IMG_1389
4. Write your own ‘maravillosa medicina’

Using some of the vocabulary from my ‘receta’, I made some colour coded cards to guide recipe writing. Green = ingredients  orange = quantities and blue = instructions/verbs. Each table had a pack of words and we discussed how to form phrases using an orange and a green card, or a sentence using a blue, then orange then green card. Children then made up their own recipes for ‘una maravillosa medicina’ on a copy of the final slide. Some chose to work in pairs but others preferred to write their own recipe although they formed sentences together. They worked at a variety of levels: the minimum was to write a list of ingredients. Next level was to specify quantities as well as ingredients. The next level was to give instructions by adding a verb. Some children decided to aim even higher and add sequencing words such as  primero, después, entonces etc. I was really pleased to see that the dictionaries were used very intelligently by which I mean, there were very few children who tried to look up every single word. That’s progress as I find that some pupils are so eager to please that they try to write overly complicated phrases rather than following the structure and adding ‘glittery bits’ as I call them!

Download medicina cards

We ran out of time in the lesson to do this part – most classes had about 20 minutes but the vast majority went for it and there was some great work. I asked everyone to finish their medicine for next lesson and I’ve promised to award prizes for the best entry in each class. To help, we looked at how to use wordreference.com 

If we’d had more time… we’d have spent time making and sharing phrases with the cards before starting to write the recipes. We’d also have spent more time in class on writing the recipes. It’s always risky letting children take work home to finish…

IMG_1387 IMG_1386
IMG_1404 IMG_1403

Next week I will share the completed medicines but I hope that you get a feel for what we did in this post. I enjoyed the lesson and I’m pretty sure that the pupils did too as there was no one off task in any of the four classes, and there was a buzz of discussion about ingredients and how to construct correct sentences throughout the day. I only wish we’d had more time.

So, I wonder what the theme will be next year?

* As I photocopied one chapter of the book only, this was not a breach of copyright. Schools have a CLA license and, as I own the book, it is acceptable as detailed below. The illustrations in the presentation come from that chapter too. For more information see http://www.copyrightandschools.org

copyright rules

PS I did dress up as a Roald Dahl character, but not from George’s Marvellous Medicine. Can you work out who I am? (I’m the one in mortal danger!)

12806201_10154771290609152_2647308444962819072_n

 

Sweet inspiration

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Being stuck with my foot up is giving me plenty of time to read, think and play with my tech, and this morning a combination of the three inspired this post!

I was pinning away on Pinterest when I came across this ‘Pin’

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 14.08.46

I followed the link and as I looked at the article, I started thinking “How could I use this?”

So I started making a list

1. Compare the sweets eaten in France and UK. Are they the same?

2. Look at the names of the sweets e.g. les bouteilles de Coca, les bonbons au caramel. Could you understand these names without seeing the pictures? Test it by giving learners the images and the words separately and see if they can match them. Or ask “Qu’est-ce que c’est ‘Bottle’ en français?”

3. Look at ordinal numbers “le bonbon en première position est…?” “Dans quelle position est la fraise Tagada?” “Quelle est le bonbon en huitième place?”

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 14.26.014. Discuss likes and dislikes – “Tu aimes les bouteilles de Coca?” ” Tu préfères les Dragibus ou les Chamallows?” “Quel bonbon aimes-tu?” Encourage use of connectives e.g. “Je n’aime pas le Reglisse mais j’aime beaucoup les Schtroumpf”,  “J’aime les Chamallows mais je préfère les bouteilles de Coca.”

5. Conduct a survey. You could use the French sweets or find out about the learners’ likes and dislikes by asking for example “Tu préfères quel bonbon?”

6. Make a bar graph of the results and discuss “Combien d’enfants aiment les bonbons au caramel?”

7. You could use the above graph to talk about plus / moins (more and less) “Les Schtroumpf sont plus ou moins populaires que le nounours à la guimauve?” “Quel est le bonbon plus populaire?”

8. Talk about the colours of the sweets. I also found these really colourful lollipops that would be good.lollies

Or you could use a packet of Smarties and count how many of each colour you get in each tube. (More opportunity to use plus/moins que)

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 15.16.55

9. Learners invent their own sweets! This could lead to recipes, labelling colours and shapes,  craft as they could make them out of clay/playdough, coloured paper, and even trying to sell them to their peers using persuasive language “Mes bonbons sont délicieux” “Oui, mais les sucettes sont plus savoureux” and so on10. And finally, as healthy lifestyles are important, perhaps linking sweets to thinks we should and shouldn’t eat, and foods that “bon pour la santé” Perhaps use a food triangle to add foods in the correct proportions with sweets at the very top! There are Spanish examples on my Pinterest Or you could make a poster  like this Spanish one  using Moins and Plus. And here are a few examples in French.

Click to download.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.07.37 A collage of food.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.05.31 This made me laugh!Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.05.15

 

I looked for a similar article in Spanish but couldn’t find one. However, I did find this video of Spanish sweets and chocolate

I also came across this article that gives a list (and description) of types of sweets in Spanish and information on how to start a sweet shop!

And this board – Postres y dulces de España – on Pinterest so check it’s not blocked in school before you rely on using it in your lesson! It shows an example of a pastry or sweet from many regions and cities of Spain. Mouthwatering!

Whilst I didn’t find the 10 most popular sweets in Spain, I found some dangerous ones – Los 21 dulces más peligrosos (from USA so I hadn’t heard of lots of the sweets) talks about the sugar/fat/carbohydrate content of various sweets as well as hidden nuts and so on, and also this article on Halloween sweets

And I did find some popular Mexican ‘dulces’ (not quite the same as it includes all sorts of sweet treats not just sweets/candy)

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 15.43.09 Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 15.43.20

5 dulces mexicanos más populares includes recipes as well as details of palanquetas, alegrías, glorias, ate and cocada.

And Los 10 dulces más típicos de México expands on the above giving some further examples of Mexican treats like cacahuetes garapiñados and mazapán.

So – what would YOU do? Please leave your ideas in the comments, or via Twitter @lisibo

Off to have dark chocolate Bounty now 😉 Délicieux!

 

Update!

I’ve made a PDF/PPT of the top ten French sweets-

Les top 10 bonbons PDF   Les top 10 bonbons PPT

 

Your ideas!

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.34.39

 

See slide 37 of Clare’s presentation for an idea of how she uses this site to support Maths skills.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.35.46

 

 

And Erzsi replied too. I had to look up why she took in a Chupa Chup for Dalí so I learned something new too!

And my husband has just come back from Mexico with these!

photo

There’s more to PLL than ‘that donkey’ – #SWLPLC

Sunday, April 13th, 2014
photo

Thanks to Joe Dale for the photo (and video later)!

I had the privilege on 28th March to speak at the South West London Primary Languages Conference #SWLPLC. My talk was entitled There’s more to PLL than ‘that donkey’ (Tip Top Tips for Primary Language Learning) and took inspiration from my son who when asked what he’d done in French usually replied “oh, we did that donkey again”. I have nothing against Mon âne but there’s more to PLL than singing as I went on to explain, sharing some of my favourite activities and ideas. Below is my presentaion and links to resources I used and sites I referenced.

A lovely day and well worth the early morning; great to see Joe, Rachel, Carmel and finally meet Ceri and Sue, and also to have so many positive comments about Primary Language learning flying around the room.

Habitats matching activity

worksheet LAT SP FR ROM NUMBERS 1-31

el nabo enorme

Oso Pardo pdf

Oso pardo

blank brown bear

Simpsons song

Que colores hay

 

Links from presentation

Rachel Hawkes’ phonics

Music for Los vocales D.I.S.C.O.

 Rhabarberbarbara

Jo Rhy Jones phonic activities 

I didn’t get to share my Pinterest pages as they were blocked by the firewall, but here’s the link to my Roman resources for Spanish. And if you flick through, resources for lots of other topics/themes too.

I also recommended looking at The Iris Project and LightBulbLanguages (formerly MFL Sunderland) for other resources that I have found useful for Latin/Greek (former) and Latin, Planets and much more (latter) And check out TES Resources from Joan Miró resources fromHelen Stanistreet and Rachel Hawkes

Boowa et Kwala – Peut tu marchez comme un canard? Fingerpaint song

Padlet.com – for collecting ideas (online post it notes)

Storybird – make up your own stories using illustrators images.

MFL Storybird wikispace

I also mentioned Tellagami, Pic collage and Book Creator app. Check out this post for more details!

Again, if I’ve forgotten to upload something that I promised, please let me know!

 

(Sorry it’s taken me so long to post – illness, work and OFSTED held me up!)

 

Something old, something new #ililc4

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

My second session at #ililc4 was entitled Something old, something new and concerned the new 2014 curriculum.

My presentation is below, and I’ll explain briefly what I said as I couldn’t attach the notes without making the Slideshare look ugly!

And there are lots of links ideas and resources at bit.ly/oldlisibo (should have thought out that URL more carefully!)

Something old, something new. from Lisa Stevens

As I explained on the day, when you have to submit your idea so far in advance and aren’t entirely sure how your idea will pan out, it is quite tricky to come up with a witty/apposite title. My choice of Something old Something new was mainly because I envisaged sharing some old ideas and some new ones plus some borrowed from others. However, as I came to think in more detail I began to think more about weddings!

Primary languages have had a bit of a torrid love life, being loved and then rejected by the primary curriculum, nearly getting up the aisle in 2010 but being jilted at the last moment when all was going so well. So I set out to explore the ‘prenuptial agreement’ (or Languages Programmes of Study at KS2), how we can make this ‘marriage’ work, how to convince those that are nervous about married life and how we’ll keep the spark alive.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 14.09.01

So I began by looking at the Programmes of Study, highlighting parts of the  document that I found interesting.

Purpose of study – Intercultural Understanding is still really important – it’s a vital part of language learning. Providing learners with building blocks AND mortar is key if they are to be able to express what they want in the foreign language. And ‘great works of literature’ doesn’t mean Don Quijote de la Mancha, A la recherché du temps perdu or Mein Kampf at Year 3; poetry is great literature and we regularly use an extract tom Machado in Year 5 as stimulus for writing.

Aims – It’s about a balance and variety of things; a breadth of experience that leads to progression. No arguments there!

The lack of detail in the Attainment target section could be seen as a bit disconcerting but doesn’t give much guidance. However, I’m hanging on to my Key Stage 2 Framework which is still a great document; follow that and you can’t go far wrong. Measuring progress in terms of I can statements is also helpful, and there’s been a great discussion on Primary languages forum this week on what we should be looking for in terms of skills progression. (Want to join in? Join the forum or ask to join the Sharing Primary Languages wikispace)

Subject content – I highlighted that whilst it says ‘substantial progress in one language’, this does not mean that looking at other languages is precluded; in fact, I’d positively encourage it as making links between languages  is a vital language learning skill. We discussed how a balance of skills can be achieved when some are more comfortable with speaking activities than the written word which seems more ‘serious’ and permanent. And we mentioned ‘the grammar question’ – it’s not such a bad thing! Nor is looking at languages such as Greek and Latin; very useful for understanding the formation of languages as I discovered on my year abroad at Universitat de les Illes Balears. Finally in this section we thought about laying those foundations for KS3. I referred back to a presentation I’d made at Language World called Bricklaying for Beginners and how bricks need mortar, and how it’s not a wall that needs demolishing at KS3; reinforcing but not knocking down!

I then took each  ‘pupils should be taught to..’ statement and split them into listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar, suggesting ideas and activities that might meet them.

There are lots of links on the wiki to many of the ideas but here are some comments:

  • ‘joining in’  is very important and builds confidence as does repetition e.g storytelling, reciting rhymes and poems
  • making links between graphemes and phonemes is important to enable increased fluency e.g. listening out for phonemes in songs/rhymes, sorting words, reading with your Spanish/French/German glasses so you view graphemes not as you would in your own language
  • confidence with phonics is vital to teacher and learner; syllables and stress patterns too – hence my pupils’ love of stress punching!  (a post about this and ‘animal symphony’ will follow shortly)
  • books are brilliant – not just fiction though! Non fiction is very popular with boys and also is great for linking to other curricular areas: going back to my analogy, this ‘marriage’ is about give and take! If you can’t find suitable books, make your own as with my Storybird ¿De dónde viene el yak?
  • learners can decode more complex texts without knowing every word if you provide them with the confidence to do so, embed language learning skills and discuss how languages work  from the very start.
  • writing doesn’t have to be in a book; whiteboards, post-it notes, mini books, Padlet, labels, paper chains, posters, your partner’s hand; they all count!
  • structuring and scaffolding is fine – trapdoors are great as starters as is making human sentences and physically rearranging words. The Human Fruit machine with 3+ learners holding a large dice with 6 images of nouns/adjectives/verbs etc on them and spin is a great way of making make random sentences and exploring how you can substitute words in existing sentences to make new ones!
  • I loved grammar at school; I liked the logic of it all and the patterns. So why not exploit that and make verb flowers, grammar songs and raps, dice games and so on. Use highlighters/colour to clarify grammar ( I lived by my red=accusative, green=nominative and blue=dative when learning German) be it nouns, adjectival placement, verb endings/groupings or spelling.
  • Use activities that are used in other areas of the primary curriculum; learners up level sentences in Literacy all the time so why not in the foreign language? Word pyramids starting with a word and extending to a complex sentence at the base? And card sorting activities too.

So that’s the session in a (pretty big) nutshell!

(Written whilst lying flat on my back in pain so please excuse typos!)

Spanish Angry Olympics – parte 13

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

What will happen today as Mr Angry Potato Head and Mr Confused and Angry Wolfman have their duel in the boxing ring?

In BOUTS OF SHOUTING, the grammar point today is interjections and exclamations (no swearing obviously!)

If you’ve enjoyed the Angry Family Olympics, you can find more videos on their Youtube channel. You can also discover their relations who speak German, Chinese and French!

Spanish Angry Olympics – parte 12

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

The penultimate episode today – what WOULD the Angry Family LIKE to be after the games are over?

Today the phrase is ME GUSTARÍA ….- I would like

Spanish Angry Olympics – parte 11

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Results are in at the Angry Olympics! A great opportunity to practice ORDINAL NUMBERS. (I love the names of the characters!)

Spanish Angry Olympics – parte 10

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

TENSE MOMENTS today as the Angry Olympics recall what HAS HAPPENED.

Grammar today – the past tense with examples of the perfect, preterite and imperfect tenses.

Spanish Angry Olympics – parte 9

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

A weird one today…

Sports facilities and what you can do at the ‘polideportivo’ feature today as a knife gives Mr Angry Potato Head a tour in a dream sequence to rival Bobby-in-the-shower in Dallas