On June 16th I travelled to London for a day long conference organised by UnderstandingModernGov on the subject of Primary Languages – “Successfully implement the new Primary Modern Foreign Languages curriculum”. It was great to see Janet, Sylvie, Nadine and Julie, and to meet all the delegates to spend a day exploring how we can effectively plan, manage and deliver languages to primary aged pupils.
My part of the day was all about using technology; you can see the presentation below, and you can also access links to tutorials etc here.
I sketch noted all the sessions as you can see below.
Policy to practicality – Janet Lloyd
Phonics and Literacy – Julie Prince
Develop an innovative approach to Primary Language Teaching – Sylvie Barlett-Rawlings with Nadine Chadier
Additionally, you can see what Janet said on her blog.
On May 6th I made the trip across Birmingham in rush hour traffic to attend TeachMeetWM organised by the irrepressible and absolutely bonkers Simone Haughey at her school Robin Hood Primary. I sadly missed the choir singing and the start of proceedings thanks to a staff meeting and the traffic, but I arrived in the end to be greeted by delicious Chinese food saved for me by Sim and lots of friendly faces including John Rolfe and AnaPaula Booth from the British Council, and the staff of Robin Hood who are obviously well used to Simone as they didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked if they had a couple of hula hoops I could borrow!
There were many great presentations on the night including a couple via video, and you can see what you missed by looking at the Storify of the tweets at the end of the post. However, my presentation is below as promised for those who were there. How I managed to explain it all in 7 minutes I do not know but I avoided being attacked with a cuddly toy! Do leave a comment if you have questions!
Week 2 of the course focussed on understanding what aspects of language learning dyslexic students might find difficult and how we can assist in making language learning more enjoyable and less challenging for these students by making accommodations.
Below are my sketch notes of the videos; I’m enjoying sketch noting and finding that my own ‘style’ is starting to develop. (Still not happy with my drawings but I’m getting better!)
2.2 – Dyslexic students talk about their experiences
2.3 – Foreign language learning and dyslexia (Dr Margaret Crombie)
2.6 – Accommodating dyslexic learners in the classroom (Dr Anne Margaret Smith)
2.10 – Using IT to teach students with dyslexia (Dr Margaret Crombie)
I’ve now caught up with posts from the last two weeks so the next post will be a few days on coming whilst I finish week 3!
If you follow me on Twitter, you can get a sneak preview as I post each sketch note as I complete it. Otherwise, ¡hasta pronto!
Last Thursday I headed to Newcastle for ALL Connected, the title of this year’s Language World conference taking place on 20-21st March at Newcastle University. I look forward to LW each year as it’s a conference that offers lots of ideas but also lots to challenge my “little grey cells” and make me think.
This year I decided to replace my normal note taking with Sketchnoting as started at #ililc5. I’d tried using Paper app on my iPad there and found it quite tricky to use to the extent that it was distracting me from the session content. I’ll persevere and practice further but for Language World I choose a different tool – the notebook and pen! Actually, notebook, pens and pencils! I’m a strong believer in choosing the correct tool for the job, be that an iPad, a pencil and pen or a slate and chalk, and this combination allowed me to write more easily, select colour at will and, most importantly, focus on what was being said rather than worrying about zooming in and out or accidentally drawing whilst trying to make the toolbar reappear!
Below are my sketch notes created over the two days. I did them all ‘live’ – no retouching afterwards apart from one on which I’d made a mistake with someone’s name and felt I really should correct it as she’d won an award and deserved it!
Bertram Richter and Rebecca Bolland – Planning for Progress @KS2
Vicky Cooke – Teaching reading in KS2: leading learners towards independence
Jackie Rayment – Primary Languages Quality Mark
Bernadette Holmes – Interculturalism: The Power of 3
Clare Seccombe – Be a crafty languages teacher
Greg Horton – Talking the talk in the MFL Classroom
Rachel Hawkes – ALL for all and all for ALL: ALL CONNECT
René Koglbauer – ALL Connected: a celebration of language learning & teaching and volunteers.
Nadine Chadier – It’s all about the code
Wendy Adeniji – How can your teaching be consistently good or outstanding?
Roma Franziska Schultz and Emma Whittle – Ideas for using literature and developing literacy in the Primary Classroom
Rachel Hawkes – Memory and thought: why we can’t have one without the other.
Steven Fawkes – Now we are 25
Looking back on them, it’s amazing how much more I can recall about the sessions than I would following my more traditional note taking; my page was smaller than A5 so I had to carefully consider each word/phrase I wrote or picture I drew. I successfully kept to one page per session (45-50minutes) apart from two sessions where there was just too much to fit onto one page.
I’m still learning and developing my own style and I certainly need to work on my drawings (there’s a tortoise on one that looks like a sheep!) but I’m pleased with the way it’s going. I intend to keep working on it, and I’ll persevere with my iPad but I’ll save that for times when there’s no ‘time pressure.’
I was rather gobsmacked when Zena asked me to do the closing keynote at #ililc5. An offer I couldn’t refuse but daunting nonetheless. Especially as there was no ‘theme’ this year so I could talk about ‘anything’ according to my instructions!
As Christmas came and passed and I still hadn’t really been inspired, I grew more concerned. It wasn’t until mid January that a seed of an idea formed in my head. I’d been prepared to talk about Cupcakes and Smiles at TeachMeet BETT, a short presentation on education being about ‘feeding’ minds but also celebrating and rewarding learning, and that we did it for those ‘smiles’ that happen when the lightbulb goes on, when the unexpected happens, when you’re speechless at something a child has said and so on. There was no time for my presentation then – although I still shared my cakes. I was a bit annoyed as lugging a few dozen cupcakes from Birmingham and around London on the train and Tube is no fun and nor is being told off for daring to ice them in the presence of Sir Ken Robinson but that’s the way it works. Still, I liked the idea of cupcakes and when there were queries as to why I made cupcakes for TeachMeetBETT but not ILILC, the idea began to germinate.
Over the next few weeks I still wasn’t entirely sure what I’d say but a thought here and there occurred to me. Stupidly I didn’t write them down and I’m sure some ‘got away’. However, with help from my husband John (who must be fed up of my food/language analogies!) who told me to get a grip (and a notepad), Cooking on gas (other fuels are available) grew.
Ready to start?
On the day, armed with new shoes and an assortment of cupcakes, I shared my thoughts about language teaching and learning with the remnant that had managed to survive to the (not so bitter) end. And it was recorded! (I’d forgotten about that part until I was standing there.) You can watch it here.
As my presentation was in Keynote and delivered from my own MBP, the slides don’t show up in the recording but are all synced and appear alongside (thank you to the lovely Matt for doing that!) I’ve added the videos that you can’t see but can hear at the bottom of this post; I know that the Intermarché one about Les fruits et légumes moches has already proved helpful to more than one person!
I summarised some of the main messages right at the end (go to 45 minutes) if you don’t have time for the whole thing, and I’ve also added a Storify of the tweeting that was going on during the presentation; I certainly found it interesting to see what people had taken from my words and thoughts. And I was gobsmacked by the sketch notes too. Thank you Clare, Simone, Jane, Rachel and Catrin, and Alex, Jonathan and Ceri who had a cupcake in their ILILC5 summary sketch notes too. (If I’ve missed any, apologies and please tell me; I’ve been in a bit of stupor all week!)
It’s very different when you’re sharing your personal thoughts, reflections and passions; it made me feel very vulnerable so I’m really glad that people picked up on and identified with the key messages I wanted to share.
Start at 1.10 until 1.30 for the key bit:
PS At 23 minutes, I start talking about my language hero, and whilst I think I communicated that she was special, I didn’t share all that I might have done as time was pressing and I was getting choked up. So in my next post, I’ll tell you all about Luz Sánchez-Richardson, my language hero!
Here is the presentation and notes for my introduction to Twitter session at #ililc5.
I’d delivered a similar presentation before at the National eTwinning Conference in July but since then, new possibilities have arisen and these have been added. For example, you can now send video directly from the Twitter app (record it and send) rather than going via another app, and there is also the possibility of group DMs. Additionally, I’ve added a page of links to other useful material as well as making the ideas more language centred.
I hope those that attended found it useful – I know at least one started tweeting so that’s success in my book!
It was touch and go whether I’d make it to Language World this year but having missed it for the last two years, I was determined to make it even if I wasn’t 100%.
And I did, albeit deaf in one ear and in need of frequent sit downs.
Below are my notes from sessions I attended. You can also download many of the presentations from the two days on the ALL site – Friday and Saturday
Language World is always special to me and this year was no different. Thanks to everyone who ‘looked after’ me, especially Joe who was poised to do my part of the presentation should I keel over; Philip, my chauffeur(!); Julie P who also chauffeured me and with whom I had some excellent chats; Julie D for returning my cap when I left it lying around; and everyone who looked out for me, willed me to be better, and/or remembered to speak into my good ear at any point! Language teachers rock! 😉
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.
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.
Last Friday (21st) saw me charging from Stafford to Marston Green, and then running at high speed (wearing inappropriate shoes obviously!) from the carpark to Hall3 for TeachMeetEdShow.
Fortified by hugs from various people including Simone (who is as bonkers as me which helps) and Buncey (who is exceedingly clever but also daft as a brush) as well as a bottle of beer, I soon recovered and managed to speak (sort of) coherently for 2 minutes and then 7 minutes.
My slides are shared above – I’ll summarise what I said as the slides alone don’t really speak for themselves (especially the first part)
Keeping in touch
In my two minute presentation I shared the importance of staying in touch at a time when teachers feel very ‘got at’ and need all the support they can get. I shared how social media was wonderful when I was in Switzerland as distance didn’t matter; I knew what was going on, and felt included despite my physical distance. I talked about the support and advice offered, and the care given by people who you’ve never met but feel know and understand you, who notice when you’re a bit quiet or disappear for a while and send a quick “you OK?” message to check. As a community was laugh together, rant together and we cry together. And in the week that we lost Bev Evans, the most selfless caring generous positive star, I encouraged others to join in the community of support, on Twitter (or anywhere else actually) and look out for each other. I’m @lisibo if you fancy following! (Seems very appropriate that I post this on the day that we say #goodbyetoBev)
Felt a bit shaken after that and the discovery of a half eaten dark chocolate Bounty didn’t help. However, I blew my nose and the evening continued with great presentations about exciting science, reuseable QR codes and Whipsnade Zoo. And a real hedgehog.
Using the right tool for the job
My seven minute presentation was about choosing the right tool for the job. I shared the series of lessons with Year 3 Spanish on the theme of Mythical Monsters. We began with learning parts of the face with a song – and I made everyone sing which was amusing! I explained how song is a great tool for learning as, combined with gestures, all the learners could recall the words simply by singing in their heads and gesturing to bring the word to mind before sharing the book that inspired the next part of the sequence. Based on Go away Big Green Monster, I wrote a simple story called Señor Cabeza Naranja using auto shapes on Smartboard which repeated greetings, parts of the face and adjectives. From this learners used 2D shapes to make their own Señor and Señora Cabeza (insert colour) on large paper, photographing each step with an iPad and annotating the picture as they went along. We then used BookCreator app to create eBooks; we imported the photos, added the text that learners had rehearsed on the large paper, and then added sound as the pupils told their stories. The result wasn’t perfect but that wasn’t the point. It was a journey that continues using the right tool for the job to move forward.
I also managed to win the raffle (a Hue webcam) which was nice with my Twitter comment about the event