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Reading Macondo #FLMacondo

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 07.55.27I’ve spent part of each week during the summer holiday taking part in a MOOC  run by FutureLearn. Their courses are free and run throughout the year and I recommend them. I took part in a course on Dyslexia and Language Learning in May and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can find out more about my thoughts and findings on that course here, and apply to join the course when it is next run here.

This course was entitled Reading Macondo: the Works of Gabriel García Márquez

Explore why the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the 20th century’s leading writers in this free online course

I’d read some GGM as part of my Spanish studies at school, and then for fun later on, and the course immediately appealed as I enjoyed the books I’d read and wanted to discover more. I have to say that rereading them, guided by the magnificent tutors on the course, has been very revealing and rewarding too, and I’ve discovered so many links and parallels in the work of GGM that I’m more than ever convinced of his genius!

Here’s an introduction to the course (shared from the FutureLearn site)

We began by looking at GGM’s novellas: in week 1 we considered La H0jarasca / Leaf Storm and  in week 2, El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba / No One Writes to the Colonel.

Next, in week 3,  we looked at a selection of the short stories contained in Los Funerales de la Mamá Grande / Big Mama’s Funeral.

In week 4 we moved on to consider La Mala Hora/ In Evil Hour, a short novel that is GGM’s first attempt at writing something longer.

And in weeks 5 and 6 we reached his ‘masterpiece of global literature’, Cien Años de Soledad / One Hundred Years of Solitude.

As with the Dyslexia course, I’ve sketch noted each week and shared the finished notes on Twitter and with the course participants via the comments facility on the site, and I thought I’d share them here all together.

Week 1 - The structure of La Hojarasca

Week 1 – The structure of La Hojarasca

 

Week 1 - La Hojarasca/Leaf Storm

Week 1 – La Hojarasca/Leaf Storm

 

Week 2 - El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba / No one writes to the Colonel

Week 2 – El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba / No one writes to the Colonel

 

Week 3 - Los funerales de la Mamá Grande / Big Mama's funeral

Week 3 – Los funerales de la Mamá Grande / Big Mama’s funeral

 

Week 4 - La Mala Hora / In Evil Hour

Week 4 – La Mala Hora / In Evil Hour

 

Week 5 - Cien años de soledad / One hundred years of solitude

Week 5 – Cien años de soledad / One hundred years of solitude

 

Week 5 - Personajes en Cien años de soledad / Characters in One hundred years of solitude

Week 5 – Personajes en Cien años de soledad / Characters in One hundred years of solitude

 

Week 6 - Tiempo en Cien años de soledad / Time in One hundred years of solitude

Week 6 – Tiempo en Cien años de soledad / Time in One hundred years of solitude

I was very excited to see this note at the end of week 6:

You may be pleased to know that we will be offering a second FutureLearn course on the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which will examine The Autumn of the PatriarchChronicle of a Death ForetoldLove in the Time of CholeraThe General in His LabyrinthOf Love and Other Demons, and some short stories. We will contact you with more details about the new course once it has been announced.

This will be another course from the University of Los Andes on Gabriel García Mearquez, and this time it will look at how his work developed and changed course after Cien años de soledad. I just hope that it coincides with another break from work as I need time to read and reflect that I’m not sure I have in term time!

 

 

TeachMeetWMLanguages #tmwml

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015
@simonehaughey

@simonehaughey

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!

Las manos – calming Spanish songs and rhymes about hands!

Saturday, March 14th, 2015
Image from wikipeques - click for site

Image from wikipeques – click for site

Ever since #ililc5 when Janet Lloyd introduced us to this French song for gaining attention and restoring quiet in the classroom, I’ve been searching for a Spanish equivalent. So far I’ve not found one but it got me thinking about using songs and rhymes to create calm.

I have to admit that I tend to use them to either create excitement and action – see posts about La Vaca Lola and Choco Choco la la, two of my favourite songs, or to teach vocabulary – for example, see these posts on Yo quiero ser by Nubeluz or La finca del Tío Ramón and Hojas Hojas that I subtitled using Amara. However, I began to use this song to start all my lessons in KS1 at the start of the year and noted that as well as signalling the start of the Spanish lesson, it focused us all and calmed everyone down.

Part of the appeal is the routine, but I also think that the actions help. And as I was searching, lots of the songs and rhymes I found were either about or used your hands so I thought that warranted a post!

 SONGS

I came across some lovely songs that I think would certainly work for restoring calm, focusing attention and creating a ‘brain break’ during class:

1. El pourri de las manos

I love this collection of songs which could be used separately or as a whole! Each is only about 40 seconds long and all can be sung/acted on the carpet as well as in seats. Some helpful (opposites) vocabulary too – content/triste, arriba/abajo, abre/cierra, allí/allá.

I also like the way that it starts very calm and then gets a little more animated but not too much!

You can find the lyrics for this song here.

2. Saco una manito

This is one of the songs included in the above video – I think the ‘band’ will be very popular, and it’s still very chilled with the saxophone and calm actions!

Saco una manito. La hago bailar, / I take out one hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco la otra manito. La hago bailar, / I take out the other hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco las dos manitos. Las hago bailar, / I take out two hands. I make them dance.
Las cierro, las abro y las vuelvo a guardar. / I close them, I open them, and I put them away again.

3. Dedos

A very very simple song in which you touch each finger together one after the other then all together.

Palmas con un dedo, palmas con el otro, doy con el más largo, luego con el otro,

viene el más pequeño…

¡Y luego con todos!

Éste dedo es la mama,éste otro es el papa,el más grande es el hermanocon la niña de la mano,

el chiquito va detrás.

Todos salen a pasear 

 

4. El zapatero

This song about a shoemaker is the Spanish equivalent of Wind the bobbin up with arm rolling forward and back, pull, pull and then ‘pan pan pan’ as you gently hammer the shoe.

Envolviendo, desenvolviendo,

estira, estira y pan – pan – pan

envolviendo, desenvolviendo,

estira, estira y pan – pan – pan

zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar

zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar

 

5. Arramsamsam

I’ve seen this rhyme before but had forgotten about it. A nonsense rhyme, but with hand actions that require some concentration.

Arramsamsam, arramsamsam

guli guli guli guli guli arramsamsam

Alamis, alamis guli guli guli guli guli arramsamsam

 

6. Con mi dedito

A calm song for saying sí and no, firstly with a finger, then a foot then the head.

  Con mi dedito, digo: si, si

Con mi dedito digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y este dedito se escondió.

  Con mi piecito, digo: si, si 

Con mi piecito, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y este piecito se escondió

  Con mi cabeza, digo: si, si

Con mi cabeza, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y esta cabeza se escondió.

 

7. Manos divertidas

Another song about hands with lots of actions to copy!

  Ya mis manos se despiertan y ten van a saludar,

se sacuden con gran fuerza y después se enrollan de aqui por allá.

  Son mis manos divertidas, siempre salen a jugar

suben por una escalera y después se tiran por el tobogán.

  Ellas tocan la bocina, ellas te van asustar

y después de tanto juego, cuando están cansadas,

te invitan a soñar.

If you’re interested in more traditional action songs, have a look at Diversión con juegos de mano which includes Dos manitas, diez deditos and Los deditos.

RHYMES

Continuing on the original thought of bringing the class together, this might work as I’ve yet to find a class that don’t want to wiggle their bottoms given half a chance!

Mis manos hacen clap clap clap

Mis pies hacen stamp stamp stamp

Mi boca hace la la la

Cintura hace cha cha cha

Other rhymes using your hands include Los dedos de las manos and there are several more here including Dedo pulgar (the Spanish version of Tommy Thumb) and Cinco ratoncitos in which one less finger or ‘ratoncitos’ comes out each time to play! And the ever helpful Spanish Playground has some other suggestions too.

I was going to talk about clapping rhymes but I think I’ll save that for another post as they aren’t really very calming 😉

I’ll try some of these out in class and let you know what happens.

PS Over the last two weeks Y2 and I have been exploring world dance and this week we did some ‘flamenco’ arm work. There was utter concentration so perhaps that’s another avenue to explore!

Hay mucha vida en un roscón de Reyes.

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

“En el roscón de reyes puedes encontrar la figurita y el haba. La buena y la mala suerte. Teresa Tomás, de 104 años, nos enseña que en la vida también sucede igual. ¿Quieres saber lo que piensa?”

This short video is an advertisement for Consum but it has an important message.

I’m going to be remembering her final comment this year-

Lo importante es sencillamente eso – vivir.

And if you want to make a roscón the recipe is here: www.consum.es/roscondereyes

Pacca Alpaca

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

pacca iconpacca logo

Introducing Pacca Alpaca, a language learning app for little people!

I’ve been working with Anamil Tech on the Spanish dimension of this app and am pleased to say that it is now available in the iTunes and GooglePlay stores where it has already received a review!

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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!

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Things I like about it:

  • Pacca is a lovely character; very friendly and fun
  • you can complete the activities in several languages using the same app
  • there are no advertisements/pop ups/in app purchases
  • the language is clearly spoken by a child (the Spanish voice actor was a delight; a really sweet little girl from Canarias and it was a shame I didn’t actually get to meet her!) which I think is important in an app aimed at little ones
  • it’s fun to play the games and you are rewarded with souvenirs for the carousel
  • all the vocabulary you’ve learned is stored in your suitcase and can be reviewed when you wish
  • you can start again and recollect all the souvenirs when you’ve finished – and in another language if you want
  • there’s a Grown Ups page that explains the educational background and a TopTips document giving ideas of how to use the app too
  • you discover a new country/culture as you learn e.g. aboriginal style artwork is used for the colours, famous landmarks are shown
  • there’s the promise of more adventures to different places!

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.

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Mi calendario 2015

Friday, December 19th, 2014

calendarioHaving a number of pupils who don’t celebrate Christmas, and to alleviate ‘Christmas saturation’ I tried to come up with a different activity for the last week of term for my pupils.

Most of WPS have spent the last half term looking at days months and numbers so a calendar sprang to mind. And I recalled making a 3D one years ago…

I couldn’t find the template so I searched online for a dodecahedron net, and then for 2015 calendar tabs in Spanish, and then made my own.

‘Ingredients’

  • dodecahedron net copied onto card – dodecahedron
  • copy of Spanish calendar tabs for 2015 – (you’ll need to reduce it to half size I discovered unless you print it straight from the site in which case it’s the correct size!)calendariolaboral2015
  • scissors
  • glue
  • felt tip pens
  • LOTS of patience!

‘Method’

I gave each child a net on thin card and asked them to decorate each pentagon to form a background. Some chose a pattern, some tried to draw a suitable picture for the month, others just coloured.

Then they cut out the net – I’d made all the bits to cut really obvious by using dashed lines but still children cut off the tabs!

They cut each month out and stuck one month per pentagon onto the net.

Then the fun began! You need to fold all the pentagons inwards, and all the tabs too.

Sticking it all together starts off easy as you make a basket shape with the base but gets more and more fiddly as you have less space to grip and hold flaps so that they bond. My advice is to make sure the you do a tab or two at a time and hold them until they are firmly stuck. The last few joins will be more flimsy as you can’t apply pressure but if you try to leave a pentagon with several flaps, you should be able to just tuck them in and hope for the best!

Here’s my finished example:

IMG_3287

 

I’ve since discovered this preprinted dodecahedron calendar calendario-deca-2015 on the same site – it wasn’t there last week! However, I prefer my version as this has capital letters for the months and days and having battled with children all term to stop ‘correcting’ the date that is written on the board when they copy it into their books, I’m not going down that road!

And there is also a Calendario rombico calendario-rombico-2015 which looks interesting! You need to follow the instructions here to make it!

Whilst the bottom strip on the calendar tabs is not needed, it fits beautifully with the unit we’re studying as we’re in the middle of discussing festivals and dates, and the calendarios will be  great for practising saying the date in Spanish after Christmas break. However, having spent my lunch hour ‘rescuing’  a large pile of them, I don’t want to see another one for a while!

 

 

 

El pequeño petirrojo (2.0)

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 21.40.17It’s nearly Christmas again so out comes my favourite story – El Pequeño Petirrojo.

Checking back, my previous posts have lost all the links/content so it’s worth sharing again I think. Added to that, this year there are new ideas and added fun!

El Pequeño Petirrojo is the Spanish translation of Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnley (read here by Emilia Fox) I first discovered it whilst watching The Tweenies with my boys and then on a Spanish Tweenies video La Nochebuena that my parents bought me back from Spain in 2004(ish) In this particular episode, Santi Claws, as Jake calls him, picks up the Tweenies from their houses on Christmas Eve and takes them to the North Pole where he tells them the story.

It’s the story of a little robin who washes and irons his seven warm vests the week before Christmas. Each day he puts on a different coloured one and goes out into the cold, only to meet another animal who complains of being cold. And each day, he gives away his vest to the other animal, until he is left on Christmas Eve with no vests left, cold and alone! The story ends happily though as Father Christmas comes along and takes the robin to the North Pole where Mother Christmas knits him a very special red vest that will always keep warm.

I immediately saw the potential of this story in my classroom. I taught Kindergarten to Year 6 at the time and could see how it could be used with all these age groups. Initially, I downloaded clipart pictures of the animals and made flashcards, then drew different coloured vests. I laminated them all and told the story with these, moving the vests from robin to rabbit, mole, frog etc. It’s a great story as you can count the vests over and over, discuss the colour of the next vest and guess the next animal. It’s good for repetition – the refrain ‘Tengo frío’ is soon taken up by even the youngest children, who also like to join in with Gracias (good manners!) and it encourages concentration and memorisation as the children try to recall what happens next. And there’s the ‘moral’ element too – the robin showed the true spirit of Christmas by giving selflessly to help others, and was rewarded with his very special red vest.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 21.41.15A few years after I started telling the story, I made a Powerpoint with animations and sound files. I was helped at the time by the lovely Bev Evans who shared one of her many talents by making me the coloured vests clipart. She sadly died this year so this Christmas it was particularly poignant as I opened the file and started telling the story.

I began collecting the animals that are in the story a few years ago but never got a full set, and they were merely props; I still relied on my trusty laminated vest and animal flashcards. I had a two year break from using the story whilst in Switzerland and last year still didn’t have a full set of animals.IMG_0270

Years ago, Jackie Berry, a fellow primary language teacher from ‘down south’, made me very jealous when she shared pictures of a little knitted robin and vests that someone had made her. And this year, Jackie moved to France and decided to sell her primary resource collection. I was more than happy to give a new home to the vests and robin. In fact, I was ecstatic. And, spurred on by now having vests, I completed my animal collection.IMG_0278

Additionally I recently purchased some PE bibs with mesh pockets into which you can put cards.

So this year we moved on to El Pequeño Petirrojo 2.0!

In one classroom the projector was broken so I couldn’t show the presentation so went straight for the trusty flashcards and laminated vests to present the story. In the other class, I started with the presentation.

The second ‘reading’ of the story involved 10 children acting it out as I read the story and the class joined in with the repeated parts. Each actor (7 animals, the robin and Father and Mother Christmas) had a bib with their character card in the pocket. Additionally all the animals had a cuddly version of themself to hold, whilst the ‘pequeño petirrojo (PP)’ had his vests and Mamá Noel had a red vest which they both promptly put in their bib pocket too.

IMG_0279We put a washing line across the IWB and pegged up the vests as the class counted them, and then each day, PP removed the appropriate vest and put it on the knitted robin. The PP then skipped across the classroom as everyone chorused ‘La la la la la’, meeting an animal on the way. They greeted each other before the animal said ¡Tengo frío!, a refrain that was chorused by the class as well. Some recalled ¿Me puede ayudar? as well. PP replied ¡Aquí tiene! whilst removing the vest from the knitted robin and handing it to the animal. The animal responded ¡Gracias¡ and put it on their cuddly. Again, the class joined in with the repeated sections.
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This pattern continued until Nochebuena when PP finds him/herself without a vest and cold. Great acting from my PPs who looked suitably glum and then brightened up as Papá Noel ‘flew in’ on his sleigh; one Papá Noel started humming Jingle Bells which was a great touch! They ‘flew off’ to the North Pole where Mamá Noel produced the red vest from her bib pocket and presented it to PP who said ¡Gracias!

IMG_0280Everyone really enjoyed it and all wanted to join in. We didn’t have time but next week we’ll revisit the story with new actors. And I loved it too as everyone, irrespective of their ability, was able to join in.

 

I made some simple worksheets to accompany the story:

just pictures (line drawings) el pequeño petirrojo pix only

pictures (line drawings) with names in Spanish  el pequeño petirrojo

pictures (line drawings) with a sentence saying what colour vest each animal is wearing el pequeño petirrojo sentence colour

colour sentences to label the colouring sheet labels el pequeño petirrojo

 

And here’s the Powerpoint. El pequeño petirrojo final

You can also find it on Slideshare where it’s been viewed 2,670 times! (There’s a French version too!)

 

I’m looking forward to sharing it with Year 2 at WCPS next week, and rerunning it with Y3 at WPS on Wednesday morning.

 

 

BBC Primary ‘goodies’

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

I’m making a list of useful links that parents might use with their children to practice and reinforce their Spanish, and was struck by how many ‘goodies’ there are provided by the BBC. So I thought I’d share! NB I’ve focussed on Spanish but they all come in a variety of languages – see individual sections)

1. The Lingo Show

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 19.25.45

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/lingo-show/

For younger learners (preschool onwards), The Lingo Show started out as a website featuring ‘language bugs’ who teach Lingo a few words in their language. As it was so popular, it became a TV series with episodes featuring  Jargonaise (French), Wèi (Mandarin) and Queso who teaches Spanish, and then a second series featuring the German, Welsh and Urdu bugs was made and broadcast in May 2013.

The website has fun activities as well as links to songs that feature.  Current languages include Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German, Sinhala, French, Welsh, English, Italian, Urdu.

Here’s an example of a song featuring Queso from Youtube, and the link to a counting song

2. BBC Primary Languages website

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 19.25.29

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primarylanguages/spanish/

The ‘old’ Primary Languages website with ‘animales animados’ and Jhonny (sic) and co was great (and you can still access the archived version minus games here) but I was really excited to be involved in ‘revamping’ the site and rebranding it. It was developed when languages were to be compulsory and the KS2 Framework was THE bible of primary language learning, but it still stands in my opinion. This site was written to be accessible to KS2 pupils and is organized in topics. It includes:

  • vocabulary with sound files to help pronunciation;
  • interesting tips and facts about Spanish/French/Mandarin;
  • vocabulary games;
  • videos;
  • songs;
  • links to other helpful resources

There were limitations to the things that could be done e.g. interactivity, ‘free’ writing, games beyond vocabulary recognition level  etc. And I sometimes wonder what happened to other ideas and resources that I saw and wrote that have never appeared on the site – including sentence building games, lesson plans. worksheets  and notes for parents.

I’ve used the site with Y2 recently and they love the songs – they listen as they work and have started singing along. Sometimes they want to see the words and other times they want to watch without. The tunes are excellent – the composer did a good job of making the words fit in English Spanish French and Mandarin to the same tune!

I’ve signposted it to my colleagues as well as a way that they can ‘do their bit’ to reinforce Spanish learning; non-threatening as it’s all there for them.

3. Bitesize (now the home of Learning Zone)

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The ‘repository’ of all the BBC videos used to be the Learning Zone Class clips, but they have moved to Bitesize (actually since I started writing this post!) The Learning Zone is still there in archive form and still works; it just won’t be updated. If you scroll down to Spanish in the Primary section, there are lots of clips of programmes on a variety of subjects:

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However, these videos – and others – are now listed on BBC Bitesize. There are categories for Spanish according to the ‘Key Stage’ system:

KS1 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zhyb4wx

KS2 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zxsvr82 

but also for Scotland.

second level (9-12 year olds) Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z72mn39 

(NB there are other languages too  in all the above sections! French, German, Italian, Mandarin)

These two clips come under KS2 School and are from a series called Adventures Abroad; a playground game called Abuelita ¿Qué hora es? that I’ve played with classes, and a programme about primary school routine in Spain that I know has been used and enjoyed by others who found Papo the parrot particularly amusing.

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The Stories poems and songs section is particularly interesting as it includes lots of traditional tales such as The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The Sun and the Wind and Frau Holle as well as traditional songs like Old Macdonald and new ones like this one about Don Quijote!

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And that brings me on to…

4. Virtually there

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yzd0d/clips

This is a series of programmes in which a child, Ashleigh, is helped with her Spanish by friends in Spain via video conferencing. It also includes some songs and cultural information. (Also in French and German)

Here’s the trailer…

and here are the episodes:

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Something I’ve noticed is that the clips all have a QR code option for sharing which I like! That means that I can make a display of all the QR codes and then learners can access them whenever they wish (as long as they have an iPad or mobile device!); for example, as an extension/further learning for early finishers.

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I really like Virtually there. Ashleigh isn’t a KS1 child; I’d say she’s nearly secondary age so it would appeal to older KS2 learners and also KS3 beginners. I also like the mix of ‘live’ episodes and songs; the gender song is one of my favourites.

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So, there’s a round up of BBC online ‘stuff’ for primary learners. Hope it’s helpful!

Los animales and Little Languages – the story so far.

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

I’m conscious that I haven’t posted since before school started so I thought I’d share something I’ve made this week.

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At WCPS, Foundation and Key Stage 1 teachers follow the Little Languages scheme of work for Spanish. It’s simple to use, has clear instructions and best of all, builds up from a +/- 10 minute activity/ies in FS to 10- 15 minutes in Y1 and 15-20 minutes in Y2. The activities can be repeated during the week or just done once, and there’s lots of repetition. Sound files are included to support the teachers (none of whom are fluent or confident Spanish speakers) and visuals too.

I’m timetabled to teach two Y2classes this half term which is great, so I’m following the same scheme but making it a bit more in depth and adding my own bits to it! At the same time, I need to ensure that the third class have a similar experience; their teacher is doing their lessons with half a class at a time as the other half go swimming and then the other half when they swap.

The last few weeks have been based around animals.

Week one we sang an adapted version of  Vengan a ver mi granja featuring a kitten (un gatito) and a duckling (un patito). We sang the song with actions then played Patito/Gatito, a game with cuddly toys.

We sent someone out of the room and hid the ‘gatito’. When they returned we had to find ‘gatito’ by listening to the rest of the class repeating its name; the nearer the person got, the louder we said ‘gatito’. One class was really good at the dynamics whilst the other needed a bit of help as they were loud from the start and didn’t leave themselves enough leeway to get louder without screaming! Then we played with ‘patito’. This led to horror when someone hid the cuddly in the class play oven! The next week, we added ‘perrito’ to the game. Very popular and the children recalled the words clearly after so much repetition.

Download wk 1 gatito patito

The next week we moved onto a story about wild animals called ¿Quién soy? in which you see small parts of a wild animal who asks ¿Quién soy? before revealing themself and saying ‘Soy un elefante / un tigre / una jirafa’ etc. Whilst reading the story for the first time, we assigned each animal an action and children showed they understood by doing the action on subsequent retellings. For example, un elefante was arm as a trunk; una jirafa, arm above head like a long neck; un tigre was claws in front; and un león was the same but whilst swishing your hair. They also joined in with ¿Quién soy? and some with the response too. Another game followed in which children mimed an animal and asked ¿Quién soy?, challenging their classmates to guess. Again, plenty of volunteers and lots of language. We also used masks to play a similar game with the images from the story; we looked at the clue images, chorusing ¿Quién soy?, and the child wearing the correct mask jumped up and announced ‘Soy….’  

Their favourite is…

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… accompanied by puffing out the cheeks (which strangely helped them to say the word!)

To continue the theme I made a simple labelling sheet with 8 animals, three of which they hadn’t met: un mono, una cebra, una serpiente. This led to a really good discussion about how they could work out which animal these words matched.

 

Mono looks like the start of monkey.’

Cebra looks like zebra.’ ‘It starts with a s sound not a z or a c though’

Serpiente sounds like snake because it’s got a sss at the start’ (that followed me reading the word with a very sibilant s!)

Download jungle animals worksheet

This week, the lesson was to be based around Alarma en la jungla. But I couldn’t it. I’m sure I’ve got it so Im not buying another copy until I’ve had a good look, and I couldn’t find a powerpoint or PDF online (that didn’t require me to sign up to something requiring my credit card details!) so I had to find an alternative.

Step forward, Animales salvajesThis is a lovely book that I bought in Spain for 2€ which has a little rhyme giving a clue to the animal hiding behind the ‘plastic page’. Look at the example below!

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We’d met all but one animal so I planned to read it to the class, sharing the book so that everyone could have a look, emphasising or explaining key words to help them guess. For example, the first animal is described as ‘verde’ and they have a chart of Spanish colours on the wall so that gave them a clue that it wasn’t the elephant! However, I was aware that my colleague in the 3rd Y2 class couldn’t speak Spanish and wouldn’t be able to read the book to the children. So I made a powerpoint with embedded sound for her so she could just show the pictures and turn the pages whilst the text and sound came from the IWB. And I added a question to each slide too ¿Qué es? as it’s a common question that they’ll hear repeatedly.

Download animales salvajes

Except we had two special assemblies so we didn’t use it! However, we’re all ready for next week. And hopefully the sound on the IWB in one of the classes will be fixed as the children are eager for a repeat of Veo a un animal on the BBC Primary Spanish website.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 18.25.09Firstly, it’s a guessing song about wild animals.

Secondly, they like the funny pictures and the catchy tune.

And thirdly, they are particularly impressed because I wrote it (and all the other Spanish/French songs, games and vocabulary /information pages on the site)  and this has elevated me to superstardom in their eyes!

We did however have a great game of ‘Secret leader’ in which we all sat in a circle and chanted a word whilst doing an action. We sent a child out and nominated a leader who would change the action whenever they wanted (I changed the word in response to their action as it was the first time we’d played but one child did it themselves so we’ll see what happens next time!). The child returned and had to work out the Secret leader.  “Oh, it’s like ‘Wink-faint’ isn’t it?” said one child which made me think of the days when we used to ‘murder’ each other and die violently and gorily! This class are only 6 years old though 😉 Again, a game with lots of repetition with the action reinforcing the spoken word.

I’ll report back on how we’re progressing at a later date. Hope you enjoy the resources I’ve shared.

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.

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…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.

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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!