Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Network for Languages Philip Campagna Differentiation

We were able to attend a series of talks/workshops run by Routes into Languages In our school last month. The first I went to was Differentiation by Philip Campagna. Here are my rough notes: 

Of the ways to differentiate, the easiest (although a bit of a cop out) is differentiation by outcome. 
Most teachers teach to the middle. 
Be careful with extension work, a lot of bright children don't like the idea that they're given harder work, they want to go deeper
If differential gets wider within a class, planning gets harder and harder. 
Target the individual pupil, give them autonomy.  

Is planning more about getting through topics or helping learners progress in their learning? 
The attitude of the learner is key. How do we get a learner to buy in? 

Look at language acquisition rather than rote learning with little comprehension. 
Writing is just copying at this stage. We want them to develop skills. 

David Crystal A little book of language
We should be like tennis coaches, break it down, exaggerate it. 

Differentiation by support, let them see the bigger picture, work the first two questions as examples. 
Teacher, pupils helping each other, classroom assistant. 
Language ambassadors/leaders. Get them to talk to younger pupils re what it was like to go through GCSEs. 
Audit rest of staff to see if they have any languages. 

Differentiation by text / resources. 
Need to build in challenge even for lower ability  pupils. 

Differentiation by task. Eg do similar task where weaker ones interview 6th Years, as they find writing difficult.  

Differentiation by interest: what are they interested in? 
Do they want to go off skiing etc? Interview them re interests eg future plans and teach them that vocab 

Teachers dislike identifying less able pupils but kids know. 
Use 'at least' as this gives even weakest chance of success. (At least 2 better than at least 5) 
Replace at least 5 words in the text with synonyms

Use same photo for different activities with different year groups. 
Form 1 as self. 
Forms 2-3 as third person. 
A level conditional
Differentiation by support. Give less able pupils key words or ask them what words they would want to say. 

Improvise as many sentences as you can which contain the word X (eg Tigre) Go table by table for feedback on possible sentences. 


Differentiation by support: 

Explain to your partner how you did something,  figured something out. 
We don't give them iPhone classes but they work it out because they want to.
Ask kids how we could use the technology.  

Ability groups or mixed ability groups acc to fitness for purpose. 
Try boy/girl seating plan for some activities. Watch the boy dynamics. 

Work in groups to reconstruct the text. 

Network for Languages Philip Campagna Group Talk

The second session at the Network for Languages event was led by Philip Campagna on Group Talk. Brain child of Greg Horton, we have been playing around with the idea of Group Talk for a while now so I was keen to hear what Philip had to say. Here are my notes: 

Developing independent learners 
Barriers to effective speaking: 
How do I monitor it? As opposed to other skills where I collect the answers in. 
Nature of the tasks - often mundane, transactional and predictable. Non-engaging stimuli. 
Often confined to pair work, lack of collaborative group work. 
Poor pronunciation due to lack of coverage of basic phonics. 

Talking cards round the room, pupils went round, pressed the button and answered the question. Made them think on their feet. This is something I could do with the iPads. 

a e i o u   Do a point and repeat exercise 
Do a chopping sign for acute / accent 
Give them mini flashcards with the sounds oi, ui etc and one person in group holds up the sound card as the teacher calls the sound. 
Phonic trains - join in as lead pupil in each train moves round class making the noise of their card. 

Sheets with image groups eg trois, poisson, oiseau etc. 

Restricted meaningful use of TL impacts negatively. Make it meaningful and purposeful. 

Peer pressure, not cool to speak out in class

3 names on slide, ¿cuántos años tienen? 
Opinions, speculative language . Give them this language. 

Rules of engagement 
Stage 1 
Groups of 5, first turns card over, says something and turns it back over. Next person does the same. No comment from others in group. 

Stage 2 
Give opinion (positive or negative) 

Stage 3 
Add adjectives, or justifying statements, 

Stage 4 
Others respond to the statement with agreement or disagreement 

Turn photos face up. First person says something. Only one person at a time, if two speak at once then one backs off. Tell them to have three responses to their comment in the group then move on to next photo. 

Give me one phrase from each table that you would have liked to have had 

Do the Group Talk sheet as a levelled framework 

Develop speaking activities which move away from role play activities 

Talk to the pupils about what they want to study eg past tense? 

Step away and don't comment when they are talking. 

Note to self: Bring photos back in at start of lesson as a starter, use the Guardian Eye Witness app

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Roca, papel, tijeras, evolución

So thanks once again to the wonderful MFL Resources Yahoo group where Rachel Hawkes caught my interest posting about Chris Fullers' game Rock, Paper, Scissors, Evolution. I have played it with 6 different classes in the past two days and they all loved it. 

Pupils circulate round the room, exchanging a selected piece of information eg favourite hobby, food, etc. Once they have exchanged information, they play Roca Papel Tijeras. Here's where the evolution comes in.. They start as an egg, holding their hands clasped above their head. Whoever wins rock paper scissors in each pair 'evolves' into a chick, then into a bird, an elephant (don't ask!) and finally the ultimate winner is the first to become a superhero. The key is that eggs can only talk to eggs, chicks to chicks, etc.. 
It sounds more complicated than it is, it only takes a few minutes so it's a great starter and kids of all ages loved it #win

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Building blocks of learning

After tweets from @dominic_mcg and @bellaale I have been inspired to create these blocks for my Challenge Corner in my classroom for pupils who finish before the rest. They join an array of extension activities which include Challenge Cards, cartoons and books including a One Direction album in Spanish.
The idea is that pupils can build sentences with the words on the blocks. Let's see how it goes..

Friday, 14 February 2014

Reflections of an iPad classroom 14/2/13

I have made the amazing discovery of the Bitsboard app but need to give it a health warning... The potential of Bitsboard for an alternative way to introduce or practise new vocabulary is tremendous for Modern Languages. I created a departmental account and was able to import the boards I had created at home into the school iPads. Pupils have thoroughly enjoyed playing a host of games created off the back of a core set of flashcards which took me around 10 minutes to make. 
The downside is that it appears to be slightly pernickety. I created a set of Flashcards last night for pets, in preparation for an observation lesson today. For whatever reason, signing in to the account and importing the board didn't work. It was extremely frustrating, especially given the focus and interest other pupils had previously displayed. I'll try again next week, as this is an app potentially worth its weight in gold. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The meaning of Twitter for my PGCE talk

I tweeted tonight to ask people what Twitter meant to them in advance of my MFL PGCE talk tomorrow. Here's a Wordle of the responses.

#ililc4 Amanda Salt A level and new technologies

Here is my talk from #ililc4 on A level and new technologies: