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:

#ililc4 Amanda Salt Apps R Us

Here is my talk, about apps I use with iPads in the classroom so far:

Monday 10 February 2014

#ililc4 @valleseco Keynote

From Queen to Sinatra 
Under pressure 
Need for teacher personality, technology shouldn't kill this (The Buggles Video killed the radio star) 
Play Pointless or Family Fortunes 
Pupils will take repeated negative comments from a computer but not a teacher 
Use technology to enhance our skills and activities not replace them
Songsmith to make up songs 
Delicious to bookmark sites 
"I can" statements to assess what kids can do - see Claire's spreadsheet 

I started off making the notes above but then put the iPad down, sat back and let Clare's words flow over me. She was an excellent keynote speaker, capturing the mood and pushing most of us to the point of tears with her concluding song My Way. So that's that, #ililc4 is over and we leave inspired, enthused, full of friendship and love for these friends we only maybe see once or twice a year, or have only met this year for the first time at #ililc4. We stand tall and we move on with the love, humour, support and inspiration of the #mfltwitterati

#ililc4 @spanishsam Speaking

Weighting in GCSE 
Prepare them for KS5 and beyond 
Communication vs grammar 
Pupil desire to communicate 

LAD language acquisition device within us
Comprehensible input 
Acquired not learned 
Think about language we want them to acquire eg it's your turn 

Can't just learn by rote 
Importance of grammatical and linguistic competence 

How do we teach languages? 
Grammar - translation 
Communicative approach 

St Martins 
Accuracy at the same time as fluency - mimes, song, team competitions, visual support, high levels of interaction and classroom routines 

Drip feeding language in routines & team competitions
SOWs developed with full activites in mind
Allow for spontaneous speech James Stubbs

TL as much as you can and as much as they are able 
¿Cómo se dice.. en español / inglés? 
¿Puedo ..?
¿Puedo hablar en inglés? 
Mimes to help them 
Phrases on the board 
Jesús , mentiroso, perdóname por haber llegado tarde
Spontaneous speech helps in the oral exam especially the borderline students 
Encourage and reward TL with team points 

Forfeits eg hopping on one leg, conjugate a verb etc 
objective setting 
Asking for stuff
Team points
Homework setting 
Setting up pair work activites
Mimes and actions 

Mime for each word eg sign language thumb and fingers 
Encore une fois 

Colour coding for a reason 

Activities bag 

WC is whole class

Repeat if correct 
Encore une fois - trapdoor 
Pass the telephone 
Mime to practise 

Speed reading 


Version with blanks, more blanks each time 

Planning a SOW
End activity
- pupil language
- Interaction language
- Content language 
Drip feed language all the way through

Use the structure do you prefer ..or.. ? I prefer .. because.. 

#ililc4 @lancslassrach Do you flubaroo?

Rachel has a closed Google site, pupils watch video, Google form to fill in and flubaroo marks it. 
Must keep answers short. 
Go to Google Drive 
Create a form
Theme and title 
Question title eg cat
Question type 
Must select required question and then click done 
Add item allows you to add a question 
Must include name 
Share form by emailing 
You must submit a response, call it teacher or your name 
Responses form - insert script
Search for flubaroo, select and install 
Select flubaroo and select 'Grade assignment' 
Assign points 
Select teacher responses as Answer Key

This was such a good session, the buzz was palpable at the potential for this to cut down on marking at the same time as assessing pupil learning and progress. Hurrah! 

#ililc4 @dominic_mcg Make a difference by differentiating differently

A brilliant talk on differentiation, thanks Dom! Here are my notes...
Make a difference by differentiating differently 
To keep pupils motivated and engaged 

Who do we differentiate for? 
Different levels of skill
Ability and proficiency 
Social background 
Social development 
Emotional development 
Physical needs 

By task 
By outcome (this is lazy) 
By support 
By resources eg reading comprehension at differing levels of complexity 
By interest 
By variety 
For ability by ability 

Underlining the correct answer (shouldn't test their reading/writing too, shouldn't penalise someone because they can't write in the language) 
Multiple choice 
Put phrases in correct order 
Smileys for positive / negative reactions (listen for tone of emotion first time round, do they sound happy, etc) 
Video clips to offer clues (more like real life) 
Give out the script
Hold up picture cards (eg weather forecast, hold up their card if hear their weather) 

Speaking activities 
Quiz quiz trade Q&A with model answers 
Completing a survey with all answers where student has to tick boxes, not write stuff down 
Allow cue cards - they can have these at GCSE and A level 
Give out a list of "must includes" - train them eg fabby phrases 
Speaking frames 
Allow students to improvise 
Use ICT (Dominic's talk yesterday) 

Reading activities 
Different or modified texts
Different presentations eg comics, websites, handwritten text, authentic pages  eg

Different questions 
Matching eg Tarsia
Questions in English 
Multiple choice answers 
Number the lines in a text and tell the students which line the answers are on 

Writing activities 
Writing frames - MFL Sunderland 
Add a question at the bottom eg How could you personalise this? 
Vocabulary and grammar lists 
Vocabulary games eg wordsearches (differentiate by not giving words) extend by 10 subjects and 10 opinions then write sentences after done, crosswords
Write a poem, it must rhyme can make it funnier 
Mini whiteboards 
Lego blocks - use this for Spanish colours?
T1- Top and Tail Sue Cowley's Seven T's of Differentiation 
Get students to use an exact number of words then build up a couple of words each time 
Give students words to include (random or key words) 
Student as teacher to group
Share good work and get others to explain whey 
Level their own work and say why 
Group student by mixed ability 
T2 Time 
Countdown timer eg Sandfields Benny Hill timer 
T3 targets 
Differentiate for one group of students per lesson - realistic, no time to do for all
Student of the week
Rewards - Classdojo
Some, most, all
T4 teamwork 
Ability, friends, skills,
T5 thinking skills 
Poster, paragraph, podcast 
"HOTS not MOTS" Peter Anstee 2010 higher order thinking skills not more of the same 
SNOT Self, neighbour, other, teacher (see three before me) 

T6 texts 
Use authentic texts - magazines, newspapers, comics (real, not off internet) 
Handwritten texts 

T7 technology 
iPads, voice recorders, IWB, YouTube, QRcodes, Zondle, linguascope, Sutton High MFL Fun with Languages site (check this out!) 

See Dom's last slide re links for further reading 

#ililc4 Show and Tell

End of Day 1 and we all came to the Show and Tell at Highfield House armed with at least 1000 calories each as Zena has suggested we bring snacks so we took her at her word (and then some) An excellent night was had by all. Here are my scribbled notes:

Isabelle Jones @icpjones  "Any excuse for a song!"
iPod roulette in the car driving to work, Isabelle has a list of questions to decide if she will the song with a class or not 

Helen Myers talked about ALL webinar and events 

Lisa Stevens
Stamp clap click activity using one two three in the language between partners (A says 1, B says 2, A says 3, B says 1, etc)  then they start replacing the numbers little by little with a stamp for 1, then a clap for 2 and finally a click for 3. A great brain gym activity and I don't think @missmclachan and I were the only two who struggled....

Rachel Smith The 20 day challenge 
Rachel watched Matt Cutte Try something new for 30 days TED talk video 
Talked to pupils about dead time in the day (bus, etc) 
What could we do for 10 mins every day? Duolingo etc. 
Display with ideas 
Twitter: 5 words a day, video, retweets, Peppa Pig 
The idea is that doing something for that length of time is habit-forming

Joe Dale song by John Connor. Brilliant. Enough said. 

Clare Seccombe post-its
Speech bubble post-its and normal ones 
Grid 8/16 stimuli, stick on post-its
Translation either way
Sherlock Guess Who type game 
Instant feedback
Padlet and Linoit
Silent feedback while kids work
Question wall
Venn diagrams or sorting activity 
Two, one with question and one with answer
Question in book for teacher 
Question on board - pupil response 

Sam Broom Songs
Numbers, restaurante, el rap de los verbos 

Preterite song 
Slideshare for songs Spanish Sam
Ricky Martin song for arriving late. 
I wish I could sing!! 

Simone Haughey 
Confucius classroom year of the horse has included bringing two horses in, choir, panda mosaic etc. Fabulous! 

Garry Mills  Spanish then loads of choices 
Movie titles en español translation game or box options 

Eleanor Abrahams 
Physical response to text eg Mexican wave for capital letter, finger click for comma, two claps for full stop, finger click for apostrophe, panic expression for exclamation mark, one clap for accent. Love it though hurts my head! 

Nina Elliott
Hip Hop Phonics 
Ti etc phonemes 

2nd time = stand up! 3rd time = Physical reaction as well as stand up eg rapper move 
How much did we love this?! The batman videoed it, he thought it was so fab lol. 

Chris Fuller 
Steps to TeachMeet MFL
1 find a collaborator to help share the workload and the fun
2 find a venue and choose a date 
3 find a sponsor 
4 create a TM wiki sign up page 
5 spread the word then nag
6 keep it simple 
Time to do an MFL TeachMeet in Northern Ireland then... 

Glennis Pye 
Getting pupils to speak
Intensive courses, need pupils to work more on stuff at home 
Predicted the vocab in advance 
Sent home to listen to video. Edmodo quiz that accompanied listening 
Transcription of listening set as HW or weaker could ask for blankfill 
Translation of the transcript 
Extra = spot the mistake 

Duet John Connor and Simone Haughey. Brilliance again :-) 

Dominic McGladdery
Mot de passe (password) game. 
Word association
One word clues for Alex who has back to board as words flash up. 
Off to make some myself.. 

Sunday 9 February 2014

#ililc4 @elvisrunner In at the deep end

@elvisrunner aka Eleanor Abrahams has recently come into a department as HOD, where possibly the biggest issue was that the kids were not engaged. In this session, she talked about the different targets she has had and the strategies she has employed to help the department move forward, bringing the pupils on board as they go. 

Improve ethos 
Project-based SOW
Parental involvement 

Target 1 engagement 
Create a dance routine with commands (drama strong in school so she decided to tap into this) 
Watched Ashleigh and Pudsey routine from Britain's Got Talent, and got pupils to say what would Ashleigh say, then they had to shout commands as Pudsey moved. Much hilarity ensued as we tried this ourselves... 

Target 2 accurate assessment data 
Standard tests for all brought in
Joint moderation 
Standardised level calculator 
Reliable tracking 

Visual aids for pupils to see improvement as their name moves up the ladder 

Target 3 Improve the image 
Company logo and teacher name in each room 
Resources onto the wikis 

Performing Arts department strong. 
Lyrics to Summer Nights, sort according to the order they think lyrics should be in 
Starter - 4 words one pic idea for 4 different musicals. 
Subtitle bingo - subtitles mixed on each pupil page, they tick as they see it in subtitles. 

Character analysis followed, based on the film and they created a poster using the imperative to advertise it. 

Lead the department 
Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example 
Move away from the textbook but keep their assessments, vocab can guide you as you write your SOWs (this is what we do) 
Venn diagram of key topics, with words to place on the circles - makes them think of how they can apply vocabulary in more than one area
Connect 4 

Strip bingo
Colours - buzz word bingo. Differentiation 
Check out all the ideas on the amazing

Start with your colour then try the next colour if you can manage it 
Eleanor decided to allow pupils exposure to past and future tenses . She recognised that she could allow the kids to be better by exposure to it and using it. 

This was a brilliant, interactive and inspiring session and gave me so many ideas to take away. The full presentation is on Eleanor's blog where she explains it all much better than me

#ililc4 @dominic_mcg Talking Tools

NB I have decided to leave these blogposts as more or less the notes I took at the time, as sometimes lists are easier to digest and quicker to find key ideas. 

Traditional talking tools 
Dice - name number of words acc to dice roll for a given topic 
Cooperative learning structures Kagan - quiz quiz trade 
Hats masks and disguises (I think it was Sadie McLachlan who talked about having a moustache stuck to a pencil and the pupil in the group talked when they had the pencil in front of them) 

Audacity - see also José Picardo's guide to podcasting. Kids like changing their voices 
Audioboo - up to 3 mins 
Crazy talk - expensive PC programme but £0.69 on iTunes 
Voki (you can save them into Publisher file) 
Goanimate (make voice files on audacity) 
Talking Tom Cat (cartoon) 
Puppetpals 2 
Songify - see songify in action with the hilarious video "this reality hits you hard bro" on YouTube 
Rory's Story Cubes great for CA practice Visoprompt free does the same job 
Yakit kids 
Line learner lite 
Tellagami - some say it is better than Voki 

There were lots of fab ideas in Dom's session plus we had time to play about with the apps and create different speaking activities and examples. He is putting his two talks on his blog

#ILILC4 @icpjones More than words

NB I have decided to leave these blogposts as more or less the notes I took at the time, as sometimes lists are easier to digest and quicker to find key ideas. 

The way words look
Visuals to support language you introduce 
Get pupils to visualise new language 
Think about presentation of work 

The way words sound
TL sounds different to different learners 
Response to sounds (boys self-conscious that French sounds girly) 
Differences without stereotyping 
Pure listening without reference to MT is nearly impossible 
Reading out loud - old fashioned but pupils enjoy 
Jacques Prévert Spectacle poem - mix of translation and play on words 
Jacques Prévert L'amiral - like a tongue twister . Pupils have a set idea that poetry has to rhyme and this shows them it doesn't.
Ana Tijoux: Las horas rap  (one of her songs is in FIFA game so lots of kids recognise her, she has loads of songs on YouTube) 
See Isabelle's YouTube account for playlists 

The way words interact with each other 
Etymology: prefixes & suffixes
idioms (lost in translation language) 
<<awkward English>>
Teach them set phrases and expressions - I really liked this idea and am going to get them to create photos eg ponerse rojo como un tomate 
Look on Youtube 
Use to animate a photo
Fluency of learning words and phrases? Not necessarily part and parcel of the fluency but nice to have and good for pushing more interested/ able pupils 
Kit Brett book with podcasts for French 
Be aware of languages words have been borrowed from eg piano from Italian 
Rhyming words dictionaries 

Text types

Think about the type of connectives you teach them. (Last column) Helps you focus on that when preparing your lessons
Playful with the links between languages Tongue twisters 
Chistes de Lepe jokes website 
Poetry links 
Le message - pupils can copy the structure to do their own poetry 

Give them recipe list above for writing poetry. 
Un verbe: Aimer (on YouTube) kind of rap, about the excitement of meeting somebody new 
Colour poem "what is blue? The sky is blue" idea 

Word clouds and calligrammes 
Wordle and Tagxedo (import your own picture) 
Diamond poems eg to reinforce grammar
Haikus - great for speaking 
Kennings - form of metaphor, 2 word phrase. eg whale-road for sea Use this, it's not perfect but it models it for them also for text to speech 
Decide Now app
Made-up songs for specific purpose eg Soy Una pizza on YouTube 
Musical translation - eg Kevin, Karla y la Banda Wrecking Ball. Show them parallel texts of the song lyrics. Don't show them the video if it's a distraction. 
Muy interesante website has lots of great stuff on it.
Guía de reciclaje para móvil 
Guardia Civil medio ambiente page 
Warner Bros add .es etc to go to the Warner Bros website for that language 
Copy the page you want them to read, paste it into Lingro and Lingro acts as a dictionary 
Isabelle uses the following to decide if she will use technology or not.. 
As always, this was a great session by the ever-creative and inspirational Isabelle Jones. Her original presentation will be in her blog

#ililc4 @joedale keynote Putting the Pedagogy into the Technology

This year was the fourth ICT Links into Languages conference at the university of Southampton, brought about by the hard work of Zena Hilton and her team.  King of the #mfltwitterati, Joe Dale, kicked off proceedings for the weekend with his keynote. The theme of this year's ICT Links into Languages was putting the pedagogy into the technology. In a breakneck race through a multitude of slides, Joe showed us a lot of links and information to support this. 
The key message I took out of the Carol Dweck video was that pupils need to see setbacks as opportunities to learn.  As teachers, we need to see the pedagogy in using the technology and recognise the fact that technology is a tool not a learning outcome. Another key idea to remember is that pupils are technology comfy not technology savvy. 
Joe showed us a video which talked about the Tpack: that sweet spot where technology, pedagogy and content knowledge all come together. He also showed us slides on the SAMR model of Substitution augmentation modification and redefinition. I really liked the way the video explained it: 
Substitution is using Google docs as a word processor. 
Augmentation is sharing the Google doc. 
Modification is using the Google doc for collaboration and comment. 
Redefinition is sharing the Google doc across the world, speaking comments and embedding the final text into your class website. 
We all should aim for the top two levels of modification and redefinition and Joe had zillions of links to teachers doing amazing things in terms of flipping their classrooms, sharing good practice and improving the learning. You will get a chance to check them out on his blog
With Joe having set the tone for the weekend, we then set off excitedly in search of our talks and workshops, iPads, tablets, pens and paper at the ready..