Friday 20 November 2020

No prep retrieval practice ideas

 In the mild chaos and serious exhaustion of hotdesking, it's been great to have a few tricks up my sleeve this year while the computer logs on or to finish the lesson. Here are three activities which my classes are loving:

  • 4 Squared                                                                                                                            An oldy but goodie which I had never used before this term. Draw 4 squares on the board then ask a question. Whoever gets it right gets his/ her name on the board: once you have 4 names, the next pupil to answer correctly chooses someone to eliminate from one of the squares. I give stickers to the 4 in the box when the game ends. 
  • Stand up if                                                                                                                              You say or display a phrase in MT or TL and they stand up if they think they know it. You choose one of the pupils standing and if they get it right, everyone standing up gets a point. If they get it wrong, everyone standing loses a point. I gave a sticker for reaching 4 points and a sticker for every point after that (5 stickers = a positive on lesson monitor) It works brilliantly at all levels.Yes, some might not stand up at all but they still seemed to enjoy it
  • Vindictive                                                                                                                            You can do this orally or  with a mini whiteboard each. All pupils stand up to play. Call out a word, the first person to call out their name and answer immediately when called upon or to write the correct trans choses someone else to sit down. If they are sitting down, they still play and if they win the round, they stand back up & knock two others out. The winner is the “last man standing” If two pupils are left at the end but someone sitting down gets the correct answer first, they stand back up and knock the two standing out and ultimately are the champion. No prep and excellent retrieval practice as well as for learning new vocab if able to look at list as play
  • The wonderful @Chapeluser shared this with me last year and which I'm going to try it out again this week

"Have you ever tried a ‘Cat’ lesson? (Actually it could be dog, elephant or anything you fancy!) It works for any age and can be mangled accordingly. Great fun, and loads of learning.
You simply ask them to divide a page into two columns, English on the left, TL on the right.
Just sit and dictate, starting with simple phrases with them writing the translation each time.
1 - The cat
2 - A cat
3 - The cats
4 - Some cats
Then move through crazy sentences, the sillier the better. For a top set GCSE you would arrive at about no 15 with, ‘If I were to tell you the truth I would say that the best thing about my cat is that he can order food in a restaurant!”
The kids love it cos it’s silly, and you can provide instant feedback after each one. Get a feel for how many have got one wrong and then you can slip in another re-worded one on the same grammar point later. Verbs, adjs, grammar structures, the lot. "
Hopefully some of these are helpful, I've found them excellent for recalling vocabulary and retrieval practice as well as engaging pupils and adapting to not being in my own classroom all the time.

Site smashing with vocab lists

The joy of a busy languages teacher when you realise that one humble vocabulary list can be used multiple times and join up pupil learning 😍
  •  Create your word or sentence list, tabbing from the target language to the English. Copy it all and paste it into a new course on Quizlet. Pupils enjoy Quizlet for the flashcards and games as well as playing Quizlet Live in individual or team mode. 

  • Go to Memrise and sign in. Select the Courses tab, create a course, fill in the details and set it up. When the empty vocab list appears, click on advanced and select bulk add words then paste your vocabulary list.  My pupils like the fact that they can gain points for each vocab set they learn. 

  • Go to Gimkit and select New kit then select Create with flashcards and paste the vocabulary list. This is always a favourite either in team mode or individual. 

  •  Go to Blooket and create a new set, pasting the same vocabulary into the set. The games on Blooket include the classic game which is like Kahoot, the race and the Battle Royal game. The graphics are cool and the pupils love choosing their animal icon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Go to Carousel Learning and download the template to create the question bank. Paste the vocabulary and complete the final column for the topic/s. Upload the question bank spreadsheet and then create a quiz using this question bank and allocate it to a class. This is new to us this week and the pupils have found it really useful to test their learning and retrieval of vocabulary. @Carousel_Learn posted this on Twitter:
      "Also worth noting: REVISE QUESTIONS = students see flashcards of the questions in the quiz only REVISE TOPICS = students see flashcards for every question in every topic included in the quiz"

In these very busy days of school, it is so heartening and pleasing to find websites which are so easy to use and with time-saving uploads of the same vocabulary. Pupils can see links in learning and a sense of satisfaction at their progress.