Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Kagan structures for Spanish

There was some discussion recently on the Languages in Primary School Facebook group about the book Cooperative Learning and French, with quite a few group members purchasing it for some holiday reading.  I found the Spanish equivalent (pictured above).  I made notes as I read it and then amused myself on rainy days in Spain by sketchnoting those notes.  I sketchnoted in an A4 sketch book, and so have uploaded the pages to Youblisher for ease of reading.

There are a lot of activities that are transferable to the primary classroom and of course to other languages.  This book has photocopiable resources for carrying out the activities in basic Spanish.

Click on the picture below to take you to the complete sketchnote.

Spanish Cooperative Learning and Multiple Intelligence Activities

New Spanish books

When I returned from 10 days in Cantabria yesterday, my suitcase was quite a lot heavier than it was when I left.  Why?  Lots of new books of course!

I was keeping a special eye out for things that I could use with Years 5 and 6, but that doesn't mean all the others got neglected.

First of all, not a book but a magazine.  It's an ¡Hola! special, full of Top 10s and other lists that will be useful for reading exercises, especially for Key Stage 3.
I'm not familiar with the work of Lara Jones's Poppy Cat, and so didn't recognise her as Lupe in this book.  Inside the sentences are nice and repetitive, and all about what Lupe likes to eat.  It would be easy for children to adapt this.

I work on minibeasts with Year 1, but it's the sort of topic that you can return to in subsequent years in greater depth.  This book (bargain at €3,95!) has pages which give basic information about each insect, and then you can fold out the pages to get much more information.  I'd recommend a look at the rest of the Enciclopeque series.

I've been very conscious this year that I haven't looked at any books with Year 5 and Year 6.  I have found these two non-fiction books which I won't use in their entirety, but which have many useful non-fiction texts.  Every page has some kind of lift-the-flap or fold out page.  They are part of a series of 32 books, covering themes as diverse as the Vikings and the 5 senses.

Year 3's new History curriculum is all about the Stone Age and Iron Age, and my own daughter, who has just finished Year 3, particularly enjoyed learning about cave paintings.  Last week we really enjoyed visiting the Museo de Altamira, a world heritage site and home to some of the most important cave paintings in the world.  I bought this book there.  It's very good, lots of lift-the-flaps and information, and excellent for technical vocabulary about Prehistory.  Again it's part of a series.

I already have a number of books in this series, and bought this one as a branch of the Camino passed through the area that we were staying in, and we passed a number of pilgrims every day.  The Flamenco one will come in handy for Year 2.
Some Spanish handwriting practice books, mainly to show the children.  I have something similar in French, which children always enjoy seeing.
Super Niño is a lovely book for introducing items of clothing with possessive adjectives.  Each page has a cut out, so that with each turn of the page you add an item of Super Niño's superhero clothing to Nina to make her Super Niña.  Only problem is, that leaves you with a picture at the end that some may consider inappropriate for use in school...

I hope you can see all the pictures and words OK - Blogger has been really misbehaving while I've been typing this!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Storytelling with children

With many thanks to Sylvie Bartlett Rawlings, who recommended this book.  It is packed with useful tips for using stories in the Languages classroom, as well as examples of stories that can be used, and basic lesson plans to go with them.  Some of these stories are suitable for adapting for the Key Stage 2 setting.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Arts and Crafts

You may remember that at this year's #ililc5 and Language World I delivered a workshop called Be a Crafty Languages Teacher, which was all about craft activities that we can use in the primary language classroom.  Recently I purchased the book Arts and Crafts with Children by Andrew Wright, which gives a rationale for and lots of examples of art and craft activities that you can do with classes to practise the foreign language.  Today has been the first proper day of my summer holiday, and I have spent it reading the book and sketchnoting my favourite bits.  There are, of course, many other activities that I haven't mentioned.  The ones I have mentioned are the ones that I can see myself using in the classroom.

Click on the image to see it bigger.

Monday, 6 July 2015

In defence of minibooks

I have been talking to a lot of teachers about minibooks recently.  All those who see them are inspired and can think of lots of ways that they can use them in their own classroom to promote reading, writing, dictionary skills and even speaking.

Some teachers have asked me if I have any advice for how they can justify doing minibooks to any line managers, SLT, people observing their lessons etc..  Some say that they have been criticised for having the making of the minibooks cut into the learning time, others that children would be better off spending the time doing "proper work".

So why are minibooks A Good Thing?

  • They enable children to be creative, artistically and linguistically.
  • They are small and non-threatening, unlike a piece of file paper or the blank page of an exercise book.
  • They motivate children to read and write.
  • They make brilliant displays.
  • Children can easily take them home to share with the wider school community.
  • They are easy to post to a partner school in the UK or overseas.
  • They contribute to the enjoyment of language learning.
  • Minibooks often promote intercultural understanding (such as the Aztec Codex).
  • They can be used to provide tailor-made reading material for classes.
  • They make a nice change for Year 6!
  • They enable part of the KS2 Art and Design curriculum to be met.
  • They oblige children to listen to and follow instructions.
  • They promote a culture of co-operation and helping in the classroom.
  • Making minibooks promotes manual dexterity and fine motor skills.
  • Children feel proud of something they have made, written and illustrated themselves.
  • Once children have learned how to make a certain kind of minibook they often go on to make them in their own time and write about things they are learning in different areas of the curriculum.
  • It's nice for children to have a break from tech sometimes.
Please leave a comment if you can think of any other reasons!