Remote Learning – Organisational Tools for Students

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

With many students across the world being taught remotely right now, the team at my school have recognised the need for students to be much better at managing themselves and their time. We need to give them the tools for success so I made a quick video tutorial to help them use their Outlook calendar more effectively to plan their day.

Let me know what you think. Credit to Simpletivity for the idea!

Languages Classroom Techniques

I have been delving into the world of formative assessment and the work of Dylan Wiliam. While his name and ideas are not new to me and you, I have decided to use more of his recommended techniques in my French classroom, particularly with year 8. I found the Classroom Experiment videos to be very helpful in doing this. So, what have I tried?

no hands up

  • No hands up – everyone gets thinking time and anyone could be picked to answer a question.
  • Mini whiteboards (very successful) – everyone is the class has to show their understanding which then flows into how I continue the lesson.
  • Secret student – I am the only one who knows who is going to be responsible for the whole class’s behaviour and depending on how that student behaves, the whole class either get a Class Dojo point or not.

As a staff committee we are working through the key ideas from Wiliam, which will then shape our school conference next year. I want to try out some of the methods beforehand in order to really understand their impact on student learning. One of the best known techniques is no grades on student work, which I will be trialing with my Year 11 class soon.

What has worked in your classroom for formative assessment and student achievement?




New Challenges for 2014

I’m excited to have accepted the position as Head of Languages at a new school for 2014 and beyond. I will be leaving St Paul’s with a heavy heart to take on this new role at William Clarke College. I’m sure there will be many rewards and challenges as I step up into a leadership position and I can’t wait to get started! I have grown immensely as a teacher at St Paul’s and have undertaken many and varied projects apart from teaching French. I feel I am ready to see what’s round the next bend in the road – I’m sure you will hear all about it here on the blog as I take on the journey!


A bend in the road.

Making a Short Film with Year 9 French

This year, I teach a really lovely and motivated group of Year 9 students. I wanted to challenge them to create something a bit different this term, so I introduced them to the idea of competing in the MLTA NSW Linguafest competition. You have to create a 2 minute film on the theme of a journey that includes the number 9. I also added that they needed to incorporate our current sport topic too. They were very excited at the prospect of, if they are finalists, going on an excursion to NSW Parliament House to view the films, along with actually creating the movie of course!

As they are a small group of 16 students, they decided to work on one film as a big group. With a couple of strong leaders, they all soon got to work once we had decided who was doing what. One of the best aspects of the planning process has been their use of the tool Padlet. I used it to start with to encourage every member of the class to contribute to the initial brainstorm. Then they all continued to use it to post ideas and information as they worked together in the classroom. Padlet is a online noticeboard which allows anyone to put up a sticky note really easily. You can also group the posts to look like a blog or forum.

So, today we start filming which will be fun and hopefully it will bring all the ideas and planning together into a smooth running process! Once filming is complete, students can then start editing, adding music and subtitles and with any luck it will be finished before the 16 September when the films are due.