Bienvenue à la classe de français!

Classroom set up in ”étapes”

Just a quick post to reflect on my lesson today with Year 7. It was an introduction to French, after the first part of the year learning Latin. I wanted to take a more inquiry-guided approach for this first lesson, in keeping with MYP principles. I set up a range of ”étapes” for the students to move through in groups. The stages consisted of finding out about famous French-speakers (using a QR code link), investigating online translators and watching a video on why French is a useful language to learn. They also worked out how to use a bilingual dictionary, taught each other some basic greetings and discussed what they already knew about France. I then asked them to reflect on the lesson as a homework task here.

I thought the lesson worked well, despite some students not listening to the instructions when they reached the first stage. But they soon got the idea. It gave me the chance to go the dictionary group and explain how to find the words and I was also able to help those teaching each other the words with the pronunciation. There could have been longer on each stage but I wanted to have a quick debrief before the end of the lesson. Some of the students in this class have particularly enjoyed Latin so I wanted to make starting French equally exciting!

For more ideas on introducing new topics / vocab with more of student-guided focus, see this great Google doc – a collaboration between the amazing MFL Twitterati.

On continue

Just a quick post tonight after the excitement of my first proper TeachMeet today. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, meet Twitter folk face to face and also to catch up with former colleagues. What a diverse bunch of people!

I put myself out there for a 2 minute presentation just because I could. That’s what so fantastic about the TeachMeet / Show and Tell format. Getting up in front of strangers and giving a mini presentation isn’t so bad in such a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. I hope to attend and contribute to many more of these. I’d especially like to encourage members of staff at St Paul’s to attend and present. It’s worth it for the professional learning and network-building and of course for all the ideas!

So, as the title suggests, we continue this week with all those other exciting school events that make the life of a teacher never the same on two days. Tomorrow I will have a French breakfast with Year 12 ab initio, give an HSC French assessment, continue to teach Year 9 about the perfect tense; hopefully with a game of Battleships and after all that, speak lucidly with Year 7 parents until 8pm. In amongst it all I will be finalising marks with complicated Excel spreadsheets and formulae along with writing my last lot of report comments for Year 10.

But after all, this is what I signed up for and events like today’s just stoke up the passion to keep going.

Creating Shortcut Keys for French Accents

Here’s a tutorial I’ve given to various year groups over the last two years on how to make inserting accented letters quick and easy when typing in Word. Unfortunately when using OneNote, it doesn’t work. Still, I think it’s a useful skill to learn and help to encourage students to use the accents instead of just ignoring their existence! Alternatively you can change the proofing language to French. This will pick up most missing accents and spelling errors but not all.

 

This week

This week I am planning on developing my use of Audioboo and she my recordings with my Year 9 French class. I really love the sound quality of the recordings and the fact that it’s so easy to record and share each Boo.

I am a bit late off the mark, it’s true, but I have started making interactive powerpoints for Year 9 too. This means they are working independently on all four skills and it’s based directly on the coursebook we are using (Clic!). They are great at bringing in their own earphones too. So, do we need a class set of good-quality headphones?

And lastly (and again) with Year 9 (I do teach other years but these guys seem to be getting all the techie stuff this week) I am asking them to write a dialogue using the language from the current unit – directions. Pretty mundane, or so it seems? To make it a lot more interesting, they are going to put the conversations they write into an animation, created using Domo.

I hope to reflect on how it all went at the end of the week. This blog really needs to start happening!