Thursday, 27 March 2014

Maths Karate

Last week I went on an MFL NQT course (although technically I’m not an NQT anymore – received my certificate on Friday, yay!) in Winchester run by Liz Lord. We learnt a lot about the transition between KS2 and KS3 and we were given some great new ideas for MFL activities. I love days like this as I find that, occasionally, I get stuck in a bit of a teaching rut where I seem to do the same sorts of activities over and over. So it’s nice to come away with some fresh ideas and inspiration.

One of the best ideas I took away from the day was Maths Karate. I tried it with my low set Y7s on Tuesday as a starter activity and they loved it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them that enthusiastic about anything…

You say a number in the target language and hold up the right amount of fingers.  Then say either:

-‘plus’ (and make arms into a plus sign)

-‘moins’ or ‘menos’ (and hold your forearm in front of you horizontally)

-‘fois’ or ‘veces’ (and make an x shape with your arms)

-‘divisé par’ or ‘dividido por’ (and hold your arm in front of you horizontally and punch above and below).

Then say another number and say egal (and put both forearms in front of you on top of each other).

When we did this activity on the NQT day Liz got us to repeat the word and the action after each one, before saying the answer and holding up the correct number of fingers. She then asked us to do this in pairs.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

4 Pictures 1 Word

Ever used the 4 Pictures 1 Word app? The aim of the game is to guess the word from the scrambled letters by looking at the picture clues.

I made a French and Spanish version of this a while ago (although it is just a PowerPoint, not an app) and had completely forgotten about it until I used it with my Y9s today.

I've uploaded these PowerPoints to my TES account if you'd like to give them a try! Let me know how you find them.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Heads and Tails

This is a game called Heads and Tails. I can't remember who I got it from but thank you whoever you are! It’s a nice kinaesthetic activity and is a good one for KS3 (or below). You give them sentences and they have to decide whether they are true or false. If they think the sentence is true they put their hands on their heads. If they think the sentence is false they put their hands on their bums (or hips if you prefer).

You could also show them a word and an image. If they think the word and image match, they put their hands on their heads, and if not, they put their hands on their bums.

Let me know if you can think of any other variations of this or any similar activities.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Jigsaw Reading

I think this one is called Jigsaw Reading.

In pairs students are given the same text but with different words missing from each. Person A reads their text out loud to Person B while they fill in the blanks on their sheet. Then Person B does the same while Person A fills in the blanks on their sheet. So they get to practise their reading, listening, speaking and writing skills! 

It can even be differentiated as the lower ability students could be provided with the missing words and would just have to put them in the correct gaps. Students could also try to guess the missing words before their partner has read out the text.

Monday, 3 March 2014



Mostly used for finding out what Harry Styles had for breakfast this morning or which celebrities have had a Twitter war this week. 

But aside from that it is proving to be an invaluable tool for many teachers across the world…

If I share an idea or a resource at a department meeting, it is shared with 4 MFL teachers. However if I share it on my Twitter account it is instantly shared with over 400 people, pretty much all of these are teachers and mostly teachers of MFL. If I share a tweet with the hashtag #mfltwitterati it is shared with thousands of other MFL teachers. With the ‘retweet’ button, it could potentially be shared with even more.

Thanks to @joedale who set up the MFL twitterati a few years ago, I have been inspired by and learnt so much from people like @missmclachlan with her flipped learning, @amandasalt with her vast knowledge of useful iPad apps, @kazWd and her superb skills corner, @spsmith45 and his incredible resources website and @elvisrunner with her fantastic blog. It has introduced me to so many new teaching ideas and resources and fantastic websites, such as Duolingo; as well as events such as Teach Meet and Languages Show Live. 

Twitter really can make such a big difference to teachers’ lives and I think this quote from @vallesco sums that up perfectly:

“I am the only language teacher in my school, and I am the only primary Spanish teacher, that I know of, in my local authority. Twitter has been a lifeline for me. It enables me to keep abreast of all the latest political developments (guess how I found about the new Curriculum news this morning?) and has revolutionised my teaching. It allows me to share things that I have been doing and discuss ideas with online colleagues. I have met some, but not all, of the #MFLTwitterati, but consider them all to be friends. You are never alone with the #MFLTwitterati, the world's best MFL department.”