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Showing posts from April, 2014

Save time and energy

We know teaching can be an exhausting job. If you aren't feeling a hundred per cent your lessons won't go so well. So what strategies can be employed to save time, reduce stress and conserve energy? Here are a few ideas:

When pair or group work is going on take a back seat; don't feel the need to intervene unless the little darlings are off task. Listening in and correcting may put students off too, so just sit at your desk or stand in the corner and enjoy the fruits of your work.Plan occasional lessons where the class is working silently on a reading, listening or writing task. The bottom line is: are students engaged and working? You don't have to be. Don't feel guilty.Plan your week so you can re-use the same ideas more than once. The same activity can often be adapted for different classes.Take advantage of go-to zero preparation starters, fillers and plenaries. This will save you time at home.Mark work a bit less and do not feel the need to write detailed feedb…

Primary French resources on frenchteacher is principally aimed at French students aged 11 to 18, but all the resources in the Y7 section could be used by primary French teachers, largely in Y5 or Y6.Here is a list of the contents which may be useful to primary French teachers. For other great links to primary French resources

MISCELLANEOUS “A good student” poster
Useful classroom teacher phrases
Stick-in vocabulary lists
Strip bingo vocabulary game
Place mat with classroom expressions
Pupil survey sheet – good for self-evaluation!(edit online)
Resource and lesson plan on prepositions (display/worksheet)
Prepositions – Où est le chat? (display/worksheet)
Conversation questions board game
Pair work interview slips
Word re-ordering for revision
What is the question?
Fruits et légumes – code breaking
General revision questions

My family
Family poem
Blue whales
My friend
My mum

NUMBERS, DAYS, MONTHS Numbers wordsearch – which number is missing?
Numbers …

Five favourite go-to filler activities

These are for when your lesson finishes sooner than planned or when you feel like doing a random fun activity. No preparation required.

Word association. Give an example of how it works, then do it as a whole class activity, either working round in order or moving randomly from pupil to pupil. Stress that they should not plan words in advance and that they are allowed to pass. With the right class they can do it in small groups or pairs. This works at all levels.Fizz-buzz. This is the number game where you count up from 1, saying Fizz for multiples of five or numbers with five in, and Buzz with multiples of seven or numbers with a seven in them. Best with beginners and low intermediates.Aural anagrams. Read out anagrams to the class. They may be based on a particular topic. Points for the individual or team which guesses the word first. Pupils may write down the letters or just keep them in their heads. Good for any level."Just a minute". Pupils work in small groups. Individu…

End of year oral assessment questions

Here is a set of questions which can be used as the basis for an end of year speaking assessment with Y9 students (low intermediate). For a number of years we used these at Ripon Grammar School to help us assess national curriculum levels. We handed out the sheets about two weeks before the tests, did some model answers orally in class and then gave each pupil a five minute slot during which we would ask a selection of the questions. With better students we would make sure that they had to improvise to some extent. Students would have a lesson when they they could practise their responses with partners.

We were fortunate in as much as we had allocated sessions during the exam period when we could do assessments without having to do them during lessons. Here are the questions:

MFL GCSE Subject Content April 2014

So, let's have a look at the final subject content for MFL as published by the DfE this month. This is what exam boards will use to guide their specifications for teaching from September 2016. There is a consultation on the document, but I've done it and it only relates to chosen aspects, not the details of the document.

Here is the link to the document:

Firstly, it's only five pages long. For the flesh on these bones wait for exam board specs. As they say in the introduction:

Together with the assessment objectives it provides the framework within which the awarding organisations create the detail of their specifications, so ensuring progression from key stage 3 national curriculum requirements and the possibilities for development into A Level.
In passing it is worth mentioning that academies, independents and free schools could ignore all this, but they would be unw…

A remarkable First World War story

This is a story I found in a British newspaper, which I have retold in French and added exercises to. If you would like to use something on the theme of the First World war with advanced students, this would fit the bill. I am "showcasing" it here as an example of the type of reading material you can find in