SAMR ideas and tasks

Last night I received an email from a colleague asking for some advice and suggestions on how to develop her colleagues’ understanding of the SAMR model. She has cleverly divided her CPD groups into those that are more and those that are less confident with technology and she wants to take the next step and push the ‘higher’ group to come up with tasks that fit the Modification and Redefinition element of the SAMR model (Puentadura).

This lead me to thinking about what tasks in MFL can fit under these headings, and then I realised that these types of tasks are completely content free and can be done by any subject area. I asked on twitter, and the lovely #mfltwitterati came up with a few ideas as well (thanks to @joedale and @lancslassrach).

The main types of activities that I think fit well into this model are ones which allow students to use technology to enable the students to create something which represents the learning that has taken place (this could be an audio file, a presentation, a video or a poster) . Up until this point you could argue that technology has just augmented an activity that could previously have been carried out on paper or orally. However, by creating it digitally, pupils can share this work with the teacher and/or the class and this immediately moves us into the world of modification (where the tech allows for significant task redesign), as different medias could also be woven together. For example, imagine the poster creating site Glogster was used. In Glogster students can use a variety of audiovisual materials to create an interesting and worthwhile piece of work. However, in order to move to the Redefinition level of SAMR this task could be displayed online for all students to see and pupils can comment on each other’s work, collating the feedback in one place. A powerful tool, and reaching the upper limits of SAMR at the same time, creating a real purpose to using technology.

The discussion on twitter centered around the idea of App Smashing as a further way of modifying or redefining the use of technology. For those of you who are new to this term , App Smashing is when you merge content from a variety of apps. @lancslassrach has written about some things that she has done over on her blog and she mentions @ipadwells‘ video which you can watch here. I am yet to try this, but think it could be a very exciting way forwards!

In addition, I would argue the if you chose to flip your classroom, then you are modifying and redefining how technology is used within this context. The idea of flipped learning is not necessarily new, as previously, students have been encouraged to read chapters of a book or to research something before their lesson, but the development of technology has allowed us not only to create more engaging material, but to assess what students know before they even walk in the room – an amazingly useful tool that has certainly redefined what I do in a lesson that starts with a flip.

Flipped Learning CPD session & Primary ideas

Thank you to those of you who attended the Flipped Learning CPD at my school today, on behalf of the CLC in Blackpool.

Below is a copy of my powerpoint.

It was great to be talking about Flipping with primary educators, as currently I have just been looking at it in my own secondary context. It looks as there there are definitely some legs for flipping in primary school, with tweaks to make the different techniques work for younger students.

Some of the major concerns were over access to the online resources, as YouTube etc might not seem appropriate and how to disseminate information as not all younger students have a school email address. However, this could be overcome by watching the video together in class, and then assessing them straight after watching. Alternatively lots of our primary schools have a blogging platform, so students could access the video on there.

It was decided that the idea of the RAG lesson plan was probably too much for younger learners to take in, but a red group could just receive the red lesson plan and the green just the green lesson plan, and change the language to more KS1/2 friendly language.

I’m hoping that some of the teachers who attended today are going to try flipping and will let me know how they have got on! More to follow soon…

Another flipped attempt

Today I had my year 9s do the same flipped lesson that my year 9′s did last year on the past tense, with a few tweaks.

Firstly, I removed the amber pathway as I felt that with grammar students either ‘got it’ or didn’t, and so there was either a green pathway for those that scored 75% or higher in the Google Form test, and the red pathway just had three students who had completed the homework tasks but just not well enough to get 75%+, and the rest were pupils who had not completed the homework at all. This worked quite nicely as those that had completed the task were able to take the lead a little bit more with those who hadn’t done anything and by the end of the lesson I was confident that most of the students really understood how the past tense worked.

The basic structure of the lesson followed SOLO a lot more, and had students work through a series of grammar questions and a domino activity, leading to writing their own sentences without any support. The homelearning task is a formative task (to meet our school’s marking policy) but should really show me that pupils can use the past tense accurately. I will find out when I take their books in next lesson!

Pupils gave me some WWW/EBI feedback and for the most part pupils seemed to enjoy it, which is always nice, but pupils said they would like more variety of activities (so not just grammar questions!).

Google Classroom

As my school uses Google email we have been lucky enough to gain access to Google Classroom.

It’s a platform that is currently quite basic but very handy for ensuring that pupils have access to materials that you need them to in a ‘class’ space. If you have a school google account, then just go to and take a tour. You can create a class and either give the code to pupils for them to join, or invite them via email.

So far I’ve used it to share documents, such as homework questions, forms to assess pupils’ knowledge on a flipped learning video, and to post messages.

I have to say, it’s been a bit clunky getting the kids in, but it should become easier once they’ve accessed it for the first time. Additionally, I’d question the benefit of posting something to our classroom, when I could just email the class the same thing-the only advantage is that it is available in one single space, instead of needing to trawl through emails to find a resource.

I hope Google look to improve the platform as it’s still quite simple, especially when you compare it to other platforms such as Edmodo.

Whole class response


Today I finally tried out Kahoot, a website where you can set up quizzes, polls and surveys. I made a quick multiple choice starter for my Year 9s on the use of present or preterite in certain sentences.

In the past I have used Socrative to engage pupils and to get a whole class response, but the nice thing about Kahoot is the quick and easy way pupils access your quiz. Once you’ve set up your quiz, all pupils need to do is access and type in the pin that is displayed once you’ve finished making it. Then they all sign in with a user name and once you have all your class in you can begin. I used a multiple choice quiz this time, and pupils needed to do was to click on the shape that corresponded with the correct answer on the board.

I set my quiz questions to last for 30 seconds each, but as soon as all pupils had answered it automatically moved on. After each question Kahoot shows you how many pupils answered which answer and then flashes up the leader board, making it even more of a competition for students to do well.

At the end of the quiz pupils could give feedback on what they thought of the activity and I could download a spreadsheet of results, with individual’s answers, just to double check who really knew what.

I thoroughly recommend it!

More flipping

Today I taught my top set Year 9 class after having set them my flipped video on the preterite tense and asking them to complete a Google Form series of questions so I could assess their learning. This has been one of the most valuable elements of flipping the classs room that I picked up at #ililc4 – that and using Flubaroo to mark the answers!

The pupils started the lesson on a red, green or amber table, depending upon whether they had scored above 70% (green), less than 70% (amber) or not done it at all (red). This was very similar to the lesson I blogged about last month, but I tweaked it for the needs of this class. I also considered some of the feedback I got from my Year 10s who did this, and added in some paired speaking tasks. At the end of this lesson I again asked for feedback and most pupils really enjoyed what they did. Any areas for development included having a variety of activities (somehow I need to move out of my comfort zone and do reading and listening things too!), and putting a table copy of the lesson plan out (instead of just displaying it on the board).

I was talking in the classroom today about flipped learning and a lot of teachers, particularly those in Humanities, are quite keen on developing their flipping lessons, so I hope to recruit them into a bit of a research group next year where we can run an action research project on the benefits of flipping the classroom, so watch this space!

If you want to read more about flipping the classroom, then have a look at this: