I have been mightily enthused since attending #ililc4 and have been trialing ideas left, right and centre! So far I have tried the Seven Monkeys Approach to a difficult tense in the past tense with my GCSE class (see Tom Hockaday’s session for details), which showed the pupils that they could understand a lot, even if they felt that they couldn’t at the start, I have used Dominic’s Le Mot de Passe game in Spanish as a starter activity.
My main focus has been on using Google Forms to check pupils’ learning at home which should enable me to use class time more effectively. For example, my Year 12s need practice at listening to materials by themselves, not just in a classroom setting, so as to replicate the exam scenario better, so rather than doing a listening in class, I created a Form, with the question which I sent to them and they access the Kerboodle Audio to complete the questions. Now I can see the results they get at a glance, and can mark it appropriately.
I have also been making more videos, this time using PowToon, on the preterite tense in Spanish. This is to support my fast track GCSE class, who have very little understanding of this tense. They have had one introductory lesson on the preterite, and I wanted to set some grammar work for the over the half term. I am, however, aware that they may not look at the work until the night before it is due, which is two week’s away, so I decided to directly email them the link to my help video, along with some grammar questions (simple translation and conjugation questions) which will indicate to me whether they have understood the grammar or not. I have also set a sheet to complete on the preterite. When they come into the lesson after half term, I plan on differentiating the lesson depending on how well they have completed the online task and they will be seated according to their ability for that lesson. If they have not completed it, or gained a very low score, then they will follow the red lesson, if they got a very high mark, then they will follow the green lesson, but if they are somewhere in the middle then they will follow the yellow lesson.
The lesson did not take very long to plan, and the only resources I need to create are written at the end of the lesson plan. If it all goes well then pupils will motivate themselves to get through the tasks and eventually complete a paragraph describing what they did last weekend. The aim of lesson lesson is the same for all pupils, but the journey that they take to get there is different! Whilst weaker pupils are catching up on the homelearning I can spend more time with individuals that need my help, and check on them all throughout the lesson. You can even see the SOLO progression of activities if you consider the complexity of the requirements of the task.