So, the schools are back (in Scotland, at least!) and it's time for me to remind you that I have a selection of pretty fab European Day of Languages resources ready and waiting for you and your classes in the Free Resources section of lovelanguage.co.uk.
For any newbies out there, the European Day of Languages falls on 26th September every year and is a great opportunity to get the kids thinking and talking about other cultures.
But before I show you what I've got, I have a favour to ask! Don't worry, it's nothing too serious... I have set myself the challenge of getting more "likes" on Facebook and followers on Twitter so it would be really lovely of you if you could help me out...
The Free Resources section of the website, as well as having a selection of French and Spanish resources and lots of Kahoot quizzes, about half way down the page has four European Day of Languages resources (complete with answers) to use with your classes. These resources are suitable for primary or lower secondary - obviously depending on the level your students are working at.
I'm old school and love a good board game. Being an ex-Heriot-Watter, it should be no surprise Cranium is a firm favourite and you will see glimpses of that in this game. Designed to try to appeal to every pupil in the classroom, there are both skill tasks and question cards with pupils being given the opportunity to write and form letters using unknown alphabets, say words in both new and familiar languages and answer general knowledge questions.
Maybe the colour printer ink is running a little low but you still want to challenge your pupils knowledge with some questions on European culture. I've popped all 30 of the questions from the board game above into a Kahoot so if you're lucky enough to have some iPads then this is for you. Remember, Kahoot now has both team and individual modes and you can download the results at the end.
This quiz contains ten simple general knowledge questions and pupils need to scan the QR codes (I put them up around the room) to find the answers. Each code has a letter assigned to it so even if the pupils know some of the answers already, they still need to find the letter.
This quiz can also be used as a starting point for a bit of research using the iPads. For example, question four asks pupils to find the country that is in both Europe and Asia. Once the quiz is over (or as a filler while others are finishing), they could be asked to find five interesting facts about Turkey to share with the rest of the class.
This activity is taking more of a creative approach allowing pupils to design their own flag. It comes in three forms: blank flag, English writing and French writing so pupils can work on whichever skill they need. For example, a pupil who loves football could draw himself playing football or a football pattern and underneath write, "Ce drapeau me représente car j'adore le foot. Je le joue avec mes copains..." etc.
If you wanted to go all out you could find some old pillowcases, get the fabric paints out and turn these designs into real flags to hang around the school. Wouldn't that be fun?!
I hope you make the most of these free resources but remember you can sign up here for just £12 a year and get hundreds of fantabulous French and Spanish resources.
I've been hinting about this for a while but have been waiting for my current subscribers to get back to me - it's only polite - before I made anything official...
With my maternity leave coming to an end, I've had to acknowledge that my sleep-zapping little linguabug has well and truly put the kibosh on me translating all my 900-odd French resources into Spanish and any attempt to do so undoubtedly would have left them in some sort of crazed gobbledegook. For everyone's sake, it just wasn't worth it.
Couple that with word getting around about 1+2 funding falling further down the priority ladder, I have decided to shake things up in my store a little.
Now, while I would love to tell you everything is free, free, FREEEEE from now on, the reality is running a website still incurs costs so this is what I am going to do:
Subscribing gets you:
Finally, a couple of subscribers were unsure about my chosen payment platform "Stripe" so I've added the section below to my FAQs. Of course payment can still be made via bank transfer.
Your online store uses "Stripe" rather than "PayPal", why is this?
Both "Stripe" and "PayPal" are very secure payment systems. We use "Stripe" because your card data is never saved with us, it just goes directly to "Stripe". This means:
Don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions and I hope you (continue to) love using my resources!
* please note, this subscription does not include the /ekute/ exam student listening resources
More proof I've been a busy bee recently with my science twist.
There are two bundles outlined in this post: The first introduces the concept of living and non-living things to pupils, while the second goes more in-depth with habitats and adult and baby animals.
* As always, links to the TES bundles are in the titles but you can also get your hands on these as well as all my other simply brilliant resources by subscribing to lovelanguage.co.uk.
Designed for lower primary school pupils, this short unit is a great way to introduce the concept of living and non-living things and increase your class' French vocabulary. Three creatures, three examples of basic plant life and six non-living things are covered.
The bundle includes:
This bundle introduces pupils to eight animals and their babies as well as nine habitats and five animals living in each. It is a fantastic way to increase the amount of animal vocabulary your class knows while teaching them about different habitats (polar regions, rainforest, ocean, forest, desert, coast, city, pond and farm).
Included, you will find:
I cannot believe it's been nearly two months since my last blog post (so much for me trying to up my search engine rankings with a blog - tut tut!) but don't think I've been idly twiddling my fingers, I've three fantastic resource selections to share with you which can be briefly categorised as "something traditional", "a bit of a science twist" and "fabby listening resources for exam students". Fancy a look?
Let's start with something traditional
Describing where we live. It's something we can all relate to and I've always found it to be one of the topics my classes engage with most readily and have the power to personalise to a greater extent than many of the other early topics.
I've been working on three bundles for sale on TES covering different areas of this topic (links in the titles) and don't forget, you can subscribe to all my resources through my online store but maybe hold off for a day or two as I've big news coming about this soon!
All you need to introduce pupils to 12 places in a village/town/city and the phrases "there is/are" and "there isn't/aren't" in French:
Eleven resources to introduce pupils to simple opinions to describe where they live:
Teach pupils to use adjectives to describe their local area and introduce "more than" and "less than":
Look out for my blog post on my new science resources soon for "a bit of a science twist"...
It's Earth Day on 22nd April so I thought it the perfect time to upload my Environment, Pollution and Recycling mega bundle to TES. What's more, if you've been banking your free credit codes from the past couple of weeks, because TES have a special 25% off £5+ sale on at the moment, you could get the mega bundle absolutely free! Keep reading to find out how...
What's in the mega bundle?
The mega bundle comprises of two smaller bundles:
Both bundles, as usual, come complete with dyslexia-friendly PowerPoints and audio to support non-language specialists, if needed.
In the mega bundle you will also find:
So, how can you get it for free?
If you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter (@lovelang1plus2) you will have seen me posting a number of £3 free credit codes over the past couple of weeks. Now, if you've been making sure you've banked these until you see something to catch your eye you'll have enough free credit to get the mega bundle at it's sale price of £9 absolutely free!
The most recent code is R4HW5U91. It worked yesterday by logging onto TES and inputting it at www.tes.com/redeem so give it a go and see if you can still claim.
Well done for getting this far - would you like a freebie?
Sometimes weeks just go wrong. Whether it was having to sign the accident book at my son's nursery again (he bumped his head, nose, lip... he cried) or accidentally deleting my first blog post (I didn't mean to press delete... I cried), for the last week - let's make that ten days - I've not been on a winning streak.
Consequently, I didn't think it wise to undertake some massive resource project but went back to basics. I'm quite happy with the little things I've been pottering away on and yesterday treated myself to a delicious piece of sticky toffee pudding as a reward. And then I received an email from TES saying they're running a sale from Friday 10th - Monday 13th March - 50% off! Things really are starting to look up!
Keep scrolling if you want to see what I've been up to. Links to the TES shop are in the titles.
Endangered species bundle - in the sale this has got to be the biggest bargain!
This bundle is designed for KS2 (P5-P7) and introduces pupils to ten endangered animals in French. It takes them through asking questions in the second and third person singular and answering in the first and third person singular as well as providing some basic facts about each animal. The bundle comes with:
While pandas are no longer an endangered species, having two adorable specimens just up the road means I have a soft spot for these beautiful bears. This isn't strictly language related but I couldn't let 16th March go by without dedicating a little something to them.
This resource is great if you're thinking about a class project and you can sponsor a panda with the WWF from just £36 a year. This bundle comes with:
Great as a homework task or something more lighthearted when all the tests are out of the way, these research sheets provide structure to the task and would make a great display:
With 50% off I hope I've given you something to whet your appetite and treat yourself. And you have my full permission to go for that piece of sticky toffee pudding too!
I do like a bargain! I also like a challenge and most recently I have been trying to see just how many ways I can think of to use my French and Spanish vocabulary cards. Up until this morning I had come up with 14 uses (and that's not including how you can change the skill focus by using them in a different format...) and I've included this list of ideas with each pack you buy from my NEW TES SHOP (!!!).
But first, just in case you've not seen my vocabulary card packs, this is what's included:
NUMBER ONE: SEQUENCES
This involves another resource (I've created three of them for each language free to download at the end of this post) for you to use with the vocabulary cards. Pupils can work individually or in pairs or groups and use the sequencing cards to tell them which order to put the cards in. For each topic there are six sequencing cards (three in English and three in the foreign language), you just need to decide which works best for your class.
NUMBER TWO: PAIRS
* Two packs of cards (same format or mix the formats) face down, take turns in turning two over to try to form a pair.
Last year I spent an hour a week working one to one with an autistic boy at my school. After weeks of struggling to find something to get him motivated I needed a filler activity and quickly made some vocabulary cards to play pairs with. They were gold! His memory skills really came into their own and he was absorbing vocabulary like nothing I've seen before. He also thrashed me at every single game. It wasn't even close.
NUMBER THREE: KIM'S GAME
* Lay the image cards out face up. Once pupils have had a good look at them, cover them with a sheet and remove one. Pupils then have to guess which has been removed in the foreign language.
I like this because I'm rubbish at it. I don't know how my brain is wired but it's a skill I've yet to develop. I guess it's to do with my worrying observation skills (it once took me days to notice my husband had changed the curtains in the lounge...). But this is the exact reason it's a hit with my classes. They LOVE to be better than me at something. And boy do they rub it in!
NUMBER FOUR: PICTURE THIS
Again, drawing is not my strong point but that's where the pupils can take over. They choose a vocabulary card and have to draw what is written on it on the board while the other pupils guess in the foreign language. Sometimes they can be a bit reluctant but once they've seen my attempt at drawing a bicycle...
NUMBER FIVE: BEAT THE CLOCK
Pupils take a pack of cards, set a timer for 30 seconds and try to identify as many pieces of vocabulary as possible in that time. This can then be done over and over again to try to increase the number of words correctly identified.
Now, you can't tell me these cards aren't an absolute bargain! The bundles are available here (French bundle and Spanish bundle) and from there you can find the individual packs.
A few years ago, I became increasingly aware of the number of pupils being diagnosed with Dylexia, or Dyslexic-type traits, in my classes and was concerned with a couple of things: Firstly, some of these pupils were being removed to concentrate on other subjects, and secondly, some of these pupils were using their Dyslexia as a reason for not even trying with their homework! I knew Dyslexic pupils could succeed in Modern Languages - my sister had got a B at GSCE French - so what could I do to make learning in my classroom less challenging for these pupils?
This question was what led me to completing the free Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching course through FutureLearn. While at the time I was mildly miffed it was taking me considerably longer than the specified three hours a week to complete the reading and activities*, it wasn't long before I was building a bank of ideas to help my dyslexic pupils and I continue to use many of these ideas when creating my resources.
Problems with writing? Use sentence builders
By providing pupils with sentence builders the individual words are created for them but they are still creating their own piece of writing. Giving them options of different verb endings and adjectival endings means they are having to work with their linguistic knowledge to create grammatically correct sentences just as they would have to do if they were writing pen to paper. All of my units of work come with sentence builders for this purpose.
But the clearest message from this course was that while these techniques can help many dyslexic pupils, just like everyone else, no two dyslexic pupils are the same and what might work for one might not for another. They all have their individual strengths and weaknesses but by implementing these techniques I would not be hindering anyone, not even those without dyslexia. Far from it, they might benefit too.
* It can't just have been me struggling with the reading: the course now states it's four hours per week.