The school year in Northern Ireland ends at the end of June so our internal summer exams are long over and reports written and checked. SMT rightly tell us to keep the pupils working until the end of the year. The problem is that there are so many different trips out and activities going on with different groups of pupils that it can be hard to find activities to do that are both fun and meaningful to engage tired and oft excited pupils who are counting down the days to the long summer break. To add to this, I have picked up two classes from a colleague who has gone on maternity leave whom I have never taught before, so I am trying to learn their names too. So what to do?
Form 2 have been learning about sports and pastimes so they are off to make short video clips of themselves talking about what they like to do in their free time. I am then intending to make a Talking Wall like the one Kelda Richards tweeted and blogged about, inspiring many of the #mfltwitterati to think about how we can do the same. I am also pricing Talking Postcards to add another facet to the Talking Wall. Said wall name prompted much discussion on Twitter in terms of how to translate it into Spanish. Any ideas? La pared que habla or La pared hablante seem most popular..
Form 3 have been learning about the Olympics so I decided to let them work on a project whereby the groups are preparing videos promoting our school Grosvenor Grammar as a possible venue for the 2020 Olympics. They have been very focused, with some off recording clips round the school including teachers saying Me gusta plus their favourite sport, whilst others were creating the logo and slogan, as well as pulling the clips together. Some are using Movie Maker and Photo Story, some have stuck to Powerpoint whilst others have favoured Animoto as there is now a facility to incorporate video clips. The projects are due in this Tuesday, and I will upload the finished videos to our http://spanishingrosvenormoblog.posterous.com/ and our wiki as well as playing them on the plasma screens in school.
Form 4 produced scripts on their work experience last week. Some have chosen to record them using Audacity and upload them to our class page on Edmodo. Others have elected to record them on their phone and then email them to our blog by Tuesday. I tried to use both Vocaroo and Lingt Language but we had temporary connection issues due to the school network so I will try again in the new academic year with these two promising sites.
The whole school focus for the next academic year is oracy which ties in perfectly with our departmental decision to concentrate on speaking confidence using the likes of the Group Talk strategy by Greg Horton. These projects dovetail perfectly with this. Speaking the language with confidence is what all pupils yearn to do and what can knock their confidence most so the more activities like this we do, the more they will see Spanish in action.