More ravages of time

In prep for the school trip, I am taking my camera with me and so clearing off some old memory cards ready for use.

On it were some unflattering photos the world has come to call “selfies” since I took them. These were arms-length SLR shots on a day I had a nasty cold, but when I think I had to provide ID photos for a conference pass at short notice.

Reviewing them again, and looking at the date stamp, I realised it was almost exactly two years ago. And I didn’t look at all grey.

2011 no grey

Just for interest I took up position in front of the wallpaper to take a comparable contemporary shot. And at least half to check I still know how to work the camera. Yup. Point, half-depress, click.

2013 mucho grey

When teaching hair and eye colour I make a big joke out of being blond, and being offended when students correct me to grey, but in fact normally I am delighted if they can remember the word for grey, which doesn’t feature on support sheets for 11 year olds describing themselves.

Further self-absorbed “passage of time” posts that established bloggers get to do:

New language teacher on Twitter

Veteran languages ICT guru Joe Dale retweeted a language teacher new to Twitter asking for interesting teaching and learning links.

I had a quick peek through the last few days worth of social media and responded thusly:

A slightly obfuscated post for sure, so here is a bit more detail.

How Children Learn: Portraits of Classrooms Around the World

Just a fab series of photographs taken around the world, including the UK and on many other continents, of what classrooms and children look like. There are many things the same and some striking differences. What struck me? Several countries’ school uniforms look distinctly military to me. How interesting.

Dom’s MFL: Venn Diagrams and Thinking Skills

I’m a big fan of Dom’s MFL page. He’s a languages teacher with some interesting ideas. He blogs quite infrequently, but when he writes something the post is always worth reading. His idea of using Venn diagrams is awesome. It can be done with very little preparation, can be done on mini whiteboards, (une ardoise (ie a slate, also used in the French phrases around having a tab in bar) in French – what is the German for them?) good for thinking skills and as a plenary in that it gets students to show you what they have understood.

ClassDojo

Class Dojo is an awesome website I am itching to try with students. Little monsters represent your class on the board and you can use it to give them positive and negative behaviour points. Pretty cool just like that. For me it will help me learn names; for them it will help reinforce my classroom rules. Best of all? You can log into it simultaneously with your whiteboard and your mobile phone, and allocate points to students as you go around the class.

Zondle.com

Zondle.com is a website for playing games with vocab lists. You can set a learning homework for students to go and play games. You invite them using their school email addresses and you get a record of how often they have played the game. Once you have taught the website a vocab list, you can play any of a number of games with that one list, so students can choose the games to suit them. There are stereotypically boy games and stereotypically girl games as well as more neutral types, and because the students choose, it’s up to them whether they stick to stereotypes or not.

Ideas for teaching and practising telling the time

This is not from a blog I read, but from a link from the MFL Resources Yahoogroup, a fairly high volume mailing list of MFL teachers with some awesome ideas and a lot of help and support. (In the last few days there has been a great deal of mutual support about GCSE results that have been less than expected, and which is stressing out many practitioners)

The blog post itself has over a dozen ideas for teaching telling the time, which is one of those topics which is important but that isn’t immediately easy to make interesting.

A few wider points

1) I have wasted a lot of time on the internet in my summer holidays. But lots of good teaching ideas are going into my mind too!

2) I think increasingly it isn’t so much about making resources as building up places to look. TES is an obvious one (albeit with lousy search). MFL Twitterati and the MFL Resources list are also great.

3) MFL Twitterati 10 minute challenge. Click the link. Spend ten minutes a day/week looking at what other practitioners are doing. Something there will surely inspire you. If you are inspired, join in the conversation and share your own good practice.

4) There’s no way I will be able to keep up with these groups and soc med practices in term time! Bank your good ideas now.