Wednesday, 29 May 2013

So what's new?

So much has happened since April, since I last posted half a post!

Predominantly it has been the experimenting of Ililc3 ideas and spreading the word. As a result of one of the sessions I went to, a number of EP teachers are now on Twitter and the students have jumped on board. I have been asked to be part of the redesigning of the school website, and I have run a twilight on using Twitter in and outside the classroom.

I have upped the game with Jenga by ordering Connect 4 - all of differing sizes. I plan to use it in a similar way to Jenga, and I will, as ever, trial it with Year 10s, as they build up to their written CA. I have numbered the counters, and the students will be asked to carry out spoken tasks as they play and a writing task at the end of the game/time.

(I would insert a photo, but it won't upload. This is why I have been frustrated with this blog site since the demise of Posterous! Damn you, Posterous...)

I have also enjoyed the challenge of coming up with new and inspiring ideas for revising with Year 11s. My favourite was the Question Treasure Hunt.
  1. Hand out (differentiated) past paper exam texts (without the questions)
  2. Students have to write a number of exam-style questions for the text
  3. Students swap texts and answer each other's questions
  4. The actual questions for the texts are scattered around the room, hidden. Students have to search for the questions that they think match their text. Then answer them.
They responded well to it and I managed to coax the laziest boy out of his seat to get his questions (there wasn't much searching involved, his sheet was the only one left on the wall!).

Followers of Elvisrunner will appreciate the ultra-marathon experience I have had with the group since I took over. I see it as success that, by the end of the course, only *one* student was still saying "I didn't choose German". Given a year ago it was the majority, I think I have done alright! To make matters even better, during their last hour in classes on Friday, a good number of them asked me to sign their shirts. Non-school folk may see this as an irrelevant measure. But for teachers it is a silent "you're alright, Miss".

As they left my room to go to the leavers' assembly, lots of them said thank you. That also goes miles and miles. It is amazing how much better the relationship gets when you aren't hammering them for Controlled Assessments. We had to do all four in 3 terms. In retrospect, I say never again!!!!

So the exams are done, both French and German. The higher listening papers seem to have been the challenge in both, but all we can do now is wait.

I needed half term to come. As well as CAs for Year 10 and exam paperwork *yawn*, we have been interviewing for a full-time member of the department. Interviews are just as exhausting the other side of the table!!!! The great news is that we have appointed, and I am looking forward to welcoming Geraldine from Mayo to the team in September. (If anyone knows her, get her on Twitter!!!).

With the final half term looming, all students will be sitting an end-of-year exam in the middle of June. So we are spending the first two weeks of June revising, then after the exams we are delivering German to the French learners and French to my Year 9 German group. With greater flexibility in the MFL department from September, I hope that students will be able to choose between French and German at the end of year 8, and/or have French AND German lessons throughout KS3. Lots of ideas but, as ever, it will rely on the timetable.

Big plans, big progress, let's do this thing!

Onto the choon of the day, that I know you have all missed in your lives deeply.... My fave song of the moment...

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