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Getting to know you – “Find someone who…”

A great ‘ice-breaker’ activity to do in the first lesson with a new group is ‘find someone who…’ as it gets students talking to each other and gives them a focused purpose rather than just doing an open-ended ‘tell us a bit about yourself’ in a room full of people they don’t know very well.

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Retrieval Practice Placemat

After reading the excellent ‘Retrieval Practice’ by Kate Jones (great name, btw!), I’ve created this placemat which could act as a generic prompt for learners of foreign languages to use in any given lesson. It should be suitable for any year group at any time of year. I think there are 3 possible ways of using the mat:

  1. Print it off, laminate it and put it on desks for pupils to look at in pairs.
  2. Print off a copy for each pupil, stick it in the front of their books and choose one bubble per week/lesson to respond to.
  3. Display the slide on the board and do as a whole class activity.

Here is the PowerPoint: Retrieval practice placemat

And a PDF in a nice font: Retrieval practice placemat

As always, let me know what you think on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tell me how you’d use this in class!

Summer Courses for Teachers

UPDATE: I am not running summer courses this summer (2020) as I am on maternity leave.
I’m very excited to announce that I’m running some intensive beginners’ French, German and Spanish courses over the summer holidays… just for teachers of MFL!
Many of us benefit hugely from being able to teach more than one language with confidence and my summer courses will provide 25 hours of tuition, covering all of the topics and basic grammar you’ll need to be able to deliver outstanding Key Stage 3 lessons!
Take a look at the PDFs below for more details and email kate@katelanguages.co.uk if you’re interested in booking a slot or want more information.

Positivity Toolkit – Gratitude

Why practise gratitude?

One of the core principles of the Positivity Planner, and a wellbeing tool that is backed up by huge amounts of research, is the concept of gratitude. Simply taking the time to think about what you are grateful for, either once a day, or even just once a week, can have a huge impact on your mental, and therefore also physical, wellbeing.

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Positivity Toolkit – 3 Brilliant Things

Why ‘3 brilliant things’?

I don’t know about you, but often at the end of a long week, when I’m exhausted and counting down the minutes until the weekend, I find it can be all too easy to focus on the negatives. Therefore, every Friday, I make an effort to reflect on the brilliant things that have happened during the week, and fill in the relevant box in my Positivity Planner.

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Positivity Toolkit – Junk Values worksheet

What are ‘junk values’?

I recently listened to the brilliant (if somewhat controversial!) Johann Hari on the Feel Better Live More podcast with Dr Rangan Chatterjee and found one of his ideas particularly interesting… the notion of ‘junk values’.

Hari described this concept in an article in the LA Times: “Junk food looks like food, but it doesn’t meet our underlying nutritional needs. In a similar way, junk values don’t meet our underlying psychological needs — to have meaning and connection in our lives. Extrinsic values are KFC for the soul. Yet our culture constantly pushes us to live extrinsically.”

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GCSE Listening resources – a sneak peek!

I am so excited to be able to give you a sneak peek of my French, Spanish and German GCSE Listening resources!

These have been a long time in the making and I have to say a massive thank you to the very kind native speakers whose voices you hear on these recordings! I was overwhelmed with offers of help from people and you can now purchase the full booklets on the theme of ‘Identity and Culture’ here.

For now, here are three questions on the topic of ‘Me, my family and friends’ – one foundation, one foundation/higher and one higher. Enjoy!

The French sound files are available in this Dropbox folder, the German ones are here and the Spanish ones are here.

As always, please email me kate@katelanguages.co.uk or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter to give me feedback and let me know how you’re using these resources!