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.
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:
- Print it off, laminate it and put it on desks for pupils to look at in pairs.
- 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.
- 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
I don’t actually get to use my own resources that often, but I had a great tutoring session recently where I used my French writing workbook with a Year 11 student.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
- French listening Family – Questions and answers
- German listening Family – Questions and answers
- Spanish family listening – Questions and answers