As I explained in the recent interview with Chris Fuller, during this time of year those staff not involved in invigilating Year 6 SATs, Year 8 Optional SATs and play rehearsals stay with their form class for entire mornings at a time and have the opportunity to take part in creative project work with their pupils.
I am always one of those teachers and I love the opportunity to 'think out of the box' and do something I wouldn't normally have the time to do in a typical week. This year, I thought I'd ask my form to put together some grammar podcasts having been inspired by those made by Chris' Year 10 pupils on the future tense in Spanish.
The pupils divided themselves into small groups, chose which grammar point they were going to tackle and set about writing a script. We recorded each one individually with Audacity, editing as we went along and adding bits when necessary. Letting the pupils use their own words to explain concepts such as gender and adjectival agreement was a revelation because they had to think carefully about how to convey quite dry ideas in fun and engaging ways for their peers to enjoy.
The learning benefits of doing so were palpable. Pupils were clearly deepening their understanding of the grammar they were covering. They were improving their pronunciation, gaining confidence in their speaking skills through the editing process and embedding what success criteria they needed to reach the next level. This was powerful and inspiring stuff.
Infact, I think the pupils did brilliantly well organising themselves to produce such polished final products. Have a listen for yourself and tell us what you think. I'm sure the pupils would love to hear from you.
Here are some of the comments we've received so far by email or language fora:
Nathalie: I have just listened to the preposition podcast, fantastic! What a great idea. I am currently working with my students on writing "The Perfect Tense for Dummies" and this is another idea to use... Well done to Yasmine and Eleanor, tell them they will be famous in Suffolk this afternoon for a Year 6 French lesson (prep school).
Samia: Bravo, Joe had a very quick look and will put comments for your lovely pupils as soon as I have a spare second!! I am so glad you are keeping us all motivated and refreshed. Tell them bravo from me.
Laura: They are very good. Well done!