One of the ways in which we try to extend our gifted and talented pupils at Nodehill is by running what we call More Able Pupil Project days or M.A.P.P days once a year for every curriculum subject. The idea is that a select number of pupils from our two upper band classes are taken off timetable and work together intensely on a suitable activity which will stretch them and give them the opportunity to produce some sort of finished product by the end of the day. For this year's French M.A.P.P day, I thought I'd ask some of my strongest Year 8 pupils to follow in the footsteps of my Year 7 upper band form by producing their own grammar podcasts based on the work we have covered this year.
Ten volunteered to take part, some of whom had already cut their podcasting teeth at the Isle of Wight conference earlier in the year and wrote their scripts together on a grammar point of their choice. They kept to the same format of the Year 7 podcasts of presentation, examples and quiz as this seemed to work well and maintained continuity. We recorded the podcasts using Audacity and edited as we went along.
Judging by the feedback the pupils gave at the end of the session, the group enjoyed being given the creativity to write their own transcripts and come up with interesting ways of conveying their ideas. It was also clear that the process of scripting, recording and editing had helped them to deepen their understanding and rigorously revise the material they were explaining in a personal and engaging way. Moreover, they were motivated intrinsically by the task itself as well as by the prospect that they were publishing to a real audience via the World Wide Web. Some said too that they liked the thought of helping others with their work and being able to listen to their podcasts on a mobile device outside the classroom in their own time.
I've uploaded the new podcasts to NodehillFrench, our new Podomatic site where you can subscribe to them via iTunes using this feed on the right hand side of the page. The beauty of this is that it updates itself automatically whenever you post a new episode. Have a look at the following instructions to tell you how to do it, if you're not sure. I've also added the feed to a Podcast Pickle Player and pasted the code into a new Notes Typelist for it on the blog so anyone can play the podcasts directly from the sidebar.
I hope you enjoy the new episodes of the French Nodehill Grammar Podcasts. Feel free to leave a comment as always. I'm sure the pupils would love to hear your thoughts.