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I have found myself in a similar situation today, Chris. My seven year old daughter heard on the news this morning (while she was playing with her dinosaur stickers) that thousands of police officers and troops have joined in the manhunt. She came to ask me about it. The most frightening thing for her was that the 12 people at Charlie Hebdo were killed for drawing and for writing, the two things that she like best. It's difficult enough for us, as adults, to make sense of it all.
What a fantastic post, Mark. Thank you so much for the kind words and for the call to battle! Clare
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Hear, hear Mark! Particularly this bit: "If I could change one thing in any school that I think would make the biggest difference to a school's success it would be to urge any SMT to devise a culture of encouraging, rewarding, praising the staff for the work they do. How ironic that schools whose sole purpose is to inspire pupils to grow and learn so often conspire to belittle and beat down the staff they rely on to achieve the former." And I have to say that's a big difference I've noticed between primary and secondary (in my experience, anyway). In my primary school, colleagues will say if they like something and if they can see if the children like it. In secondary it would have been "yes, it's very nice but how does it address x, y and z targets, will it move them from grade x to grade y?" I've learned more about our noble craft from interacting with colleagues such as yourself "virtually" than I ever have "in real life".
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Top idea, Mark - thanks!
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Some excellent ideas here, Mark. I am wanting to do more singing with my classes this year and this has given me some more ideas of how to achieve that aim. Clare
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The responders in the early replies to the original post on the TES appeared to subscribe to the "Target Language 100% of the time" school of MFL teaching. So yes, with limited language there is only so far you can go. As soon as I started finding out about Thinking Skills and Bloom I realised that valuable language learning can take place via English just as much as it can in the TL, and gradually abandoned the 100% TL method in which I had been trained. In my experience pupils achieve a much higher understanding and appreciation of language and how it works if they get the change to analyse it by way of thinking skills activities and to discuss it in English. When they discuss, say, French, in English, they often use the TL words anyway to illustrate their points. Of all my 14 years in the secondary classroom, the lesson I remember best is Y9 Spanish when I tested out my "Sophie's best friend" activity, and one group of 4 girls had a stand-up argument in the classroom about what the answer was. They were constantly quoting from the texts and justifying their opinions. It was amazing, and a huge learning experience for the whole class.
I don't think many of our blogs would exist if it were not for your blog, Joe. Happy Birthday!
Absolutely! When I start evangelising about Twitter and my PLN, the uninitiated tend to glaze over, but you're exactly right ! I enjoyed reading this post. Clare
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2010 on Why I love the web at La Lingua è bella!
I think your presentation works well as a Prezi. Thank you for teaching me that you can upload more than just ppts to slideshare ! Clare
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Apr 23, 2010