Whilst not a pre-requisite to good teaching or good learning, some ICT room input is useful every now and again. Students enjoy the occasional trip to the computer room. I should use it more and my classes often remind me to do so! Here are my regular ICT room lessons. If you have a good idea drop one in the comments section below.
Sell your sibling (thanks to a former colleague for this one)
Surprisingly, I have never got into trouble for this and the kids love it. If they are an only child like the writer of this blog then suggest they sell their teacher. Currently I am for sale on the wall of my own classroom. In the event that your pursue the latter course, you may wish to correct any factual inaccuracies that ensue from the pupils description of you (which can often best be described as skewed, misinformed or just wrong). If you’re wondering, I went for €1500.
Great way to reinforce descriptions. Give the pupils a helpsheet with phrases like “armed and dangerous”, “do not approach”, “reward” and then get them to find a celebrity and go for it. A good plan is to tell them they are doing this lesson and have them think of someone beforehand, otherwise the normal battle of pictures vs content ensues and content loses out. Ideally, they should probably avoid doing one of their teachers but if they’re learning and being creative with the language don’t stop them. Display it in the corridor for maximum effect!
Students plan a gap year using the future tense. They need to explain where they are going to go, would like to go, intend to go etc and why. If you have access to www.youtube.com then “where the hell is matt 2008” could provide some inspiration, although it might have more of an effect on your travel plans this summer.
Students could add more details and description. The trick is to get them to focus on the language first and the pictures later.
Designing a CV. Great way of teaching a range of vocabulary and revising a variety of topics. Microsoft word has some good templates for this that can be customised. You could set homework prior to this lesson so the pupils find the vocabulary they need and then produce the CV, or equally do it the other way around and teach them how to use http://www.wordreference.com properly.
Audio guide using audacity
Students produce a radio advert to encourage people to visit their town. This can be done using the program audacity (free to download – or it used to be). The difficulty is recording it. Most students will happily do it but in an ICT room it does mean there is a lot of background noise. Maybe suggest they do it at home or if your school allows then use http://www.spreaker.com/
Past listening exam papers
If you have a mixed ability group the ICT room is a great place for these. Give the pupils the papers and put the listening tracks on the system or intranet where they can access them. It also allows them to control volume and work through at their own pace. This is good when you are developing exam technique. Obviously some in-class or exam hall practice is good but this helps build confidence. It allows you to cater to higher and foundation students if you have a mixed group.
Google Earth Directions
Why not create some directions that the pupils have to use google-earth to follow. They could also create directions for their friends. If they get to the right place then clearly they understood the directions – very easy way to evidence progress. There is a good resource on the TES for this but if you know where you are and where you are going then do your own. I tried some with Madrid and got pupils going around the main square before being dropped elsewhere in the city and having to find the Bernabeu stadium.
Languagesonline.org.uk and samlearning.com
Both of these are superb websites and are improving all the time. The former has recently been improved to facilitate use of tablet and smartphone. The latter is gradually building up its stock of listening practice. Languages online is free to use and has a lot of good exercises for practising grammar. It also offers the explanations and hints to remind students of the rules they are practising and links well to Key Stage 3 schemes of work.
Little explorers picture dictionary
Great resource for early years or lower school. My students have recently found this a great help on the house and home topic. Whilst they see the title of “little explorers” as patronising, the website is very good. Useful resource for weaker learners and perhaps getting students to make their own vocabulary lists.
Worksheets 1 and 2 are great for developing cultural knowledge. I’ve only just discovered the rest of the site and there looks to be some really good material for French, German and Spanish.
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