Flash Video Big Books This is a great site for anyone interested in using story telling as a key component of their courses. Some free stuff but the books you have to buy are pretty cheap and excellent quality. Highly recommended.
Wordle - Create word clouds This is a fantastic little site for anyone wanting to be creative with Language. It creates key word diagrams on any topic in an arty way. It is a great way to introduce a topic or allow kids to create a keyword list to help them prepare for a speaking test
This is a brief video of how to create powerpoint slides that conceal text/objects but then reveal them via a 'letterbox' behind which you use a motion path to move the concealed object across the gap. If you right click on the link below, you can open the file in a new browser window. You can also right click and download it if you wish.
In the early days of writing this blog, I described how you can imitate the spotlight function of an IW board in powerpoint by using motion paths and the correct colours for the highlight box, text and slide background.
As a follow up to this, and with the annual November the 5th commemoration of the secret plot to blow up Parliament, why not create your own secret messages in any language and ask your pupils to decode them?
Here is an explanation of how to create them
Download the example I have created, to see what I mean
Here are a couple of videos explaining how to exploit some features of the Interactive Whiteboard. These used Smartboard Notebook 10 software but the principles would apply to other products. You will be able to see use for subjects other than language teaching as well.
If you would like the notebook files they can be downloaded for free via www.souffler.co.uk
I like this site jigsawplanet. You can take any picture and turn it into a jigsaw. You can control the level of difficulty and it offers a way of taking any topic and providing a bit of a fun.
I can see a potential for using this as a 'team' directed game where each team has to direct the teacher to move the pieces to recreate the picture: one puzzle piece is selected either by the team or the teacher: the team has to instruct the teacher in the target language to move the piece to the correct place on the board. eg:
à droite plus haut plus bas
à droite / à gauche etc.
For example I searched for an image of the Nativity for Christmas, found this:
You can do exactly the same thing with text. Here is a very simple text:
As the puzzle software can only cope with jpg images, I had to 'capture' the text as an image. With a Mac you can do this with the 'Grab' utility provided in the Applications/Utilities folder. With windows you can use a program such as MWSnap. a free program. Once uploaded to the site you can 'chop' up the text and make a puzzle. Here is a version using the above text. Click on the image to try.
I have uploaded a free Smartboard file of French poems on the theme of Autumn for subscribers to my other site at www.souffler.co.uk.
Thanks to http://lafarandoledesassmat.free.fr/ for the graphics and text. I have simply put them onto a format that is easier to see in the classroom. There are a lot of other materials on this site suitable for Primary children or lower KS3.
For anyone without Notebook software, there is a pdf version available.
This is an idea that you might find useful and a bit of fun. You can download everything by visiting my new site at souffler.co.uk.
You will also find news there of one or two other projects in the pipeline that you may find useful.
The materials I am offering free for download are the following.
1) A Smart notebook file containing the text and some questions about a recent news item, the poor English lad who happens to be called Harry Potter (apparently complete with forehead scar). The exercise is designed to show even fairly young learners that, with some common sense 'language detective' skills, they can get the gist of even quite complicated language. This is great for literacy work and can even be used at primary level.
Here is a screen shot of some of the text
2) a pdf of the same in case you don't have Smartboard software
3) a powerpoint of the text with 'exploding' bits of text. This is simply cloze texting but with bells and whistles. Pupils see the whole text but suddenly as you press the mouse key, one word 'explodes' and disappears. The trick in teams is to spot what word went missing.
4) a video explaining how the 'exploding text' was created if you want to create your own examples. Have fun!
These are a series of files that I used to follow up work on colours, parts of the body and moving onto teaching clothes and colours. The French version of the song invites the children to sing "Oui Oui" repeatedly and loudly with predictable giggling so you have to feel confident using these! The tune however is very catchy.
4) I began using this song as a way to get the pupils to identify how many times they could count the French 'i' sound in each line which would also include the French 'y' sound. You can use the mp3 above to do this but if anyone has the Sanako Media Assistant software, I have produced these files. They are in a zip file which you will have to extract to a folder of your choice. You will need file compression software such as Winzip to do this. I use 7z as it is free.
5) I was playing team games with boys against girls for the last exercise and created 2 Smartboard notebook files to do this using the picture of Noddy. You begin with a blank screen but as you click on various parts of the screen the picture is revealed. As each question is answered correctly another part is revealed. Winners are the team to have revealed the whole picture.
Hopefully a lot of what I post on here can help to give a creative edge to colleagues' lessons.Yet we all know that, however many hoops we jump through to make lessons more meaningful and interesting, sometimes you have to wield that stick!
I made this Excel sheet for anyone who can use it. I have used French but you can change the column headings as you wish.
It's a basic traffic light system for classroom management. You copy/paste your list of pupils in the first column, and by default everyone begins the lesson on green. I have included a couple of macros (keyboard shortcuts) to enable you to quickly change the colour of the boxes in the second column to amber, warning. (ctrl a) and in the third column to red, trouble (!) (ctrl r). You can delete any colour assigned to a box by using ctrl e (effacer)
You will have to allow the macros when you first open the sheet.
If you want to copy this sheet to add other classes press ctrl and j. You should see another identical sheet added onto the tabs at the bottom. Rename these by right clicking the tab and selecting 'Rename'.
I have also created a similar idea in a smart notebook file
Type in the pupil names in the columns. The amber and red boxes at the top are on infinite cloner so that you can simply pull them down into the boxes to copy them when at the whiteboard. The numbers at the top are links to the other pages in the workbook.
Each of these pages has an arrow at the top left linked back to the pupil checklist on the front page.
This is just a brief set of resourcs and ideas prepared for primary school children. I have taught colours for one lesson and wanted to introduce the printed word and the placement of the adjective after the noun without getting into adjectival agreements. So I am using the Comic Relief Red Nose day in the UK to exploit this. Hopefully they will all produce a coloured nose of their own for the day.
These are Word and Smartboard notebook resources but the you can adapt them for your own needs. If you feel able to, replacing my pic with one of your own might avoid uneccessary trauma in young minds!
Download Nez-rouge Notebook file. Click in the centre of the photo on the first page and you zoom in on my nose - not for the fainthearted... You need Notebook 10 to view the animations for this file.
Download Nez pdf file - I used this to print off flashcards and play flashcard games.
To make their own noses, I am cutting a small square of card. In the middle there is a hole big enough to feed a coloured ballon through. Blow up the balloon so that it protrudes on one side of the card and can be tied off on the other. Place elastic bands on either side of the card to loop over ears et voilà!
Feel free to share ideas!
I tried this today and it was a big success, if a little tricky to make the noses. Here is a template you can print off to make the cards which you use to mount the balloons.