Monday, 12 November 2018

Language Show 2018 - presentations

Many thanks to everyone who came to my session Putting Pen to Paper at the Language Show yesterday, and also everyone who came to the Primary Show and Tell.

You can find my Putting Pen to Paper presentation here.

My Trash or Treasure presentation from the Show and Tell is here.  You can read more about the gender and number Trash or Treasure that I described here.

Monday, 8 October 2018

I've won an award!

In June I found out that my resource Box of French: Je suis préhistorique! was a finalist in the Teach Primary Resource Awards 2018.  Well, at the beginning of September - the first day of the new school year in fact - I heard that I had won the MFL category!  I have been sworn to secrecy since then, but as the latest edition of Teach Primary is published today the embargo has been lifted, so I can tell everyone!

I have a huge smile today!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

For easy interactive activities I have been mourning the demise of Sugarcane, which ceased to be in June this year.

This morning on the Modern Language Teachers' Lounge Facebook group, I found out about educandy, a new interactive game creator from the Linguascope team.

I have created an account and created my first activity.

I clicked on "My Activities" and then on the red icon to create a set of matching pairs:

I then entered my pairs of words or "questions and answers".

When I had done this, I could scroll down and see the selection of games that I could play using this word set:

When I scrolled down further, I could see the code for this set of games, its URL and also the embed code:

The code for this activity, as you can see, is 15b.  Students can enter this code in the box in the top right of the home page and go straight to the activity:

It's also possible to embed activities:

I have been trying all this out on my laptop, and it has been very straightforward.  I have also had a go at the games.  The only downside for me is that the text on the games is small (very small in the case of the crossword clues) and therefore not very suitable for using on the interactive whiteboard.  A big positive, though, is that there is an educandy app available for both Android and Apple.  Students input the reference code and are taken straight to the choice of activities that you have designed.  This is what is looks like on my Android tablet once I have entered the code.  As you can see, I had to enter zeros for the missing digits in my code.  The games are clearer on the tablet screen.

All in all, educandy looks like a promising resource, especially if, like me, you have a Sugarcane-shaped hole in your life that needs filling. It's easy to use, quickly and easily produces activities that are clear and fun to play.  Have a go!

Monday, 17 September 2018

Language Show 2018

The Language Show 2018 will take place at London's Olympia, 9th-11th November.  I am very honoured to be speaking this year.

The Sunday has a primary focus.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

DIY cliparts

I get a lot of the cliparts I use from as it is a reputable provider of copyright-free images.  You can never guarantee that an image you've found via a Google search is copyright-free, even if you've selected "free to use, share or modify, even commercially" on an advanced search.

Sometimes I can't find the sort of thing I'm looking for, and so I make my own.  I do this using MS Publisher and its Autoshapes function.  Earlier on today, I needed some smilies to illustrate opinions, but couldn't find the exact images I was looking for in a high enough quality.  So I made the ones above.  Below is a screen capture to show you how I did it:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required. I learned how to do this from the late, great Bev Evans, who was so generous with her expertise.  You can still find her videos about how to make faces, flowers and backgrounds on YouTube.

So if you can't quite find the image you want, why not try some DIY?!

PS  If you'd like to use these smiley cliparts, they are available to download on the Light Bulb Languages Facebook page.