Friday, 29 September 2017


At the moment, with my Year 5 Spaniards, I am doing big numbers and money.  We've been focusing on amounts of Euros, for obvious reasons, but the children are very interested in pesetas.  I've told them how I always remember the difference between cien and ciento by thinking of the 100 peseta coin, which had "cien pesetas" written on it:

I said I would have a look at home to see if I still had any pesetas to show them.  I found four 25 peseta pieces and two 5 peseta pieces (and a whole set of French francs, some Dutch guilders and some South African rand).

The peseta coins that I have turn out to be very useful on a cultural as well as a historical level.  I've scanned them on both sides and magnified them a lot so that the children will be able to examine them next lesson.  Here they are, in case you would like to use them.  Each vertical pair is one coin.  Can you work out the cultural references on each coin?

I don't teach French at the moment and so the French francs are not of use to me, but if you would like to use them, here they are:

Monday, 18 September 2017

Spicy Phonics

Two weeks ago I started teaching in a new school.  Well, not brand new, but new to me.  And I started teaching Spanish there, so now I am teaching Spanish in both my schools and no French anymore.  My Year 6s there have already done three years of French, and I have a year in which to get them to substantial progress in Spanish.  So I am having to come up with ways to move them on quickly.

The first thing we are doing is a big push on phonics, starting with ñ, silent h, ll and accented vowels.  I have started with these sounds because we met them in the first words of the first Spanish lesson - español, hola, me llamo and adiós.

Like me, you may have come across Takeaway Homework.  Indeed my Y10 daughter brought home her first one last week, for English.  It gave me the idea for this phonics activity, where the words all contain the relevant phonemes, but are graded according to their length and relative difficulty.  Therefore the children can choose whichever number of chili peppers they want, whichever one they feel comfortable with, to read aloud to practise the phonemes.  Whichever one they choose, they are still practising the sounds.  It also means I can use the same resource with Year 3 all the way through to Year 6.  Less printing and less laminating, and we can always revisit it.

So we are doing the above one first and will then be using this one once we have learned the numbers 1 to 10:

If you'd like to use them yourself, you can download them from here.  They will be equally useful for Key Stage 3 beginners, I'm sure!

Can you think of any other activities that could be made "spicy" in this way?