Monday, 15 September 2014

Third week in and all is well!

I seem to have been playing catch up since the start of term, despite being super prepared with all my resources and new ideas that I wanted to implement this year, so my regular blogging has slowed down a bit!

Right then, what to tell you...

I have introduced a team point system (as I have already mentioned), so from this, they can now ask for points:
Darf ich ... Punkte haben?
they can ask to do the points too:
Darf ich die Punkte zählen?
and they can state whether the allocation of points is fair:
Das ist (nicht) fair!

We have started the register routine too, so added to:
Ich bin hier
Nicht hier
they can also say:
Darf ich die Namensliste machen?
Darf ich die Zeit stoppen?
They ask to time the register which then leads to the next piece of language which my Year 7 class are starting to say:
Das war langsam
Das war schnell
In our school, pupils can wear jumpers or blazers and they can only remove them if they have permission, so here is another brilliant way of introducing some lovely language:
Darf ich meinen Blazer/Pulli ausziehen? 
A lot of phrases start with 'Darf ich'.  Similarly in my French classes: 'Est-ce que je peux ...'.  This is a great one to build on and is extremely useful to know.

Soon, I will be asking them to give their opinions on what they thought of the register.  For example:
Ich denke das war gut...
and building up to:
Ich denke das war gut, weil das schnell war
This will set them up for when we introduce 'weil' and it should make it easier for them to pick it up, having heard and used it before.

The mats are helping a little.  However, we are not yet at the stage where pupils are using them to talk to me spontaneously in German.  Little steps.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Lesson 2

Really enjoyed today's lesson.  Content-wise, I didn't get through as much as I had planned, but it was fun and I veered off my plan somewhat!

Today we did greetings - Guten Morgen, guten Tag, guten Abend, gute Nacht and Auf Wiedersehen/tschüs.  We also recapped Wie heißt du and ich heiße and the register routine vocab; ich bin hier/nicht hier

They arrived in good spirits and were ready to learn.  I introduced team competition, which I think is a wonderful tool in any MFL teacher's toolbox.  I introduced a sheet handing out race, for teampoints, I introduced pupils telling me how many teampoints they should have (I gave them the choice; "drei Punkte oder vier?", whilst holding up the appropriate amount of fingers!); this led to "Das ist nicht fair!", as I 'forgot' how many points were awarded and wrote too many on one team's chart on the whiteboard.  We played 'Beat the teacher/Repeat if true', where the vocab was on the WB and I pointed at each in turn and said them out loud; pupils have to repeat it if I say the right one and if I say the wrong one, they remain silent and win the point, or I win the point if they make a sound.  First to 5 wins.  There were lots of opportunities for "Das ist nicht fair", "nein", "ja", which they delighted in!

When I needed someone to explain, they wore the hat, but this happened only once today and the pupils who were struggling last lesson, really pulled it out of the bag today and got stuck in.  Maybe yesterday they were a little shellshocked!

I gave myself 5 minutes at the end to talk about my website ( in English as I needed to explain about scanning QR codes and other technical stuff!

Here is the slideshow I used (Looks a bit weird below, but if you download it, should be OK! Also photo credits in 'notes' section of PowerPoint):

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lesson 1

Today was my first lesson with my year 7 German class; well it was more of a starter lesson, given that it was only 30 mins long. They had 3 objectives: say what you are called and ask someone else, learn a little about Germany and learn a little about the Schultüten tradition in Germany. My objective: to make myself understood and deliver most of the lesson in German. Did I achieve this objective? Yep. How? See below!

To start, I had to seat them. We usually start by seating them alphabetically. I had done a seating plan on PowerPoint from their perspective, then for me I copied the slide then flipped the 'tables' to print off. So as they came into the class, all I had to do was greet them, then refer them to the plan:

"Hallo!  Findet eure Namen und dann setzt euch"  

I gestured towards the board and the tables and it seemed to work.

Next on my plan was to do the register.  I wanted them to say 'Ich bin hier' and 'nicht hier' (as mentioned in a previous post), so I showed them the phrases with accompanying pictures and we drilled each one ("die ganze Klasse") with mimes where necessary.  I then removed the phrases and we did the register.
Photo Credit: Wasfi Akab via Compfight cc

Learning how to say what you are called and asking someone else was the first objective and for this I had a speech bubble with 'Wie heißt du' and 'Ich heiße Frau Wylie' in it.  Again, some drilling and a few appropriate mimes did the trick.  To practise this, I asked them to ask 5 people in the class.  I simply said "fünf Personen" and then did some examples myself.  To finish off, I used my lovely new inflatable microphone to ask random pupils their names, which seemed to go down well!

Objective 2 was to learn a little about Germany.  Originally this quiz existed in English, but I was determined to do it in German, so I doctored it! (See below) They wrote the answers (A,B,C,D) on their mini whiteboards.  As you will see below, some of the questions are obvious, but some required a little explanation.  Where possible I gestured (Frage 4), but occasionally, we needed a proper explanation, so that's when the Union Flag hat came out (see post on 26th August - Chapeau).  I simply said, "Was ist das auf Englisch?" and showed the hat and I had a volunteer raise her hand.  I placed the hat on her head, which caused a little giggle and then she explained what it meant.  Sometimes having a pupil interpreter is extremely useful.  It means that they don't hear you speaking English, thus keeping to your TL.

Finally, the third objective was to learn about Schultüten and for this I had made a short explanatory video with PowToon (See last slide below for link).  I showed it and then asked for someone to explain (With the hat) and before they left to go to their next session, they were given a hand made Schultüte (Made by last year's Year 10 classes!) as a nice memento of their first German lesson.

To get them quiet, what I normally do is count down: "drei, zwei, eins, null, STOP!".  To accompany this I raise 3 fingers, then 2, then 1, then make a zero with my fist and on STOP I raise my hand to show my palm. It never fails.  I have done it in English with my form, but I have found that it always works best in German or French!! Weird!

There were a couple of pupils, who were clearly struggling with the quiz, but I dealt with this by kneeling down next to them and helping them out individually.  There were also 2 TAs in the room as there are a couple of pupils with SEN, but generally the class coped well.  No-one complained or mentioned that there was no English spoken; it seemed to be expected.  I have them again tomorrow for a full lesson, so we will see how that goes, but so far, so good!

I can't remember where this slideshow originally came from as we have had it for a few years now. We really like it!.  It was in English and as I mentioned above I translated it into German.  I also added the link on the last page and put some more pictures on to make the answers easier to understand. 

First Lesson Quiz About Germany