Give them what they need

verb tablesHow am I supposed to know they learn this way? Easy. Try it and see, go back and alter that grand thought or plan of yours and try it again. Try something different. Try what is there. Get the combinations right. Tinker and fix. Share, get feedback, improve the content and reshare. It is constant movement. The year 8s and 9s are different. They have specific learning needs and technology is a part of it. So is game-based theory and visual content in class. It is important to follow that paradigm if you are looking to get the best. So it is from easy going to a bit harder ,  to a bit harder, having more options and then achieving the level but alls the while going over the same foundation content. I am teaching the year 9s the perfect tense in French. We looked at past participles. We looked at how that works in a sentence. We looked at one group of verbs, another group of verbs but all the time I was being consistent – teaching the sentence structure and repeating the model. I can do that with slide presentations and I can vary the content with each slide presentation. I can make it bold and colourful or just plain old black and white because I want them to focus on the construction of the sentence. I moved on to a board of lists – when? verbs? where? with whom? what was it like? The last bit is important. It was an introduction to the imperfect and a revision of adjectives. From the board we made sentences. They just had to choose from each list. They had to say them. They had to make one of their own not using my verbs. I kept coming back to this list as I added another layer of understanding. The words on the lists became shared knowledge and learnt easily. They didn’t like la semaine dernière (last week). It was too hard to say and meant nothing really. I chose le weekend dernier (last weekend). They like real things and things they connect with. They are emotional learners. I wrote up a little thing about the weekend using the lists and a couple of other new but easy expressions and made them write their own. We did it as an oral. Big success. Easily pronounced and well written. At the start of each lesson we do very matching tables. They have to match the French with the English. My year 8s love it and don’t even realise they are doing grammar. My year 9s can do 2 of them in less than 10 minutes. Not bad. We are getting faster. Use what is there and build your lesson around different ways of presenting the same material and ensure there is a bit of a challenge. My year 9s now want to do a bigger presentation on le weekend dernier. We have leveled up again

and here are two examples:

J’ai regardé le requin à l’ aquarium.
C’etait génial.
J’ai acheté un grand sac bleu pour ma mère et un petit sac bleu pour ma sœur au marché.
J’ai mangé du gâteau au café avec ma famille.
Quel bon weekend.



Le weekend dernier je suis allée à Mount Gambier. J’ai visité mes amis. C’était fantastique. J’ai acheté le dîner dans un restaurant. J’ai regardé le film The Fault in our Stars. Quel bon weekend!


The confident writer wrote it as a paragraph but the other student stayed in control by doing one sentence at a time. The students sent me these pieces of writing over our LMS. Use what is there and make it easy.


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Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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