Winning!

stephen king book quoteYou know you’re winning when you catch students out for sneakily reading their ebooks in class. It was NAPLAN testing this week in Australia and by Thursday afternoon the Year 9s were all naplanned out. I had organised a simple, practical lesson for them where they could just do things that were easy but would add to where we needed to be by next week. As a bonus one of my students had offered up their phone to me before it got confiscated as usual because it was flat and of no use to them. I offered to charge it off my laptop as I had that on and the response was so worth it. Every week we go through locking the phone in my filing cabinet because it is a constant source of distraction. Responding in a kind way might see a difference. We’ll see. The lesson was underway and the year 9s settled into their work quite well. I wandered around to see what they were doing and one student was so engrossed in their ebook they didn’t even notice me next to them . So the ebook had to go away and then I noticed there was a print book on the desk. We had a little chat about books and then we moved on to doing the right thing in lesson. I wandered up the back…another secret ebook reader! No games, no nonsense just escaping into the wonderful world of fiction to soothe the naplan overload. That is the first time since we have had the one-to-one programme that I have caught students trying to sneakily eread. Love it. At the right time and in the right place ereading is the very thing. The devices are easily portable and quality dictionaries are available at the tap on a word. In celebration of reading I offer two free ebook sites:

Open Culture which has 700 free ebooks in print, audio and  in different languages.

The Literature Project

Teach to their needs

interactive oral This is flipchart two of my oral lesson with the senior students. The first page had images of the sun, gamma rays, what sunbeams were in French and a scientific diagram about the sun’s UV rays etc. I can just slide images onto the blank canvas of the Promethean board and talk as I explain or explain as I talk. Promoting and encouraging visual literacy as a means of increasing vocabulary and expression is working well for me . I wanted to explain the French word “beaming” – rayonnant. It meant the students were learning other words as I explained that and could see by the end of two boards of pictures and drawings that they actually knew a lot, had learnt a lot and could say a lot. By contrast, yesterday, I made them go on Google Maps and show me where they came from and where they were living. Even though I gave an example of that myself it wasn’t enough to properly support them. I have to TEACH them expression and vocabulary Role modelling it and using the interactive board makes that whole aspect of teaching and learning a language and expression so much more dynamic.

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