I know what she’s talking about!

Thursday after lunch is not a prime time for teaching year 9s. Neither is Monday last lesson. Never mind, it is how it is. This Thursday my plan was to drive through on the perfect tense (passé composé) in


I know what she means!

French. We had looked at what it was and what it meant the lesson before and it really needs to be taught carefully and in bits in French. I have a key slide for this concept. One with a great picture and 3 sentences which are very dramatic which we say and learn so the students know what we are doing and then how good it will be when we have learnt it. We warmed up with numbers and then got to the next step in our learning. They were confident and secure with the auxiliary verb avoir and then we got onto the irregular the past participles. We had done the regular ones the lesson before. We said the verbs and then laughed our way through the past participles because they have sounds not familiar to English speakers and don’t relate to the infinitive of the verbs. Why would they? They are irregular. I wanted them to make a table so we could go through the French and English and pin our knowledge on something. So we counted the verbs in French and then made our table on the iPads.

“But what about those other things? We need to know what they mean too.”
“Yes, we need another column. We need to know what they mean.”
“I was thinking we just need to know the verbs today.”
“No! We need to know what those funny words mean like lu and bu.”

So we made our fourth column and they were very silent as they got the information down and we put in the English so they knew. Half way down the list of past participles, one of my irrepressible students suddenly exploded: “Oh, I get it.I know what she means. I can say, J’ai bu un café…I have drunk a cup of coffee.”
“I can say , J’ai lu un livre!”
They were looking at the board and their iPads. All these sentences constructed in the passé composé were popping out of their mouths. These students born in 2000 and beyond are very much visual, interactive learners and they like involving themselves with learning. They enjoy it.

The icing on the cake was when one student brought out her iPad so I could listen to her planet presentation in French which was a show and tell and she had 3 slides where she had changed her sentences to the passé composé and had been pleased she could do that now. I love technology.

Sticky notes HD

Sticky notes HDSticky notes HDI am on my iPad and rather than read about the seven mistakes I could be making vacuuming (I kid you not), I have decided to share Sticky notes HD with you. It costs just over a dollar and I know there are other sticky notes apps for free. They are not colourful and flexible like this one. The range of colours is lovely. There are also filters you can apply or you can use your own image as a background. You can change the font size and choose between black or white and you can use your camera to add images. It means you can make a high powered, customized note for a specific purpose or just your common and garden variety. I could see it having a good use with the iPads in class but it is not something I can expect because it is a paid app. Your note can be viewed several ways so it means you can take screen shots for different purposes if you wish. Sticky notes HD is more interesting to use but also offers more options for making notes.

Animated whiteboard presentations

This is my first attempt , so go easy on me. I wanted to show you how easy this app is to use. It’s a paid app called Elevator Pitch. It cost about 2.40 AUD. It is not a top of the range whiteboard animation app for scribing like VideoScribe. The latter comes with all the bells and whistles and runs on a computer or a tablet. Elevator Pitch is for the iPad and I can see some people would be able to use their iPhones to produce animated whiteboard presentations.It’s an entry level app for visual outlining. I was up and running in a couple of minutes.animated IWB presentationThe time line at the bottom is very easy to follow and you can swap the elements around if you want to. You can add your own images, use supplied clip art and then you type in the text and choose the presentation styles. It has no sound element which does not worry me at all. I am a beginner at this animated whiteboard presentation skill and I shall need to progress in my own way.Not having sound means I don’t have to worry about it while I am getting the text and visual elements in place.  The little video you make saves to the camera roll on the iPad and then I saved that to Dropbox. It saves as a .mov so it can be imported into a video programme for enhancement, sound, other added video elements. I put my presentation into Movie Maker because it is very quick to make a presentation. This one is just to start the year in my classes and get students who have done French before to introduce themselves quickly. More fun than writing a list of expressions on the board. I can show my video and then we can do a bit of  practice. The movie I made with Elevator Pitch itself lasts 20 seconds and is on my iPad, so if ever I want to do a quick refresher of the expressions in class all I have to do is go to my camera roll. This is going to be a great way for me to cover basic expressions and language patterns and quickly revise things we have learned. The only downside was that it appears to have no support for accented characters. Not even if I used the French keyboard.

Quiz Studio

Quiz Studio I have already downloaded a number of quizzes which will suit my classes when I start the new school year. Quiz Studio is a nice looking app and you can download quizzes and learning materials from Quizlet. Quizlet is a site where you can make your own online learning tools no matter what the subject and then something like Quiz Studio puts then into a nice interface for you on your tablet or phone. Quizlet is also available as an iPad or android app. Quizlet is a good way of us helping each other and Quiz Studio organises the study in an effective way.

Quiz Master Lite

Quiz Master Lite

Make use of your IWB

I am ready to go with my first Quiz Master Lite quiz. This is a free app for iPad. The Pro version costs about $3 and I’ll be getting it because it is worth having that little bit of extra functionality. The free version is functional and will make good use of my IWB for revision and a bit of fun. It is so easy to set up the quizzes. You just name the quiz and put in the questions. It then has some music and sound effects as the quiz runs. I think my younger students will like this and it will be a good way to get a lesson started, break up a long lesson and to do some quick revision. The simple images and text are bold and clear and so will have a good impact on an interactive whiteboard.

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