How does your garden grow? Children's language learning records

Looking for a way to record language learning progress?
Well what about how does your garden grow?
(Even if you don't create these physical records with your class,I think for me it's a good image of what we hope to achieve with the children. Strong healthy language learners who have a bright,colourful, diverse and successful language learning career with us in primary school)

I know that quite a few of my colleagues like to keep a physical paper copy of the learning experience of their children in their own individual classes. I know that children too like a record of what they have learned, where they are going to do next and what success they are achieving throughout the school year. This simple graphic record will be something that the language associate assistants/teachers and myself will trial with some of our Year 3 children this coming academic year. Maybe this idea is something that you may like to use too…..?

Basically it’s a garden scene- flowers, a tree, sunshine with lots of rays and a flowerbed of weeds! Each child will have an A4 landscape piece of card, kept in their trays/ drawers etc. When they receive the card there will be a tree trunk (divided into sections), a flower stem (broad and long enough for children to write along the length of it) and an empty area on the right-hand side which is the flowerbed for our weeds.

Our flowers? 
Well every child will have a sunflower- the centre will be their faces (a drawing, cartoon or photo) and the stems will contain their own simple target language writing of a greeting and their name phrase. The petals will contain our exploration of content as we progress through the year e.g foods, days, months, numbers etc. Each petal will be added as a glued on petal as we progress and the children can add examples of the language from the specific focus in their own preferred style.

The tree.. where we will show the links we make .The stem will be big and strong and will be filled in over the four years we use the record. Here we will record the language structures we encounter, practise and grow more confident with e.g questions, answers nouns, adjectives, verbs: commands/present tense/near future/personal pronouns……the stems of my trees will be coloured in – colour coded and containing a title such as “nouns” to represent the different language structures we will meet. The children will add examples in written target language to remind them of what they have used, practised, mastered. The branches and twigs will be all the conversations and spoken language practise we have over the course of the four years – e.g. getting to know you talk, café talk,likes and dislikes etc, etc.

The sunshine?
This is where we will share all the wonderful opportunities we will have had to explore stories, songs, poems, games  ,drama, culture, links with schools abroad etc  and each ray will be another wonderful opportunity  that the children want to remember and record- written in English as a descriptive sentence .The middle of the  sun will be made up by a cut out circle of the globe – just reminding them how learning a language offers you so many world-wide opportunities and adventures!

Finally what about those weeds? 
Well the weeds are temporary and will all be kept in a list in a flowerbed to the right of the main pictures. Children can record at the end of a language focus something that they are not sure about or want to know more about and as we resolve these problems or find out more, then they can bit by bit colour the written statement in until it becomes a colourful stripy flowerbed of resolved questions about language learning.