Today she was teaching a class of Year 5 children who have only just begin to learn a foriegn language - Spanish.She was working from the PLN SoW and adapting and building upon this to take in to consideration the age of the learners.
Last half term the children learnt greetings, colours, numbers and some simple personal information questions and answers.This half term they are focusing upon the Y4 aut 2 PLN Ready Made Spanish focus "robots and commands".Ultimately this half term Carol intends theat the children in Y5 will make Y3 a board game with commands - so there will be a celebration of the learning and the more mature pupils will share their learning with the younger KS2 pupils even though they are all learning similar language.
As the children walked in from play , she held out a magician's hat and each child took out a strip of paper. The children were going to play a speed challenge game to find their own teams.
First of all as soon as all children where in the room there was a song. Carol engages the children with familiar refrain songs and today she revisited greetings and how to say names in songs. And then it was the speed challenge.I really liked tbis game.It wa challenging for beginner learners who are actually Year 5 and involved reading and speaking sentences , listening to oethers, finding the whole team of sentences that either answered a question or built a simple conversation.Last week apparently the winning teasm took 1 minute 27 but today it was done in 34.7 seconds!! The most challenging was the written "sums" which involved the numbers and the instructions, the question "what's the answer" and key words for simple mathematical functions.
The key focus today was on commands - classroom commands.Carol was linking back to basic language learning but she also trying to add in a little more maturity and challenge , asking children to be teacher.Asking children to listen, join in and repeat in the style that the child as teacher demonstrated.As the children are learning the commands to create robots , there were some lovely "robot style " commands.
Then came one of those unanticipated special moments.If you look at the picture above you will see that the children had the text to one of our simple songs on the screen behind them as they came to the front or be "teachers" of the class.One of the children in the class said :
Reminded me actually that no matter how old the beginner learner is, the same connections need to be made to move on.
As Carol is now preparing to create and programme pretend class robots and to design the board game for Year 3, the class then looked in more detail at "commands" and the pattern they could see emerging in the spelling of the commands in the song. This was challenging for some because as beginner language learners and as you may expect some of the class wanted the challenge of finding unfamiliar verbs and trying out the patterns, others felt more secure working with the commands they had been practising in class. All of the class became "detectives" ,working with commands ...which Carol did refer to as "imperatives".