Tuesday, 13 January 2015

99% TL teaching in bottom set Yr 8 Class - woohoo!

Well, how pleased with myself was I today?  I'll be honest; I had a dip in my use of the TL in teaching bottom set classes just before Christmas.  It was a reeeaaally long term and I was absolutely pulling myself up that mountain by my fingertips, especially near the end and our pupils were the same.  Everyone was tired and my planning was taking me so long, so my energy levels were very low and I 'couldn't be bothered' with it!  However, as I have said lots before, I know it can be done even with bottom sets and I was determined to sort it out!  So, I have been trying really hard.

Today was a 'hallelujah' moment!  The class in question is an extremely lively, quite large (25) bottom set class of mainly boys (there are 5 girls) with a hardcore of about 6-7 boys who 'push it'. Funnily enough, they are all blond?! (I call them my naughty blond boys!).  I have two other adults in the room with me as one is statemented and several struggle with things like literacy etc.  This is the same class that I blogged about on my other blog here, when I had to re-establish some ground rules and introduced a new rewards/sanctions system, which is working brilliantly; I really enjoy teaching them now - it can be so much fun!  We have been doing countries and nationalities to death and today we were looking at household names and saying if they were 'une voiture italienne' or 'un plat espagnol' etc.  It was very controlled and I was very bossy, but almost all of the lesson was delivered in French and they didn't even realise!  We have a very tight TL register routine - they ask in French to do the register on +ClassDojo , they ask to do the team points (everything is about team points, which they also ask for in French if they have done something worthy of them), they ask to time it, using the clock or their watch; we do the register, then find out how long it took, which we then give our opinions on in French (à mon avis, c'était très lent), then everyone who did a job asks for points in French (Which then may be disputed by the other team)!  They love this and are really quite competitive and the daily winner of the team points competition (we have PSG against Olympique Marseille! - cultural!), gets to colour in a football, taking them closer to their goal.
We have routines for handing things out - today, we had dictionaries and worksheets.  They ask in French (Est-ce que je peux distribuer les ...?) and of course, these need collecting at the end, so alltogether now, 'Est-ce que je peux ramasser les ...?'  All of these jobs earn team points of course!

In the midst of all that, loads of really productive work was being done - we can now say that ...is a French/Italian/Spanish etc and they can now successfully use a French dictionary to look unknown words up.

Hooray!!!