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Saturday, 8 December 2018

Involving the student in resource creation

Every year, I aim to include resource creation in the student work, whether they realize what they are doing it or not. In the past two years, students worked on periphrasis and each created a card with a Target Language definition and the corresponding word. We ended up with things like "object you use to get dressed: clothes. ", "it is white and yellow, the baby of a chicken= an egg" After the students have created the cards, I collect them and we play around the world when two students are against each other, the winner moves up against the next person and so on and so forth. The winner is either the person who can go 'around the world or the student with the longest streak.
For many years I have wanted students to create an Apples to Apples game but that still hasn't happened. 
What we did this week was create a UNO game. If you remember my post on Simon's cat videos, I've actually purchased the card game which has a strong resemblance to Uno. 
So with the French class, I planned 11 steps on the board ( in reality more than that) to explain to the kids how to create their cards. Each students made 8 cards on I gave them the format to use and the elements to add, but the font, color and 'Carte m├ęchante' were left up to them. 
It only took 20 mn to make, I gave each student a verb , on one card they wrote the infinitive, on 6 other cards the conjugations of the verb and finally a 'm├ęchante carte' ( they had the choice between, miss a turn, pick two cards and play one, pick a card and miss a turn). 
We dont have bells, but at the moment the students had to go to lunch I had a set of printed colorful cards to laminate. While doing this I spotted a couple of mistakes. ( granted some verbs were harder than others and we ran out of time for a thorough check). In the afternoon, my science and mandarin teacher colleagues and I sat and gave it a go. How great to see how much it actually requires the kids to think! My science colleague never took French and had not been explained infinitives, irregulars and vowel changes. So many questions but it really showed me that this fun game ( I did not win that game!!) had a real teaching and learning value.;not only in its making but also in its playing and this will be my Spanish "before the winter break" activity to make their own set with nothing more than reflexive verbs!!! 
 In the past, we used to have final exams at the end of the year, and have the kids do a week review. I would pair up the kids and they would have to create activities themselves to help others review the various topics, ideas that the kids come up with are creative activities that they fit to their level. ( We had Smartboard activities,  I spy, a group writing on google doc that ended up is a fiasco).
 I highly recommend getting the kids to create resources, it helps them focus their attention to detail in making the resource and when they play the game they will have not only the reward of playing something they made but also have fun with their learning experience.

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