Two Great Brain Break Videos

During a recent PLC meeting, the wonderful Ibu Karen shared these two YouTube videos. My students adored them from the start, so I want to share them with you too, ready for term 4.

I have used this video with my two junior primary classes and they were singing along with it right from the start. I love how it gets reps on the structure ‘lingkaran’ (circle), numbers and besar/kecil (big/small). Be warned, if you play this song at the end of your lessons (highly recommend that you do), you will hear it go down the corridor as it is definitely an earworm tune.

The second video is a brilliant brain break. This link is for a Learning station song video called Ram Sam Sam which apparently was originally an Arabic song/rhyme from Morocco. I encourage you to initially play this video to your students without saying anything at all and I bet they can not help jumping up and joining in!! It is very challenging both mentally and physically.

Post script

Forgot to add this tip also shared with the PLC by Bu Karen. When using YouTube links in class, look at the link in the search bar. Between the word watch and the ?

type

_popup (one word)

and magically there will be no ads!

Here is the video with complete details. Credit to this YouTuber for the brilliant hack:

Charlala Plans for Term 4

Term 4, in my opinion, is the hands down best term for trialling, building &/ or tweaking new skills. I am planning to delve again into One Word Images (OWI) next term as well as explore the platform `Charlala‘. I’ve done a few `OWI’s’ and while it was hugely successful, classes didn’t get beyond creating characters. My two goal’s next term are to have at least one class create a story based around their OWI and the other is to explore Charlala. 🤞🤞 Both should be lots of fun and seemingly will compliment each other perfectly during the term 4 slide to summer holidays.

I first explored Charlala last year when it looked like we were heading into the intital lockdown. It had been one of the many potentional platform suggestions recommended for remote learning by the wonderful Senora Ana. In the rush to prepare for online teaching, there was nowhere near enough time to explore it fully and it was thus soon relegated to the “not now” pile! With immaculate timing, Senora Ana shared the video link (see below) in time for term 4.

What fabulous scope the platform Charlala appears to have!! The video below demonstrates how perfect Charlala is for a TCI classroom!! I am so inspired and can’t wait to use it. It is essentially a pictionary style platform where students demonstrate comprehension through illustrations on a digital whiteboard. Input can be delivered face to face, synchronously or asynchronously. The beauty of it being asynchronous is the potential for creating relief teacher lessons for all year levels.

Here are a few notes that I took while watching the video:

  1. Charlala offers the opportunity to create more discussion around ‘Apa kabar?’ (How are you?). I really enjoy encouraging students to create wacky stories around student absences.
  2. I am betting that as all drawings are projected up onto the white board, it will increase student accountability and effort. I have also discovered that students who are disengaged during written tasks, often have impressive drawing skills and it is brilliant to be able to celebrate this.
  3. Teachers can project/narrate sentences from a text for students to illustrate. The images created by students can be used for circling, voting (which illustration best captures meaning) or saved for future purposes!
  4. The saved (and copyright free) images could be used in many, many ways. To support learners write retells, sequencing events in the story, matching text and illustrations, creating relief lessons…
  5. There is the option to add audio to tasks – great for relief lessons!
  6. I need to determine compatibility with iPads as that is the 1:1 device available at my current site.
  7. Student login appears easy for entering the drawing room and is done through a join code.

Questions:
I have just emailed Chris Hammer (Charlala creator and developer) to ask a few questions about student accounts and its compatibility with iPads.

As a primary school language teacher, I believe that many of my students are too young to create accounts using email addresses and passwords. I like the idea of join codes but do not feel comfortable asking students to create personal accounts and create passwords. Do you feel the same?

I felt it was unclear in the video whether Charlala works fully on iPads so look forward to having that cleared up.

Have you used Charlala?

Please add a comment about your experiences and/or opinions!!

I am particularly interested in hearing if you have used Charlala in a face to face classroom recently, can recommend the platform and/or happy to share any tips/ideas that worked for you!

Here’s the video – enjoy!

POSTCRIPT

Yesterday, Senora Ana & I were exploring this platform together and it was so much fun! Anne used Charlala during lockdowns so it was great to explore some of her texts through the 2.0 update. We had a few questions as a result of our explorations and emailed Chris Hammer with them and there was an response waiting in our email inbox this morning! HIs support is awesome. Anyhoo, the upshot is that Chris added Indonesian to the language bank which is brilliant and removed the word ‘term’ which confusingly, was situated right in front of the text students read! For a beginner Spanish speaker, the unfamiliar ‘term’ elevated my affective filter as I did not recognise it. All I could think was, “How is this pronounced in Spanish!” Crazy how the brain fixates on incomprehensible text!

Bail Outs – when life is just too hard….

A ‘Bail Out’ is an American term for a particular type of lesson neccesary for either (or both) the teacher or students. It is usually neccessary to overcome craziness – either personal or professional- and to keep you going until life gets back on track. This year, at a new school where most days present challenges, I have often started a lesson and realised that my lesson plan is about to fail bigtime. Unfortunately for me, while I recognise that I need to think of a quick circuit breaker, my mind goes blank! This post will hopefully help both you and future me!!

Dictation

A brilliant way to potentially regain calm and is largely prep free is dictation. There are many different versions of dictation and the success of each one will inevitably depend on your context. Mine being a new school with students I am still getting to know, means I need bail outs that require students to be seated and working independently. For this reason, running dictation is not included here but read HERE to learn more about how I’ve done it successfully in the past.
Here are some dictation variations that, depending on your needs, may have some value. They have been sourced from a variety of places including:
https://frenchteachernet.blogspot.com/2021/07/a-checklist-of-dictation-activities.html, eslgames.com, teachthis.com, busyteacher.org

Scaffolded dictation

This simple variation of dictation adds a further puzzle-solving element students may appreciate.
1. Supply all consonants, but no vowels, or vice versa.
2. Provide a gapped version omitting chosen grammatical points such as verbs or prepositions.
3. Provide a translation; give students a translation in L1 of the text you read.

False facts dictation


1. Dictate some sentences, each one containing a false fact. The sentences could relate to general knowledge or something recently studied in class.
2. Students transcribe and try to underline where they think the error is.
3. Display the sentences and ask students what the factual problem was in each case.

Dictation with Substitution

  • 1. Replace structures with a humorous sounding cognate alternative such as orangutan, komputer.
  • 2. After/during the dictation, students try to determine what the substituted word should be.

Dictogloss

Read a short text to the students at normal speed. The first time students should just listen.
Then read the text a second time and allow the students to take notes.
Now in pairs have them try to reconstruct the text from their memory and notes.
When they have done what they can, read the text a third time and allow them to take further notes and make corrections.
Optional:
Next, divide the students into teams of four and work together to come up with the complete text. When the teams have reconstructed the text, have them write their sentences on the board. Award one point for each correct sentence. The team with the most points wins.

Match the Picture

Give students a sheet of paper with illustrations and photographs, and then dictate the sentence from the text for each picture.  The students write the correct caption next to each picture.

Jigsaw dictation


Dictate a paragraph in the usual way, but with the sentences out of order.
After transcribing what they hear, students re-order the sentences.

Finish the sentence

Read open ended sentences to students who complete them with information about themselves.
eg nama saya, saya tinggal di, saya di kelas, saya suka makan, saya suka bermain

Picture Dictation

Write comprehensible sentences about an image. Students firstly write down the sentence and then secondly create a illustration to match the text.

Have you tried any dictiation variations successfully that I haven’t included? I would love to add them to the page I have created for easy referral!! See in the header of my blog.

Exploring Culture Numerically

Nellie Hughes is a genius! She is also a truly lovely person and I know this because as an ‘apprentice’ coach at the 2018 iFLT conference, I was fortuntate to work with both her and Gary DiBianca! A truly memorable experience.

Nelly Hughes is also generous. Not only has she developed a highly engaging game based around cultural number facts, she has also generously permitted me to share my experience using it in the Indonesian classroom. I initially read about this game on Martina Bex’s website. I immediately knew it had potential for our Indonesian context and her tab remained opened on my laptop as I considered it. Then I picked up a horrible bug and suddenly Nelly’s game became a viable option for two relief lessons conducted, as usual, by a monolingual relief teacher. My first quiz was based on Indonesian geography and the second on agricultural animals in Indonesia. I received little specific feedback about the games beyond that the students enjoyed it and that playing it was confusing the first time. So last week, I decided to give it a go myself. Not only was this game suitable for a TRT, but it is also be a great idea for end of term!!

Here is how I went about it:

The first thing to do is choose a topic. The topic can be directly taken from ACARA e.g. Ramadan, Hari Raya Nyepi (ACARA Yr. 7/8), leisure activities e.g. takraw, bulu tangkis or environment e.g. hutan, gunung api (ACARA Yr. 5/6). The topic I chose was orangutan.

Once the topic is established, the next task is to create a bank of berapa (how many/how much) questions. My questions and answers were:

  • How many species of orangutan are there? 3
  • In the wild, how many years do orangutan live for? 50
  • Fully grown female orangutan stand how tall (in cm)? 100cm
  • Baby orangutan stay with their mother for how many years on average? 10 years
  • How many orangutan are left in Sumatra? 13,846
  • How many orangutan are left in Borneo? 104,700
  • How many Tapanuli orangutan are left? 800
  • In what year were the Tapanuli species identified? (different to the orangutan from North Sumatra and Borneo) 2017
  • How long is the gestation period for orangutan? 8.5 months
  • How many babies on average does a female orangutan have in her lifetime? 3
  • How many orangutan are killed every year? 2,500
  • When is Puspa’s birthday (the female orangutan at the Adelaide zoo)? 30 April (1975)

I sourced these facts from various websites and where numbers differed, I chose the one that seemed to be the most up to date. As you can guess, the answers to each fact invited discussion and inevitably there was at least one student who initiated it.

Creating the questions and answers is the hardest part of this game! From there, it gets so much easier!

Students firstly need to be put into groups. The number of groups depends on an important factor; the number of different coloured white board markers you have. Ideally groups of 4 students work the best as then everyone has a job, but it’s not a deal breaker if you can’t. I recommend using class dojo for creating groups as there is a feature that allows you to specify which students not to group together! To find it, follow these steps: Open Toolkit (bottom left), Open Group Maker then open the blue link “Don’t group together’. (See below). Here you can create multiple groups of students who are not to be in the same group. For me, this really helps with behaviour management because I can guarantee certain ratbags are separated which helps balance their leverage within group decisions.

Once the groups are in the EEKK position (sitting in a circle – eye to eye and knee to knee) explain there are 4 student jobs within their groups. I explained the jobs as we played the first round and left it up to groups to assign the jobs.

The first job is writer. Once allocated, I invited the writer to come to the front of the room and take one small white board, a white board marker and a mini duster.

Then the game begins….

Explain that the answers to all of the questions are numbers and that teams work together to decide on their answer which the writer will write on the white board in large numbers. When the number is written, the writer will hand the board to the walker, the second job holder. At this point, I asked the first question. It is important that groups decide quickly on the answer – thirty seconds is more than enough. All the boards are then placed side by side in front of a whiteboard. The boards simply need to be standing up side by side where all students can see them.

The writer next gives the marker to the ‘tukang simbol’ (the student who is confident drawing a triangle and an asterix) who after discussing with their group, will draw a triangle above the number that represents the groups best guess of the right answer and an asterix above the board that is their groups second guess. If supremely confident, teams can put both symbols above the same board.

When all teams are seated and listening, read out the question again and its answer.

Finally is the awarding of points and introducing the final job. Before announcing team points, the tukang simbol hands the tukang skor -scorer – (final job) the marker who will add the team points to the score board as the teacher announces them. For this, I allocated team names based on the colour of their marker to save time but choosing team names could also be built into future games! It is in the awarding of points that you will recognise the genius of different coloured markers!

Here is how I awarded points:

3 points to the teams who guessed the exact answer
1 point to the teams who guessed closest to the correct answer without going over.
1 point to each team with an asterix above the correct answer
2 points to each team with a triangle above the correct answer.

Board showing symbols and scores after two rounds with the year 2/3 class.

Reflections

I played this entirely in English. This was deliberate to ensure the game worked and allowed me to consolidate the rules and equipment for students so that if I set it for another relief day, students can support the relief teacher. I began experimenting with creating a powerpoint to support the game and to explore the Indonesian vocabulary necessary to play it. The beauty of this is that images and info can be included to supplement discussions about aspects of the topic. For example, the first slide for the orangutan topic could include images of the three different species of orangutan to illustrate their similarities ad differences.

The game itself took quite a bit more time than I expected to explain the roles and the rules. This meant that classes rarely moved beyond two rounds. Thus I recommend making it the main part of your lesson the first time you introduce this to classes. It would be a fabulous lesson for week 10!!

I trialled it with year 2/3’s to year 8’s and all classes thoroughly enjoyed it.

Colleagial Sharing

Last week, I was again delighted to have a colleague travel all the way to my new school location for observations and sharing. Now that I live in a small rural community two and a half hours from Adelaide, collegial visits are even more appreciated. Fortunately within the school district are three Indonesian CI teachers, two of whom are teaching and one enjoying maternity leave, however the distances between us range from 5 mins to two and a half hours!!

Bu Heather spent Friday in my classroom last week. Friday is a great day for visitors as I teach a full day of Receptions  to year 7’s however it is also the one day in my working week that I have no non-contact, two yard duties and my year 2/3 lesson is held in an adjacent classroom to allow the online instrumental music program access to the required hardware currently situated in the Indonesian language room.

During the day, Bu Heather kindly offered to share a couple of her favourite activities; one a brain break and the other a post story activity.

The brain break is called Ayam Karet and is based on a choir warm up. This link shows you a very conservative version and I am truly regretting not recording Bu Heather’s version which is significantly more engaging. The voice she demonstrated was a squeaky one with a specific mouth formation which the students adored echoing! The finale of the brain break involves everyone together saying ‘ayam karet’ while wiggling low to the ground before making chook wings with arms and then clucking like a chicken to the standing position. As Heather pointed out (and students later demonstrated) this brain break is awesome but needs a prearranged signal to bring everyone back to their seats quietly. For getting students warmed up with a smile on their faces, this brain break is a winner!

The post story activity that Bu Heather demonstrated is called ‘diatas kepala’ (on top of your head). It involves students drawing/illustrating either a structure or sentence on a whiteboard placed on top of their head. My students absolutely loved the challenge of this activity and enjoyed sharing their efforts with friends. It truly was extremely engaging and has heaps of potential. It has been blogged about before by Cynthia Hitz and Martina Bex!!

I was truly grateful for the breaks Bu Heather gave me as I was struggling to find my mojo all day. I discovered the reason for this early the following day when I was hit with a sledgehammer of a bug targeting my throat.  I hope I don’t lose my voice! Fingers crossed Bu Heather didn’t take it home with her!

Bluey

A recent PLC conversation prompted me to create a ‘movietalk’ based on the Bluey episode “Grannies”. My young students absolutely adore this TV show (search ABC iView) and honestly, my Mum and I do too!! For background on this TV show, see here. There are many things I love about Bluey and without doubt, the top most reason is the assumptions we all make about gender; even for very young students. It certainly is an excellent show for discussing gender stereotyping.

My movietalk went incredibly smoothly! When I opened the powerpoint, my students actually cheered! The students recognised the episode and many agreed with me that it was one of their favourite episodes too. A colleague, shout out to Julie M, asks her young students to share their favourite episodes from the past week! Isn’t that a great idea as a starting point to determine which episodes will connect with your learners!!

This episode has as usual, stories within stories, and most of the plot is outside the vocabulary acquisition of my reception (preppy) students, so I just focused on the mini plot that Nanna’s can’t floss dance. Unlike my attempt at storytelling last week where students chatted constantly (mostly to comment on my hilarious lack of drawing skills), you could have heard a pin drop they were so engaged! I am still gobsmacked at how successful it was.

To create a movie talk, I watched the episode and took screenshots of the main action. I then went through them all and eliminated all that required vocabulary my students have not yet acquired. Being fourth term, it is guaranteed that this will be a messy term (swimming, bookweek, etc), so I usually plan around consolidating what students already know through unfamiliar texts. I tossed up whether to use ‘nenek’ (Grandmother) in my text and decided not to. Instead I stayed with Nanna. Next week I plan to use this to kick off a conversation about the different names we call our grandmother and link this to Indonesia where ‘grandmother/nenek’ is also not the same word grandchildren call their grandmothers and that the names Indonesian grandchildren use also varies greatly.

I identified 15 pictures that had the potential for a mini story. I worried during the planning that this would be too many and so added in a TPR break in the middle to give them wiggle time, but it was totally unnecessary!! OMG I could get used to this!! Here is a snap shot of the screenshots and text I used.

I added text to my images to help me to stay in bounds with the story telling. I also believe that including text for junior primary students adds a level of complexity for my more literate students who enjoy reading along with me. (As I have learners throughout the school with developing literacy skills, I firmly believe it is vital that we support our students through using easy to read fonts eg. century gothic.) I discovered just how many were reading the text whenever I had inadvertently included an error. In copying and pasting text from one page to another, I had forgotten to change character names!! Nothing like teacher errors to inspire more to read and check for further mistakes!! A sneaky way to increase input through reading for meaning!!

The icing on the cake for this mini story was finding colouring pictures on the Bluey website and other unofficial sites. I used several colouring pictures to create a listen and match worksheet. Students needed to listen to a sentence, colour the matching text box with a certain colour and then link it to the appropriate illustration. The lesson finished with students colouring in the illustrations which they absolutely loved doing. With my first class, the colouring in was done together to get reps on colour vocabulary, but I gave my last class time to choose their own colours. Not convinced yet of the value that a single lesson has for revising more than two colours is for young learners.

A final step I will be taking is creating a book from the powerpoint pages to add to my class library. As Amy Roe recommended, laminate all pages to make the books last longer!! It also makes them look fantastic . Make sure you use matte laminate though – glossy laminate needs to be banished from all schools and classrooms! Order through Officeworks. Orders over $55 are delivery free which is basically the cost of one packet!! Awesome for those of us in non-metro areas!! Matte laminate is more expensive but worth every cent because posters become accessible to all learners regardless of where they are in the classroom! No reflections!!

Term 3 Update: R-7

I must begin by apologising profusely for the limited posting over the past 12 months. My goal this year is to try to post more regularly to share my successes and failures. Hopefully this benefits you as much as it does for me in that it provides me with the opportunity to clarify and work through what and how I am teaching as well as documenting it all. It is amazing how quickly I forget ideas and then by scrolling through past posts, rediscover them!!

This term, my reception classes are finishing off Judy Dubois’ Jacket story, my 3-5’s are starting Anna Matava’s Talks Too Much story and my one and only 6/7 class is looking at the song ‘Lupa, Lupa Ingat’. See my Scope and Sequence Stories Page for more information on these stories.

Most classes have two 50 minute lessons a week except for one 3/4 class which has three, and one 3/4 class and my 6/7 class which have only a 65 minute lesson. The difference between the ones with only a single lesson and the others is predictably vast.

I still love using PowerPoint as a teaching tool for my reception students, however I no longer use them for the older year levels. My reception PowerPoints mainly aim to support preliterate students while also providing challenge (aka differentiation) and learning opportunities for those with developing literacy. This is done through limited text with quirky illustrations or giphy/gif’s (is there a difference?) that effortlessly prompt L2 discussion and circling that ONLY requires familiar and understandable L2, i.e. Indonesian in my context. For example, at the moment I have just introduced cepat and pelan (fast and slow) through TPR (Total Physical Response). In introducing it, I found gifs of people, familiar characters (Spiderman, SpongeBob) and cats walking/dancing/jumping fast/slow. This ensured that the only unfamiliar language was pelan and cepat. Avoiding working memory overload in a language classroom is SO important for both comprehension and acquisition as this helps to keep the affective filter (e.g. anxiety levels) low. When the affective filter is high, the flight or fight response can kick in, thus severely impacting on language acquisition for most learners.

My JP PowerPoints include slides on behaviour expectations, kursi luar biasa, picture talk, VPQA (Visual personalised questions and answers), brain breaks, TPR, songs and a CI task e.g. ‘All the Worlds a Stage’, Listen and Draw. See the Preliterate TCI/TPRS CI Activities page for an explanation of these and others. See this link to view a recent JP powerpoint I used with my receptions for this story. To break up the repetition for me, I love creating video clips for the students to either listen to or sing along with. Most are uploaded to my YouTube channel and if you are interested in getting notifications each time I upload a new one, subscribe to and like my channel!! Another ‘video’ idea is to take photos of students and then create a slideshow from them. We had a dress-up day recently and I walked around the school yard before school taking photos of students in their costumes. I got many fabulous photos and the slide show was perfect to help students transition to learning Indonesian at the beginning of the lesson. It also ensured a consequence for those that dawdled and an encouragement to get to the next lesson on time when I planned to replay it!! My next project is to take photos of students skate-boarding on the basketball court tomorrow morning before school!

This week will be the last week for the Jaket story and next week, I will begin Elsa & Buaya, a story based on one of Carol Gaab’s creations. The language for this story includes lapar (hungry), berlari (run), ke (to) and revises lihat (look/see) and makan (eat). All structures can effortlessly be incorporated into TPR which will be hilarious when added to pelan/cepat!! I can feel a new slideshow idea coming on…..

My middle primary students will begin acting out the Bercakap-Cakap Terus story tomorrow. Usually I story ask the complete story using actors and student input, but tomorrow I am going to try an idea based on Laurie Clarcq’s embedded reading workshop I watched yesterday at the Agen Online Conference. I pared the story right down to the basics after identifying that the key language was bercakap-cakap terus (constantly chats), pergi ke (goes to) and keluar (go outside). Here is the skeleton of the story we will work with tomorrow:

John pergi ke Victa Cinema.
Di cinema, John bercakap-cakap terus.
Fred marah.
Fred berkata, “Keluar’.

Having a significantly reduced story skeleton will hopefully allow me to focus more on acquisition through quietening the annoying ‘teacher’ voice in my head pressuring me to go faster to beat the bell. It will also allow the class more opportunities to suggest/add more detail and personalise their class story to a greater level than is usually done! Then, I will hopefully have greater scope for creating embedded readings for the class to read post story creation. If you are interested in learning more about embedded readings, I highly recommend visiting Laurie’s comprehensive blog.

I am also planning to use an embedded reading with the 6/7 class but this one wasn’t so easy to create. The target structures are lupa (forgot), ingat (remember), kunci (key), cari (search) and ketemu (found). The best I have created so far is:

John mau pergi ke Adelaide.
Dimana kuncinya?
John cari dimana-mana.
John ketemu kuncinya di piano!

The main problem with this is the amount of unfamiliar language. We have covered lupa and ingat so far, so I just hope it isn’t expecting too much of the kids. In the embedded reading workshop, Laurie recommended pre-reading activities which gave me the idea of using the memory game to help with acquiring lupa & ingat! I have created a short PowerPoint containing a few tongue twisters Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 11.17.46 amand memory game Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 11.17.41 amimages from google.

Last lesson, I played the song version showing just the lyrics ( I save the band video till later to ensure the distraction of the band’s costumes and makeup doesn’t interfere with enjoying the song) and asked the students in pairs to choose a verse and then when it played, their group had to stand up and sing along. I was impressed at how well they actually did this!! In their next lesson I have planned to repeat this before again hitting ‘lupa’ & ‘ingat’ through stopping the song randomly and asking groups to sing the next line from memory! The going on a picnic concept might work too but I am still trying to come up with a phrase that will support students to stay in Indonesian. Maybe, “Saya ingat kata XXX.”

Not sure where I am heading yet with this class and this song. With previous classes,  recreating a video of the song was successfully done but it took so much work. This time I am thinking of using an app like video star (does it still exist?) where the students sing along to their verse but when it replays, they are just miming, and the original artists sound-track is all that is heard! Here is an idea of what it looks like! I think a project like this would be significantly easier to edit.

It seems odd to be posting about face to face teaching when the rest of the world is still largely teaching online. In most states of Australia, we have taught face to face through the entire pandemic. Was it stressful? Hell Yes! Still is actually; especially with the second wave now flowing through.  Please stay safe and look after yourself!

If you want to comment or share your ideas, I would truly appreciate hearing from you.

My 2020 Brain Break List has started…

Once school starts, I usually find it so hard to find decent brain breaks. Here are a few ideas I have found today that will be the beginning of my 2020 brain break ideas to try this year. If you try any or have one of your own that you can recommend, please add details/feedback in the comments below. I would truly appreciate it.

A variation of Buzz; 3,6,9 clap from ultimate camp resource In a circle, students one by one count upwards but on multiples of three, clap instead of say the number.

Catch the bunny from ultimate camp resource; two balls, one small and one large are passed around the circle. The small ball represents the bunny and the larger ball represents the farmer. The balls are passed around the circle until one person ends up with both balls representing the farmers catching up to the bunny. Obviously the aim of the game is to ensure the farmer does not catch the bunny!

Catch, don’t catch from ultimate camp resource; a person stands in the middle of the circle and before throwing the ball, says catch or don’t catch. The person receiving the ball has to do accordingly!

Category clapping game from ultimate camp resource; leader starts with a hand clapping rhythm and then to the beat of the hand clap states the category. The next person says something from that category to the beat of the clapping. The round ends when someone can’t suggest an idea. They suggest that this person is out, but in a class situation, I do not like to punish students who make a mistake. Instead, I look for ways in which to give them another go without encouraging others to also err. Category ideas could include American states, countries, animals, girls/boys names, plants, food.

Kitty wants a Corner game from ultimate camp resource; a circle game with one student, the kitty, in the middle of the circle. They kitty wants to join the circle. The kitty will ask those in the circle to swap places. The person asked can choose to swap (and become the new kitty) or not. If this person does not want to swap, they say “Ask my neighbour.” Meanwhile, behind the kitty’s back, students who make eye contact with each other can swap places. If the kitty cis quick enough, the kitty can jump into a vacated spot and the person in the middle becomes the new kitty.  To get all moving and changing seats, the centre person can call out ‘Kitty littter’!

Pass the Banana from Ultimate Camp Resource; students sit together in a tight circle with their knees up and their hands tucked under their legs. One person is in the middle and tries to locate the banana as everyone else is moving the banana secretly under their legs.

Laser Tag from Ultimate Camp Resource

Ah, Soh, Gi from Ultimate Camp Resource – I like the idea of this game but am not entirely taken with the three words. Wondering what a culturally sensitive substitute could be for the Indonesian classroom.

No /sir, Not I sir from youth group games; this game has lots of language potential and I can’t wait to try it. The phrase for this version of the game is ‘The prince of Paris has lost his hat and number _  has it” This could easily be adapted depending on the age of the students. It is a game of concentration and counting with the added complication of student numbers changing each time someone gets out. I also like that when students are out, they are still in the game. Follow the link above for the detailed instructions! I also love that they include ideas for making the game even more challenging!

Slap, Clap, Snap from ultimate camp resources; Assign everyone in the circle a number starting with one. Teach the slap, clap, snap rhythm and keep it going at a reasonable pace that matches the ability of the group. When the rhythm is set, starting with the person who is number one, they say their number each time they slap and clap however when they snap they say the number of another person. This continues until someone makes a mistake. when this happens, that person moves to the end of the line (ie next to number 1) and everyone not only shuffles up space wise, they also shuffle up numerically!

Food, Friends, Fireworks from Ultimate Camp Resources; this game is one I have used successfully in my classroom with target structures. The more exaggerated the action for each word, the better. Pairs stand back to back and count together to 3. On 3, they both jump around and instantly do the action they have decided. The goal is to do the same action. If they do, an air punch is done and if not, a ‘duh’ gentle slap to the forehead.

 

Five Finger Fling from Ever Active Schools – A great physical game that incorporates additional and subtraction.

Death Ball from Youth Group Games; a great sitting

 

Brain Gym ideas – from Ultimate Camp Resources. OMG these are so tricky!! https://youtu.be/39ma0PLhvHY

Clap, Snap, Stomp from ExpertVillage. Start with students standing in a circle. Begin by numbering off 1,2,3,1,2,3 all around the circle. Then go around the circle but this time replace the one with a clap. Repeat again replacing the 1 with a clap and the 2 with a snap. The third time around the circle, add in replacing the 3 with a stomp.

 

8 Things from Hoopla
Someone jumps into the middle of the circle. They are given a category of things to say 8 of. They say 8 things in that category as quickly as they can, with everyone shouting encouragement for each one and a round of applause at the end. It’s important that everyone enthusiastically supports every suggestion, this helps the group trust each other that ever offer will be supported. They are encouraged to say the first things that come to them, the game isn’t called 8 Right Things afterall! For instance:

Brian – Hi everyone I’m Brian
Everyone – Hi Brian!
Director – 8 types of holiday
Brian – Skiing!
Everyone – ONE!
Brian – Beach!
Everyone – TWO!
Brian – Safari!
Everyone – THREE!
Brian – Naked skinny dippinng holiday!
Everyone – FOUR!
Brian – Cheese museum holiday!
Everyone – FIVE!
Brian – Weston super mare!
Everyone – SIX!
Brian – Staycation!
Everyone – SEVEN!
Brian – Mountain climbing!
Everyone – EIGHT! Those were 8 things! (dance and applause).

 

Shakedown by ExpertVillage; a great counting backwards and movement activity.

Ikan Besar, Ikan kecil (Big Fish, Small Fish) by Improvencyclopedia; Students stand in a circle. One student starts by saying ikan besar and showing with their hands the length of a large fish. The next person either repeats both the phrase and the action or says. ikan kecil while showing with their hands the length of a small fish. If the latter is said, the direction around the circle changes. I love this idea purely because of the potential for any noun/adjective phrase to be used.

Chopsticks – Don’t even know where to start explaining the rules, so here is a video that explains it clearly and succinctly;

 

Ide Bagus; Kursi Luar Biasa

As I think about the upcoming new school year, I have found three links full of great ideas for kursi luar biasa (special student interviews). I just love the concept of interviewing star students as it is the best way to meaningfully focus on the vocabulary required for introductions, In an Indonesian context, the questions included in this replicate those that will actually be used when. meeting someone in Indonesia for the first time. Learning about others helps to find connections that will consolidate friendships. I will never forget a drive with my adopted Mum in Bali and listening to her conversation with our driver. Neither had met each other before this drive, so the conversation centred on getting to know each other to find out what they had in common. Accepting and learning about the diversity and commonality of others for mutual respect meshes beautifully with intercultural understanding from The Australian Curriculum.

This first link by the wonderful Cécile Lainé is excellent because it begins by acknowledging Bryce Hedstrom for developing the concept of interviewing a student. In most language classes it is called Special person, a term I tried but for some reason it just didn’t gel. Cecile’s post is a great place to start as she writes succinctly and breaks her information into 3 useful questions
1. what questions to ask
2. student note taking ie student participation
3. what to do afterwards ie assessment and post activities.

The next link leads to Señora Chase’s blog post about how this works in her classroom. Interestingly, she uses Michelle Whaley‘s term ‘star of the week’ instead. I did also consider this word, but unfortunately for Indonesian teachers, the word for star, bintang, is a brand name for popular Indonesian beer and consequently is widely believed by most tourists to mean ‘beer’! This post is excellent too as it contains links for delivery ideas. I particularly like her powerpoint and the idea of incorporating exclamations such as ‘me too’ (saya juga). With this exclamation, those who choose to say it, raise their hand and the ‘star’ walks around high fiving those people. I have tried this before and while it was engaging, it was also very rowdy; so be prepared! Señora Chase also includes many links to explain other strategies for ramping up star of the day. One idea she didn’t mention which I have found to be hugely successful when working with older students, is encouraging them to ‘lie’ about their details. Since by year 6/7, they know each others information to the last detail, making up new information becomes fascinating and intriguing because you never know what will be said next!!

The final link I found is by Dmsspanish. The first thing I learned (with envy) is that her students come to Spanish more than twice a week! OMG, I only dream of that. She includes in this post a YouTube video of herself teaching a lesson that includes a student interview. I love watching these videos as observing others teach is incredibly valuable.

I hope there are some useful ideas within the links I have shared. Please feel free to leave a comment or a question if there are any details I have not clearly explained!

Self-Regulated Learning (SRL)

One of the many intriguing concepts I investigated last semester was self-regulation (also known as self directed learning). I love, love, love the idea of helping learners take on the responsibility of their own learning. For so long, I thought it was my job to help my learners self regulate and I now realise that this is so not helpful. The research seems clear that explicitly teaching self regulation is enormously beneficial yet I have wondered how it actually works for specialist subjects, especially those limited to single weekly lessons. If you are incorporating SRL (successfully or unsuccessfully) into language lessons, I would really appreciate your comments (please, please write below)! This post hopes to pull together the learning I have done to date and exploring how it could potentially be adapted into a CBLT classroom.

 

What is Self-Regulation? 

Zimmerman in his article, Investigating Self-Regulation and Motivation: Historical Background, Methodological Developments, and Future Prospects, says SRL research was initially concerned with discovering how students master their own learning processes. And, probably it still does!!

Here’s a quote from this article to begin unpacking SRL:

SRL is viewed as proactive (my bolding) processes that students use to acquire academic skill, such as setting goals, selecting and deploying strategies, and self-monitoring one’s effectiveness. (Zimmerman, 2008).

Cynthia White in her article, Language Learning Strategies in Independent Language Learning: An Overview (2008), explains that:

“self-directed learners have an understanding of how to deploy self-management strategies, know how they learn best, and have the necessary procedural skills to set up optimal learning conditions.”

 

Thus SRL is concerned primarily with metacognition (not academic ability), ie, thinking about thinking. For SRL, metacognition has individual students reflecting on how they best learn to pinpoint strategies needed for their successful learning. It then becomes each students’ responsibility to proactively employ these strategies during learning. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?

 ‘Zones of Regulation’
While googling SRL for an assignment, I found a website called Zones Of Regulation. Leah Kuypers, an American OT, designed this curriculum “to help students identify their feelings and emotional reactions and learn sensory and perspective taking strategies that encourage better self-regulation”. There is so much here that really resonates with me for classroom use. Please note that the materials are copyrighted, but thankfully there are many blogs and images that provide snapshots to explain the main concepts.
I really love the concept of coloured coded zones representing the four main states of mind and that it can include a list of strategy suggestions for students to use to help them move from one zone to another for successful learning.

Apparently several Australian schools are implementing this program and if you teach at one, I’d love to know how it’s working.

The reason I am attracted to ‘Zones of Regulation’, as a possible way in which to embed SRL into CBLT lessons, is largely due to its succinctness and transferability across student ages. Incorporating explicit strategies to help facilitate smooth transitioning from quieter listening activities to active brain breaks (and visa versa) is very appealing.

As you can see in the first Zones image above, strategies that support students transitioning between the zones is negotiable and would thus vary significantly from a general classroom to a language classroom. My overall goal when first establishing the list of strategies would be to ensure students understand the importance of learners remaining in the Indonesian classroom and that all strategies must be silent and unobtrusive to avoid interfering with the learning of others.

Here is a terrific video to watch where Leah Kuypers talks about the Zones framework. She makes many great points.
Note to Australians, I recommend speeding up the speech rate. Go to settings, then playback speed and choosing a faster rate. Makes it so much more appealing.

 

A huge thank you to Laura Wimsett & Penny Coutas for their contribution to this discussion on the TCI/TPRS Indonesian Facebook page.