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Creativity and Innovation in the MFL Classroom

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by MsFranglais1979, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. MsFranglais1979

    MsFranglais1979 New commenter

    Hi there,
    The buzzwords of the moment appear to be creativity and innovation. I teach predominantly French lessons and have been told that my lessons are solid, sound lessons but 'safe' not innovative and I have been told that to get a definite good or outstanding, I need to demonstrate creativity and innovation in the classroom to make it more fun and use a range of different resources. I would welcome any ideas on how best to go about this, particularly any good pair or group work activities. What can I do to make my lessons stand out?

    Many Thanks :)
     
  2. MsFranglais1979

    MsFranglais1979 New commenter

    Hi there,
    The buzzwords of the moment appear to be creativity and innovation. I teach predominantly French lessons and have been told that my lessons are solid, sound lessons but 'safe' not innovative and I have been told that to get a definite good or outstanding, I need to demonstrate creativity and innovation in the classroom to make it more fun and use a range of different resources. I would welcome any ideas on how best to go about this, particularly any good pair or group work activities. What can I do to make my lessons stand out?

    Many Thanks :)
     
  3. Using mini white boards in lessons?
    Carousel lessons?
    Drama?
    When I was observed as an NQT by the LA one of the biggest things she was impressed with was the fact that I had a woollen ball that I threw round to the pupils to answer questions. They then threw the ball at someone else and asked them a question etc.

    I try to do an 'innovative' lesson at least once a month with each of my classes. Recent examples - teaching clothes to year 9 they had to plan a catwalk and write a description of the clothes they were wearing (they had brought these in from home). They then went off in groups to film their catwalk and we watched them back the next lesson and assessed each one as a class.
    Teaching hair and eyes to year 8 they played guess who (using real guess who boards) and we had a guess who tournament.
    At the end of a topic I will often do a pub quiz with my year 10s. This involves different rounds which essentially are a vocab match up, a listening round, a writing roung and a speaking round but I will come up with clever names for each round relating to the topic. They play in groups and have a joker card they can play at the beginning of any round to double the points of that round. I normally add in a silly bonus round. I do a powerpoint to go with it with a lot of flashy bits and sounds but by the end of the lesson they have consolidated knowledge of that topic.

    Just some ideas.
     
  4. MsFranglais1979

    MsFranglais1979 New commenter

    Some useful ideas there, thank you :)
     
  5. It really annoys me that an outstanding lesson has to be a lesson with all singing and dancing. I've observed some excellent lessons in Germany where the French lessons were quite traditional but students enjoyed them and were clearly getting a lot out of it. (And this is not down to a motivation issue)
    They don't know what flashcards are, over there...... And students are expected to learn most of their vocab at home, after they have been introduced to it via texts (not flashcards), which makes sense to me.
    Teachers don't have to jazz the lesson up in other countries and the teaching/learning is more effective.
    I'm all for having variety in lessons and doing something new once in a while but I think this obsession with fun lesson in this country is just ridiculous.

     
  6. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    I think you have confused "outstanding" with "enjoyable". An outstanding lesson need not be all-singing-all-dancing.
    you can get some ideas here
     
  7. It seems that MsFranglais1979 was asked to make her lessons more fun.
     
  8. londomolari

    londomolari New commenter


    Well, you could try doing more TWALT in your lessons.
     
  9. Very true. In any case, there is only so much "innovation" you can have Why SHOULD we have to come up every year with "new" methods of teaching e.g. conjugation of regular verbs in present tense, when we already have a bank of tried and tested methods to choose from?
    And in any case I remember a lot of lessons from my own time in school which were literally chalk and talk. And yet I still learned to love the subjects. I don't think that - for example- playing around with sets of cards with words on to see how many sentences I could make (we did that in Y7 today - and yes they did enjoy it, and they were learning from each other, and they could be heard actively thinking about verb endings etc.etc. etc. ) would have made me like the subject any better.
    History lessons - for two years - consisted of dictated notes which we then went away and learned. I exaggerate not. I think we had two lessons where he actually explained a couple of things. We all got good grades and he had a reputation for being an excellent teacher. (I did learn to write neatly at speed, which was a useful skill at university)
    If the teaching methods of yesteryear were so "bad" that we shouldn't use them any more how come there are so many well-educated people out there?
    Not that this helps the OP, who unfortunately has to jump through hoops to satisfy some misguided jobsworth.
     
  10. I totally agree with you!!
     
  11. MsFranglais1979

    MsFranglais1979 New commenter

    I agree to be honest when I was at school it wasn't the range of different and wacky resources which the teacher used or the amount of ICT in the lessons etc which made the lessons for me, because we didn't have any of that; it was the teacher's enthusiasm and joie de vivre which made language learning fun. It is hard now to know that as well as all the Q standards, the amount of paperwork we have to do for the course, planning, marking, ensuring that all the various components which they request of us to be demonstrated in every single lesson are met, we now need to spend hours coming up with various resources and creative ideas to make the lessons more appealing to a stimulation hungry modern audience. I say that in relation to the modern advances in technology, computer games etc. There is only so much we can do before burning out. Still I find myself trying to jump through hoops in order to get beyond satifactory with many good elements towards a solid good. Creativity I can manage, innovatioon escapes me!
     
  12. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    Personality is the key! I believe if you got it and can engage the kids and improvise enjoyable wasys of projecting the lesson with a secure plan underneath of course!
    You can make children laugh, move the pace up and down and adapt small activities to break up the monotony as you go along.
    I used to have a philosophy teacher who also made us copy loads but his personality was amazing in his seventies with classes of 40! He really inspired me and I even opted for Philosophy as additional subjects in my degree thanks to him. He did not prepare extra but he delivered the lessons in a very special way!


     
  13. londomolari

    londomolari New commenter

    Nah, not me. Just having a quick lurk.
     
  14. Londo, I caught a colleague twalting today. SHe apologised, but I was so proud...
    X
     
  15. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    It is the children who should be creative and innovative - not us.
    I am starting to go back to introducing new language via a story and reinforcing it with flash cards etc. I really think the methods which were used when I was taught are starting to come back into fashion - hurray!
     
  16. marilynphillips

    marilynphillips New commenter

    Hello

    Thank you v much for your great ideas. Can i please ask you if u could upload some of your resources linked to the activities u mentionned? Thank you very much
     

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