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Sentence Builders, Grammar & OneNote Class Notebook: a synthesis

In my early days of language teaching,  grammar and in particular, the teaching of grammar, was a dirty idea.  However, views have relaxed on this topic and there is an understandable recognition of the value of knowing grammar in order to have control over the language in order to manipulate it fully.

I have no doubt that in those early days I approached a grammar lesson with my usual enthusiasm probably trying to teach it via the target language and then a few gap-fill worksheets.  Things have moved on and as well as acquiring grey hairs over the last few years I have acquired a greater appreciation of some of the science behind teaching grammar.    16 tips for effective grammar teaching in the #mfl classroom via — Gloria Enrique 🚀 (@MissGEnrique) March 31, 2016 So following on from my first blog post on Sentence Builders (SB) and OneNote Class Notebook,  I propose now to look at how I might incorporate gra…
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Sentence Builders in OneNote Class Notebook

Put sentence patterns first. Humans chunk everything into patterns. The larger the chunk, the lighter the load on working memory as we process language. However, if you put the teaching of single words and conjugations first you will raise a breed of slow and hesitant speakers. — Dr Gianfranco Conti (@gianfrancocont9) March 11, 2019 This is a blogpost about current thinking regarding successful practices in Modern Foreign Language teaching and how I am able to embed such practice in my own lessons where I make use of  Microsoft Education OneNote Class Notebook.

It is not unusual to see tweets such as the following on twitter on a daily basis:
Latest blog: using sentence builders to prepare for GCSE Speaking and Writing. Apologies for the formatting of this post, but you’ll get the point. — Steve Smith 🇪🇺 (@spsmith45) February 21, 2020 Looking forward to moving onto the next topic with Yr8 and delving into these infinitive constructions😍😍. I l…

Education First, Technology Second

What I am about to say will come as no surprise and I make no apologies for repeating what may seem common sense to many of you.  But....

Technology is not a panacea for shortcomings in the classroom.  
education first It is widely known that what comes first in #edtech is 'ed' and not 'tech'.  Nonetheless, it still seems necessary to say that technology will not sort out your classroom control issues and nor will it, without some thorough thought and preparation linked to pedagogy or evidence based educational practices, make the learning any better.  
I have previously expounded the virtue of technology use in the classroom, in particular, if it will allow teachers to modify or redefine what can normally be achieved.  I am, of course, alluding here to Ruben Puentedura's framework for the four categories of technology integration in classroom teaching.  Some time ago, I posted a blog on the topic here.  Having experienced more than a year where my students have de…

The Organised Student

In my recent blogpost, The Organised Teacher I focused on how Microsoft's OneNote could help me be more organised as a teacher. My own personal organisation has a positive affect on my students too and I am able to harness Class Notebook for the benefit of my students.  When my new cohort start in September, they will be able to access much of the main content of the course and they will be able to retrieve notes on previous areas of study.  Not only will they be able to re-read notes, they will also be able to practise their skills via links.  
Organisation comes naturally to someFor some people structuring their work comes naturally but for others it is much more of a struggle.  Setting up Class Notebooks allows me to provide much needed assistance for my less organised students and light the way for them and others to work in a more systematic way.

For example when my new Year 10s start in September they will have a notebook that will contain a number of sections that they can re…

Live marking in Class Notebook.

As mentioned in my last post, The Organised Teacher this past year has afforded me the opportunity to use Microsoft Office's Class Notebook and very good it is too.  Numerous are the functionalities that I have explored over the year and which I intend to share here in my blog over the coming weeks, if time permits.
Now, I would like to demonstrate how I use the Notebook with my classes to provide instant feedback.   
Before watching the video, it is important to note that both the class and I are using Surface Pros which gives us all the ability to write on our screen.  In addition I am able to project my Class Notebook onto the main screen at the front of the class.  From my Class Notebook, I am able to access all of the work being done by my students.  This allows me to see quickly what they are doing and I can use their work as a starting point for discussion.  
Watch this video to see how easy it is to 'live mark' using Class Notebook.  Please let me know your thoughts i…

The Organised Teacher

I have a number of blogposts in me but somehow it has been over a year since I have sat down to write anything other than table mats, knowledge organisers, worksheets, emails, reports or any of the usual Modern Language teacher requirements.  However, this past academic year, the 25th of my teaching career, has been an important one for me as I have really got to grips with my Microsoft Surface Pro, Office 365 and the amazing array of tools on offer.  I have never been afraid to use technology if it is going to enhance my usual teaching practice and thus it is that I have embraced my Surface Pro and ensured that my classes have understood how this tool can help them in their education.   For this, my first blogpost since last June, I am going to quickly show you how Microsoft Notebook has been so useful for me in my own personal organisation.  I can tell you that my office no longer looks much like this:

As the year has progressed, I have created numerous Microsoft Class Notebooks wi…

The T-Word: Transforming my teaching with technology

This year, much like any other, has been a busy one.  The focus, as ever, has been on what has been going on in the classroom.   New specifications are content rich and require my linguists to manipulate the language in a way that they did not have to previously.  This is especially true at GCSE level.  Much thought and consideration has been given to lesson planning - how can I enable my students to think more independently, to work more collaboratively and generally develop good learning practices.

To assist me in my goal I have harnessed Microsoft's Suite of Tools,   From Teams to One Note, from Forms to Class Notebook.  All the tools have had a great impact on what I have been able to achieve and on what my students have achieved.

You can read about how I have made use of these tools in these previous posts: 1. Substitute your pen for tech 2. 3 Core Principles 3. Learning to teach with Microsoft in Education 4. First Steps with One Note 5. Tags & Templates in One Note