Year 9 Spanish – Questionnaire about the use of vocabulary booklets

This post is about students using vocabulary booklets in the Spanish classroom. The purpose of these booklets is to create a resource of vocabulary and useful phrases which are easily accessible, and which can be added on to at any time or place. The book is completely personalised, which allows for differentiation and individual student needs.

The Language Department at OC agreed to supply these booklets to each student after I had done a practice run in Semester 2 in 2015. The booklets are cheap and very portable as they are small. Most students have them permanently in their backpack or pencil case, ready for use at any time.

Here is the link to the questionnaire and online results:


Analysis of data and implications for the classroom:


Year 7 and 8 Workstations. Trials and tribulations!

Term 2 2016

I decided to use the concept of workstations at the end of term to make the last lesson fun, and educational, and to give the students the feeling they had learnt some Spanish and could use it.

One blog I had read on the subject was this one:

Using Centers and Stations to Teach World Language

From this I learnt that preparation is everything. I started to think about which topics the students had learnt, and what I wanted them to practise to have a ‘feel good’ feeling at the end of the term.

I also learnt that workstations, because of the variety of games/tasks on offer, provides a quick, fun and engaging lesson.

Finally, I decided to use workstations because I wanted to get to know what year 7 and 8 students can do by themselves, and how they organise themselves into pairs, groups etc. This is the first year I have taught year 7 students!

Another one is this:

I learnt how to set up the workstations. I decided to create 5. Each one would have a number, a clear title, and instructions. It did take quite a while, but since I was going to use these for 3 classes this term, and probably next term as well, I figured it would be worth the investment in time.

Something I did not do was put specific links to any digital sites, as not all year 7s have their own device. I might change this later.

I also learnt that this teacher uses workstations regularly. Since I only see each class twice a week I am not sure this would work for me.

Update after Term 2:

The workstations were a hit! The students were keen to get started, and remained enthusiastic bar a couple of students having ‘off days’. I spent some time with them to motivate them to keep going and work with their friends.

The first time was a bit chaotic, so the second time (another year 7 class) I wrote brief instructions on the board first, and took a bit more time to check the students understood what they were doing.

The year 8 students were more ‘mature’ in their attitudes and got through the games quicker. I am going to adapt the workstations, and perhaps introduce one where they have to create something?? Not sure what.

Update after Term 3:

I updated the workstations, refreshed some of the resources, made sure the instructions were clear. I noticed that slowly I am becoming ‘in charge’ again. Not sure if that is the idea, perhaps it is just closer to my particular style of teaching. I am not good at letting students get really loud and chaotic (in my eyes), so I added some order to the lesson. For instance, each group had to let me know they had finished, and wait to swap with another group, they could not just finish up, and join another workstation.

Plans for term 4?

Thinking about setting up workstations as a means of learning, not just revising and playing. Wondering how ‘learner agency’ fits in with learning at workstations.


Leadership in Learning – Teacher in Charge L1 English 2015

Acting Teacher in Charge of Level 1 English in 2015.


I was asked to take charge in 2015 because Thalia Henry was on a year’s leave. I was very happy to be given this responsibility as I felt I knew the programme well, the teachers well, and was ready to upscale my general leadership qualities at Orewa College.

I was responsible for the following:

  1. Timely organisation and distribution of materials for each internal assessment for the L1 English programme.
  2. Updating materials and resources when and if necessary. For instance I continued to ‘ako-ise’ my Level 1 resources and shared these with other L1 English teachers, and they shared their work as well.
  3. Contact with the relevant teachers about the materials, deadlines, organisation of moderation evenings and post meeting organisation of the student results. For instance, picking 8 pieces of student work to be moderated before each meeting, and ensuring these marks were available and discussed at the meeting, before we marked the other students’ work.
  4. Leading each moderation meeting.
  5. Checking that all relevant administration was available on the English Department Google Drive, in the correct folder as instructed by Meryl Howell (Head of Department).
  6. At the end of the year, double checking that all moderated work was available, all students’ work was correct, and the links to their work were correct.

I admit there were a few moments where I was not sure what to do, so I checked with Meryl to make sure I was doing the right thing, at the right time. We contacted each other mainly by email.

I was happy with my contribution to the English Department, and asked to be considered for TIC in 2016. After discussions with Thalia as well, it was agreed that Thalia and I would share the role in 2016.

We have drawn up a list of responsibilities for 2016 and I will be posting this list, and a reflection again, at a later date in 2016.

SAMR PD Friday 22/5/15

Please note that these are notes I made during the professional development day itself, and there is a reflection at the end.

SAMR PD Friday 22/5/15

Start with avatar app. Short presentation. My talking avatar.

Kahoots – I came 4th in a short test we did in class.

Also quizLet.Also Socrative.

All of these apps are great for revising and testing knowledge after a unit has been taught.

1st session with Linda.

Diane, Gavin, Anne, Kinsler, me.

Linda’s iBook example. The book is called ‘Engaging English’. This is an example of what we could do as well. TIPS: Take the whole terms work. Put in one place. All in one folder. External hard drive. Have to make it on a MacBook. iBook author.Can be edited year by year. Also have to put it on ultranet as a PDF for sets without an apple product.

Flipped lesson. Flip it, trust it, test it.

Explain everything. I have used this before. Good for topics or items which need to be repeated or come back each year.

How do you embed a you tube video into EE? I was shown this, but did not quite get it – must ask Linda to show me again, or show me where to find instructions.

Other apps: Educreations. Show me. iMovie.

Gardeners learning intelligences. Using Matrices. I have several of these which I have used in classes at various levels, to varying successes.

Example shown is Shakespeare for year 10, and the matrix for level 2.

Eg memetic is substitution, iMovie is redefinition,

All examples are on the ultranet. Including 30 apps for classroom.

Use the template on ultranet.

On my BILB rubric put a list of suggested apps to help them/guide them


Linda went to a conference about SAMR and met the designer. Beryl as well.

The delight factor!! – to encourage teachers to use SAMR

NCEA evidence can also be visual, or oral.

Gavin’s explain everything. Learn how to stop and start.  Quizlet is also good.

Unfamiliar text structure Q? Ask him to send me that EE. It’s for level 2.

My rubric is for year 9s. Wall.E

TIP. Put your EE into an app. Lapse it.


I noticed I already knew quite a bit. I have been redefining my classroom tasks and topics and have also used rubrics and matrices as well. *Blog post – Take one matrix and examine that for success, effectivity, and how I can improve it in future.

I acknowledge that Linda is highly skilled, and I can learn from her. We can also learn from each other, and also share our resources and adapt them to make them fit our own classrooms (like we used to do with text books). Teaching and learning – the AKO process, is more fluid than before. We can adapt more easily to the needs of the students, and differentiate more easily, to include the students who sometimes get left behind.


Sent from Mrs Taylor’s iPad

Kamar PD Tuesday 26/5/15

John McCaffrey presentation

Key words/phrases:

Utilising Total Language Resources (TLR) for learning. TLR includes dialects, registers, varieties of languages students know and bring to class.

Dynamic bilingualism


His lecture today forms the basis of his PhD studies.

Cognitive and academic engagement of culturally diverse students.

Translanguaging (Ofelia Garcia)

Student autonomy over their own learning.

Cognitive engagement and identity engagement.

Collaborative enquiry – make significant links to students’ lives and experiences.

Ben and Jan presentation (AKTESOL)

Pilot schemes govt is setting up for ESOL students. Now in developmental stage. Using digital technology and developing digital resources and apps for tablet/mobile phone delivery.

Resources – they are using Paul Nation’s list of survival vocabulary. Pilot scheme May 2015.