Today I decided to do a warm up activity with my combined Grade 11 / Grade 12 Core French class using the Smartboard. I hope you are lucky enough to have access to one in your school. I find that the Smartboard can be a useful tool to engage students in their learning. However, I also find that unless the activity is designed so that all students actively participate, it is no more engaging than taking up homework.
The first activity had students categorizing a set of infinitives. The categories were:
3. avoir ou être
I wanted them to tell me which auxiliary verb the infinitive takes in a compound tense. Rather than having a student come up to the board, I used the board myself and had them tell me the answers. This way the activity was quick and just got them thinking. They would even have little conversations with their neighbours in order to figure out the answers. It was so great! They were learning from each other.
For the other activity, I used “Random Word Chooser” in Smart Notebook and listed verbs in the infinitive form. If you’ve never used this particiular activity, you click “Select” and then one of the words you input into the activity pops up randomly. I asked the students to invent their own sentences using the verb that would pop up. That way, they were all participating in the activity.
I thought the activity worked fairly well. After I had given them some time to create their own sentences, I would ask students to share them with the class. This is where they were shy, but it offered me an opportunity to review certain concepts with them when their sentences had grammatical or structural errors.
Tomorrow’s warm-up is a Yabla video on the “Ponts de Paris”. My mantra for this semester is “Tons of input, tons of output!” I hope they enjoy it!