Revising Revision using Thinglink

Say the word revision to any Y11 class and it is met with a collective groan, it invariably means going over old ground in an attempt to fill the empty vessels that are our students brains full of lovely stuff just in time for exams, at least that’s how the students appear to view it. Highlighters often come into play, just don’t tell fellow teacher blogger Alex Quigley, and a palpable sense of boredom descends upon the classroom that seems to last until May no matter what you do!


I have been trying to get round this over the past few years and to be honest, I haven’t been wholly successful all of the time however one thing that has worked really well recently is using thing link to collate vocabulary and ideas into Thinglink to make an interactive revision image.

This week my Y11 French GCSE students made just such an image on the the theme of New Technology.

Firstly they were asked to create images using ballon stickies + app  in which they had to say how they used the technology pictured. They then put all their single images into the Moldiv app and created a composite image.  They then used this as their base image in ThingLink.  Thinglink allows you to add what they call “hotspots” to the image these hotspots can either be text or media. My students made short videos about technology and its use using either the iPad camera, tellagami, yakit kids or chatterpix.  Once complete they added these to their Thinglink. They also add some key pieces of vocabulary and thus creating an interactive revision image like this example.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 17.30.13 

You will note that this image is not absolutely accurate in terms of language but what it does provide is a point from which I can discuss with the students – images can be edited within the website.

Whilst creating the images the students were focussed looking for suitable and relevant vocabulary and seemed to enjoy the creativity of the task.  From my point of view it was a much more positive experience than “traditional” revision activities which is at least one reason for giving it a go!


Vibrant Vocabulary Learning with iPads

Let's go bananas!

It’s that time of year again.  Controlled assessments are done and in my Y11 class we are already in full swing for the run up to the reading and listening exams.  During this period my classes spend a lot of time honing these skills in readiness for their exams.  On of the key elements for me in order for my students to attain good grades in these exams is the acquisition and retention of vocabulary.  In the past this has meant vocabulary learning homework followed up by the traditional vocabulary test.  This year though my class and I have been trailing a new method of learning vocabulary using our iPads.  There are many vocabulary learning products on the market but these are often very expensive.  Our method does require a little bit of effort from you as the teacher but it’s great fun and my class and I are already seeing the benefits.

At the beginning of a new topic. I create a vocabulary list on the vocabulary learning site Quizlet I have my own account but my students don’t I just give them the link to my lists via our VLE My Big Campus.  The class then have 15 mins at the start of the lesson to try and learn as  many words as they can. Once 15 minutes is up we continue with the rest of our lesson as usual. At the end of the lesson the students are “tested” on their vocabulary by playing a game of Kahoot.

IMG_3384This is an online tool where you can make quizzes for your students to play.  Their are 2 parts to this gaming tool; the teacher end and the student In the teacher interface you create multiple choice quizzes for your students to play.  The student interface changes their iPad/iPod/iPhone into a response pad.  The teacher projects the question on to the board and the students answer via their iPad. After each question students find out if they got the question correct, they gain points for answering correctly and quickly.  They also get shown a leader board, this makes for a fun competitive end to the lesson.

IMG_3395 IMG_3396  After each lesson I extend the Quizlet list with any new words we have come across and in turn add extra questions to my Kahoot ready for some vocabulary learning time in our next lesson.

Why not give it a go.  My students now love vocab fests as we call them which is a real win in my book!

I’ll be talking about Kahoot in my presentation fabulous formative assessment at #ililc5 this February.