Author Archives: Alison Marshall

FREE Les problèmes logiques et latéraux for developing French reading & interpreting skills at KS3 and KS4

This is just one of the activities in the FREE worksheet series from the popular resource, Les problèmes logiques et latéraux. To request your copy of the FREE worksheet series, simply visit www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/pages/render_page/115.

The puzzles in this book are a fun, challenging and engaging way to practise reading French, designed to consolidate and extend French vocabulary on a variety of topics whilst training the participant’s brain to solve problems.

Les problèmes logiques et latéraux is arranged by the main topics that are taught at KS3 and KS4 to make it easy to find a puzzle which fits a lesson objective. The puzzles have been extensively trialled in the classroom, and work well when used as starters, in plenaries and as a homework task.

This book is a not only a useful resource for practitioners of French, but also for cover teachers, because the easy to use answer section gives the teacher or learner immediate access to the answers, ideal for non-specialists and specialists alike.

Find out more: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/les-problemes-logiques-et-lateraux-796

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Secondary school

The strangeness in the sky

Creatures we can’t understand doing things we can just about fathom.

A young girl giant strolling across the sky saw an orange and decided to lick it.  She found it was nice and so licked it more and more, and gradually she began to lick the orange away.

Slowly she ate more and more of it, until her father saw what she was doing and said, “You mustn’t eat that in daytime.  All the little people on the world below use that orange as a way of staying warm.  Put it back at once.”

The young giant was unhappy to have caused a problem, and besides she didn’t like to be told off by her dad.  But she couldn’t put the orange back because she had already licked some of it.  So she asked her dad to help.

“Come on,” said the giant dad, seeing his daughter was worried.  “We can put it back bit by bit, so those funny little people on the planet will hardly notice. 

For the next five minutes the giant and his daughter rebuilt the orange bit by bit until it was back to the round orange that it was before.

When the job was done the giant and his daughter looked at the orange giving out its light for the little people below, and they were happy that the problem had been resolved.  “Now promise me you won’t do that again,” said the giant, and his daughter agreed.

“And one more thing, go and tell all your brothers and sisters about this and make them promise that they won’t ever lick the orange in the sky.”

Dutifully the giant’s daughter did this, and eventually she told everyone except one of her brothers as he was away on holiday.  He never got the message not to eat the big orange in the sky, and two years later he came back and the problem started again.

Of course, that story isn’t a classic myth but it has some of the basic ingredients of something taken from our life and then creatures we can’t understand doing very human like things while living up in the sky (or sometimes underground).

Myths and legends are part of our heritage; tales of strange creatures doing human like things.  Which is why we have produced the book Understanding Myths and Legends containing 27 stories from countries around the World.  Stories that can be used to support topic work in history and RE or used as part of a unit of work in literacy.  

For more information on Understanding Myths and Legends please visit:

https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/understanding-myths-and-legends-415

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 2, PSHE, Religious education (RE)

Not when, but how.

A resource showing pupils HOW to use French Language whilst helping to deliver the KS2 Programmes of Study

The older pupils get, it appears there is a shift from wondering HOW they will use the knowledge that they have learned to wondering WHEN they will use the knowledge that they have learned. Yet the former approach to learning is far more proactive, not least because their futures are still unwritten.

Bearing this in mind, Brilliant Publications has produced a French language resource which uses drama to teach French language and thus teaches pupils HOW to use the knowledge that they have learned.

12 Petites Pièces à Jouer contains 12 age-appropriate mini French plays for beginner French pupils in primary school and lower secondary school to listen to and act out. The plays serve as a fun way to practise French, promote fluency, and develop confidence.

What’s more, these 12 entertaining mini-plays use simple, repetitive language, are ideal for use with mixed-ability groups and help to deliver the KS2 Programmes of Study: imitate pronunciation of sounds, recognise patterns in simple sentences, and take part in pair and group work.

The photocopiable book contains scripts, English translations, worksheets to extend the plays, and suggestions for performing the plays. Native French speakers perform the plays on the audio CD included with the book.

There is more information, a sample play and audio file available to download on our website.

A pupil from Yorke Mead Primary School in Hertfordshire having a great time performing the play <<Bobo le robot>> (photo reproduced with permission)

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Primary school, Secondary school

Why do we teach children how to read?

And how can we use this knowledge to improve our pupils’ level of reading?

Too often it is thought that a fluent reader is a good reader but if your pupils have no or very little understanding of what they are reading, their ability to read (fluently or not) is essentially useless.

Which is why Brilliant Publications has produced the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension Series – to help your pupils to comprehend the texts that they can read but not necessarily understand.

Each activity book in the series includes newspaper articles, dialogues, plays, stories and poems based on a range of themes, with activities ranging from factual recall and vocabulary work to open-ended questions.

What’s more, the cross–curricular activities provide a wealth of ideas for extending the passages further, making them ideal for mixed-ability classes.

For more information (and to see sample pages) or to order the complete Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension Series for £95.00, visit www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/brilliant-activities-for-reading-comprehension-series-pack-2nd-edition-518

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Primary school

Sit still or wiggle?

Just because children are told to sit still, that doesn’t mean that’s the best way to study.

“Put a group of 8 year olds in a room and play some music with a clear rhythm, and they will move.  Some will move gracefully, others may jump about waving their arms and kicking out.”

We looked at my colleague as he said this – still an enthusiastic and highly energetic dancer himself, although well past the age most people associate with anything more than a slow waltz.

“So it’s a primitive response to rhythm,” said another of the editorial team in a ‘I’m stating the obvious’ voice.  “Does that help children learn French?” 

“Yes,” said the dancer.  He swears by dancing, dances modern styles rather than ballroom several nights a week, and travels across the country, even across Europe whenever possible.

“But most people don’t dance,” came the counter argument.

And then I got the point.  True, in our society most people don’t dance – but children do dance.  In most cases, no one has taught them, they just do it.  Which is why dance and movement are ways to teach other subjects – in this case French.

Because if you can actively involve the body, learning comes more naturally and stays in the memory far longer.

Which is why we have a DVD of simple routines which combine movements with repetition of important phrases, making learning languages easy and enjoyable.

To see how click on this link, it takes you to a part of the les couleurs video where Lynn Dryden, the author of Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français demonstrates her dance routine with the children of Mountfield Primary School in Newcastle.

“Show me research that suggests that sitting still enhances learning,” I said, and there was silence for once in my office. 

“Movement is distracting,” replied the main objector on my team (why is there always one nay-sayer in every group?)  

“But not when everyone does it,” I replied.

And so here, for each topic, in addition to the main dance routine, there is also a bank of movement activities that introduce and reinforce the vocabulary, enabling the whole topic to be taught actively.

These tried and tested routines and activities have been developed by a language specialist who is also a qualified dance teacher and have been utilised with pupils and students of all ages, achieving outstanding results throughout.

There is more information on Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français on our website.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, National Curriculum, Physical Education (PE), Primary school, Teaching Ideas

How many of your pupils will keep their faith?

 It is unlikely that reading ancient religious scriptures to your pupils will result in them forming a lifelong relationship with religion. But this might.

It could be argued that the reason for young people of today being less religious than their forefathers is because there is an increasing disconnect between the context of ancient religious scriptures and modern-day society. And in no place can we find better examples of this disconnect than in the Bible.

However, many religious people would argue that whilst this might be the case, the messages and teachings of these ancient religious scriptures still remain as relevant as ever, which is why Modern Christian Assembly Stories exists.

Modern Christian Assembly Stories gives schools an opportunity to teach children about the messages and teachings of the bible in a context which is relevant to pupils’ everyday lives, thus increasing the chances of young people choosing to maintain a lifelong relationship with the religion.

This valuable resource contains 50 assembly stories which not only link to Christianity, but also to a whole host of themes and situations that young people may encounter and find difficult to navigate, such as Bullying, Disability, Disappointment, Equal Opportunities, Divorce, Peer Pressure, Phobias and Friendships, to name a few.

Click here to see an overview of the contents of this resource

Click here to see a sample assembly story (Scott’s Story: Tackling Child Mental Health)

For more information or to order Modern Christian Assembly Stories for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £22.40, simply visit:

https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/modern-christian-assembly-stories-710

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Filed under Assemblies, Brilliant Publications, Citizenship, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, PSHE, Religious education (RE)

Times tables and the mental block

Is it too much to hope that ALL your pupils will be fluent in their times tables?

There is a reason why some of us can’t decode maths problems. An increasing understanding of dyscalculia among professionals has meant that pupils with the specific learning difficulty are getting more access to materials which will help them to overcome their difficulties with maths.

For a pupil with dyscalculia, the very essence of number cannot be understood – thus, manipulating numbers with mathematical functions can be somewhat of a challenge. Indeed, it is possible for some dyscalculic pupils to understand numbers and simple mathematical functions (addition and subtraction) using mainstream methods, albeit at a slower rate than their peers. However, when the pupil advances to learning multiplication and division, there is often a mental blockage.

These pupils need to learn maths, and the functions of multiplication and division, using a multi-sensory approach. Using a multi-sensory approach with non-dyscalculic pupils has also proven to improve mathematical performance.

It is for this reason that we have produced: Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables.

This book provides stimulating and imaginative games to make the process of learning the times tables both effective and fun. The games require minimal preparation and ensure that all children gain a firm understanding of their times tables and will be able to recall and apply them rapidly and accurately.

The first half of the book contains games specifically aimed at teaching the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. The second half contains games appropriate for any of the times tables. These games are subdivided into three groups:

  • Games for learning each table in sequence
  • Games to test pupils’ memories and thinking skills as they try to identify the table they are working on
  • Games to teach children the different factors that can make up each answer.

For more information or to order Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables for just £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £22.40, visit https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/fun-games-and-activities-for-teaching-times-tables-746.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas