Keep it simple! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective!
Use PowerPoint to practise translating into or out of the target language as a class. Break a text down into chunks. Use 'insert text' and 'animation' to allow a step-by-step translation discussion as a class.
My classes have really enjoyed this activity, as simple as it is. Some have even asked if they can do more. Who am I to argue? :-)
We all know how challenging the new GCSE is, especially the writing paper. We also have a lot of content to cover in preparation.
I tried this with my GCSE class last week and the feedback was really positive (and kids are pretty honest!).
It was really simple and quick to set up and it worked like a dream in class.
Put your class into groups of 3 or 4. Each group has a mini whiteboard and a GCSE-style question on the board (I got this from the coursebook). They simply work in groups to come up with a suitable answer, without any resources. You, the teacher, walk around the room, keeping an eye on what they write. Drop in a few tips as you go! I did point out errors, but didn't tell them what was wrong. They soon worked it out for themselves! When the group are happy with the answer, they copy it into their exercise books. At the end of the lesson, you tell them whose answer would get the most marks and why. My students weren't interested in prizes, they just wanted the glory of being 'the best'!
When I asked how they think the lesson went, they said it made them feel much more confident about what they knew and they enjoyed the group discussions the task generated. What's more, their answers were great!
This month, try this idea as a starter with your classes.
Give each pupil a piece of paper and tell them to divide it into 8 strips (folding it 3 times works best). They then write a word or phrase into each section (target language or English) from the last topic. The idea is that you say the phrases in the opposite language. If they have that phrase at either the top or the bottom of their piece of paper, they may tear it off. They obviously may not tear off the strip if it's in the middle of the piece of paper.
The winner is the person who is able to tear the last piece in half.