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Monday, 16 May 2016

1+2 Approach within Primary 1

In Primary 1 at Nethermains in Falkirk, we have been actively involved in integrating the 1+2 approach into our everyday classroom environment. We have two class mascots called Etienne (French elephant) and Jorge (Spanish giraffe), who represent the two languages which are taught. These mascots have proven to be an excellent resource to the class. The children have to look after the mascots during the day; showing them care and respect and allowing them to be part of their learning experience. On a Friday, the children are given the opportunity to take the animals home. The adventures of Etienne and Jorge are recorded via Twitter or through our adventure journals, which are put inside the animals’ travel bags.  Our children and their parents have thoroughly enjoyed this experience, which not only gives the child the responsibility of care, but also allows them to practise French and Spanish in their home environment with their adult.

Jorge and Etienne visit Geneva

Within Denny cluster, our second language taught is French, which is used intermittently throughout the day; colours of lunch bands, numbers, days of the week, eventually leading on to simple classroom instruction. Although a third language is not officially taught until primary 5 within our cluster, Spanish is taught separately after lunchtime in fifteen minute slots due to the knowledge and experience I have in Spanish. The topics vary throughout the week and are integrated into the classroom and school routine. 

Twitter Involvement and Parents as Partners
It’s very difficult to put into words, how incredibly important Twitter has been in our practice this year in Primary 1. I try to use my camera every day to capture moments of pure educational magic and then spend half my night uploading them with creative hashtags. In fact, I’ve been told by some family members it might become an obsession…….and it has! However, it has to be said this Twitter addiction has had a positive effect on my teaching practice and has allowed me to access areas of communication and learning I hadn’t reached before.
As time has gone on, we have turned Twitter into an undeniable power tool for Primary 1. We use it to promote achievement made out with and within the school environment.  

Mason and Etienne make porridge together

Parents and carers are urged to post pictures or videos of their child achieving something they may not have done before. We set a ‘Weekend Challenge’ every week and give the children the opportunity to earn 5 Dojo points. This ‘Weekend Challenge’ relates to our 1+2 approach; encouraging the children to upload videos of them practising French or Spanish vocabulary. Links are also pinned to the top of the Twitter page for adults at home to access. These links provide access to videos which we use in class for phonics, numeracy, languages or even physical education. This has proved to be an exciting resource and engages the children with their own learning journey.

We visited France virtually
It has been a very beneficial process in terms of being a professional. It allows scope for new ideas and initiatives being taken throughout the country or the rest of the world. It is an exciting time to be a teacher; where we can use social media or the internet to create interesting and outside-the-box thinking with regards to teaching and learning. This ‘borrowing’ of ideas permits us to be better professionals in the long run. It also gives us a
chance to be appropriate social media role models, teaching children that the use of social media can be advantageous and positive. The children are given the opportunity to promote their language achievements, to engage with their teachers and most of all, develop their communication skills for the future.

Amber and Jorge go on a road trip!

Olivia does her homework with Jorge's help!

Post by Caroline Cane and Paula O'Hare.
Follow @MrsCane_P4 on Twitter to see more.