Discourse scrambles, via Bill Van Patten @teawithbvp

Bill Van Patten recently shared a link on the Tea With BVP website to a google doc (see below) on the topic of discourse scrambles.

Discourse scrambles are activities where you take a list of sentences or dialogue utterances, and students are required to put them into the correct order. According to Van Patten, "the language overall should be comprehensible in its original form, otherwise students cannot complete the task".

Van Patten goes on to explain the benefits of discourse scrambles:

Separate the words (Space) -- NEW feature: choose the number of words affected.

We've made an improvement to the "Space" activity (Separate the words), so that if your text has more than 20 words in it, you can now decide on the number of words to be joined up.

Your options are: All words; 1/2 words; 1/3 words; 1/4 words; 1/5 words

Why do this? Well, for a couple of reasons...

Firstly, for longer texts, the Space activity can be quite long and drawn out. Imagine a 300-word text, requiring a click between every word. It takes a long time to complete. Reducing the number of words joined up means the activity is much quicker. Set at 1/5 words, a 300 word text would only need about 60 clicks to complete.

Secondly, in a strange way it adds an extra element of challenge. You're no longer just starting with a block of text and looking for the end of each word. When the text appears with lots of the spaces and punctuation already there, you have to figure out which bits of text -- which may actually look like words -- are made up of more than one word.

You can fine tune urls when you share a link to a Space activity, and you can stipulate the number of words affected when you include Space as part of a sequence.

Here is an embedded example, about greenhouse gases, in French. 1 in 5 words are affected, so it only requires about 35 clicks to complete it (rather than about 180 previously) but it still requires the student to read the whole text, paying close attention to spellings etc.

(Edit: we've also now added a Hint button, which provides the next space, starting from the beginning of the text, but which affects the student's score.)

New Year's Resolutions, FRENCH (a resource blog)

Some textivate resources for ks3 or ks4 French, based on these TaskMagic resources.

The contents for the resources are:
- Je vais...
- Je ne vais pas...
- J'ai l'intention de...
- Je vais essayer de...
+ a range of infinitive expressions

The resources are appropriate for KS3 or KS4 pupils as a way of practising the simple future within the context of the New Year.