It’s a pleasure to have a guest blog post today by Ashley Soltesz, a fellow French teacher who like me is on a mission to share French resources with others so we don’t have to keep recreating the wheel! She’s made some amazing free French printable coding blocks you can use in your classrooms, enjoy!
A primary goal for me as a French Language Teacher is for my students to see the relevance in learning to communicate in French, be it in Reading, Writing, or Speaking. I want my students to know that what they do in English, they can do in French and in turn, receive many opportunities because of this skill that they have. If, somewhere in the future, my students think back to the time spent in my classroom, I want them to remember that what they learned, was useful and important to them. This includes use of the French language to discuss and teach others about their interests. A large interest of students (of various ages) is in technology. Many are starting to develop an interest in coding and creating using different forms of technology. Coding encourages students to try something new; to create something they thought was impossible; to use a new language to communicate; and to use critical thinking skills to solve problems.
But, as many Core French teachers are on a cart, or if a French teacher is in a classroom, they may not have access to the technology to permit this type of learning when many rooms have more than 30 students and fewer tools to use.
While using twitter one night, I saw a teacher using coding blocks. Hand’s on, tangible, printed blocks. No actually technology was involved. I loved that this was a fun and easy way to include coding for French learners. I googled the blocks and found them. (http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/resources/vector-scratch-blocks). I knew that these blocks could help my students, but I needed them in French. I asked on Twitter, on Facebook, anywhere I could. They were nowhere to be found. So I decided to make them and I would like to share them with you all. You can find them here: https://goo.gl/A1ajhN (or in the folder below). This link will take you to the blocks that I have made and other helpful documents.
I have created two sets:
1) a small set for centers (to be printed on 8.5” x 11” paper); and,
2) a larger set (to be printed on 11” x 17” paper) for use in more open spaces (i.e. gymnasium)).
I am working on editing, and revising these blocks as needed. The language is from the Scratch Website so that if students want, they can transfer their knowledge to the Scratch platform. I wanted to have a tool that is both useful and transferable from one classroom to another.
I printed off some, laminated them, and then cut them out. They fit together like a puzzle! By laminating them, the students can fill in the blanks using dry-erase markers for words, values or whatever is required, and then reuse them over and over again.
Now I’m wondering: How can I use these blocks to further my students knowledge in ALL subject content? I’m not sure, but I’ve put together some ideas for primary (I’m teaching grade 2 French Immersion in the fall). You can find them here: https://goo.gl/ME8Qtg. Please feel free to add to the Doc and let us know how you’ve used coding blocks in your classroom!
Do you have other ideas? How would you use these in your classroom? I would like to know and share the ideas in this PLN that is quickly growing. Join me in sharing ideas and pictures on Twitter this upcoming year (use the hashtags: #FSLchat #FRIMM #CODINGinFSL).
Have fun with this great free French resource! Happy unplugged paper coding!