I blogged before about the CEFR learning Centres that I use in my classes for students to get some extra Oral Communication practice. And that post was okay, but It didn't get to the details about how I went about taking a free resource available online, and turned it into independent activities for my students.
So, now I'm going to fix that situation; I'm going to show you how I made the centres I use in my classes; where I got the resource from; and how I got my students to use them independently.
Step 1: Download the resource- The CEFR in the Context of Ontario's Schools
This PDF is the bulk of the work for my centres. A super-talented groups of teachers compiled the research and the activities for this toolkit. And its free! This is where I got the activities and images from. It is mostly all set up here. You have to print the entire kit which is about 85 pages (and I did it in colour) to get all the pieces for the centres. The front material is also really helpful in explaining how to use this resource effectively, as well as some of the theory and philosophy of the CEFR. If you don't have this, you SHOULD! I have it in a binder AND printed out into centres. I use it a lot. Download it, you won't be sorry.
Step 2: Laminate and collect the activity centre components
Activity pages to print in colour and laminate: 17-20; 22-23; 25-29; 31-39; 41 (just laminate); 43; 44-51 (laminate only, its in B&W); 53; 55; 57; 61 (laminate only); 64-67; 68 (laminate only); 70-72; 74; 76; 78-79; 80; 83-84.
Some of the pages are in black and white, so they don't need to be printed in colour, just laminated. Once they are laminated, then I cut the activities into cards and pieces according to the activity. There are 17 activities (I think) so there are enough for students to pair up and complete the activities in a class. I like to laminate the activities so that a) I don't kill a small forest in photocopies for each student that wants to do the activity and b) so that students can reuse all the centres year after year.
Step 3: Compile the activities
Some activities will need extra tools. I added thin dry erase markers for any of the writing activities so students can write on the laminated sheet, and erase it for the next person.
Also included in the centres are the instruction/ conference pages (for example page 24) for the students to consult. I have my students role play as the interviewer/ interviewee. Each students has to take turns as each role. They follow the script on the sheet, and peer assess each others' progress, as well as an "I can" card (for example page 14 of the resource) so students knew what their learning goal was for each centre. There are blank "I can" cards in the kit, I made French versions for my upper year grades to refer to.
Once all the cards, tools (markers etc.); instructions and "I can" cards are in the centre, its ready to use. You could make cover pages for the centre like I did, but its not necessary.
(For the cover pages, I found a corresponding picture online, added the title, and stuck the instructions to the back. I can't share them because I don't have rights to the pictures, but they are quick to make up if you want.)
Step 4: Using the Centres
In class, a few times a month we have learning centre time. I stored them in 2 bins, and students choose a partner and a centre and get to work. There is a sign-out book for the centres, and I have students let me know who has which kit. This helps me keep track of the pieces too.
For student use, I made a simple checklist based on page 13 of the resource for each of the students' books for them to chart their progress through the centres. It is also a way for me to note their assessments of each other.
While students are completing the centres, I walk around and assess their abilities and work with my strugglers. It runs pretty smoothly. Student know that when we have our conferences (3 a term) that I can pull out one of the centres as a warm up for our conference. So they know they will have to do 3 centres for me. They never know which one I will choose, so they have to get through all of them! Usually I choose the centre they have practiced the most-- je ne suis pas un monstre.
I have added a couple of centres that are not included in the toolkit, but that are components of the CEFR. Once was a card/ note writing activity. I bought a few French greeting cards and laminated them. Students used an erasable marker to write a quick message on the card and their partner would time and check for errors. I did a similar centre, only using a postcard from a french speaking country, with the same idea. You can come up with centres depending on the focus of your lessons. I have a few I'm thinking of adding this summer. When I make them, I will share.
So I hope this helps clarify how I made and use my learning centres in my Core FSL classes. It seems like a bit of prep work, but it was worth it in the end. My students were engaged in their activities, and they were speaking French with each other. It is a great resource!