I am pretty sure that Jason Derulo was talking about the taxonomy when he said he was 'ridin solo' but I may be mistaken... Anyway after initial inspiration from Darren (@dkmead) Mead and contact with the wonderful Pam Hook and Julie Mills (www.hooked-on-thinking.com) I have been working on the SOLO taxonomy as a way to understand grammatical understanding in French. My experiments with y7 and concepts of gender have been quite successful (although I do need to review where to go next...) but I had a revelation last week when Damian Clark (@clarky099), Head of Humanities at Cramlington blogged about his use of hexagonal card sorts to promote higher levels of relational thinking. They have 6 sides you see, hexagons. 6 sides! 6 possible directions to connect! And what do you do if you have a pile of hexagons? You instinctively try to tesselate them - genius! Read his original post here.
So I took Damian's hexagonal cards and I filled them with parts of sentences in French which covered most of the "bits" of grammar from the As and A2 specification. I was confident that my Y13 class knew how and when to use the subjunctive and even agreement with preceding direct object pronouns but I was not sure if they were able to see the relationships between all of these bits of understanding (multistructural) and the grammar as a whole. So I gave them these cards cut up and let them go. At first they tended just to group things together (classic multistructural) but with some probing comments like "that's rubbish can't you do any better?" they started to see that they could make links and, most powerfully, explain the links very clearly. With a little more metacognitive probing, they were deciding which of the possible links were the strongest. The amount of feedback I got just by listening to their conversations was immense and my favourite moment was whne one lad said "but you could link the preceding direct object agreement with the superlative triggering a subjenctive becasue they both have a feminine agreement" and his partner replied "but one is verbal agreement and the other is purely adjectival". My work here is done. - Here is an example of one groups work (spot the deliberate mistake...)