Sometimes the old ideas are good ideas because they work. I have a year 10 GCSE French set, where many have targets of grades 6-7, but I found it difficult to get them out of their comfort zone. So, in October, we started a swag bag. On the middle double-spread in their exercise books, we started assembling useful phrases that would help them to elevate their language. A few weeks ago, we had managed to come up with this:
It's different to a learning mat, because they are responsible for choosing whether the word or phrase is worthy of inclusion, which means that we have a conversation about why these phrases are useful. It also puts the onus on them to think about it and maintain it. Now, when we do extended writing, they have to nominate at the top of their work a minimum of 3 swag bag phrases that they can use in their work. It's a work in progress, and we will add to it in the future, but it's been useful for getting them out of their "j'aime...parce que c'est super" straitjacket.