Reducir, Reutilizar y Reciclar, hoy y siempre

 This is my plan to end our school year remotely adapting my unit to Seesaw and to what my second graders can do at home using this tool. I have done this activity in the classroom and usually started by showing my students this video of the song “Reducir, Reutilizar y Reciclar” by Los Colorados and produced by Jungla Cartoons. I created the conversations based on the video and adapted them for my second graders. 

By Los Colorados

Over two years, I have collected some videos for the conversations with former students but I cannot share them with you because of our school’s policy. I usually present the first part of the song and one video with a conversation, right after. Then, I have a student demonstrate the conversation with me and then I pair students up so that everybody gets to practice. Over Zoom, I followed the same process with the first conversation and tell students that they will be using Seesaw to practice and illustrate each conversation but will have the chance to pick one to act out and videotape for their independent work. That creates more excitement on their part and curiosity as to what the conversations can be like.

I am using one lesson to address one of the Rs so that my students can work independently on the Seesaw activity. I display the activity and the conversation on my screen and assign time for students to practice in pairs. The Spotlight option of Zoom makes it easier to focus on the students playing the roles. The Seesaw activities for Reducir and Reutilizar are set up in a similar way. The activity for Reciclar is a project that I demonstrate over our Live class, and then students do on their own. My focus is on the identification of recyclable materials and their creativity.

Click on the picture to access the first Seesaw activity:

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Card Talk, Special Person, Stories, and more in a Deck

These are some of the Comprehensible Input activities my fifth grade curriculum is centered around, and which I had to adapt to remote teaching. This is my third week meeting my classes Live once a week and I spent two weeks preparing videos and activities for my students to work independently. In those two weeks, I prepared stories and news for my kids to work on while we could meet again and share what we knew and learned about the students who were still waiting to be “la Persona Especial”.

My fifth grade classes are a little larger this year and I was/am facing the risk of not having enough time to treat everybody as especially as the first students we talked, interviewed, and wrote stories about. I know I cannot recreate the same experience under these circumstances and I was doubting I could do it in the classroom, anyway. Our class stories took different turns and other school activities replaced my class time, and you know the rest.

When our Lower School Head asked me how often I wanted to see my classes, I knew that I needed to split them into half so that we could interact better. I used to see my fifth grade classes twice a week for forty minutes and I kept the same time but have been seeing half of one class on one day and the rest the next day. The day I don’t see them, they are assigned independent work. The opportunity to just see them has been fantastic since our interactions have been more dynamic but it has also been a little tiring for me. If we are going back to remote teaching in the fall, I would need to reconsider this arrangement.

To be honest, my first Live lessons were a cry to bring our past class routine to life. It seemed to work but time was running and we have a month to go and also many stories to create. Then, I met Pear Deck and I love how convenient it was to collect the information I needed in a faster yet effective way.

In this Deck I am sharing, the first slide if for the Cards my students designed with their interests. Their classmates and themselves are given two minutes to write as much as they can using the card as a reference or anything they know about our “Special Person”. In the classroom, I would just talk about one person at the time, and interview our Persona Especial about what their classmates described.

Since I have many students to be our Special Person, I created a slide for each one of them and assigned experts to write about one “Persona Especial” at the time. I had four Special Persons and each student got to be an expert, even the Special Persons were experts about another Special Person. When the two minutes were up, I shared their responses projecting them in my screen. I read them through and interviewed each Special Person about the information we collected.

The next slides are statements about our “Personas Especiales” and my students got to drag an icon to express their view. That looked a little messy when I projected in my screen and I could not figure out what dots belonged to each person. However, the statements were really useful to introduce input and just verify if our guesses were correct or not by interviewing each Persona Especial at the time. Having the statements ready on my screen were important visual support and encouraged everyone’s participation.

Right after the statements come the story slides. For this part, I referred to one Special Person at the time asking where, with whom, and what problem they might have in their stories. I asked the experts for their opinion before I asked the rest of the class for other ideas. Our Special Person got to decide what idea they liked the best.

We did not have time to move to the solution. I assigned it as homework. We moved right to the last slide which is Write and Discuss with my twist – I learned about this strategy from the book The Natural Approach to the Year by Tina Hargaden and Ben Slavic. Students shared what they learned about our Special Persons by typing their answers to my oral questions. In my classroom, I typed what my students told me they had learned about our Special Person. In my remote platform, I found it useful to ask my class questions related to what we talked about and had them answer. With that information, I put together all their ideas and upload each description as separate Seesaw activities. Experts need to record themselves reading their Special Person’s description. I am trying to collect videos in Spanish related to the activities our Special Person likes for some extra input and for some I am using Edpuzzle.

Our next class will be about finishing up our stories and typing a solution to the problems and all the steps are in the same Deck. I hope you can find it useful and would love to hear your experience with it if you give it a try. This is my first attempt to reach many students in this platform and I might need to make more tweaks. What would you keep/change/add? Please subscribe to my blog to receive notifications about my new posts and send me an email if you have any questions.

Click on the picture for the link to the Deck

De tiburones y figuras geométricas

Our Jr.K teachers asked me if I wanted to connect to their upcoming Shark unit or if I wanted to review shapes, and I found the perfect source of inspiration to combine both. Check out this cool and cute video!

This is how this new Seesaw activity came to life:

Hope you can use it and if you do, please let me know how you like it!

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Scavenger Hunt using Zoom breakout rooms, Seesaw, and Pear Deck

Today was my second day running a Scavenger Hunt with my fourth graders using Zoom, Seesaw, and Pear Deck and it was really FUN!!!

We had been talking and comparing schedules to schools in the Spanish-speaking countries and before going on our Spring Break we had scheduled to have a Scavenger Hunt around our school. Since things did not work out because many students traveled or were sick, I had to make it happen in a new format under our remote learning platform.

In our regular Scavenger Hunt, students were grouped into teams, assigned a chaperone, and given one iPad and a handout with the clues. They had to solve all the clues taking pictures and uploading them into Seesaw within 30 minutes. There was a lot of running and teamwork involved and the chaperones could not keep up with their teams sometimes. Not even our P.E. teacher volunteer. Before leaving my classroom, I would give groups an iPad with the timer set up for thirty minutes to solve ten clues.

For our virtual Scavenger Hunt, I doubled the clues, keep the same time, and invited chaperones to accompany each group in their breakout rooms. The handout with clues was replaced by a Deck with fifteen questions, and 5 photos to upload in Seesaw. When my students joined me, I explained how they were grouped, who their chaperone was going to be, and how to access the Deck. Yesterday, I told my class to type joinpd.com in their browser, and then the code. Today, I posted the link and the password in a Seesaw message under their Student Journal and it seemed to work better.

Assigning students into their breakout rooms was very easy and having the chance to move across rooms and answer questions was very convenient. I loved how I could broadcast a message in Zoom announcing how much time they had left, and checking how far they were on their decks in the Pear Deck dashboard.

It was truly an amazing experience for me and my students and their chaperones seemed to like it, too.

I contributed this deck to the Pear Deck community and hope you can use it and have fun with your classes!

https://sharepeardeck.com/jvus85

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PearDecking

I started using PearDeck last week and I am loving it! I would like to share one of the decks I created for our unit on “Mi plato nutritivo” with you : ¿El taco es nutritivo?. I found new ways to interact with my students and a cool video about putting together a taco recipe that I will be using for a simulation at a Taquería. Hope you like it! Here is the link:

Using Seesaw and other websites and apps

I wanted to share some Seesaw activities I created to provide my preschool students and their parents with different sources of input. My students and I love the episodes from Salsa by the GPB, and I assigned an episode related to Spring. To introduce the activity, I used MovieTalk, and then students added a response on Seesaw telling me what they had understood, their favorite parts of the story or their favorite character. It was so exciting to seeing how they used vocabulary in Spanish in their narrations and I think it was an activity their parents appreciated.

My students are using Epic Books with their homeroom teachers and one of the parents asked me if I could recommend books for her child to listen to in Spanish. I had used Epic Books in the classroom but it did not occur to me to assign a book until now because my students did not use to get any homework in pre-school. There are very interesting titles and I was lucky to find one to review expressions that we use often in class and included Sign Language. Although this book is not one from the “Read to me” collection, I am loving to see my kindergarteners’ videos being my Sign Language teachers while reviewing our Spanish class’ expressions and phrases.

In Epic Books, I also found two titles that related to my unit on life cycles and the Seesaw activity and poem “La Oruguita Pequeñita”. The response of my Jr. Kindergarteners has been really great.

My pre-schoolers have also enjoyed recording videos and posting them on Seesaw selecting, singing, and dancing to the songs we have learned and that are available in our Webmixes.

I hope you are enjoying your remote teaching as much as it is possible under this circumstances and that my activities and ideas help you somehow lessen your work load. If they are, please subscribe to my blog to receive notifications on my new posts.

Greta Thunberg No hay activista pequeño.

I cannot believe it has been a year I just read about this amazing girl and all she has done for all of us in such a short time. I was so lucky to see her when she came to talk to the UN and I could see for myself what a big responsibility and sacrifice she has been putting on her shoulders.

30 de agosto de 2019

I created a story last year to introduce her to my students and I am happy many more students got to meet her because of this story. Because of teachers of other languages were interested in having a version they could use, two teachers translated it for me in French and German, and I translated it into English. You can find all the versions available in my Youtube channel and the ebooks in Spanish and English in the links below.

Along with the book came an “Action Drive” we ran at my school last year. Our school community was invited to collect actions for the Earth taking selfies/photos based on a series of small actions we could and needed to do more of, and label them in as many World Languages as they could. The response from everybody was amazing, and encouraged a lot of writing in different languages. You can see pictures from students, faculty, and our community in general below.

I transformed the Action Drive into a Seesaw activity I hope can help us think of the Earth on Earth Day and on. Click on the picture to add the activity to your library.

All my admiration and gratitude to Greta Thunberg💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

Los Tres Cerditos y el Lobo Feroz

My Spanish program is called “Puentes” because it connects to the topics the homeroom teachers present to their classes. In first grade, I connect to the unit on fairy tales and STEM through the story “The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf”. We have studied different versions of the story and I love how easily my students learn the expressions and enjoy acting it out.

Before our Spring Break, when we were still in the classroom, we learned about different materials people use for building homes, and I introduced the story of the Three Little Pigs using the video below narrated by Traposo from Guia Infantil.

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I used MovieTalk to describe what I saw on each section and asked questions about what my students could see. We used a lot of repetition and used TPR to refer to the building materials. We focused mainly on colors, animals, and rooms of the house.

For my remote learning activities, I illustrated the story, narrated it to my students in a video I recorded using Zoom along with actions and questions, and asked them to draw and name the characters as an independent activity that would not represent a problem for their parents. I might start my first Live class this week.

The goal for my next lesson is to check their comprehension so I needed to provide my kids with enough support they might need since they are not having me at their side to work on the activities. I created a video that they could stop, rewind, and repeat as many times as they want or need. I love drawing and I illustrated the story, narrated it, and created two Seesaw activities for them to demonstrate their comprehension. My expectation is that at the time they are doing the activities, they are also reviewing the story and seeing it in context. I also provided audio support for those of my kids that are still working on their reading.

You can find my TPT product here. Please let me know if you have any questions.



I am now trying to figure out how to teach my favorite game and song to use with this unit:

Learning and Planning my Virtual Classes

We just started our Spring Break and still have almost two weeks to start with my virtual teaching but I have to say it is difficult to relax knowing that so many colleagues are in distress looking for ways to communicate remotely with their students. I want to be there for them and especially for you who are reading this post.

At our school we have been provided with support to explore different ways to approach this challenge. We were enrolled in an online class with GOA (Global Online Academy) and I joined three Facebook groups to learn about what other colleagues are doing. What has resonated with me after all the multiple advices and kind sharing of ideas is that we need to start simple. We cannot overwhelm our students with the anxiety we have but give them a sense of calm that a simple routine can bring.

@la.profe.de.espanol

At the Lower School we use Seesaw and this is a platform that not only our students but their parents are familiar with. I think that would be the way I would address my communications and assignments. If you haven’t used this platform and you teach the little ones, I highly recommend it!

I have to acknowledge that with Pre-K, Jr. K, and K I have not used the “activities” section much. That is why I started exploring how I could review one song all my kids knew already. This is what I came up with:

Click on the picture to see the video. The instructions are updated on the Seesaw post.

I contributed this activity to the Seesaw library and you can find it using this link or searching the title “Dos manitas – Two little hands”. The Seesaw library is a treasure waiting for you to explore it. Many teachers have contributed activities for different subjects and about different themes that you can assign and adapt for your students. I will be contributing more.

Another resource my third to fifth graders are familiar with is Edpuzzle. This is a list of some Edpuzzles I have created or adapted with the free version. I hope you get as excited with this tool as my students and I are. My school is considering going for the Pro version.

Another tool my students and their families are familiar with is my webmixes. These are collections of links to websites to learn and practice Spanish. I put them together years ago and every year I try my best to check if all the links are still working. Some might not but I hope you can find some that you can use. Please let me know which ones are not working or if you have suggestions of other websites I could add.


Anaranjado: websites with games for kids learning Spanish.
Verde: apps you can download to your smartphone or iPad.
Azul: websites for children with an advanced knowledge of Spanish.
Blanco: websites for parents to learn Spanish
Pink: Videos for pre-schoolers
Light green: Video series for elementary students
Blue: Trailers
Yellow: websites with interactive activities and games
Turquoise: Websites for Spanish speakers
Songs

I will keep adding more activities in another post and I will be very happy to help you if you have any questions about the resources, how to use them, or how to create activities with them.

Happy Remote Teaching!

@la.profe.de.espanol

En Casa con Estilo – A Remote Fashion Show

 This is my plan to end our school year remotely taking advantage of having my students at home so that they can go over their clothes to play and learn at the same time.

My plan (Make it yours) I have done this activity in the classroom as part of planning our trips to Spanish-speaking countries and choosing what we would wear. Since we are at home, I thought my students would like to show off their Home Style.

These are just some ideas of what I want to do with my new TPT product that comes in Seesaw, PearDeck, and Google Slide versions.

  1. Introduce the activity: Use the PearDeck Presentation to teach the lesson. I love the interactivity it promotes among my students. Have your students join the presentation and show the title on the first slide . Then, explain that they will participate in a Fashion Show called “En Casa con Estilo” – “At Home with Style”. They will learn how to describe the outfit they would like to wear making sure they select five or more items from the vocabulary you will present. We do not have much time for accessories but I would encourage my students to share other items at the end of the class if time permits.
  1. Clothing Scavenger Hunt: This is how our students will learn the vocabulary. Divide your class into two or three groups. Tell your students you will tell them to bring one of the items you will display on your screen. Once they bring the item, they need to type the item and its color into the interactive slide. They are organized in a way students can find the patterns that make all words “match”. Not all the students need to type the same or look for the items, they can divide and conquer: one student can bring the item while another student types. Read their answers as you point to the items and the colors in your screen.
  1. Matching: Students need to type in the drawing slide the number for each one of  the items we presented. This could be an opportunity for teams to interact over Zoom chat or breakout rooms. I apologize I do not have much experience using another platform.
  1. Stop!: Students are to use the drawing slide to type the proper form of the colors to match the items on the top. The first one to finish has to shout out “¡PAREN!” and you need to block responses at that time. Then, display the responses and make sure nobody starts working on the next row. Students can go back to check on the previous slides to complete this part but it would take their team more time to finish. This can encourage more attention to the patterns.
  1. Independent work: Assign your students to complete the Deck independently. I set up the activity on Seesaw which is the platform my students are more familiar with and I would assign them to work on it, instead. If you use Google Classroom, you can share the Google Slide Presentation. The last section is for your students to choose an outfit to wear, wear it, and get a picture taken. They need to upload and label the picture. Then, they need to record themselves reading the description. That would be preparation for our next lesson which would be our Fashion Show rehearsal.
  1. Rehearsal: Ask your students for ideas on the set up. We need to think of what music we will be using, who is controlling the sound, what order they would model, when to read/describe their outfits. I am planning to use the Spotlight option of Zoom.

7. Fashion Show: If you dare, ask your students to invite their parents to 

watch the fashion show or post the video in their platform for them   to watch it later.

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La granja – The farm

We have been teaching remotely for two weeks already and I have not seen any of my classes Live yet. I have been communicating with my students and their families through Seesaw and I have been creating videos of me demonstrating how to do the activities or just running the routines my kids were used to. Many of my older students have been completing their assignments or have been asking me questions but I have not heard from many yet especially many of the younger ones.

When I see the posts from my Pre-K, Jr. K and Kindergarten classes, I cannot feel any other thing than gratitude. I acknowledge the time and the effort the parents are putting into completing the activities and I wish they could tell me if they are finding them too much to handle or how I could help them better to carry on their children’s Spanish learning at home.

I am alternating a Seesaw activity and a video with our routines. Last week, I created for the first time a video of me teaching online and it was the most difficult thing I have done so far. I really hope it gets easier. If you knew me just a little, you would know one thing about me and that is that I do not like to be on a video. This is how far I have come for my students and when I am recording the videos I just think I am doing them for them.

So my first video was for my Pre-kindergarteners and it was about the farm. I love songs and especially those that can easily be adapted into a game and I used the song “La Vaca Lola” by ToyCantando as my main source of input.

Explaining the game I would play in the classroom was a little tough and I hope the parents had given it a try. In the classroom, we start by making a line that I lead, we listen to the song and sing along, and when we hear/say the sound “muuu”, we turned around. That way, I would be the last person in the line, and the “caboose” would be the leader. I had to explain it using a picture of a cow and I still do not know how it went for the parents who decided to do it. I hope they had fun.

This is the week I assign a Seesaw activity and I wanted to focus on another farm animal. This activity mixes new vocabulary with topics my kids were familiar with. I put together a video demonstrating how to do the activities in Spanish and added questions I would ask while describing an animal. My goal is for the parents to play the video for my kids to watch and listen to me providing them with input that is still comprehensible despite the circumstances.

Here is the link to the activity for you to add it to your Seesaw library before it is available in the community area. Seesaw has been receiving lots of contributions and many of mine are not showing in the community section yet.

Please let me know if you try this activity and how it works for you and your students. Subscribe to receive notifications of my future posts.

Check out how I created this activity on this video