It has been a while I posted on my blog and I am back after finishing four Seesaw activities I created for my first two asynchronous classes of 2022. They are about celebrating the New Year and learning about the Twelve Grapes tradition (Las Doce Uvas). These activities are addressed to Pre-K through fifth grade but can certainly be implemented at different grade levels. Let’s keep collaborating in the New Year!!!
“SEIS” – My version
I learned this game from @lamaestraloca in her presentation at #practicalandcomprehensible in January and really wanted to give it a try. With Covid restrictions and wanting to keep my students safe, I came up with a virtual way that worked really great with my fifth grade classes that are made up of a combination of in-class and remote learners.
After finishing Write and Discuss about our Special Person, I handed in ten sentences from the description we put together and divided the class into four groups. I showed them the four dice on my Ben-Q Board and told them they were to write the translation of the sentences in English only when their group dice got a “six”. I counted to six before I press “Roll Dice” again because the page took a little while to load and to give them time to write. They were really into it and demonstrated great comprehension!
The groups that did not get a “six” had to keep their hands up, on their head, or behind their neck and were really supervising that no one was writing when it was not their turn. SO MUCH FUN!!
Random.org allows you to use up to sixty dice at the time.
Three books by Adriana Ramírez
It has been a while since I had wanted to read a book by Adriana Ramirez and I finally got to read three at once. I was always impressed with Adriana’s posts and the extracts from her books she shared online that even though I teach children I decided to give her books a try.
I was looking forward to reading her new book “La Marimba de mi Abuelo”” but out of multitasking I ended up purchasing a combo of three of her former books on Amazon to my delight.
One thing I noticed right away was how carefully Adriana presented each book to her readers. I felt she would walk me through each one of the chapters starting with a great prologue and vivid images that made me feel I was immersed in the conversations of her vibrant characters. The illustrations and even the font she picked were key in keeping me hooked to every story until the end. I finished the three books last night.
In her book “Soy yo, la Mosca”, I could not stop laughing at all the occurrences of her unique and innocent fly. The illustrations are beautiful and a great addition to make the story comprehensible. The language was simple, fun, repetitive and I can see my fourth and fifth graders truly enjoying the book as much as I did. I expect a lot of giggles. One thing that came to my mind while I was reading it was the melody of the words she used. Some paragraphs sounded like a chorus at times and I can see how that would help my students narrate chapters at ease.
Although I am still not sure about buying a set of “Me perdí en Medellín” for my children, I am considering adding it to my fifth grade library. The book is full of lots of cultural aspects that Adriana explored and explained in simple, entertaining, and organic conversations that one can clearly notice she knows her city and also knows what tourists can find interesting and/or unusual. Adriana understands both views and kindly and respectfully promotes such mutual understanding not only among her characters but with her readers. Although I am Colombian, I have not visited Medellín yet but to me, each chapter was a trip to memory lane. I could see, taste, and feel what Andrés and Andrew were experiencing. I wonder how my heritage learners would feel like when reading it and what would seem familiar to them.
“Soy yo, la Mosca” and “Me perdí en Medellín” show how much Adriana loves her characters and also her good sense of humor. In “Es posible soñar” and “Me perdí en Medellín”, she shows how much she loves her city and her authentic interest in changing the harmful narrative that has impacted not only Medellin but Colombia for years. Adriana was able to refer to a sad moment in Colombian history with eyes of love, hope and optimism as she expressed through the voice of her characters the kind of story the media does not promote as much. I applaud and admire Adriana Ramirez’ sense of social responsibility to bring her readers, our students, an honest and respectful vision of Colombia that it is not easy to find in some books. Middle or High School students might finish the book sympathizing with Carlos, seeing him as an example of resilience, and as interested to travel to Medellin as I am. I can’t wait to read “La Marimba de mi Abuelo”!
¿Cómo te llamas?
I have been looking for ideas to build community with my pre-school non-readers around their names using Seesaw. Thanks to the wonderful contributions of the Seesaw community to the activities library, I decided I will adapt these two so that my students and especially I learn how to pronounce everyone’s names properly:
I imagine the homeroom teachers might be doing something similar in their classes and I need to find out before doubling the work for our kids and their parents. This is plan “A” so far. Once I learn to pronounce all my students’ names, I want my kids to find their names while getting used to the Seesaw tools and their possibilities. I will see my students face-to-face for two weeks and then they will work independently for two more. I imagine my students would feel proud of me when they hear me saying their names properly or at least feel willing to help me pronounce them better 🙂
These are not my students’ names but just a template for you to adapt your children’s names if you decide to try the activity. I learned from Kris Szajner how to add the recordings in this video. You can only add up to 20 recordings per activity and would need to use Chrome to adapt the activity.
This activity not only involves clicking on the speaker icons or tapping on the markers but also tapping on the video. It also includes tracing names. I used one of Seesaw handwriting backgrounds and the feather font style which might not be what your kids are used to in their classes but which I found practical since they were all in Seesaw. I ran into this website https://www.handwritingpractice.net that offers “Handwriting practice worksheets custom made by you in – PRINT – D’NEALIAN or CURSIVE”. I was not sure I could use a screenshot for my students’ names because I could not find a way to contact the owners and ask them. It really looks like a great resource to print and send worksheets home.
My goal with this activity is for my students to get familiar with the question “¿Cómo te llamas?, review the chant and a game we will play to learn our names, find their names while listening to their classmates’ and then trace their own. I am not requiring my students to answer “Me llamo” unless they want to give it a try.
I hope you find these activities and ideas practical and can ease your workload somehow. All the best for you and your community this new school year!
Stories in Google Forms
Thanks to the wonderful posts about how to use Google Forms in different ways by La Maestra Loca and CI Liftoff, I was inspired to give them a try and use them to deliver input out of the stories I asked my former fifth graders about their classmates’ cards.
I call this collection : De Problemas y Soluciones Inesperadas. I will be using these forms as a kind of independent reading that I plan for my new fifth graders to access them either in our face-to-face or virtual classes.
Each form contains a story, its glossary, reading comprehension questions, a Jam to illustrate the story, and a link to Vocaroo to respond to the story.
The stories are classified into the following categories which organically developed as we talked about each student. I will be feeding the categories as I finish working on each story. Click on the title of the story to make a copy.Please let me know how you find them and what you would like me to add/change. I hope you can use them with your students, too.
1. En la clase
3. Súper Poderes
Edpuzzle is your best friend
Edpuzzle has been a tool I have used often since I discovered it a few years ago in one of the Facebook groups I belong to. My students love it and I love how my students get input and interact with it seamlessly. Edpuzzle has worked well as a way to expose my students to other Spanish-speakers, to input that I can incorporate to the video through the questions I ask, and to the many possibilities Youtube or other videos offer.
I have been using the free version and have been leaving some that I am planning to reuse in the future: ones that I modified, and ones that I created myself (old Edpuzzles here). During remote learning, I created a few more and I decided to incorporate a different format in some that I hope you would like to use in your classes.
My version of “Piedra, Papel o Tijeras”
My fourth graders learn about schools, their own, the ones in Spanish-speaking countries, and this one that fit perfectly for them to discuss not only vocabulary in context but bullying.
Marie Curie or my student who will become our next Nobel laureate
We learned about Marie Curie because she was a person one of my students admired deeply and we had to talk about her when we talked about her interests. I love how Edpuzzle allowed me to focus on specific sections to create questions that guided my students into comprehending the information independently and successfully.
Inspiration, soccer, and reading
My students loved learning about Marco Antonio while they watched him play soccer and read what his story was about. There was just a little audio they had to listen to but it was mostly captions they associated to the photos they were seeing. Letting students work at their own pace pausing or rewinding the video proved to be a challenge they enjoyed taking. They felt a great sense of accomplishment that I could notice when they interacted in class about the video.
Food for thought
We teach a language and the possibilities are endless in terms of all we can learn and what we can do. I loved learning how to make Paneer, the favorite dish of one of my students, and he was so surprised he learned the recipe from a native Spanish speaker before he learned it from one of his relatives who were usually the ones who made it for him. Thanks to the pauses and the small sections, my students were able to focus on identifying the key details they needed to answer my questions.
And what if the input is in English?
Well, I believe there are many ways to learn something and especially to learn a language. This trailer is in English but my input is in Spanish. My students needed to focus on scenes or audio to figure out the answers to my questions. They answered the questions in Spanish and discussed them in Spanish, as well. Edpuzzle allowed me to keep the parts of the video that I considered to be the most important ones and discard the rest. What is not to love about Edpuzzle?
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Asynchronous activities about our “Personas Especiales”
During our emergency remote teaching trimester, I saw my fifth grade classes once a week and they worked independently on our second class. We used PearDeck to interact in our synchronous lessons about our “Personas Especiales” and the independent activity (asynchronous task) was related to our live discussions and an extension that involved a video students had to respond to.
Here are some videos and activities I assigned that referred to a feature our “Personas Especiales” shared so that my fifth graders could see the vocabulary we were learning in context.
Quiero un perrito
Since one of my students really wanted to have a pet but her family was not really sure about it, I found the perfect video on Youtube.
Activity: Watch the video and aim to write more than 15 cognates you can find. Make sure to set the captions to Spanish. Write the words in Spanish and English.
My students know how to play the recorder and we learned one of our special persons was into playing the flute professionally. Since we had watched the movie Coco before, I thought having them learn to play the melody with a Spanish speaking teacher would be a fun and meaningful way to get some important input. They amazed me with the videos they recorded playing the melody.
A mí me gusta el baloncesto
For that special person that loved basketball, I found this very informative and fun video.
Activity: Watch the video and write the names of the items needed to play basketball, the dimensions of the basketball court, and what makes a basketball team. Make sure you set up the captions to Spanish. Write the items in Spanish and English.
Somos unos grandes artistas
For those of my students who loved art, I wanted them to enjoy admiring paintings of a famous Spanish artist or drawing while they got their comprehensible input through the visuals and the task they needed to solve.
Activity: Take a screenshot of three of your favorite paintings and collect more than five cognates by reading the title of the masterpieces. Write the words in Spanish and English.
This particular student already knew how to draw an anime face and could have her own Youtube channel teaching how to do this but she had not heard another artist explaining the process in Spanish.
Activity: Watch the video and follow the directions to draw the face. Label the parts of the face in Spanish.
My students were also into some activities that fell into the STEM category.
Although these are very simple calculations, the idea was for my students felt comfortable with the content and could figure out what the instructions were by reading them and seeing how the calculation progressed.
Activity: Watch the video, stop it to read the instructions, and try to figure out what the answers are before they are displayed on the screen. Translate the instructions into English.
Not that my students do not know how to make slime but seeing other kids their age making it and speaking in Spanish was really meaningful and fun.
Activity: Watch the video and write the ingredients for the four ways to make “moco de gorila” in Spanish and English in a piece of paper. Tell me what your favorite way to make slime was.
This student’s favorite animal was the Phoenix and I found a video that related more to STEM and art than to mythology so I thought to add it into this category.
Activity: Watch the video and follow the steps to make “un ave fénix”. Take a picture of your creation and share it with us.
I also included a coloring page in case my students were not happy with their creation. They were better than me.
I hope you find these ideas and activities useful to implement in your classes. My next post will be about the Edpuzzles I created with the same purpose in mind: reach my students through the things they liked so that they felt they were just having fun without realizing they were also learning Spanish.
Stay tune for my next post about my Edpuzzles and one about the stories I created for my students’ Cards. I will also be updating my videos and my stories pages.
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.
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.
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!
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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.
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💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗
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
This is my new Seesaw activity about the farm that I just created for my Pre-Kindergarteners. My goal is for them to have some practice on the vocabulary about animals from the stories and songs we will be learning in class as they trace, color, drag, and count. The first page has a video of me modeling how to do the activity for my students. Click on the image below to add the activity into your Seesaw library. I contributed it already but I am not sure when it would be available under the listings.
You can also print this activity here
Los Tres Cerditos y el Lobo Feroz
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
Cognates with a goal to start the year comprehensible and committed
One of the things I have been doing for a couple of years to welcome my students and make them feel confident they will succeed in my class is using meaningful cognates on my bulletin board. That is the first area they see before stepping into my classroom and it is my billboard to amplify my motto for the year.
The first bulletin board I set up was about STEM cognates in a year we wanted to focus our division efforts towards that area. Here is the resource I created:
I remember I invited my students to work in groups to figure out how many words they already knew. They were thrilled about how much they already knew.
Last year, I wanted my bulletin board to show my appreciation for how diverse our school community was and the values we stand for. Rather than focusing only on the meaning of the words, I invited my students and their homeroom teachers to select the five most important words from the display and type them in their order of importance on a Paddlet. Then, we analyzed what words were ranked higher and discussed words that should be added but were not cognates. “Familia”, “Justicia”, and “Identidad” were among the most common ones listed . Here is the resource:
This year, I want to focus on affirmations and have my students see, say and remember this motto full of purposefully chosen inclusive cognates. I will also make it part of my webpage. I love using meaningful phrases, chants or poems as attention getters that can also be great brain breaks. Saying these affirmations chorally is one of the ways I strengthen our class community as my students are exposed to meaningful comprehensible input and repetition.
In the past, when I said “Somos”, my students responded “un equipo” and immediately looked at me and waited for directions. Last year, when I said “Somos”, they responded “una comunidad”. This year, we will say our community affirmations.
I hope you have a terrific school year!!!
Colores y Día de San Valentín
One simple activity for this week. My first graders will duplicate the page and customize the card to wish someone a “HappyValentine’s Day”.
I just finished this activity that combines, listening, tracing, inserting shapes and “speaking” for my students to work independently reviewing colors. #Seesaw #SeesawAmbassador
Colores – Brainbreak
My students are begging me to play this game since I presented it to them last week. Watch the video for instructions and click here to make a copy I would love to hear from you after you try it!
It has been challenging to find interactive activities for my students to do in their iPads besides using apps. I started collecting some to share with my kids as Choice Boards and tested them on my iPad. I hope they can be useful for you, too. I can’t wait until all iPads can run Flash Player somehow.