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

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:

Abril, lluvias mil

Hopefully, we start getting just the perfect weather to say “¡Adiós, Coronavirus! . In the meantime, let’s enjoy every day and the opportunity to work together to help our kids succeed in our Spanish class.

I just contributed this Seesaw activity for my kids to review the calendar and numbers. Click on the picture below to add the activity to your classes.

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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