Island Teacher
Powered by Blogger.

Structuring LIVE, Synchronous Online Spanish Lessons

Hola all! It's been awhile since I've shared on my blog. Like many of you all, I spent the last 4 months of the 2019-2020 school year as an online Spanish teacher. While we'd all prefer a "normal" back to school this year, chances are we may be thrown into the requirement to give live, synchronous classes to our students at some point this school year. I wanted to give a quick overview of how I structure my 45-60 min Middle and High School online Spanish classes in hopes that you may be able to pick up a tip or two to help you out this school year! For context, my school used Google Meet™, but the same structure should work across various live platforms. Online Spanish classes definitely don't come naturally to most of us, but I found that implementing a routine made it easier on my students (and myself!) in the middle of a difficult time. Here's an overview of what you may typically see in my live online Spanish lessons. :)

  • Start with a Para Empezar. Just like in the regular classroom, I always began with a warm up question that was projected when students entered the session. In our live sessions, my warm up question was always something that students were required to answer orally and rather quickly. I started at random points each session on my class roll and also used this question as an attendance tracker. This allowed me to hear every student speak right at the beginning of class and forced immediate engagement in Spanish. ;) 
  • Review the Plan del Día. Next, we ran through an overview Slide of our session together so that students would know the topics and what to expect.
  • Review Asynchronous Assignment. We alternated between synchronous and asynchronous days, so in our live sessions I would make sure to answer questions and do a quick review of what students had completed independently. 
  • Cover New Concepts. In this part of the lesson I would introduce new material. This may be a presentation using Pear Deck, a reading together with discussion or watching video together. 
  • Assign Independent Work.  This is when students would have some time to work on an assignment. The assignment may be Digital Task Cards, a Digital Interactive NotebookEdPuzzle, etc. During this time, I would remain in the Meet session with myself muted, so students could work without distractions. This allowed me to be available though whenever they had a question.
  • Wrap up/Review/Game. About 5-10 minutes before the end of classes we regrouped for a wrap up and review of the lesson. I then gave instructions on anything that needed to be completed before the next lesson. If time allowed, we ended class with a Gimkit (by far my student's preferred choice of game!). 

While this is a basic overview, I hope it allows your mind to get a framework for an online lesson flow that may work for you this year!

Spanish Interactive Notebooks: 7 Essentials to Get You Started!

If you're giving Spanish interactive notebooks a try for the first time in your Spanish classes, you may be wondering what supplies you will need to be off to a successful start. Here's my detailed photo list of 7 things (plus a bonus FREE download) that you need to get started on your interactive notebook journey! 

**Totally confused about  Spanish interactive notebooks and what they are?? START HERE with this blog post!**

Essential Materials for Spanish Interactive Notebooks

Tips for Starting Spanish Interactive Notebooks...Part 2

Earlier in the week, I wrote Part 1 of Starting Spanish Interactive Notebooks. You may want to check that out HERE if you haven't already. Today, I wanted to share a few more thoughts that have developed from my use Spanish Interactive Notebooks.

Spanish Interactive Notebooks Part 2

Tips for Starting Spanish Interactive Notebooks...Part 1

Hi all!! I hope you all have enjoyed your summer as much as I have. Mine was busy, busy, busy and packed full of changes. I'll save all that for another post, but I wanted to publicly address some questions that I've recently received from several readers who are interested in starting Spanish interactive notebooks in their classes this upcoming school year. Thanks guys for inspiring me to jump back on the blog train and share what's worked for me in regards to using Spanish interactive notebooks in my classes. 

Spanish Interactive Notebooks part 1

Tired of Traditional Note Taking? Try Flip Books!

Before I decided to take the interactive notebook plunge this school year, I began exploring the idea of spicing of note taking with flip books. I often hear heavy sighing when announcing "Saquen los cuadernos para tomar apuntes", so it's good to change things up every now and then. The idea behind flip books for me is that students are able to create a more meaningful study tool while being more engaged with the learning experience. I have my students add their flip books to their interactive notebooks, but they can just as easily stand alone or be 3 hole punched to add to a binder. I created a template using PowerPoint which I now just edit each time I'm making a new flip involved a bit of trial and error at first with printing, cutting, and stacking the pages, but now I'm good to go when a new idea pops in my head. 

You can pretty much create a flip book for any topic or theme. I like to use my grammar point flip books as a way for students to take notes, practice acquired info, and then use as a study tool when reviewing for an assessment. In the example above, students write in the meaning and conjugations of the given verb during the note taking time, they then write original sentences in Spanish using the verb and illustrate one of the sentences during the classwork practice time. The final page of the book is a conjugation practice page where students conjugate the given verb or choose between 2 verbs and conjugate. It takes the idea of a traditional worksheet and incorporates it into the flip book. This last page works well as a homework assignment. They then use these books to review for quizzes. Here's another example using Reflexive Verbs as the topic.

So, there you have all-in-one note taking, practice and study resource! Do you use flip books in your classrooms? I'd love to hear about it!

For more examples of Spanish Flip Books, click HERE.

Encouraging Student Creativity with Spanish Interactive Notebooks

Since I began using interactive notebooks at the beginning of the school year, one thing that I have really enjoyed is seeing creativity shine in notebooks of my students. Several times I have created an activity to be used in a specific way in my mind, but, then, my students have managed to make it more interesting than I had anticipated. I love seeing this! Not only are they learning Spanish in a different way, BUT they are really "owning" their learning experiences by making their notebooks unique.

This past week we reviewed school supplies vocabulary. We viewed a PowerPoint with school supplies and students filled in a vocabulary list to add to one side of their notebooks. I had created an interactive notebook activity to go along with the topic. You can check that out in my store, HERE. My idea was for them to cut out and attach an entire pocket with a picture of a mochila to their notebooks and then add the school supplies. Here is what I came up with as an example before.

I decided that I wanted students to draw the school supplies on blank templates and add their pictures, along with the Spanish term, to their mochila pockets. That way, students could review by matching the words with pictures or play a memory game with a partner. I passed out the materials and students got to work. As I circulated back around, I noticed that one student had cut out the picture of just the mochila instead of the pocket. Because I harp on the importance of READING the directions on the templates before beginning to cut, I began to remind the student of this. He had a different plan in mind though, and told me that it would be ok! The result? He cut a slit in the top of his backpack (instead of using the entire pocket), and showed me how he could add all of the school supply inserts and create a more "realistic" mochila for his notebook page. Hmmm...maybe I should just hire my students to make my activities?

The point is that, even though this was a whole class activity, students were able to individualize their own notebook page however worked best for them. I LOVE it! I am inspired by and learn from them daily....for that I am thankful! Have your students taught you anything recently?

Structuring a 30 min World Language Class...ready, set, go!

As THE Spanish teacher at a small, private school, I teach a wide age range. I'm currently teaching Spanish to grades 2-10. I see my elementary classes for 30 minutes, one day a week. I sometimes feel like I'm spinning my wheels because we spend a lot of time recapping previous material and it often seems that we move at a slow pace with new material. I thought I'd share an example play by play of 30 minutes in one of my elementary Spanish classes!

Structuring a 30 minute world language class; tips and resources.

Min 1-2 Students enter, greet me at the door (Hola, Buenos días, etc) as they pass by to their seats. I have my students keep folders which they leave in my room. I may hand these out now or wait until later in the lesson depending on what we're doing.
Min 3-5 Oral Review Practice: This may be a Q&A ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo te llamas?, etc. We may do a few quick rounds of "I Spy": "Yo veo algo (insert color)" to review colors or we may count around the room.
Min 6-9 Singing: Songs are a great way to teach and reinforce vocabulary. Calico Spanish Songs on YouTube are elementary geared and can be found in a variety of topics. I project these onto the SmartBoard and students sing along. I generally will choose a song or 2 over a topic we have covered or we may learn a new song to introduce a new topic.
Min 10-15 Direct Instruction: This past week we began going over La Familia vocabulary. I showed a PowerPoint on basic family words with graphics. Student practiced pronouncing the words and filled in a vocabulary sheet as we went through the slides. This sheet gets added to their folders.
Min 16-25 Activity/Game: This week, my lower elementary classes are making La Familia vocabulary books, so they began coloring their templates and adding the correct word to the pictures. My upper elementary classes began a family tree diagram from my Mi Familia de Superhéroes set.

While I created this packet for my secondary students, I've found that, with slight adapting, I can use it with my 4th graders on up. They write the appropriate label on each family member and assign a name to each character. Next class, we'll use the diagrams to do some basic oral practice. ¿Cómo se llama la madre? ¿Cómo se llama la hermana? etc.
Min 26-30 Clean up, collect folders, vocabulary recap, final song, line up, back to class....BREATHE! :) 

Do you have short language classes? I would love to hear how you structure these! 
Back to Top