Teaching Spanish remotely with Spanish for You! is easy. In my April newsletter, I provided teachers with a guide on how to do this, but I thought it would be beneficial to write a blog post to hopefully reach more Spanish for You! teachers. It may also give other Spanish teachers helpful ideas.
You Can Still Cover Content You Planned
Before I get into “how” to teach remotely using Spanish for You!, I’d like to assure you that you will be able to cover the curriculum content you planned for the school year without being in a classroom together. The curriculum is designed so that students can work from home independently under remote learning circumstances.
The Lesson Guide component in your Teacher Package provides instruction to the student of all content. It does so through a variety of instructional techniques organized in small lesson chunks that students can handle on their own. Guided practice is provided after every lesson chunk plus much ongoing practice and review.
The Lesson Guide clearly tells students what components of the curriculum to use for the various instructional and practice activities. And, as you already know, everything is presented in many different ways so that students with various learning styles are successful.
7 Simple Steps to Teach Spanish Remotely
If you have never taught remotely, having to do so now may feel overwhelming. But, with these 7 simple steps, you can be off and running AND be effective!
- Choose an online platform that allows you to share the curriculum items with your students. Two examples: edmodo.com or Google Classroom.
- How this sharing is permitted is detailed for you in the copyright page included with your Spanish for You! teacher package downloads in the Instructions and Important Information folder.
- Assign the weekly Lesson Guide each week for students to do at home.
- Via your chosen platform, provide students with the Lesson Guide for the week, plus needed worksheets, audio files**, and flashcard pictures.
- ** It may be best to place all audio files in a location on the platform so students can access any file anytime.
- Be sure your students have their books. They will need these. If you are a teacher who only uses the books at school and therefore only has a classroom set, contact me directly about this.
- Have students check their work against the answer keys provided. You can ask parents to monitor this. I have my students write in their corrections with a different colored pen or pencil. This process helps clarify and solidify concepts as they work on their own.
- Students send you written work you’d like to see via your platform. As you know, some written assignments are open ended, like journal or story writing, so those are things you will want to see.
- Use an online platform like Zoom or Skype, to schedule some “class-time” once a week or more often if you’d like. You can use this time together in MANY ways, but one thing you won’t have to worry about is that you have to “teach” class. The Lesson Guide will have been doing that for you.
Ways to Use Online “Class-time” Together
Since the Spanish for You! Lesson Guide will have been doing the overall teaching, you can use your “class-time” together to enhance the learning experience. Here are some ideas:
- You can use your Weekly Lesson Plans during your time together, but you DO NOT need to. If you opt to use them, then you will just need to go through the lesson plan step by step and think of how to modify each activity for use online. I have been doing this with my students via Zoom, and so far, it is working very well.
- Do some of the optional interactive activities in the Lesson Guide together. Modify as needed for online interaction.
- Have a question/answer time when students can ask about things they’ve been learning. If possible, have a whiteboard on the wall or handy so you can write or draw things to help show concepts if needed. Or, in Zoom or other applications that allow sharing your screen, you can use that to show the concepts.
- Do some conversation activities. Check these out on my blog: Spanish Conversation Activity Using Flashcards, Spanish Conversation Card Activity, Using Pictures for Spanish Conversation, and Fun Spanish Conversation Activity I Did With My Students.
- Have cultural connection time where you and the students explore a Spanish speaking country.
- Have fun listening and do time where you say things and they draw what you are describing or do what you say, etc.
- Show pictures where they can talk about what is in the picture using things they have learned.
- Have fun thinking of creative ways you’d like to use the time. You don’t have to worry about making mistakes or not getting things done because the Lesson Guide is providing you a safety net.
Prior to “class-time” together, be sure to think about what materials you will need to have on hand for what you plan to do AND what students should have on hand too. Decide if they will need any of their flashcards, pencil and paper, their themed book, drawing paper and crayons or markers, etc. Be sure to communicate this ahead of time to parents. Keep it simple assuming parents are juggling many things at home.
Additional Remote Teaching Tools
Once you’re feeling like things are well in place with remote teaching, you can check out some of these online resources to add to the mix if you’d like. BUT, don’t feel you have to. Your students will be learning to understand, speak, read, and write in complete sentences even if you don’t use any of these.
- extemporeapp.com – Create speaking assignments easily with the ability to grade them.
- makebeliefscomix.com – Students can create comic strips and much more teachers can do too!
- spark.adobe.com – You can create simple videos for your students and more!
- quizlet.com – A plethora of things, just check it out if you haven’t already!
- storybird.com – A creative writing platform.
- edpuzzle.com – “Choose a video, give it your magic touch and track your students’ comprehension.” This description quoted from their home page. Says it all.
- peardeck.com – Allows students to interact with a slide deck in real time should you be sharing a slide presentation created in a software like Power Point, Key Note, or Google Slides during an online session with your students.
- Milanote Mind Mapping tool is a tool for organizing creative ideas into projects in beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy.
Final Word on Teaching Spanish Remotely
Teaching Spanish remotely with Spanish for You! is relatively easy. Remember to keep it simple and just get off the starting block following my 7 steps above. Enjoy being creative, have fun with your students, and don’t worry about making mistakes. Spanish for You! will be there to ensure you and your students are successful!
If you have any questions about using the curriculum to teach remotely, please feel free to drop me a note. I am happy to do my best to help you!