Remote learning: Opening new doors to planning, tools, strategies, and more

By Jennifer Cornell
Specialist for Digital Innovation and Instructional Technology

I am in awe at the work teachers do every day. I am especially amazed at all that teachers have done these past few months adjusting to remote learning. There has been so much newness and change that has happened during these unsettling times. Moving from a face-to- face environment to one that is completely online, they had to do more than ever before at an incredibly fast pace and with varying tools, resources, and training.  

While we are in a time of unique change and difficulty, change can also bring new possibilities and open doors of opportunity.  This may include exploring new pedagogical practices, connecting with more students, varying instructional strategies, experimenting with new tools and resources, as well as engaging in practices of reflection to positively impact learning and instruction.

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End-of-year rituals in the virtual classroom

By Catalina Bohorquez 
@CatalinaTeacher

This has been a year full of unprecedented events for students, parents, and teachers. Teachers and students were asked to move their active learning from the traditional brick and mortar classroom to a virtual environment. As a seasoned virtual educator, my work life was not altered very much; however, I had the opportunity to look from afar and truly admire and embrace the flexibility and the innovation that sparked across the virtual classrooms of teachers around the globe. 

I believe that we must celebrate the accomplishments of all of our students. In Spanish, we would say “es importante cerrar con broche de oro” which would loosely translate into “it is important to close with a golden brooch or pin.” Think of it as ending on a high note, celebrating the uniqueness of each of your students and the way they individually shined this year. How can we celebrate students in the virtual setting? Here are the Top 5 ways to Celebrate students virtually:

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Songs & activities for Spanish learners

We just created a new library of activities related to Spanish songs for your mid- to intermediate-high Spanish learners. They are designed to be posted via a discussion forum like the Wayside Learning Site Classroom Forum or Google Classroom.  Activities for each song can be posted all at once for students to complete at their own pace, or posted daily for completion as a class exercise.

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10 tips for providing comprehensible input when teaching remotely

By Helen Small
Curriculum Coordinator

As a former comprehensible input (CI) German teacher, I’ve been thinking lately about how to provide adequate comprehensible input in an online environment. After 18 years of more or less traditional teaching, I switched to CI teaching for my last five years in the classroom before pursuing world language administrative positions. Now, as a curriculum coordinator at Wayside, my goal in working with our French and German authors is to create proficiency-based, CI-friendly resources that promote the use of the target language for teaching and learning. 

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Supporting your colleagues, supporting yourself

By Elena Spathis
@ElenaSpathis

In what seemed like a span of a few hours, teachers needed to frantically shift to virtual instruction. All schoolwide events and extracurricular activities were suddenly cancelled. Feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and disappointment slowly settled in and took charge.

Like many other professionals, teachers’ roles changed overnight. Rather than being on stage all day in their classrooms, teachers would now be delivering instruction through their computer screens.

I immediately felt a pang of worry as I started to create online activities for my new virtual Spanish classes: Would my students truly learn this way? Would I be able to maintain a sense of community with them? What would my assessments look like?

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Who and Why before What and How: Planning in the time of Coronavirus

By Michelle Olah
@michelleolah
Instructional Strategist

These are crazy days indeed. Teachers all over the country (and world!) are being asked to switch from in-person teaching to some variety of online teaching and learning in a matter of weeks. The question that is on many teachers’ mind is How do I effectively plan instruction during these unique circumstances? There are a lot of people and companies out there giving teachers all kinds of opinions on what to teach, what not to teach, and how best to teach it. In this blog post I am not going to give you any answers. Instead, I want to offer some questions to consider that can help guide your instructional choices in whatever situation you find yourself.

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Online learning: The new normal

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@DiegoOjeda66

Just a little over a week ago I was saying goodbye to my students without knowing when I would see them again. This was a rather strange, and above all, sad experience, as I described it in a blog post.

By now I have already met a couple of times online with each one of my classes and to be honest, it has been one of the longest weeks of my life. In addition to the idea of having to be confined at home, the pressure of preparing classes in a format that we are not used to can be a very big challenge.

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4 Learning Site tools for remote teaching

By Elena Giudice 
@SraGiudice

With all of us inevitably turning over to online teaching, EntreCulturas offers an array of diverse activities. Now is the time to further explore the Learning Site and all of its capabilities. Since I enjoy writing my own assessments and communicative tasks, I had forgotten about some of the resources available. I was recently reminded by my colleague about the Recursos and Sólo para profesores folders which provide some awesome resources. Below, I’ll take you through the top four features that I intend to use in the upcoming weeks.

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