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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Classroom activities to showcase your students’ growth

By Elena Giudice 
@SraGiudice

This month, as our language warriors are out there fighting for legislation that affects all teachers, it is also our role as classroom teachers to advocate for languages within our communities and classrooms. 

We are all advocates for our students’ interest in the pursuit of “curing monolingualism.” Although there is a focus on language advocacy this month, this important work is year-round and often begins in our classrooms.  

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Holiday activities for your world language classroom

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@DiegoOjeda66

Christmas and the end of the year are two important events for most of the Western world, but of course there are differences in how they are celebrated in different countries and cultures. I am originally from Colombia and I came to the United States 20 years ago and I still remember my first Christmas in this country as if it were last year.

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Activities that help create a safe classroom space

By Angelika Becker
@diebestefrau

At the beginning of the school year I like to ignore the old advice “don’t smile before Thanksgiving” and start with a big smile on my face and a lot of community building. Students need to know that my classroom is a safe place to learn and that it is okay to make mistakes; they need to know that I care about each and every individual student and they need to know that their classmates will be supportive.

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Acquiring vocabulary part III: 10 ways to get students moving

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

In Part I of our series, Acquiring vocabulary: 5 strategies to create meaning in learning vocabulary, we set the scene for a movement in which teachers are shifting from meaningless drill and practice exercises to help students acquire new content, such as vocabulary. 

In Part II, Acquiring vocabulary: 9 strategies for creating graphic organizers , we reviewed types of graphic organizers, and sample activities to go along with them, that support vocabulary acquisition.  

In Part III, let’s get students moving, both in terms of engaging with physical models and engaging in physical activity.

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Acquiring vocabulary part II: 9 strategies for using graphic organizers

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

In Part I of our Acquiring Vocabulary series, we set the scene for a movement in which fewer and fewer teachers are exposing students to meaningless drill and practice exercises to help them acquire new content. Instead, teachers are moving toward truly authentic resources and communicative tasks to teach vocabulary and language structures in context.

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Acquiring vocabulary part I: 5 strategies for creating meaning in learning vocabulary

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

There is an exciting movement underway. Fewer and fewer teachers are exposing students to meaningless drill and practice to help them acquire new content, such as vocabulary. We are moving away from the practice of showing an image with the word, saying the word, and having learners repeat it. We have had enough of handing out the vocabulary list, turning on the projector, and hearing that audible, collective sigh that indicates learners have also had enough. 

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Introducing the unit part II: Hook, line, and sinker

By Deborah Espitia
@despitia
Instructional Strategist

In the previous post, Packing a punch with pictures, we talked about bringing James Bond into our classrooms.

Alright, so not actually bringing James Bond, but starting the unit off with an activity that pulls learners into the theme and motivates them to want to learn what we want to teach. But, how about bringing that level of motivation to every lesson every day and not just reserving it for the start of a unit?

Remember, motivation emerges from a hierarchy of motivators. 

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