Technology for Spanish Class: The best websites to avoid CI burnout with distance learning - Mis Clases Locas

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Technology for Spanish Class: The best websites to avoid CI burnout with distance learning

Inside: 5 Tech tools for Spanish Class. My favorite Spanish class technology resources and website for schools with computer or device access. These tech tools are especially useful for distance learning & 1:1 situations to avoid Comprehensible Input teacher burnout.

Technology for Spanish Class: The best websites to avoid CI burnout - shared by Mis Clases Locas


Something I blogged about a lot when Mis Clases Locas was new in 2014 & 2015 was technology resources. A couple months into starting this blog, my school went one to one with computers. That means I am just starting my 7th year teaching at a 1:1 school, the 6th year using Chromebooks. At the beginning, I was all about sharing the new to me tech tools that I tried out in class.

Honestly, I think transitioning to CI based practices moved me away from using the individual devices as much as I did in the start. I have always used my projector every day, but it has taken me awhile to find resources that I feel actually enhance comprehension based teaching practices. Using some of these resources mixed in can actually be a blessing for proving CI when you are sick, have a sub, or just need some resources to give yourself a break and provide burnout free CI.


Update in August of 2020: Well, I guess we all know now that technology resources to provide meaningful input will be especially needed in this ever changing new school year. Personally, my school in planning to go back with teachers at school full time, but two groups of A/B students attending in person every other day. On the off days, the students will be doing individualized learning at home on their devices. These resources will come even more in handy this year.

Here are some resources that I would personally recommend.

Edpuzzle - activity
During the saga of no projector for a while this past year, Edpuzzle saved me! Instead of movie talking projected videos as a part of our SOMOS unit or watching our Friday shows, students watched the videos indidually and answered questions. Please use this referral link if you want to try it out (it just gives me more video space in my free account!)

I have been hearing about it for years, as a great way for listening input with embedded comprehension questions. Read this post from Jen Shaw on Secondary Spanish Space to learn more. Honestly I have been scared of the time commitment of creating activities to go with videos. Then someone told me you can just SEARCH for ones. Duh! So a big thank you to all of teachers who have created resources for me to use. Once again use this link to create your own free account today.

Distance learning update - Make sure you are not using copyrighted materials to create on Edpuzzle. I know last Spring many teachers were reading books online or uploading purchased E-courses, which was against copyright. It is always a good idea to ask first. Be a model when it comes to digital citizenship.


Gimkit - activity
A newer favorite technology based game is Gimkit. Basically, students answer multiple choice  questions either alone or in random teams. What makes it more fun is they can spend the "money" they earn on ways to earn more points, or fun gimmicks. It works well for vocabulary introduction or review. To provide more context for input, you can have sentences with a missing word, questions and answers, or beginning and ending of sentences. It is a fun Friday reward to play about 15-20 minutes. 
Check out this blog post about GimKit for a lot more information on the game. 

Distance learning update - You can also play this game using distance learning. See this post to see how to play virtual games in class. 


Garbanzo - curriculum supplement
My newest addition to my tech tools is Garbanzo. It was created my Martina Bex and pairs wonderfully with any of her created resources or Somos curriculum. Even if you do not use any of her resources you can search by country, AP theme, grammar point, holiday or topics to find comprehensible reading activities and assign them to classes or individual students. Once again, while my projector was out of commission, I just searched Somos 1 unit 7 to find perfect alternate activities for students to complete. It took me the Beta trial, as well as another free trial to convince me that I needed this time and sanity saver. It is a great sub plan and no copies are needed!

Distance learning update - Garbanzo readings will be the perfect, no prep, supplement for my students to complete on their online learning days. I know they are working to add audio in the future as well. 


Sr. Wooly - part of curriculum
This is my 5th year with a Sr. Wooly subscription and I love it. Not only to you get access to the full library of songs and supplementary resources, but students each get their own account where they can complete differentiated "nuggets." Typically we do week-long mini units on a specific song between story or novel units to break things up. Depending on the day, we usually do some group or individual activities and then use the last 15-20 minutes to work on nuggets. This gives me a chance to rest my voice, help individual students, and get ready for the next class. I have left a full day of nuggets as a sub plan, or for students to complete while at my desk I meet individually for mini conference or in class speaking assessments. Read this blog post to how I use Sr. Wooly in Spanish class.

Distance learning update - I plan to mix in Sr. Wooly this year, especially for students to do the nuggets on days at home. In class we can do more of the fun input activities, such as many that were introduced during Wooly Week. (See the site for more info on that). 


Fluency Matters Ecourse - part of curriculum
Over the past three school years I have tried out a few Fluency Matters E-courses with a variety of novels and levels of students. Basically, you can get pretty much any comprehension based reader published by Fluency matters as an electronic ebook. It also includes audio, as well as activities. Now you can also just purchase the online activities for a lower price if you already have the physical books. A couple of years ago I did this post on CiPeek how I used a Fluency Matters e-course

These worked very well with a hybrid group of upper level students doing semi independent study. It allowed them to check for comprehension, as well as let me know their progress. I also think this would be excellent to leave for maternity leave. I have had minimal success using these with novice students, as they really need  more support, such as me reading to them and doing collaborative activities. It worked better in a reading club setting , with a group of students who were still read by me and needed more support, and those who were independent could read and complete the online activities on their own. 

Distance learning update - If you are expected to be fully online, these E-courses are one of the best options out there for full, ready to go units. 


As an additional note, I use and LOVE Google Classroom to share links for all of these resources with students, as well as collect Google drive assignments. (I was forced to use Schoology for a year and it has nothing on Classroom, especially since we are a Google School with Chromebooks). 


Technology for Spanish Class: The best websites to avoid CI burnout - shared by Mis Clases Locas



What did I miss? What would you add?

originally published 1.13.20 - updated 8.17.20

8 comments

  1. Hi,
    Can you tell me how you use Google drive for assignments? I am also at a Google school. Do you have an example? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Search "google classroom" and get that! You create classes and students log in with their emails. Then you can send announcements to each class with instructions, links, etc. You can also attach a Google doc assignment & click "make a copy for each student." Then students work and you can see each progress and they turn in right there in classroom. It is very slick!

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  2. I just searched MisClasesLocas on Edpuzzle content and can't find any of your videos. Are any of your movie talks public?

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    Replies
    1. I have not personally created any! I have just made copies of other peoples. My name on there is Allison Wienhold

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  3. I can't find any of yours if I search your name. Do you have a title of a movie talk you've done?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean the title of a movie talk you've copied?

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  4. I'm having a hard time with spanish right now, so this is super helpful.

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  5. My kids love Gimkit. They were all about the Humans vs Zombies challenge in October.

    ReplyDelete

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