,I have used Padlet in the past when I have attended training courses, but at a department meeting this week I was reminded how simple and effective Padlet can be for student collaboration. This afternoon I decided to use it with my Spanish Phase 2 class. The students have been learning about pronominal verbs and for their homework had to write sentences using a selection of these verbs in different tenses. This time, instead of them writing their answers on a mini-whiteboard, they typed their sentences one by one into Padlet. As they typed it was a fantastic opportunity for them to see what the others were writing, and as a class, we could identify mistakes as well as like the responses that were correct. Admittedly, with 10 sentences to write for homework, writing all of these in Padlet was a bit of a lengthy task. However, it was a very simple and effective activity that I intend to use again in the future for shorter tasks. A colleague reminded me that Padlet is the perfect tool when students are learning how to effectively describe a picture for a speaking exam (MYP, DP or GCSE). As the students share their descriptions of the picture, they can look at the other student contributions for more ideas and inspiration. So, how do we use Padlet? Simply sign up here and follow the very simple, user-friendly instructions.
I love using Google Forms in the classroom. Recently I have found them extremely effective for post-assessment student reflection (see here). I have also transformed the way I ask students to do written practice in the classroom. Most of my worksheets have been thrown own out (well recycled!), and I now make Google Forms and change the settings option to make it into a quiz, which allows the students to get immediate feedback.
One of the wonderful things about using Google Forms in this way is that you can pre-load student feedback. In this example students were practising a Spanish grammar point and I pre-loaded feedback on common mistakes that from experience, I could anticipate students making. Another fantastic feature of using Google Forms is you can accept multiple answers as correct, or, if you are looking for absolute accuracy, you can only allow one answer as acceptable. If and when the students complain that they got the answer wrong simply because they forgot a capital letter, you can have a conversation with them about the importance of conventions. The last benefit that I will mention is the ability to give numerical points for correct answers. Although we as teachers don't necessarily love this scoring option, the students do, and this motivates them to complete their work accurately.
As a side note my top tip is to get the students to screen shot their score and any incorrect answers before they close out of the form, as this prevents them from just glancing at a number and not looking at their successes and areas for improvement. If the students forget to screen shot and I can't have a conversation with them about their progress, then have have to re-do the work from the beginning! Of course, these Google Forms are perfect for any vocabulary and grammar tests that you want to give your students. Here you can see an example of a test I gave my students on family members and adjective agreements. So are you convinced? Please see below my step-by-step guide to creating a Google Form and how to make it into a Google Quiz. Note, that if you do not want your form to become a quiz (with feedback and scores) then you should skip step 6.
I am very excited about the assessment task that my Spanish Phase 2 are going to complete for their inquiry unit called "passport to the Hispanic world". The students have been set the task of creating a web page for a travel agency which will give information about a Hispanic city or country of their choice, as well as include a tour proposal for tourists. The students have already completed a presentation on a Hispanic country as part of this unit, and they can choose to re-use this information, or they can choose a new country or city of their choice to research. They also already have knowledge of how to create a web page using https://www.wix.com/, but you can see my example here, which I built using https://sites.google.com/.
After the students have written an introductory paragraph about their country or city of choice, they will create their tour using https://tourbuilder.withgoogle.com/. See my example tours below:
As you can see from my examples, the students will need to research places to visit, be able to pin them in a logical order in the tour, and write a description about each location. The grammatical focus for this unit has been the impersonal <<se>> , the use of ser vs. estar vs. hay, vs. tener, and the demonstrative pronouns este, esta, estos and estas. To see the task that has been set to the students, look at the document below. Hopefully some of my students will be happy to share their finished product with us on this site!
If you have read my blog before, then you know that I am a massive fan of all things Google for education, especially Google Forms. Google Forms have transformed the way that I give students vocabulary and grammar tests. I always give the students a set of vocabulary words or grammatical structures (imperative commands, conjugations, past participles, negative instructions etc.) to learn. I make the test sets using Quizlet and here is one example. I make a Google Form into a Google Quiz (see my step-by-step guide on how to do this here) and send it out to my students at the start of the lesson. The wonderful thing about using this method is that it is so quick for the students to complete and they all receive instant feedback once they are finished and click to see their score. All the results are stored for me in my original form document so that I can keep records.
As part of digital citizenship we should be teaching students not to use images that infringe on copyright. Did you know that in Google you can search for images labeled for noncommercial reuse? All you need to do is click on tools and make your selection. See how below.
Good websites offering free images and pictures are:
At the Google App event summit last weekend (see my post about my weekend with Google here), Dean Stokes led a session called Design Online. One of the tools that we looked at in that session was Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark allows you to create great images for social media posts as well as excellent typography effects. See the graphic that I created below.
I have been teaching French and Spanish for 13 years. I qualified and started teaching in the UK, and I currently work at Shanghai Community International School, China. I have experience teaching GCSEs and IB DP and MYP. Find out more about me within these blog pages or below at Linked In.