Digital resources: Teaching French with 1:1 devices

Digital resources for French classes

What digital resources do you find useful when teaching 1:1? This year is the first year my district will be a 1:1 in-person district.

Where does the time go?  It’s hard to believe that the summer is over and students will be back tomorrow.  It’s my 27th year teaching at the same school.  Some things will be the same – I’m still the same person and the decorations in my classroom are the same ones I’ve had for a while.  But some things will be different – I was moved to a new room last year and only had students in it for the last 7 weeks of the semester. 

Tomorrow I will start with 5 full sections of French 1-2, each with 34 students.  I have a nice mix of students, quite a few freshmen but some upper grades as well. For the first time ever, our students will be 1:1.  Of course, they had devices last year when we were on virtual learning – but this year they are in the classrooms with their devices.  There are so many things I can do differently and I want to share my plans for using digital resources.

I like this because in the past I’ve had to work my lessons around the lab days – if we have new vocabulary or want to use cultural digital resources, I had to make sure it fit in the schedule.  With 1:1, we can do the activities whenever it makes sense to do so.   Also, it hit me when I was at the store looking at the large quantities of school supplies available and thinking I should stock up on pencils, crayons, etc: I don’t need them! 

We are doing pretty much everything digitally and I want to be a 99% paper-free classroom.  Good for the planet, it keeps things cleaner, no need to touch papers and risk sharing germs, and no need to spend money on supplies!

What digital resources do I plan to use this year in my classes?

For practice and fun: Blooket, Gimkit   I’m looking forward to trying the new Cyber hack game in Blooket.  My kids loved the chocolate/gold stealing game and the Among Us game on Gimkit was fun (more for the kids who already knew each other, my first year students who did not know each other didn’t have as much fun). These are some of the best digital resources for learning vocabulary.

For all notes and assignments:  Class notebook in OneNote – I love having everything in one place.  Absent?  The notes, assignments and any digital resources are in the notebook.  Need to look up something we went over?  It’s in the notebook.  Not sure what makeup work you need to do?  It’s in the notebook.  Can I have some extra credit work?  Sure, I’ve put it in your notebook! 

Of course those ‘extra credit’ assignments are just the assignments they missed the first time around…but maybe thinking they are extra credit will lead to students doing the work.  Also, I like that I can check work that is only partially completed for partial credit – before, those papers would have floated around in backpacks and eventually been lost.  5 points out of 40 is better than 0!

Update: I’ve since moved over to Canvas to keep track of everything. It is easier to grade assignment and keep all of my digital resources organized in one place. One issue I’ve had is that each year the minutes per day in each class has changed, so I have to redo my lessons.

For assessments: Goformative – I used this for my reading/listening/writing tests last year and it’s by far the easiest way to grade these things.  I’ve tried Google forms, but there are some things that make it painful to grade those.  I love the little bar you can click on to assign points, it meets my needs perfectly and is one of the digital resources that I wouldn’t want to be without.

For daily work : Desmos – It’s a simple way to do bell work, exit tickets, CFU and everything in between.  I like starting out with a “how are you” type of question each day, followed by a little reading activity that they can do while I take attendance.  A “this or that” type question can be a lot of fun – here are 10 freebie graphics for this type of things, and if you like them I have 190 more!

I wish you could add/edit things on the fly, but not being able to do that makes me think about my lessons in advance and really consider what I want them to be able to do each step of the way. Whenever you start back, I wish you the best for the 2021-22 school year.  Vive la rentrée!

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