So... school ended and Christmas is done, and finally, we, teachers have a little time to reflect on what just happened... between September and this hiatus between Christmas and New Year.
It is a strange year we are having, and after the chaos of getting to grips with online teaching in last year's Spring term, my school worked hard to allow us to stay, all but one day, in person. That one day was to give us enough time to get our post-Thanksgiving Covid test results. I am very fortunate that I work at a school that has the means and the willingness to keep us safe; that the kids comply with the Covid measures and that my teachers-colleagues understand the importance of being there for each other not just 'there' but also mindfully there.
That said... All this time in school and with the kids has made it more difficult to create new resources time is pretty tight between helping colleagues with coverage and co-teaching (with a zoom only teacher) which is new and so rewarding, but oh so time-consuming, there is only time to get creative on one level for me this year...
If you read the posts from the start of this blog, you will see that a lot of the material that I had created pre -Covid were handheld, printed sometimes even laminated ( luxurious, I know). Now I don't want kids to share anything... we work hard enough to have 6 ft between all of them and all that. So what can I do? This summer I started researching, ( big fan of YouTubing stuff here, and for genially it was great I could do some Spanish listening and at the same time get tech PD), I joined a group for WL teachers tech on Facebook and some teachers were posting these really cool games and I felt maybe that would be the way to go and to adapt some of my favorites online. It takes time to create engaging materials as it is, and to adapt them online also, but here are some examples of what genially offered me to keep students, socially distant and either work independently on multi-activity boards or to work as a group and play a board game together and recreate the group closeness a board game would foster.
1. The Interactive picture. My Spanish students learnt about dia de los muertos by clicking on the various objects- You can animate and add other objects to a picture and add links to several pages with different activities. In this activity students were tablet o work on listening, reading, and vocabulary in an independent lesson that still worked for students who were working remotely.
2. Presentations example:
Dobble (French and Spanish)
I painstakingly created Dobble/Spot it games for my topic-specific classes and with Genially students are able to play as a class through this presentation.
3. Board games
Full disclosure you need the premium version to do those but here is the trick if you simply google search Genially + whatever board gave you are looking for on grammar, for example, there is a good chance you will find something that works for you or at least some inspiration. This game on the template Jumanlly is about stem-changing verb sin Spanish. The class got divided into 4 groups and the kids got really excited playing this on the smartboard. I think with a bigger room, those who have a good set up can probably have the kids playing on one computer amongst 4 students and play the game that way too. Jumanlly Stem changing verbs
4. Break out rooms.
While I will be totally honest and I am not the most creative with those. Genially has great ready-made templates and I have also found some great teacher made templates that can be reused ( yes there is such a thing as creating a copy and editing it as you own. Of course, always credit the people who created the template!)
So here is a link to my Halloween themes Season, months, and dates topic related breakout. (French)
So, while I may not have been as productive as I once was in this first half of the school year (sound like a self-report card 😂), I tried to find a way to continue inspiring and engaging my students given the current conditions.
I hope you get some inspiration and look up the wonders and breadth of Genially.
If you read the post on tic tac toe, I have also managed to make this interactive for the kids to play in class recently and that was a hit.
So here is to the end of 2020, hopefully, better days to come more freedom, and hopefully back to traveling too.
I wish you all that took the time to read this post a very happy new year and a wonderful holiday season!