Posted in Technology

First VedChat tomorrow night!


Many people participate in Twitter chats.  It is the main reason that I joined Twitter in 2012!  (Whoa- I cannot believe it has been 5 years!)  However, they can be somewhat limiting as tweets are flying fast, and you cannot tell the tone or expression of people.  What would make that better?  A video (and Flipgrid!)

One of my fellow EdCampMetroDC friends Matt Frattali had the genius idea for VedChat.  Each question has a different board in Flipgrid.  You check out the video intro on each board then record your answer in a “flip.” (Stole Matt’s name!)  You can practice recording your flip by recording an intro here.  If you are new to Flipgrid, you hit the green plus button and record a quick video.  Then you have to take a picture and type in your name.  That’s it!  Done!  You don’t need an account or even have to put in an email.  (You don’t even need Twitter or worry about including a hashtag!)  Then, you can record responses to other people and interact with them.

You can sign in to record an intro NOW, but the fun will start Tuesday night (tomorrow!) at 9 pm.  The theme is storytelling- and as one of the question recorders, I can promise that there are some thought-provoking questions.  I cannot wait to go beyond Twitter to #vedchat!

Posted in Technology

Triventy: A collaborative online game


As much as I love Kahoot and Quizizz, they are not collaborative.  Triventy is a multiple choice quiz, but students can add questions on their own.  It is very easy to do and add questions.  In order to create a quiz, you can create an account.  Then you click on the green “create a quiz” button:


After this, you can invite others to participate.  You can type a name then click on the yellow button that says “invite others to add questions.”  This box pops up:Triventy 2

After you click on “invite” this box pops up:

Triventy 3

I used the link for my students.  You could also incorporate it into Google Classroom or on Facebook or email.  When students add questions this pops up:

Triventy 4

My students were able to figure out how to add questions without any explicit instruction from me.  They all seemed to figure it out easily.  I like that they can click on “survey question” to see what others would pick instead of awarding points.  Also, I can edit any question before they play it.  Then you can click on play game!  Just like the other games, it generates a code for students to join.  However, you cannot kick inappropriate nicknames out!  I will say that the game itself isn’t as “flashy” as Kahoot or Quizizz, but it was awesome to get each student’s question up there.  The students were also really invested in seeing their questions.  This could be great for an interpretive task or as a survey!  At the end, my results were emailed to me.  Have you tried Triventy in the FL class?

Posted in Technology

Adobe Spark Video Tutorial

Adobe Spark Video Tutorial

Obviously I love Adobe Spark.  Almost all of my graphics are made as posts in Adobe Spark (including the one that you see above).  Next year, I am excited to teach Spanish V.  Since we have a lot of different electives and choices, we were asked to make a video to explain our classes.  I reached out on Twitter, and a lot of people helped me formulate an idea.  Here is my finished video using Adobe Spark!  This video probably took me 30-45 minutes to put together including the edits and suggestions from others.

If you would like to make your own video, I put together this tutorial to explain how to put one together.  Also, even if you do not want to create a video, I discovered this website which has free music to use for videos!  I searched “Spanish” and came up with a ton of music to use and download.

If you are looking for ideas to use for videos, I published a list here.  Also, I came up with a new activity for my blended students that I am excited to use.  I started a story with two sentences in a Google Doc.  Each student has to add on two to three sentences to form a story.  Then after they create the story, they have to illustrate it using Adobe Spark video!


Posted in Technology

Quick Tip: Quizlet Learn!

Quick Tip: Quizlet Learn

Stacey (our tech specialist) shared the new development by Quizlet- Quizlet Learn.  This video introduces it.  Essentially, students can sign up for the date that they have a quiz in Quizlet Learn.  The program will tailor questions for them getting easier or more difficult as it progresses.  It will also send students reminders and encouragement at different checkpoints.  This feature will help students have a study plan leading up to the quiz.

Once students are signed into Quizlet, they find a study set and click on learn:Quizlet Learn.PNG

Then they click on the button which has the lines and circles in the upper right hand corner: Quizlet Learn 2

This pops up with settings, and they can scroll down to set their due date:Quizlet Learn 3

Then students can study and they will get messages about their progress:Quizlet Learn 4

I am pretty excited about this feature!  The only downside is that this is only available for iOS now.  Quizlet says that they will roll out a version for Android and desktop soon!  I know that I have many students who love Quizlet not just for Spanish but for all of their classes.  Hope you check it out and share this with your students!


Posted in Authentic resources, Technology

Webquest: Furniture shopping!

Webquest: Furniture Shopping

I love to shop!  When I studied abroad, I loved to wander around stores and supermarkets.  It was so interesting to see what each store had.  Since we don’t have time to pop over to Argentina and wander around stores, webquests are one of my favorite things.  When students navigate a website, they see that sometimes certain countries use different words then what we learn.  We always have a conversation about price.  In addition, websites have so many pictures that support comprehension.

I found this website for the store Falabella in Argentina.  I used this for furniture, but you could use it for clothes, sporting goods, beauty etc.  I created these questions about the website for my students.  We are going to discuss a few things about them tomorrow like what items they wanted to add to their house specifically.  However, with this website you could find so many ideas for other units!

  • You could also give each student a room to decorate and a budget then have them pick out designs for the room.
  • You could have students come up with outfits from the website.  You could even review clothes when you talk about sports because they have a huge list of athletic clothes.
  • They also have a link with job descriptions.  This would be perfect for upper levels.
  • Students could compare the technology that we have with the technology from this store.  What is similar and different?
  • If students look at their Facebook page, they can see some back to school promotions (and discuss why they are going “back to school” now).
  • Too much reading?  Check out their YouTube page for videos on gift ideas, fashion tips and commercials.
Posted in Technology

Seesaw: Initial steps and moving beyond journaling

Seesaw: Initial Steps

Last year, I implemented Seesaw in all my classes.  I traditionally used it for a writing journal and an occasional voice link.  As I play around more in Seesaw this year, I found myself using it more and more.  I also have students who really like to take pictures with it for their journal entries.  Even if the assignment doesn’t require it, I do enjoy the little snapshots of our class.

Yesterday, I presented to my department.  I created a tutorial on how to sign up.  This is a basic explanation with screenshots that describes how to sign up.  In my email, I also detailed how I used it in class.  Here is how I have used it:

1.  Do all of their writing in it!  They can write presentational pieces or interpersonal writing in the comments.  This can be done as an in-class assignment or as homework.
2.  Take a picture and label it with the target language.
3.  Take a video in the target language.
4.  As the teacher, leave a voice comment for a student and have students speak back!
5.  Have students take a screenshot of their work and reflect on it.  (I have even had students take screenshots of their Seesaw work to comment on it- see the pictures below.)
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 9.27.03 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-18 at 9.27.24 AM.png
6.  They can also snap a picture of their notes from class and talk about them.
7.  After talking about the music video, I had students recreate the story in four scenes.  They put the pictures into PicCollage, so they did not have to upload them individually in Seesaw.  Then, they wrote a caption for their pictures in Spanish.  Here are a few results:
seesaw app smashing.pngseesaw app smashing 2.png
8.  Finally, recently I have seen these awesome #booksnaps on Twitter.  In Book Snaps, you take a snap of your favorite page, add a caption and also maybe some cool stickers or drawings.  This year, I have been struggling with how to keep FVR low key to benefit students and how to hold them somewhat accountable, so they aren’t just staring at the page.  Today, I asked them to just find their favorite part.  These are some of my favorite #booksnaps!  My students did this on Snapchat and uploaded it to Seesaw, but you could have students do this right in Seesaw, too!
Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 2.30.16 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-25 at 2.29.59 PM.png
Posted in Quick Tip, Reading, Technology

Quick Tip: Print Friendly

Quick Tip: Print Friendly

Sometimes I feel like even though I am “techy” and can figure things out, there are so many things that I do not know!  Last year, when I would print out an article from a webpage, it would take up 5 pages and would be filled with white space and pictures.  Then a colleague used Print Friendly!  It will turn a webpage into a PDF.  To start, you put the url into the page.  Then your mouse will highlight each section, and you can click on it to delete it.  Finally, you can convert it to a PDF.   This is perfect for authentic resources because it minimizes all of the mess!  I used it on my exam with this ficha from Shakira.  I deleted her Twitter and Facebook account information because it wasn’t necessary.  It looked so much clearer than the original which will make it easier for my students to read.  It was also done very quickly.

Posted in Technology

New Technology Updates

New Technology Updates

I always get really excited when some of my favorite technology makes updates!  I wanted to share these with you if you use the following websites.

Almost all of my students love Kahoot!  In fact, I ran into one of my students at Target with his friends from a different school, and he requested that we play more Kahoot!  Here are a few updates that they have made this fall:

  1. You can award additional points when students are on streaks.  This is great because it keeps students who don’t always win engaged, so they don’t break their “streak!”  To turn this on, you turn on the option after you click “Play” on the game screen.Kahoot Answer Streak.png
  2. In addition, you can turn on Podium, so the top three players are displayed at the end of the game.  This is on the same screen, but it is located at the bottom of the page:Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 12.31.48 PM.pngOnce you turn these features on, they stay on throughout your other games.
  3. Finally, a new Kahoot game is coming called Jumble!  Instead of selecting the correct option, you put the pieces in the correct order.  You can try it out on the website.  I loved it!  One of the aspects that I really liked was that if I got the answer incorrect, it prompted me to try again.  I could keep going until I got the answer correct.  This would be perfect after telling a story to have students put the events in the correct order.

As I have blogged before, I really like using Voicethread for speaking practice.  One of my reasons is because students can call on their phones to record their answers.  They have a lot of new features as well:

  1. Students can add their own slides without being a collaborator.  At the bottom of the page, there is a button with two squares.Voicethread Add Slide.pngThen this slide pops up and they click on the plus:Voicethread 2.pngThey can record an audio, upload files and record a video.
  2. I have used Voicethread as an assessment.  Now you can search for commenters by clicking on the magnifying glass at the bottom:              Voicethread III.png
  3. Finally, you can add videos to comment on via YouTube!

Check out these new updates, and let me know how you use the following programs!

Posted in No Prep Required, Technology

Ideas for a low key class


This time of the year, it seems like we have a lot of special schedules.  The other day, half of my students had just taken the PSAT all morning.  We also had a Homecoming Pep Rally recently as well as our version of the Olympic games.  I wanted to have something that was productive and meaningful for students, but something that they could complete simply.  Here are a few of my ideas when students need a bit of a break:

  • Drawing: I had students draw a picture that was described in a Spanish paragraph.  It demonstrates comprehension without requiring a written response.  You could also have students make a comic strip live or online.
  • Kahoot, Quizizz or Quizlet Live: These are some of my favorite games as well as my students’ favorite games.  They are also easy to set up.
  • Señor Wooly nuggets:  These nuggets ranked on some of my blended students’ favorite activities.
  • Playdoh: I haven’t used it as much as I would like from the beginning of the year, but this was a favorite activity of my Spanish 3 students during my student teaching.  They felt like they were learning something yet it was relaxed.  You could also have them create a scene from the story with Play doh.
  • Café y conversación:  I would love to plan this for the first two hour snow delay!
  • Also if students won’t talk in person, they could have a discussion on Today’sMeet!
  • Tongue twisters!  My students are always up for a quick tongue twister at the beginning or end of class.
  • Crayon War: Even my older kids who are too cool for games love this one.

Share some of your favorite low key lesson ideas in the comments, and I will add them to the list!