#edublogsclub – Giveaway

This one was tough, which is why it is weeks late being posted.  I couldn’t come up with one thing that would be interesting to give away besides ideas.

Here’s what I settled on…. a giveaway of an incredibly short activity I am going to do on Monday based on an video I happened upon while reading about the attack in Paris.  In fact, I didn’t even happen upon it, it just started playing in the background and I realized that it fit perfectly with the lesson working with the imparfait and continuing to work on the passé composé.  It’s basically a short listening activity.

I have no plans of an extensive discussion about the attack in Paris yesterday on the Champs-Elysées.  I have nothing to say.  I have no insights.  I know nothing more than what my college students can read themselves.  With the past attacks I acknowledged it and told the students exactly that.

For this, I am going to play the video once, then we will watch one or two more times the first 25 seconds and the students will listen for the phrases and mark if they hear them.  I’m probably going to point out his use of “on” and we may watch parts of TV5 JT for Monday, if after I watch it, it will be comprehensible enough for us to watch without me telling them everything it says.  I expect to spend no more than 20 minutes on this.

Le Parisien website with the video (It’s also in the speaker notes of the first slide)

Link to slides (because I do everything in Slides) -It will ask you to make a copy.



Time Saving Hacks with Google Form Quizzes

Google Forms is a quick and easy way to give an assessment, but it can be time consuming with all of the clicking necessary to make quizzes.  Here is a short video that will walk you through some time saving tips.  (Last week I actually wrote out a post with these directions, but decided on a video instead.)

You can view all of the Tech Bytes on YouTube.


#edublogsclub – The Pendulum

The first suggestion for ideas to write about for this post was:

Write a post about learning styles and your thoughts on the recent research suggesting they are an ineffective teaching/learning tool.

Confession time:  Do you know what I did for the first week of my very first week of being a French teacher?  The whole week we did learning styles!  Yep.  The whole week!!  In English. (GASP!)  We took a test.  We determined how we learned.  We made a portfolio folder and drew designs on it representing our learning styles.  I planned it.  I probably spent a week planning it!  I thought it was a great idea!  I was just out of student teaching.  I knew all about everything that was supposed to teach kids real good!


Well, lucky for me I figured out that that was not the best use of instructional time about two days in (about the time when a student said, “Are we going to do French anytime?”)  I never did that again.  And after that week, I got right into what I was supposed to be doing: talking some French.

I certainly don’t mean to sound like the surly old lady in the lunchroom who rolls her eyes at every new idea.  (I’m actually fairly confident I’m not her, as I’ve usually got new ideas every week for something.)  As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve realized that I’m less about trying every “new” idea I come across that seems great and more about making sure that my core center of teaching is strong and student centered.  I try more and more to avoid jumping from one new idea to the next, but rather to fold the new ideas into my teaching practice so that if you look at my teaching career it looks more like a rainbow.  The changes are subtle up close, but step back and there are some significant differences.

In the end the pendulum may swing, but the core practices are always at the center.

5 Ways to Use Google Q and A

I love using Google’s Q and A feature to get students talking.  In a 1-1 classroom it’s an efficient way to ask a question and elicit a response from the entire class; or rather from each student.  Here’s five ways you can use Google Slides.

Last week we were working on questions.  Students wrote questions about a story I had told and then I asked them to choose two to input into Slide Q & A.  When they were writing I told them not to worry about whether they could answer the questions (in French), so when they wrote their questions into Q & A, I had them “like” the ones they could answer.  I instantly knew which ones I could expect an answer for and which ones I couldn’t and then we answered the ones that were answerable.  Here is a sample (mistakes and all!)

student questions in French

The best part about Q & A is that it doesn’t have to be just for questions!  In fact, the first time I saw it I thought, “Questions? What?  I’m going to have them write responses!”


list of ways to use q and a

Learn how to start Slides Q and A here.