Bingo with Classroom Objects

Who doesn’t love a good game of Bingo?

I created an interactive slide deck for Bingo with the classroom objects.

NB: In the textbook a bicycle and car are listed in the classroom objects section.  Who am I to judge?  There’s also an mp3 player and a CD player.  I just make fun of those.  I also purposely chose the old cell phone image because that’s what’s in the book and we laugh about that.

NBB: On Wednesday, my college class created this list of supplies needed for French class and then math class.  Look at the first thing they said for math class.

Xanax!  I almost fell over laughing.  They said math class is really stressful, so it’s helpful.

I digress.

My bingo game is meant for student to drag nine objects of their choice onto the grid and then I will describe the object.  So for pencil I might say, “You guys think it is necessary for math class, but it’s not Xanax and it’s not a calculator.”  Then they’ll place a yellow dot on the object if they have it.  If they get Bingo they’ll tell me what they had.   Then they can choose nine new objects and play all over again.  If we have time they’ll play in groups and take turns being the one to call out the objects by describing them.  There won’t be time for this.  This is the type of thing there is never time for in college class.  (The memory game is in French, but if you watch the workflow below you’ll see how to change it to your language!)

In the slide deck is also two version of Memory.  Let’s not kid ourselves that memory produces extraordinary language or is anything other than well, a memory game, but it’s fun sometimes.  It could be a finish early activity.  Students move the box on top of the grid to find the matches.

Click on the image to make a copy of the Bingo.

I’m always asked how to edit the master slide and make these types of activities so I made a workflow in case it’s helpful for you.

Higher Level Thinking with Novices

When I was doing my student teaching (in English) our methods teacher said something like, “The complexity of your language is a reflection of your complexity of thought.”  While I can get behind this statement for a native language, this isn’t true for a second language.  I mean, I’m entirely capable of complex thought, but I certainly can’t express that in Spanish.  Depending on the topic I may be able to express a complex-ish thought in French.  And on any one day, I may or may not find complex thought expression in English a stretch.

This makes it easy to say oh, those novices, they can’t do any critical thinking.

Not True – Beyond DOK 1

Here is a simple activity, that I did not invent that asks students to think critically with very little language.  Let me start out with that in the first hours of French, I tell this completely ridiculous story about a crab who has its heart broken by a chain smoking rabbit and who is ultimately consoled by a snail.  It’s riveting.

This activity is actually what I think of as disguised input.  (I suppose some people would argue that the best comprehensible input is disguised, but for me it means that this is not an input activity per se.)  This activity is meant to give students the opportunity to hear the words chien, chat, lapin  several times in a meaningful context and it asks students to think critically without producing a lot of language.  They need to say impossible, possible, probable (with the French pronunciation-ish).

I put up the slide and then ask in the TL, “Rabbits eat carrots? Yes, that’s pretty logical.”  “Dogs eat hamburgers?” You’d be surprised by the answer to that one. “Dogs eat cats?! What?! Dogs eat cats! Nooooooooon.”   “Dogs speak French.”  “Snails eat lettuce.”

You get the idea.  We go through many, many possibilities.  You’ll notice that the second row is all cognates except fleur, which is like a half cognate.

Enter Google Forms

This year I’m taking this activity to the next level with a Google Form.  I asked students to read the statements and then answer and some of the statements were different than the ones I said outloud.  And then you know what we did?  We practiced numbers by talking about percentages of people who think it’s probable that dogs eat cats, etc.  Because there is never not a good time to use numbers in context.

I didn’t do this next step because we didn’t have time, but to extend the activity I could ask students to make their own sentences that (im)possible or probable.  Or I could ask them to move sentences and categorize them.

And then…

I make enough work for myself, so I love when I can re-use things I’ve already built.  The next activity involves the students using aime/adore/n’aime pas/déteste with the same slide.  Additionally, we re-tell the whole story by using aime/adore/n’aime pas déteste.  This year I added in parce que for the students and they made amazing sentences for such limited hours of French.

I’m not suggesting that my silly story and activity will leave students enlightened, but it does allow for them to think critically and respond to a complex question with simple language.

 

Quickly Make a Quizlet Diagram

Work smarter not harder

Quizlet has a feature that they call “diagram.”  It’s pretty darn cool.  You upload a photo and then place dots on it and student identify the dots.  The implications for language learners to practice identifying vocabulary are clear.  Here I am using it not so much as a “diagram,” but as practice for vocabulary for a story.  But I am also going to use my diagram for a speaking activity and possibly some Bingo because who doesn’t love a game of Bingo?

I’ve got enough stuff to do besides giving myself more work, so here’s a “hack” you can use to make it go faster.

For this hack, I’m assuming that you are also teaching this vocabulary somewhere and that this likely involves a slide deck or Powerpoint.  I like when I can reuse something multiple times in multiple ways because it feels like time well spent making whatever I needed to make.  Did you know you can download individual slides as a jpg?  That you can then load into Quizlet saving you hours of time?  You can!

Make a slide

We’re going to import lots of images using the Explore tool and I like everything nice and neat so I first made a table.  The pictures won’t actually go in the table, but it will keep them nice and neat.  Choose the number of rows and columns.

Use the Explore Tool

If you are not already using the Explore Tool in Google Slides to find your images you are doing too much work.  Click on Tools>Explore Tool and search for what you need.  Click on “Images” to get a wonderful selection.  The search button isn’t like regular Google search so if you want a cartoon search something like: writing cartoon, or writing png.  That will help narrow it down to cartoons.  Click the plus sign to insert into your slide. Repeat.

Bonus:  My slide is actually a speaking activity to be done with partners.  I’ll show you what I did in my workflow.

Download Your Slide and Upload to Quizlet

You need a file for your Quizlet, so click on File>Download and choose .jpg.  Then upload that to Quizlet and add your dots et voilà, you’ve quickly made a diagram out of another activity.  #multitasking

 

Last week I published a workflow of my slides and it seemed well received.  (Nobody threw virtual tomatoes, anyways.)  So here’s another which shows how I also made this into a speaking activity.

Link to the Interactive Slide itself.

 

Turning 17 seconds into 15 minutes

Using Video for Input

A couple of weeks ago I happened across some absolutely adorable videos on YouTube that I wanted to use with my Novice Lows because the videos all started with a short introduction.  Video can be a powerful tool in the language classroom for communication.  Alternately, it can easily become background noise for students if it isn’t made comprehensible.   I used the video option in Google Slides to add video directly to my slide deck and the video options allowed me to maximize the languages and images for my class. Here, the tools I used to turn 17 seconds into 15 minutes of awesome.

(Google Slides has wildly simple and effective videos options that can be used for a whole class activity as long as the teacher has access to YouTube.  If students have access to YouTube you can also use these tools for video that students would interact with on their own.)

Find a video…

You can search directly in Google Slides for a video, but that is #nofun so I suggest finding the video in YouTube and then copy and pasting that video into the Insert video box.  Click on the video and then Select.  The video will automatically be inserted into your slide.

 

And know what you want to do with it.

Why are we watching this video?  How will students’ language be different after watching this video?  What’s the point? 

I thought about putting this first, but I think with the YouTube rabbit hole sometimes you know you want a video for a vague reason and then when you find the right video your mind goes crazy with ideas for using it.  Let’s say they should happen concurrently.  Here I’m using a bunch of videos from “Détecteur de mensonges” as input and interpretive listening for the second and third hour of French class.  I want students to listen to what these peoples names are and we are also going to talk about them using the (limited) vocabulary they have at the end of three hours and to introduce some new vocabulary (man, old, young).  The first 20ish seconds of these videos will be comprehensible.  The rest will be noise, so I am going to crop them out.

Set the start/stop time

Google Slides video options allow you to set the time the videos run.  First insert the video into your slide.

Next, select the video and choose video options and set the time you want the video to start and stop.   In this example I am only using the first 17 seconds.

Faux-Cropping

You can faux-crop any video using the start/stop time option. Found a 4 min video where you don’t want to show the middle 2 minutes?  No problem!  Make a slide and import the video.  Set the run time for 0:00 to 1:00.  Copy that slide and in the copy set the run time for 3:00-4:00.  Voilà!  Video crop done.  When you present your slide deck and click from one slide to the next the video will automatically start after the crop.

Mute Video

In my lesson after the students watched the video several times and after we talked about the “characters”, they “role-played” the conversation themselves.  One person played the role of the little girl and the other the détective.  I wanted them to do this in time with the video because that seemed more fun than just role-playing on their own.  I used the same 17 seconds of the video and muted the sound.

The “Mini” Lesson

My lesson involved several slides (because I do everything in slides.) I didn’t just start off with the video.  First, I used screenshots of the “characters” to talk about them using the limited vocabulary of the students.  I introduced the new words: mignonne, jeune, homme and we talked about the characters using that.

I added three guiding questions for the students as they were watching the video.  Giving the questions helps students focus on what they should be listening for in the video.  We’d been practicing this all class.

Next, I used a slide of all of the “characters” to ask questions about them.  This was at the end of the second hour of French, so the questions were pretty simple.  

For me, this is what I think of as “disguised” input.  We had talked over and over about il s’appelle, elle s’appelle and I wanted them to hear that again in a different context and not about us.

The whole thing took about 15 minutes from beginning to end.

Resources

You can click here to access the slides I used.  Someone asked me over the summer about how I do all of the stuff I do, so for this lesson I made a “workflow.”  Literally, I just recorded myself making it and it includes the rational and shows the tools I used.  I hope it’s useful.

 

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.

 

Starting Google Q and A

Slides Q and A is an efficient way to elicit student responses.  This embedded video shows you how to start a Slide Q & A session.

 

Adding Images in Google Slides

Quick introduction to adding images in Google Slides

You can view all of the Tech Bytes on YouTube.

 

More Video in Google Slides

Google Slides is doing such a good job of wooing me right now.

On Monday I posted about being able to add videos straight from your Drive.  I was so excited I didn’t even notice that if you click once it brings up a “video options” sidebar where you can:

  1. Start and stop a video at certain points.
  2. Autoplay
  3. Mute the audio.  (MovieTalk anyone?)

Video Options

Adding Video in Google Slides

Google announced a new feature and I am ecstatic.  You now can add videos directly from your Google Drive!  They don’t have to be on YouTube!!! (If you’re on a school Google account, this feature may not be available just yet depending on how your administrator has set up for rolling out new features.  Just give it a week or two.  You’ll know because when you click on Insert>Video there will be a choice that says Google Drive.)

This means we can add listening or speaking activities to our Google Slides via videos!!

  1.  Create a video using a device.  This might be easiest on a phone, but you can use any device. (I did the example on my phone.  I covered up the camera, but you can also just point to a nice picture.)
  2. Upload this to your Google Drive.  (You’ll need the Google Drive app on your phone.)  Make sure you set the permissions to anyone with the link can view – not sure if this will automatically fix itself if you share in Google Classroom, but why take a chance.
  3. Create your slide and insert it.

Why?

Why would we want to do this?  Endless awesome reasons.

  1.  Differentiation- Give students different slightly different directions or a slightly different task.  Give a baseline version and a challenge version.  Example for clothes- have a #authres of some clothes choices.  In different videos ask them what they would wear to a party, to the beach, for a wedding.  Or describe what someone has chosen to wear to one of those places and ask the students if it was an appropriate choice and to explain.  Or give them a different amount to spend and have them say what they would buy.  They can write their answers or discuss.
  2. Choice- Students love choices for tasks.
  3. Working with a story?  Put some images and then tell different stories and have students move the images around to match what you’re saying.  Or change the story slightly and have them react.
  4. I can’t stop thinking of ways this can be used!

In this example I added a video to a third slide of my prepositions Interactive Slides.

Video and Slides

 

 

Fake Facebook Interactive Slide

I’m working on a workshop on reading strategies and thought I’d share my “Facebook” Google Slides page.  It’s in French.  Since I’m not on Facebook, I did a web search for what the French terms were. It’s two “pages” and the yellow boxes were meant to be where the students fill in.

How can you use this?  The ideas are limitless!  I use it for an assessment to talk about themselves and their friends.  If you’re reading a book or watching a movie you can have the students fill in for a character and his/her friends.  Imagine Gatsby’s Facebook page!

Fake Facebook page using Google Slides (You’ll be prompted to make a copy.)

"Facebook" Google slide

"Facebook" page