Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kahoot Trivia Game

If you have never heard of Kahoot, I strongly encourage you to read this blog post.  Why?  Because Kahoot is AWESOME.

If you have ever played trivia in a bar, it is the same concept, except YOU get to write the questions and your students get to answer.

To start, you must go to  and sign up for a free account.  Then you are ready to get started.  First you must create a quiz.  Then, you write questions which can be text, photos, or both (they also have a beta version going with videos, but I haven't tried it yet).  You then write the four different options of answers and indicate which is the right answer.  Keep clicking add question until you are finished, then click save and continue.

Once the quiz is done, you can launch it, projecting your computer image onto the screen.  Your students will go to and enter the 4-5 digit pin code for said game and then enter their names.  As they enter, you will see their names pop up at the front of the room.  Once everyone is in, you launch the game.

As the questions pop up, students must choose the correct answer from their own device.  The faster they answer (correctly), the more points they get.  If they answer wrong, then no points.  Between each question, you will see a leaderboard on the main screen.

My students LOVE Kahoot.  The fun thing about it, too, is that you can do the same one more than once because it only further reinforces their remembering of certain facts.  I know I'm a foreign language teacher, but really, any subject could do this.

Check it out! I promise your kids will be begging for more.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Conjugation Pasting

My French 1s are currently in the throes of learning ER conjugations, and they were having a hard time understanding the connection between things like "parler", "tu" and "parles" for example.  I wanted them to see it as a whole picture rather than just copying and pasting more verb charts, so I came up with an idea that I think would work well for a LOT of different verbs (especially those four main verbs).

What I did was write 6 different infinitives on the board and put each of the six subject pronouns underneath.  Then, I had the class help me define the infinitives.  Next, I cut out different conjugations of all of the verbs and gave one or two to each student.  Then, they had to tape their conjugation to the right spot.

This activity, while simple, worked SUPER well.  They definitely started to see how everything worked together with the infinitives and the different endings based on the subject.  Give it a shot sometime!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I am not a number.

4: the number of years I have been teaching
120: the number of students I teach on a daily basis
50: the number of my students who got an A first quarter
25,000: the number of dollars I am in debt from my education
15: the average number of hours per week I spend doing school work outside of contracted hours
5: the number of classes I teach in a day
3: the number of levels of French that I teach
94: the number of minutes per day I am paid to prepare for the aforementioned classes
25: the number of hours I have spent doing paperwork for the most recent educator program/evaluation system since the beginning of school

In reading the above numbers, what does it tell you about me?  Can you determine how good of a teacher I am?  Am I effective?  Do I care?  Am I energetic or burnt out?  Am I optimistic or pessimistic?  Do my students know how to use the target language?

The makers of state and national policies and programs seem to think that numbers like that along with other numbers (like test scores, student evaluations, and student achievement) are what dictate my worth as an educator.

They are wrong.

For anyone who is familiar, Wisconsin (my home state) has adopted a new system.  It is called Educator Effectiveness.  In a nutshell, you are evaluated 50/50 on two things: student achievement and professional practice.  To prove student achievement, you must write a Student Learning Objective (SLO).  You do so by giving your students a pre-test, analyzing the results, and then deciding where you want your kids to be by spring based on said pre-test.  If your students do not reach your goal for whatever reason, you lose points.

The other half, as mentioned, is the professional practice.  You must go through the six standards of an effective educator, each of which has about 8-10 sub categories and rate yourself as a strength or a weakness in each category (so we are talking roughly 50-60 statements are made and you have to say whether it is a strength or weakness of yours).  Then, you must write a short reflection on each standard.  Then, you must write a professional practice goal.

Sounds simple right?  Not so much.  The above stuff is only if it is NOT your rotation year (each teacher goes every three years.. some are this year, some are next, and some are the following).  If it's your rotation year, you ALSO must upload artifacts and proof that you are meeting the aforementioned six standards.

You also must survey your students regardless of your year.  They recommend asking your students to rate you on things like how inclusive you are, how enthusiastic you are, how sensitive you are to their issues, etc.  I've given surveys like that before.  Asking a student to rate you from 1-5 on any number of topics will not illicit a constructive response.  By the end they are just checking boxes to be done.  A few years ago I started doing a simple survey about three times per year and asked only four questions.

     1. What kinds of activities do you like/help you?
     2. What kinds of activities do you not like/don't help you
     3. What does Madame do that you like/helps you (teaching style)?
     4. What does Madame do that you don't like/doesn't help you (teaching style)?

It's AMAZING the responses I get from these kids.  They are thoughtful, constructive, and everything you'd want a survey to be.  Imagine my frustration when I was told that a survey I've been using (and improving my teaching styles with) for three years now isn't good enough because I can't report any sort of numerical data to the people who likely aren't even going to take the time to read it.

The time this program takes is astounding and exhausting.  And I know we are not the only state to have programs like this.  We already are spread very thin with things like IEP meetings, parent contacts, extra duties and more.  Why add another program that takes an average of 2 hours out of my week to make me a "better teacher"?

Taking a teacher away from his or her classroom/prep time does NOT make them a better teacher.  It makes them rush through thing preparations because they don't have time.  It makes them not take the time to stop and reflect on a poor lesson because they have to submit their SLO by the end of the week, so they better work on that instead.  Time is GOLD for a teacher and by filling up a teacher's time with tedious tasks you are only making them worse, even if it's designed to make them better.

I read a story the other day about a teacher from Long Island who received a very poor evaluation score because her students did not show much improvement.  Why, do you ask?  Because they already score so high.  BECAUSE OF HER TEACHING.  How does that make even sense?  She is now suing for reform.

When you think back to the teacher who really made a difference in your life, chances are you think of the teacher who reached out to you when nobody else could.  The teacher who gave you a hands on lesson rather than just lecture you.  The teacher who brought in that electrically charged ball, made you hold hands with your classmates, and then touched the ball to show static electricity.  The teacher who summed up a unit on French cuisine by organizing a day for you to cook authentic dishes and taste them.  Those are the teachers you remember.  Not the ones that gave you test after test, maybe not even the ones you got the best grades with.

It's when a teacher CARES that he/she makes a different.  When he/she is PASSIONATE about his/her subject area and wants to IGNITE that passion in students.  It's the teachers who stay after school to HELP you understand that new concept and then CHEER with you when the lightbulb finally goes off for you.

How can you measure caring, passion, ignition, help or cheering with numbers?  It's simple.  You can't.

So instead, how about we trust teachers to do their job.  Trust teachers to effectively evaluate not only student progress but their own.  Good teachers do all the things a program like Educator Effectiveness entails anyway.  I am not a number.  So please stop treating me like one.

Taken from

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Using Cups for Preposition Practice

A topic I just completed with my French 2s was a topic regarding location prepositions: on, under, near, far from, etc.  I am a very hands on teacher and feel that being able to move and feel some of the actions can help students learn, so I do that whenever possible.  To prepare them for the exam, I would tell them where to put their pencil in relation to their notebooks.  "Mettez le crayon sous le cahier."  "Mettez le crayon devant le cahier".  It worked alright but things got messy when you tried to do "in" and the notebooks were just plain awkward.  Not to mention some students don't have notebooks (by choice.. I don't get it... but hey that's another story).

My next idea was to have them make a small cube out of paper by folding and gluing flaps.  So I set aside 10 minutes one day for them to make a cube (and keep the top open) to do this exercise.  Well.. 30 minutes later... the cubes weren't even finished yet.  Not to mention.. where do you store 15 cubes that are 3x3x3?

Then it hit me.  Cups!  They store easily, still have an inside/outside and everything in between.  All you have to do is go to the store and pay a few dollars and these cups can be used for years to come.  If you get the sturdy red plastic cups, you can easily store them for years and years and bring them out whenever you do this unit.  It's also nice to have them on hand in case you have a few minutes at the end of class with time to kill.  All you have to do is whip them out and review location prepositions.  Cleanup is a breeze as well and they are much sturdier than paper cubes.

And because it's that kind of day, here's a little bit of cup happiness for your Tuesday morning.  Bonus points if you know what awesome TV show this photo comes from :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bundle Sale!

I've decided to throw a bundle sale in my TPT store through the end of the month!

All big bundles are now $9.99!  AND!  If you purchase two bundles from me, leave me one piece of feedback and fill out THIS FORM (click), you will be given free lifetime access to my shared Google Drive!  Everything I have ever made, shared, used, etc is in this drive which is organized by topic and/or book level and chapter.  I'm talking hundreds of easy to find and searchable files.  And it updates as I make things because it syncs to my computer.  Normally one needs to spend $25 in my store to take advantage of this offer, but I am throwing it in with my bundle sale. 

Just head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and click on "bundles" on the left hand column to see what bundles I have on sale.  Once your purchase is made and you leave me feedback, fill out the Google form and I will share the folder with you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Interactive Travel Assignment Idea

I discovered something awesome the other day, which then resulted in me spending about three hours playing around with it.  But the results are AWESOME and I feel like I must share.

If you didn't know this already, you can create custom Google Maps with your own locations.  This is an AWESOME way for students to go on a virtual tour of a city or even countries that speak a specific language.  You can also personalize it to have the information that you want them to know.

For starters, go to  You will want to click on create a new map.

The FIRST thing you should do is give your map a name so you can come back to it later if necessary.  The cool thing about this is Google usually autosaves your work every few seconds so you shouldn't lose anything.

Next you can create your "stops" either by searching an address or landmark in the search bar, or even just going to the spot and dropping a point.  The point will start out as green.

Then you need to click on it and select "add to map".  At that point, it will add it to your map as well as your list on the left-hand side.

To edit your point, click on it and then click the little pencil to edit it.  If you don't want to the google places link in it, then click "remove" in the gray box. In the edit box, you can change the title of your point, you can add text, and you can even add a photo by clicking on the little photo box.  Another idea is to add the link to the official webpage of said monument for students to look around.

Once your box is complete, make sure to click "Save", otherwise all of the information you put in will go away. Once the box is complete, it will show all of the information you want when someone clicks on the point.

You can do this for each and every location you wish to highlight.  You stick to one city and highlight landmarks, or you could even do capitals and countries that speak a specific language.

Once you finish each location, you can play around with the settings in the side bar to determine how you want your points to be labeled.  Different colors, letters, words... all are possibilities.

With my map, I chose to make a worksheet to accompany the activity to make sure the students actually go through it and get things out of it.  I start out by making them label which monument goes with which letter.  Then they must match the photo of the monument to the name and write down key facts.

To make sure your students get the map, you can click "share" in the upper right hand corner of the map and it gives you share settings.  You can copy the link or even send it directly to them if you have a list of their e-mail addresses.  You can also make a tinyurl for them to access it easily.

I love activities like this because it is much more fun to them than a random powerpoint slideshow or lecture.  It allows them to move at their own pace and even kind of feel like they are visiting the locations you want them to see.  It's much more affordable than the cost to actually go there.

Want a copy of my Paris Interactive Map Activity?  Click this link.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

One Positive Contact per Week: A Challenge

I came to the unfortunate realization last week that 99% of the times I initiate contact with a parent, it's because of something negative.

I generally try to be a positive person, so this kind of concerned me.

Because of this, I decided to make a challenge for myself: at least once per week, I will initiate contact with a parent for something positive.  My positive e-mail of this week was to a parent whose daughter generally does OK in my class, but averages about a low B to a C.  She failed her first test this year which took her class grade to a D+.  However, she decided to take the time to come in, get some help, do some extra work and then retake her test.  She did so well on the retake that her class grade from a D+ to a B.  How awesome!  I told her father about the improvement and he was very happy to hear about it.

So... I extend this challenge to you my readers.  Send a positive e-mail this week.  And another one next week.  Keep the ball rolling!  Parents will stop cringing every time a teacher e-mail comes in.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Importance of Context

Reading skills, along with listening, speaking and writing are important skills to have when learning a foreign language.  While reading an authentic text, many students freeze up when they come across a word they don't know.  Their first instinct is to jump into a dictionary or an online translator.  However, those tools are not always available, especially when taking an exam (AP prep anyone?).

An important skill ANY student needs (not just a foreign language student) is the ability to figure out word meaning based on context if a certain word is unknown.  The ability to use context will help students feel more confident when reading any text when resources may not be available.

One thing I stumbled across at a foreign language workshop was an AWESOME reading to practice this skill.  The reading has some excerpts from "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess.  It is in English but has random gibbersh words inserted into the story.  It is a great activity for giving students some skills and confidence in using context to figure out an unknown word.

What I did was type up the excerpt and underline all of the words that would be "unknown" and asked students to have discussions about each.  I asked them to infer everything they possibly can.  Is it a noun, verb, adjective, etc?  Is it a type of something?  Can we figure out what the actual word replaces?

After the discussion we discuss as a class.  We go word by word and talk about what we know about it and how we know it.

For example:

"My rooker trembled as I took out of my carman the little klootch I had for opening up."

We talk about the word "klootch" first and determine it is definitely a noun and likely the word "key" because we use it to open something up.  Then we talk about "carman" and determine it must be a pocket, purse or bag because that is where a key would be taken out of.  Finally we discuss "rooker" and guess it is a body part, likely a hand, because it is described as trembling.

Activities like this are very important to instilling confidence in students as they read through texts that may include words they don't know.  With this skill, students will succeed in situations where they may not have resources like dictionaries and translators.

Want a copy?  I have it for free in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Photo from


Monday, September 15, 2014

Using Your Smartboard as an "Entry Slip"

While many students need the full four or five minutes of passing time, many others do not.  Quite often, students will come into my class a solid two to three minutes before class and just sit there staring into space.

Rather than waste those extra few minutes I might have with some students, I will often project interactive games onto the smartboard.  My students know that when they see a game, they may play it.  

What is really fun about these games is that it creates a competitive edge among the students.  Can you beat the best score?  Can you improve on your last score?  

The games I project will always have something to do with what they are currently learning.  Vocabulary, grammar, verbs... you name it!

My two favorites are quizlet and classtools.

With quizlet, I create a set of flashcards.  Sometimes I will purposefully set them up to not just be translations, but sometimes of verb conjugations or even question/response type things.  I then set the quizlet set to the game of "scatter" and students can play it on the white board when they walk in.  This is also great because students can make their own sets on quizlet and play games even at home on their computers.

With classtools, you can create TONS of different interactive games.  My favorite is the dustbin game.  This game is great when you have categories of things.  Students must drag the terms into the correct "bin" (category).  This is also a timed race.

I noticed an exponential improvement on many topics when I put these games on the board at the beginning of the hour.  The competition drives students to remember the terms.  I also use this as something to do if there is a few minutes to kill at the end of an hour as well.

Check them out!

Quizlet Logo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Traveling Teacher's Survival Guide

Like many, I am a traveling teacher.  And let's just be honest.  It sucks.  Nothing is more annoying than having to be in multiple buildings and/or classrooms in one day.  However, I'm a firm believer that life is about as difficult as you decide it is, so I have come up with some pointers to try and make life a little easier when it comes to traveling.

1. Get a nice, big computer bag

Bonus points if it has wheels.  This is my bag.  It is technically a travel laptop bag, but I absolutely adore it.  The front small pocket I can use for all of my pens/pencils/tiny things.  The front big pocket is perfectly sized for my laptop.  The big pocket (which takes up a little over half the bag) is where EVERYTHING else goes.  All of my folders/papers that I need on any given day.  Stuff to be graded...stuff to be handed back... seating charts, lesson plan book, textbooks.  You name it, it's likely there.


As a teacher, regardless of how many locations you are at, it is important to be organized.  It is even more important as a traveling teacher.  I use my folder system to keep papers organized in each classroom as well as in my own personal bag.

3. Stay a day ahead schedule

One "luxury" I don't have is planning the next day the night before. While this isn't a smart thing to do anyway, it's impossible for me.  My "home base" school is the school I teach at the second half of the day.  I do most of my prep work there and keep about 90% of my resources and things there.  This means that I cannot leave school until my next day is planned in case I need to bring something with me to school one.  On the days I do forget something at school two, I need to run there in the morning before school starts which is about 15 minutes out of my way (round trip).

4. Find a spot that's YOURS

Part of being a traveling teacher also means you likely share a classroom with another teacher or two.  Be sure to designate a part of the room (even if it's just one bulletin board or spot on the wall) that holds the posters and decorations for your class.  Students will know where to look when looking for your resources rather than trying to find it in a sea of other random posters.  The same goes for the desk in the classroom.  Be sure to designate a few drawers that are just yours as well as drawers that are communal (anything that's in them is fair game).

5. Communicate

If you are in the predicament of sharing a room with other teachers, be sure to communicate with them.  Let them know which things of yours (that are always in the room) that you are willing to share.  Have a classroom set of markers that you want to only be used by your students? Let the other teacher(s) know.  Planning a fun party day and things might get a little messy?  Give the other teacher(s) a heads up.  They will appreciate it.  Forgot something in the room and don't want it getting lost/stolen/ruined?  Let that teacher know and ask if he/she can put it in a desk drawer for you.

Being a traveling teacher is a tough job.  But with the right "system" it can go very smoothly and not feel like a burden at all.

Have any other pointers?  Feel free to share them in the comments!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Using Memes to Illustrate Classroom Procedure

I discussed in a previous post the importance of waiting a day or two to do classroom procedures because students are often bored with hearing a different rendition of more or less the same rules several times in one day.  I also discussed the importance of making a good lasting first impression with your students.  Why not kill two birds with one stone and have fun with teaching about your classroom policies?  It is a surefire way to help students remember them.

I decided to generate a bunch of memes and make a PowerPoint of them.  I'm hoping it is a hit!  I find them very amusing (but then again I get amused very easily), so hopefully my students do as well.

Want a ready-to-go set for yourself?  I have them HERE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of School

Well, it is that time again.  Summer is winding down.  We are exchanging swimsuits for sweaters.  Fall is nearly here which always means the start of school.

They always say a first impression lasts forever, and that cannot be overstated when referencing the beginning of school either. 

Depending on what you teach, most (if not all) of your classes will consist of students you have never met before.  These students may or may not have heard about you already.  But it is crucial to establish a good rapport with your students because they will carry their first impression of you with them for the rest of the school year.  This impression will play a huge role in how they react to you throughout the year.

Most teachers spend the first day or two taking about rules, syllabi, etc.  I always save that for at least day two, if not later (not too much later.. we only have so much time, right?).  What a breath of fresh air it will be when they enter your classroom and DON'T have to go through another syllabus (similar to the past 5 classes of the day)!  I find that waiting until day two or later, two things are accomplished.  Firstly, you give them a break from the boring day of rules and whatnot.  Secondly, when you do go over your rules and syllabus, they are much more likely to absorb it, rather than just lumping it in with all of the other classes.

I use my first day to just get to know the students and have some fun.  They each get to pick their French name and then learn how to introduce themselves.  Then, they get to explore the classroom (I always do a scavenger hunt) to figure out how to use their resources around them.  For some of my upper level students, I have them write on a slip of paper what they did over the summer (passe compose of course!) and then I draw them from a hat and students must guess who did what. Homework that night for the French 1s is to come up with three questions they want to know about me.  The following day, we go through them (and play a game with them).  I find that telling the students everything they want to know about me not only shows them that I have more of an identity than just a teacher, but also opens them up to being willing to ask questions later.  As long as the question (or the response) is school appropriate, I tell them to ask me anything!

By lightening up those first few days, students are eased into your classroom setting and your first impression is generally a good one.  That impression can last you throughout the year to hopefully have a more successful year and for them to be more receptive of you as a teacher and your authority.

Photo from:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TPT Back to School Sale

It's back to school time!

Many Teachers Pay Teachers sellers (including myself!) are discounting their stores for this major TPT sale.  This sale runs from August 4th to 5th (this coming Monday and Tuesday).

My entire store is discounted by 20%, so be sure to go and purchase some back to school essentials!  You can also use discount code BTS14 for an additional 10% off any purchases (not just from me)!

As always, my offer of a FREE gift with a $25 purchase is still good.

Long story short:
Make a $25 purchase from my store and leave me feedback on at least ONE item (feedback makes me a better seller and product maker) and I will share access with you on my ENTIRE Google shared drive.  This means you will have access to every resource that has ever been shared with me as well as every resource I have ever made and ever will make.  You don't want to miss this deal!  I'm also very organized, so you can find all of the files you will need quite easily!

If you choose to take advantage of this offer, make sure to fill out THIS FORM so I know what e-mail address to share the folder with.

So head on down to TPT and stock up on all of those back to school essentials!  Now is the time to do it as the discounts are only good for 48 hours.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Youth Exchange

My father joined Rotary when I was in junior high.  For any of you who do not know what Rotary is, it is an international organization focused on basically making the world a better place.  One of their biggest programs is the Youth Exchange Program.  Because I was only 17 when I graduated high school, I really didn't feel ready to go to college.  Apparently, however, living in a foreign country for a year was a valid alternative.

That year was one of the best of my life.  Being able to LIVE the life of a French person for a year is an experience I would love to live again and again.  I went to school there, I lived with host families, I traveled, I ate TONS of brioche and nutella...

One of the Rotary mottos I learned during my experiences was, "If every 17 year old in the world went on exchange, there would be no more wars."  I believe this with my whole heart.  Going on exchange opened my eyes to a world I had no idea was out there.  Rather than just being a citizen of a tiny town in Wisconsin, I became a global citizen. 

As teachers, it is important that we help open doors for our students.  It's not just about aiding in their classroom experiences.. it's about showing them the world that is out there as well.  Urge your students to put their skills to the test and see other places.  It doesn't have to be an entire year.. even a few weeks is better than nothing (granted.. I found that my year in France costed only about 50% more than what the annual three-week trip my high school took costed)...

For those students who WOULD do well with a year abroad, talk to them about it! Give them information.  Plant the seed EARLY!  No parent wants to have their child come to them and say, " I want to spend a year abroad.  Oh.. by the 20 page application is due next week." (I did that.. thankfully they were 100% supportive of me going abroad, so it was a rush they were thrilled to make for me).  I discuss the option with my 9th graders every fall, as MOST students would be applying in fall of their 10th grade year.  It gives them a year to discuss it with their parents, get some more information, maybe visit a Rotary club or two.

Obviously I am biased and will always suggest Rotary.  The biggest reason being that they are 100% not for profit (unlike other exchange companies) and they have networks all around the world.  There is a major support system and students generally get the opportunity to stay with multiple host families in a year (thus giving them different perspectives).  After all, not all American families live the same, right?  Why would it be any different abroad?

There are other programs as well.  I highly recommend checking with your school guidance counselor or even doing a quick Google search for other programs that do exchanges in your area.  As always, I'm happy to give information as well, so don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments! 

Photo from

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Greeting Your Class

As the years of my career continue, it is often hard to remember where I picked something up or when I even started it.  This is one of those instances, so I apologize that I cannot give proper credit.

Imagine two scenarios:

The bell rings.  It may as well not have, because your students are chattering about anything and everything.  Most likely not in French.  After a few feeble attempts to start class/shush them, finally, a minute or two later, people have quieted down and are listening to you.


The bell rings.  Immediately your students stop their conversation and stand up by their desks.  You greet them with, "Bonjour tout le monde!" (hello everybody).  They reply, "bonjour Madame!"  You then tell them to sit down (in the target language of course) and dive right into the lesson.

The second scenario is how I have done it for as long as I can remember.  From day one, I teach my students that this is how we start class.  They are expected to be silent upon hearing the bell.  It is an AWESOME way to transition into French speaking and class in general.

It may seem simple, but it works.  Yes, there are days where they take awhile to stand up/be silent (funnily enough it's always LATER in the year after they've been doing it for months).  But in general, it is a great way to transition.

Culturally it is great too.  In France, this is how teachers start class as well.  Students stand and are silent when the prof enters to show them respect.  (I'm thinking that's where I got this from, but again.. I honestly do not remember).

Every time I have been evaluated by a principal, this has been something they have picked out and mentioned as one of the pros of the things I do.  They like how I use it to more or less command the attention of my class to get things going.

Give it a shot on the first day of school this fall!  You don't even have to explain it.  Just motion for them to stand up/give them the command in the target language.  Point to yourself and say, "bonjour tout le monde!" and point to them and say "bonjour Madame!"  Then try it.  Point to yourself again and say, "bonjour tout le monde!" and then point to them and see if they respond.  Then tell them to sit down.  By day three, they will have it mastered, I promise :)  It will be a great ice breaker!

Photo from

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cheap and Easy Alternative to Whiteboards

Greetings friends! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
I can't put into words how useful whiteboards are.  You can do SO much with them and you can use them with pretty much any unit to reinforce just about anything.  The awesome thing about whiteboards is you can give students immediate feedback and they can practice applying the things they have learned one question at a time.

I teach at two schools.  Thankfully at one school I have a full set of whiteboards.  However, at the other, I need to share with the other language teachers.  They also know how useful the boards are, so it can sometimes get difficult to coordinate with them. Especially if I want to use the boards last minute (if I have 10 minutes to kill at the end of a lesson or even realize in the middle of a lesson we need to stop and assess understanding).

One very cheap (and colorful!) alternative to white boards are those cheap plastic plates you can get in the summer at Target/Walmart/etc.  The only requirement is that they have a glossy finish and not a matte one.  I went to Walmart and got 8 packs of 4 plates for $8.  And they work just as well!  As you can see from my photos below, you can write on them just fine and they erase really well. (*TIP: if you don't want to pay for erasers, every time you get a hole in socks, don't throw them away... just wash them well and they work as great erasers!)

Just be sure to get them before summer is out.  They are at their cheapest now and they aren't always carried in the fall/winter.

CLICK HERE for my bundle of white board activities! $3 off for the summer.

Original plates in package      

With writing

Easily erasable
All clean!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Alain le Lait

One thing I do a lot of in my classroom is singing.  The catchy tunes and rhyming words help students to remember things like vocabulary, verb conjugations and even grammar.

There is one specific Youtube channel that is my go-to whenever I am looking for songs.  The channel of Alan le Lait has TONS of awesome songs.  They are geared toward kids, so the language is simple and often the words are shown at the bottom of the video.  The songs are all animated as well.

A favorite of my kids is the number song.  It has dancing Jamaican worms that help them remember numbers one through twenty.  It is complete with a Bob Marley looking worm who jams out on the guitar at the end.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rotation Activity for Interrogative Practice

One of the most important tools in keeping any language classroom in the target language is for students to have the ability to ask questions in the target language.  Question words and question formation are two things I stress heavily in my classroom and practicing these skills is always important.

I came up with an activity to better help them practice their question writing and answering.  For this activity I created six different "postes".  At each poste, there was a sheet of paper with a different short 6-8 sentence story as well as some blanks where students can write questions.  I have this activity go in rounds.  Each round, they end up at a different poste.  Each round (for everyone, regardless of which space they are at) is dedicated to a specific question word.  For example, round 1 was dedicated to "qui".  Regardless of where the students were, they had to write one or two questions about the story that were "qui" questions. 

I gave them roughly three minutes to read the story, look up any words they didn't know, and then write a couple of questions on the poste sheet as well as the packet I provided them.  After the three minutes, they moved on to the next station.  For this round, each group had to write a "que" question.  The next round was "quand".  Eventually they got through each poste and wrote who, what, when, where and why questions.

Once that was done, we started the second set of rounds.  For these last six rounds, they had to answer the questions in the category of the round.  The first round, they actually stayed where they ended in the last set of rounds, and they had to answer the "qui" questions that were written by their classmates.  Then they moved to the next one and answered the "que" questions.  By the time six rounds were done again, they had answered different types of questions at each station.

The kids really liked this activity because it kept them on a "schedule" and got them moving.  Because each round was dedicated to a specific type of question, it really reinforced which question word was which.

One thing I would do differently next time is to maybe give them five or more minutes for the original reading and question writing.  It felt rather rushed to only give them three minutes to do that.  Some of the questions written by students were rather incoherent to their classmates, so I also might split up the two sets of rounds (one on one day, one on the other) so I get a chance to proofread before I have them answer questions. 

To keep them accountable, they also had to fill out a packet as they went along.  There was one page dedicated to each poste where they could record the words they had to look up as well as the questions they asked and responded to.

Interested in a copy of this activity?  Check it out here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Murder Mystery to Practice Question Words/Formations

Sometimes you come across ideas that are so amazing, you have to share them, even if they are not your own.  This is one of those occasions.

I have had the pleasure of having an amazing person observe my classes the past few months.  She is studying to be a French teacher as well and has needed some practicum hours.  From time to time she has taught a lesson to one of my classes.  Yesterday, her task was to come up with something to practice question words and question formation with my French 2s.  Oh boy did she deliver.

In the activity, students were all given a description of the "incident" along with some important vocabulary words.  In this incident, poor Jean-Pierre was killed right before he was going to propose to his girlfriend at her birthday party.  He was found strangled about 20 minutes after leaving the party to get the engagement ring.  The students were also given a list of 4 suspects.  Each suspect had a short description of how he/she knew the victim and also revealed a potential motive for each person.

Four students were chosen to be the suspects.  They were each given a special longer description of their character.   The description was specific with details about where they were at certain times of the party, their occupations, their relationship with the victim, etc.  None of the suspects knew who was the killer (not even the killer himself).

Once everyone was given their papers, they split off.  The suspects took that time to really analyze their character and know the information.  The rest of the students had to come up with various questions they would ask the different suspects in order to figure out who was "le coupable".

This activity worked SO well.  The students were so engaged and really got into it.  By asking questions, they were able to figure out who the guilty party was.  They also were able to stay in the target language for most of the lesson, which is always a huge plus.

This is definitely an activity I will be adopting for future classes.

                                             (image from

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has a restful and safe Memorial Day Weekend.  The final countdowns to the end of the year can begin!

Just for fun, I have decided (at last minute) to throw a TPT Memorial Day sale.   Everything in my store is 20% off now through Monday.  I have some awesome new resources in there including a subjunctive unit bundle, a passe compose bundle, interactive number and alphabet powerpoints, and a travel project.

Oh.. and that free gift with a $25 purchase is still good!  Make a $25 purchase and leave at least one piece of feedback, and I will share my google drive folder with you.  This folder literally includes every resource I have ever had and will ever have.  Plus? It's meticulously organized by topic and/or book and chapter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Storytelling to Reinforce Vocabulary

One thing I LOVE to do with my students is to find clip art or drawings that depict a story that goes along with their vocabulary.

I usually find 6-8 photos that can follow a story and put them on a piece of paper.  Then, I ask them to write a story that the photos could illustrate.  I give prizes to the stories that are the most "extravagant" but still follow the photos.  Extravagance includes accuracy, details (both seen and unseen), extras, etc.  I also leave out the "last photo" and ask them to use their imaginations to finish the story.

At the end, they all share.  It's always a lot of fun to see what they all came up with, especially for an ending.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Battleship for Letter and Number Practice

Regularly practicing numbers and letters is very important in any language.  Letters and numbers are everywhere, so students should be able to express them and understand them. Being able to spell words for students in French is also a great way to keep your classroom even more in the target language.

Making a board is super simple.  I just turned my document in MS Word so that it was landscape instead of portrait.  Then, I put in a table that was 21 boxes wide and 15 tall.  Down the first column on the left side, I put in letters and then I put numbers across the top row.  I also included the terms at the bottom for hit, miss and sunk.

Students each get two boards: one for putting their own boats in and the other to mark their guesses for their partner.  I actually laminated a classroom set and put them in manila folders so that when you open the folder at a 90 degree angle, it looks kind of like a battleship board.  By laminating them, students just use dry-erase markers to do their marking, then they can be reused over and over again.

The kids love this game! They especially love saying hit, miss and sunk in French while playing. It is nice because it can be conducted 100% in the target language.

CLICK HERE for a free download of the template!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ditch the Flashcards Part 2: 9 Other Great Ways to Reinforce Verb Conjugations

A couple weeks back, I wrote about different ways to practice vocabulary other than using flashcards.  This got me thinking that it could also be useful to discuss verb conjugation tactics as well.

Conjugating verbs correctly, while annoying and nit-picky at times, is very important.  Students need to not only be able to conjugate based on who is doing the action, but they also need to be able to accurately express the tense of the action as well.  Unfortunately, the best way to do that is drill, drill drill, but these are some ways to practice that don't feel so repetitive.

1. Dice tic-tac-doe
This is a favorite with my students.  I generally pick the harder verbs of the verbs we are working on.  They love having six games of tic-tac-toe going at once and the intensity definitely rises when students are trying to roll the die to get to a certain board.

2. Avalanche
This is a team game with a lot of activity and excitement.  It requires teams to know the definition and the 6 different conjugations of any given verb.  It particularly helps with those difficult verbs.. when teams keep getting avalanched over and over again, you can always bet they will remember the real conjugation when it comes time for the test.

3. Songs
I often teach songs with especially difficult verbs.  It may not 100% teach the spellings, but it at least gives kids the right direction to think when it comes to the spelling.  It also really helps with pronunciation of the conjugations and helps them realize that often, the je, tu, il/elle/on and ils/elles forms all sound the same.

4. Anagrams
Giving students only a specific set of letters and making a game/challenge out of them coming up with conjugations always helps to reinforce the spellings of different conjugations.

5. Whiteboard practice
Just throw together subjects and verbs on slides and voila... you have an activity for students to practice verb conjugation.  I always set my slide up so it shows the subject and verb first, then on the click shows them the right answer.  It's a great way to give them immediate feedback, which is important.

6. Spoons
This game is great for getting students to either group conjugations of the same verb or different verbs of the same form (for example, all of the "tu" forms).  When teaching multiple tenses, you can even put different tenses in there and have them group by subject or infinitive.

7. Category sorting
Like spoons, it helps students to group conjugations together.  I will often put 20-30 conjugations in a list on a sheet. First, students must sort each conjugation into the correct infinitive.  Then they must sort conjugations into the correct form (je/tu/etc).  Sorting into the correct form helps students to see patterns of any given subject (for example: tu conjugations almost always have "s" or "x" for the ending).

8. Foldables
While these work great for vocabulary, they can also work well for verbs too.  It requires students to keep re-doing any of the problem areas but not anything they already have figured out.

9. Conjuguemos
I've said it before, I'll say it again: I love Conjuguemos. It's an awesome online tool for students to not only practice what they're learning (you can do just about anything: verbs, vocab, grammar, you name it), but to get immediate feedback.  If a student is struggling with a particular verb or two, they can set it to just put those verbs up when it quizzes them.

                                              (photo from:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Plus Haut/Plus Bas: A Fun Way to Practice Numbers

Have any of you ever seen the Price is Right?  Remember that game where you have three different prizes and you have 30 seconds to guess the price while Bob/Drew tells you higher or lower?  While thinking of a way to practice numbers with my students, this game came to mind.

I haven't quite figured out how to apply it, but I'd love to do some sort of contest where each student has a partner and they have 60 seconds to get as many right as possible.  It could get boring having only one group go at a time in class, but there also needs to be some accountability.

In the meantime, I came up with a different way to do "plus haut" (higher) and "plus bas" (lower).  Remember the Who am I? game I discussed in a previous blog post?  This is VERY similar to that.  I put slips of paper with numbers written on them in those badge holders (I HIGHLY recommend you get a set of these.  I use them a lot for games and whatnot.  They're awesome because you can keep reusing them for different units by putting different slips in them).  I give each student a badge but put it around their neck backwards so that the number is on their back.  Then, they must figure out which number they are.  They guess a number and whoever they are asking has to say "plus haut" or "plus bas".  Once they figure out who they are, they turn the badge around to their front.  This not only requires number knowledge on the part of the asker, but also of the teller.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Anagrams for Verb Practice

One thing that drives me bonkers is that, no matter how many times we go over the four main verbs in French (to be, to have, to go, to make/do) the kids STILL don't remember how to conjugate them.  Of any verbs in the French language, these are the ones to do.

Because of how often we work on these verbs, it's easy to run out of ideas of how to practice them.  I've done everything under the sun: dice tic-tac-toe, straight up conjugating worksheets, whiteboards, word scrambles, you name it.  I came up with an idea this week that kind of puts a spin on word scrambles: anagrams.

The activity has two parts and the difficulty depends on the level.  French one only did this activity in the present tense, while French 2 and 3 got to do it in present, futur simple, passe compose, imparfait and conditionnel.

I started off with a powerpoint with 20 slides.  Each slide prompted them to write a conjugation (I had them use whiteboards).   Then, they had to show me the answer upon me counting to three.  Then I clicked the mouse, which then revealed the answer.  Each one they got right, they got a point.

At the end of this activity, I had them grab random letters and accents (I just typed a bunch of letters into MS word and cut them with a paper cutter) that was equal to the number they got right during the powerpoint.

Then I handed out a worksheet that required them to fill in the letters at the top.  Using the letters they got, they had to come up with as many conjugations as possible.  For each conjugation, they had to indicate which of the four verbs it was as well as which subject (French 2 and 3 also had to indicate which tense).  For every three conjugations they got, I gave them a point of extra credit (I RARELY give extra credit, so this was a treat for them).

This activity worked really well because it incorporated them coming up with the conjugations upon me giving them a subject and verb, but then the roles switched and they had to come up with not only the conjugations, but the subject and verb as well.

One thing I would do differently next time would be to give them maybe one or two "free" letters.  Once they got started, they could pick a letter or two to add to their list.  Some kids got majorly screwed over and could only make one or two conjugations.

Overall, though, they enjoyed it.  They love anything that has a competitive edge to it.

After doing this activity I realized how many different places I could apply this activity.  It could be applied to ANY verbs, not just the four main ones in French.  It could even be applied to grammar and/or vocabulary. You could even get multiple topics into one with the activity if you were to do a grammar concept in the powerpoint and vocabulary and/or verbs with the anagrams.

Want a copy without having to do any of the work? Check it out in my TPT store.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week

I will be brutally honest.. I love teacher appreciation week.  It's nice to get some recognition that may not happen during the rest of the year.  Those little notes that kids give you thanking you are always something to treasure.

But this is my shout-out to a couple teachers who have played a HUGE role in where I am today.

Let's start back in elementary school.  This teacher's name was Mrs. M (unfortunately, she has since passed away).  I went to a rather small, rural elementary school.  When I was in first grade, there were two full first grade classes, two full second grade classes, and one split first/second.  I was shafted with the split (Mrs. M taught this split).  However, instead of saying shafted, I should say gifted.  I was always a pretty good student anyway and often finished my work early.  Because of it, I followed the second graders a bit. 

Mrs. M was one of those teachers that you knew loved her job.  She did everything she could to make it fun.  We played games, she gave out prizes for reading and math, she always pushed me to do more.  And I did.  The following year, there were no splits, and when I was in second grade, I was in Mrs. M's class again! 

Halfway through the year, it was clear that I was bored.  I had more or less learned all of this the year before and wasn't being challenged enough.  Mrs. M suggested I be bumped up to third grade halfway through the year.  After lots of testing and a school board vote, it was approved.

It may not seem like THAT much of a life-altering thing, but it was.  Moving ahead a grade meant I was 17 when I graduated from high school.  Because I was young, that was one of the major reasons I chose to do a year abroad.  I doubt I ever would have chosen to do so had I not skipped a grade.  Because this teacher believed in me, my world was changed forever.

I kept in contact with her growing up via letters and the occasional visit, and she even came to my high school graduation party (even though we had moved 2 1/2 hours away when I was in 5th grade).  She passed away when I was in France, after a long battle with cancer.  I never knew she was sick...I'm guessing that's why she made such an effort to come to my graduation party.

The other teacher I want to shout out to is Mrs. G.  She was never "technically" my teacher, but she was the teacher who was my first cooperating teacher during student teaching.  So many of my organizational techniques and fun ideas came from my time with her.  She is the most organized teacher I have ever met.  And she runs a class that students LOVE to be in.  Even French 3 kids are speaking almost all French.  Kids come to class prepared and ready to learn.  Even in the hallways, they speak French.  When I think about the kind of classroom I want to have some day, the type of French teacher I strive to be, I think of her.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


So I have officially passed the 20,000 page views threshold. 

Considering I have only been blogging for a year and a half, that is incredible to me.  I have seen my blog posts swirling around Pinterest.  I have seen my page view numbers grow and grow.  My goal when I started this blog was to help others.  I wanted to be a resource.  Another place to go for ideas.

Looks like I am succeeding! :)

To all of my readers: Thank you for helping me along.  I hope this is just the beginning of a great place to go for ideas and tips.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Late Work: To Accept or Not to Accept?

That is most definitely the question on A LOT of teachers' minds.

School isn't just about teaching facts and figures.  We are teaching these students how to be productive members of society.  We are preparing them for the REAL WORLD.  That scary place where you have to pay for stuff and be responsible for yourself.

Many teachers are afraid that accepting late work does not teach students responsibility.  In the real world, missing a deadline can literally be the difference between having a job and being unemployed.  In college, not a single one of my professors accepted late work.  Accepting late work gives them a security net that they might get too used to and could cause major repercussions some day when it is taken away.

But... let's think for a moment about the purpose of homework for a second here.  Why do teachers assign homework?  Contrary to popular student belief, it's not to torture them.  It's to reinforce the things we are learning in class.  As a language teacher, I simply CANNOT give them the practice in class that they need to truly succeed.  I only see them 45 minutes a day.  Homework is so important when it comes to practicing and retaining their skills in my room.

So.. with that being said... accepting late work has its pros too.  Most students, if they couldn't get any credit for it, would choose not to do the work.  Why bother if it won't have any benefit to them?  I tell my students at the beginning of every year to not focus on their grade.  I got an A all throughout high school in French and graduated with minimal speaking ability.  I have students with C's that can speak better than students with A's (I will be diving in to grading in a future post). What they need to focus on is the skills they are learning in the classroom.  They need to think about where they are at the end of the year in regards to where they started.

With the help of my cooperating teacher while student teaching, I instated a policy that I still use to this day.  All work is due at the beginning of the hour on the day it is due (unless otherwise noted).  (This is where the in-folder comes in handy.  I give a last call for anything to be handed in, I clip it together, and it goes in my personal "to grade" folder in my stuff.  Anything that shows up in the folder after that is considered late.) I accept late work until the day of the test for that unit, but they only get 50% credit for it.  Some teachers I know give them X number of days or weeks, but who has time to keep track of all of that?  I sure don't.  Having a concrete "this is the last day to hand in late work" makes my job a lot easier.

This is a great balance and leaves the kids with the best of both worlds.  It encourages students to still get the practice they need, but it also shows them there are consequences to not handing in something on time.  I have had parents complain that 50% is a steep penalty and that it should start small and get bigger for the amount of time it's been missing.  I remind them that the students have known from the beginning that this is my policy and that keeping track of how long the work has been missing is just WAY too much work for me.  Accepting late work already puts more work on my plate, so it's only fair that they have to "pay" for it in some way (their grade).

What is your late-work policy?  Feel free to share in the comments if you have a policy that works really well for you. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Paper Dolls for Clothing Practice

Growing up, I loved to play with paper dolls.  My grandmother would always get them for me and I would spend hours putting different outfits on them.

My 1s are currently in a clothing unit and I figured it would be a lot of fun to use paper dolls to practice clothing vocabulary!

So I set out to find a perfect set that I could use.  I couldn't find anything, so I took an afternoon and decided to make a set instead.  It was a lot of work to start.  First I had to make the outfits in Paint and MS Word.  Then I had to print them, cut them out and laminate them all.  I had the kids cut out their own sets (saved a lot of cutting time) and then had them each cut out a laminated set too once it was laminated.  Each set was put into a 5x7 envelope and voila!  Something I can use over and over and over again.  I can even share it with the other languages for them to practice too.

There are so many different ways to use it.  I like giving them each a set and telling them how to dress their person.  It is also fun in centers.  I make cards that have the description on the front and a photo on the back.  Students read the description and dress their person.  They can use the photo to check.

CLICK HERE if you'd like to download a set for your own class!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ditch the Flashcards: 14 Other Great Ways to Reinforce Vocabulary

One of the hardest parts of teaching/learning a foreign language is the MOUNTAINS of vocabulary that must be taught/learned.  Yeah you can use flashcards, but those get old rather quickly.  Rather than resorting to the same old, same old.  Try these ideas instead:

1. Foldables
This activity has students writing out their trickiest vocabulary words.  Students who know their vocabulary only have to write it once.  Students who are struggling must rewrite the problem words more than once.

2. Diagrams
This activity has students drawing and labeling their vocabulary words in their context.  It taps into their creativity and helps them apply an image to each word.

3. Triangle Puzzles
This activity has students problem-solving with their vocabulary words.  They must put together a puzzle and the edges match if the English to French is correct.

4. Do you have what I have?
This game requires students to dip into their memory stores to come up with different vocabulary words from the unit they are working on.  By only getting points by NOT matching other people, students must think of the more obscure and lesser known words.

5. Charades
Who doesn't love good old charades?  Have students act out the different words on their vocabulary sheet.  This has students matching words to physical actions (TPR).  It definitely helps reinforce the vocabulary.

6. Tout le Monde Qui
This game is filled with running and fun.  Students put desks or chairs in a circle.  There should be one less chair/desk than there are people.  The leftover person will be in the middle and say "tout le monde qui____" (for example: tout le monde qui porte un jean).  Anyone who fits that description must move and find a new chair.

7. Tout le Monde Avec
This is a spin off of Tout le Monde Qui.  Instead of choosing things that apply to the specific students, put a ziploc bag or a sheet with different items representing vocabulary words at each space.  If the item the student in the middle calls is in your bag/on your sheet, you need to find a new seat.

8. QR Codes
Who doesn't love technology?  In using QR codes and having them either give clues to or match up to vocabulary words, you have students moving around the room and using technology to practice vocabulary.

9. Categorize
Whenever possible, do activities where you have students categorize their vocabulary words.  For example, whenever I teach a food unit, I always have them sorting vocabulary words into the food categories like vegetables, fruits, meats, etc.  You can even have them categorize by pronunciation sounds or by noun vs verb.

10. Scavenger Hunts
Have students apply vocabulary to their real life by requiring them to hunt for vocabulary words (maybe take photos or even jot down) at home or in the halls/other classrooms at school.

11. End letter/Beginning letter
Students must make a string of words by making the next word start with the last letter of the most recent word.  For example: Tondre, eplucher, ranger, raisin, nettoyer

12. Pictionary
No explanation needed! Who doesn't love making crazy drawings and trying to get people to guess the word.

13. 100,000 Pyramid
Students try to get their partner to guess the vocabulary word by giving clues to them.  Watch out! You cannot say the actual word or any part of it.

14. Word Searches
While this might not reinforce definitions, it definitely helps with spelling.

Vocabulary acquisition is crucial in learning a foreign language.  Students can be taught grammar and conjugations until they are blue in the face, but without the vocabulary, they will have a hard time forming sentences.

Feel free to comment with any more ideas you have!

                                                           (photo from

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale (updated!)

I am throwing a HUGE SALE. The sale is done :(  But my $25 deal below is ongoing!

Everything in my store is now 15% off, now through Monday (the day after Easter).

To top that off, anyone who makes $25 worth of purchases in one transaction and leaves me feedback on at least ONE item (feedback is crucial so that future buyers know the quality of my work) will receive a FREE GIFT! 

What is this free gift you ask?

All of my work that is in my possession (stuff I've made, stuff that has been shared with me, stuff I've collaborated on, stuff I've found) is in one backup folder on Google Drive.  This folder updates as I make new activities.  If you make $25 worth of purchases and leave me feedback on at least one item, I will share that folder with you (to access it, you must have a Google account of your own...don't's free if you don't have one).

What does that mean?  That means you have basically "subscribed" to me.  EVERYTHING I have ever made, shared, sold, not sold, as well as anything I will ever make in the future will now be at your disposal.  I am talking HUNDREDS of files and resources organized into folders by topic and/or by book and chapter. (Of course... Mrs. Organized right over here has everything organized into folders).

I cannot, in good conscience, sell this "subscription", as there are things in my Google Drive folders that are not my original works (but don't worry, everything on my Teachers Pay Teachers store is).  While much of the work is my own, some of it is things shared with me by other teachers.  This is why it is a FREE GIFT.  It is no different than sharing resources with you, my worldwide colleagues.

So, go check out my store at THIS LINK! I have some awesome resources in there that could help you greatly.  A majority of my items are 1.99 or less (that's before the 10% discount).  Please leave me feedback after you have used them!  Feedback helps me make resources even better for my buyers.

If you decide to take advantage of my sharing offer, once you have made your purchase and left feedback, click on THIS LINK to fill out a form.  The form asks you for the transaction and feedback information as well as your e-mail address.  Once I see that everything is set, I will add you as someone who can view my shared folder.

If you are interested in starting your own Teachers Pay Teachers store, CLICK HERE.  It is totally and completely free and a great way to earn some extra cash.  All it takes is a couple minutes of your time to upload a resource and that's it! No more work and it can gain an unlimited amount of money.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Using QR Codes to Enhance Learning

A teacher in the Spanish department was using QR codes the other day around her classroom and it got me thinking... what could I do with QR codes to enhance my lessons?

Of course, once I start thinking about ideas, my mind doesn't shut off and I want to try it RIGHT NOW.

We are fortunate enough to have a set of iPads in the library that can be checked out to teachers.  Each iPad has a barcode reader on it that also reads the QR codes.

I gave it a whirl today with my French 1s.  They are currently learning clothing and adjective vocabulary, so I gave them a sheet with 20 different people on it wearing different things.  Then, I made 20 different QR codes (Code A, B, C, etc) that, when scanned, would pop up with a description of someone.  Upon reading the description, they would have to match that description to the correct person on their sheet.

This was an awesome activity.  It really is no different, practice wise, than writing a description on a worksheet and having them match it up.  But in letting them use technology, it gives it an awesome spin that gets them excited about the topic while reinforcing chapter vocabulary.

What I love about this is you can do QR codes with just about anything!  I'm thinking I'll use it when I review the question words and question formation.  They will scan the code, which will pop up with an answer.  They have to come up with a question that would elicit that response.

You can also do QR codes that, when scanned, will speak to the students too.  Especially in foreign language, having the codes speak is an awesome tool!

If you're interested in having a copy for yourself, get it HERE .