French Distance Learning - Part 1

Monday, February 8, 2021

 French Distance Learning - PART 1

Going virtual has been quite an interesting journey. There were definitely a lot of trials and errors. Teaching French with multiple preps for Distance Learning and in class is exhausting, and that is an understatement! But I managed to keep my sanity in place and I think that is the most important for a teacher. The advantage is in March of 2020, when my school went fully online, we had 2-3 months of experimenting with online teaching. Then in the summer, I had time to fully reflect on what worked and did not work for my online students, especially when you are teaching middle schoolers, high engagement was an even bigger necessity. So, I spent all my summer prepping with engaging activities for my students and activities that are self-checking to make it easy on grading. So, here is my formula that seemed to somewhat work for me and kept me from burning out. I hope you will find this information useful as well! PART 1: AVAILABLE RESOURCES + PLANNING AHEAD
I did not want to recreate what is already available at my school. So, I did a full assessment of what was available of what I could use online.
1) Digital School District Book & its resources My school is using T'es Branché as our French book, so the first thing I had to be familiar with was the digital version of our book and its apps. So, in order to avoid being burned out, I usually plan way ahead of time. I, methodically, make my lesson plan structure for each unit of what I could use from the available book resources. Take advantage of any apps your school has that also have self-graded components! Our school also has Apex Learning which is a great addition to assigning more activities to students.
2) Making clear accountability to your students. Consolidation of all notes and online resources as the main reference point for your students. Getting things organized for your kids is crucial! I found out later, that my students got lost as we were using too many different online resources, too many app links, and it was getting really confusing to them as to where to go. I had to find a way to consolidate all my notes, links for students, lesson plans of the day, etc ... Even though we have a digital book, I wanted to make sure that my students have all the tools needed to succeed in my online class. I did not want to hear any excuses so I created my own digital French interactive notebook with all my notes and vocabulary that are needed for our final exam. As I am a French native speaker, I recorded all the vocabulary and embedded the audio part in each lesson of the French digital notebook. I use this interactive notebook as a reference for my students, parents, and administrators. It is also my "CYA" (cover your ass) notebook so students have to be accountable for their own learning. It is also proof for your administrators that you have provided all that is needed to your kids! I call this notebook the "No Excuse French Notebook."

You can view my French Digital Interactive Notebook here:

Students can always refer back to their notes, practice their daily work inside this notebook, you can structure it however you would during your online class. I also have a template for the Digital Notebook that is fully customizable. <Link to French Digital Interactive notebook - TEMPLATE>

3) Additional Online French Resources:
I use a lot of variety in my class, even more during distance learning to get my students to stay engaged and motivated. Those are the tools and online games I use. I will write a separate post to explain each of their advantages. The following tools are great as they are also self-graded!


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