Now that I’ve lost track of which week of remote learning we’re on, here is a post highlighting a few of the resources and activities my Kindergarten and Grade 1 students have found particularly engaging. Each week I make a Kindergarten learning choice menu, and collaborate on a Grade 1 choice menu with my incredible Grade 1 colleagues. Those asynchronous menus are complimented by whole group, small group, and individual Google Meets throughout the week.
ChatterPix: This was an early favourite, and great for encouraging students to speak French. At the beginning of April, one of the parents in my class told me that it was the best thing to happen to them in weeks. We’ve provided a number of prompts including making something from your maison speak, and getting a plant or animal to say why it loves printemps.
Google Slides: I recorded myself (with Online Voice Recorder) saying the names of letters to make letter recognition slides for my Kindergarten students. I also recorded myself saying letter sounds and complex sounds to make slides with the amazing French sound LiPS-style visuals from Centre for Literacy. (They distributed them at Teachers’ Convention so I imagine they would send you a copy for your classroom use if you ask.) One of my students was so excited to use these after our first GMeet with them that he asked me about 50 times when he would get “the cool buttons”.
Screencastify: This Chrome extension has been absolutely essential to my remote teaching for taking videos of all kinds of things!
Google Meets: Each week we have a whole class meeting to read a story together and check in with one another. I also run small group sessions to practice particular language skills such as letter recognition, letter sounds, conversational French, and reading skills:
- Reading Raz-Kids books together through screen sharing – I love the pen/highlighter feature, and my students have enjoyed getting to choose “a sticker” at the end of each book because you can put star or smile icons on the page. ⭐😊
- Letter sounds Google Slides (see above) – I use these as a pre-reading warmup with my Grade 1s.
- Uppercase letter search – I sent them this PDF so students could colour it or families could write their own, and I played on a Google Jamboard while sharing my window. (My Kindergarten families have told me that they prefer low-tech options wherever possible, with Google Meets being the exception so that we can connect with one another, so I opted for paper copies rather than trying to get them an on-screen version.) I sent out a video of myself playing through the game as well in case anyone wanted to play again or could not make it to a Google Meet.
- Lowercase letter bingo – my Kindergarten students loved the uppercase search so much that I made a bingo version for lowercase, and we played with the same sort of printable/Jamboard/pre-recorded arrangement.
I’m going to close with this quote I heard while listening to Dr. Jody Carrington‘s online course this week, because I found it really resonated with me and gave me some comfort:
What has been working for your class during remote learning?