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First day DEMO LESSON for Virtual Language Classes

September 6, 2020

Last week, Elicia Cárdenas taught a Demo lesson for the First Day of language class that can be taught in-person or virtually. We recorded the lesson and debuted it during a Facebook Watch Party on Thursday, and the feedback has been overwhelming: seeing this demo is exactly what teachers need to feel confident on their first day of school this year.

Whether you are starting school after Labor Day or are looking for a re-set after struggling through your first few weeks, this demo is for YOU.

Watch the First Day Demo Lesson

In this video, Elicia, who is our Director of Training, demonstrates a simple, easy-to-adapt lesson that you can use on Day 1 of ANY language class. She demonstrates the activity with Level 1 students in mind, and it can be 'leveled up' for upper levels.

As you watch this video, please consider:

  1. What does Elicia do to help students understand?
  2. What does Elicia do to help students feel comfortable?
  3. How does Elicia use the online environment to support (1) and (2)?

Please keep in mind that linguistic errors happen, especially when teaching a demo lesson in front of your peers that is being recorded for MORE of your peers! Allowing yourself to overlook any linguistic errors will help you to focus on the strategies and techniques being used!

What to teach on Day 1 of a language class?

What to teach on Day 1 of a language class will of course be dependent on the level. You will probably cover the same general content (spending time setting expectations and beginning to create connections), but the time that you spend in your shared language (in this case, English) will likely decrease through the levels.

Here's what Elicia did:

  1. Establish norms for the class
  2. Stated the objectives for the day's lesson
  3. Took a minute to BREATHE with a Brain Breath (credit: Megan Hayes)
  4. Zoom TPR (Total Physical Response) - idea from Diane Neubauer
  5. Picture talk with images of things that are meaningful to you (credit: Ping Wu)
  6. Brain Breath
  7. Write & Discuss
  8. Review norms
  9. Answer questions that students have

We have written out instructions and resources for all of these activities explicitly, including teacher scripts and an editable version of Elicia's slideshow, and we want you to have it.

Create a Virtual Background that looks like a Whiteboard

One of the biggest questions we have heard about the First Day Demo Lesson is, "HOW DID SHE GET THAT SCREEN BEHIND HER?!". If you have been attending our free SOMOS Summer Fun Club trainings, you learned about this earlier in the summer! If not– don't worry: we walk you through the process in this email. Remember that all online conferencing platforms (like Zoom, Google Meets, and Teams) are regularly changing and updating their features and functions, so please connect with their Tech Support directly for troubleshooting.

If you want the specific slides that Elicia used in the First Day Demo Lesson, you can grab them here! They are completely editable, so you can change them to fit your expectations and your language!

Get more training with Elicia

One of our SOMOS Collaboration group members posted that her daughter walked into the room while she was watching the demo lesson. She asked, "Who is this??". After explaining, her daughter exclaimed, "I wish all my teachers were like her!"

If you want a little more Elicia in your life and a LOT more training, get on the waitlist to be notified for our next series of Teacher Labs. Elicia has been teaching multi-session, cohort-style courses for the last two months, and we will be opening new cohorts for October on the topic of ASSESSMENT, both generally and considering what shifts need to happen for Virtual Assessments.

Lesson plans & support for teaching languages online

This year, we have made it our business to produce high-quality, FLEXIBLE materials that take the pressure of lesson planning off YOU so that you can focus on the most important things: health and connection.

Here are some of our digital resources:

Support for online & hybrid teaching

We are in this together.

Those of you that have been following this blog for many years know that this is true: we are in this together. Whatever this year brings, The Comprehensible Classroom will be here to help you make a plan to move through it. Thank you for trusting us!

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