Tag Archives: google

Digital Can Do Statements in the Language Classroom

Can Do Statements are essential to backwards design.  They are what keep us focused on what our students will be able to do with the language they are learning.

I wanted to find ways for students to use the statements actively and regularly throughout a unit.  I’ve used various paper versions, but I took on the task of finding a way to do this digitally and in a way that lets me check in on student progress at any time.

I initially started with a Google Form, but the data was only available to me, not to students once they submitted it.  I then moved on to several versions using Google Sheets.  This is the one that has worked the best.

The sheet is set up with the Can Do Statements for the unit.

As we progress through the unit, students choose their current ability to meet the objective by choosing from the drop-down menu to the right of the statement.

I have the responses set to change color for easy identification.

When students choose “with confidence” they type in an example to show that they can meet the statement objective.

When shared through Google Classroom I set the assignment to make a copy for each student and then I can check in on their progress individually.  I have been particularly impressed with the conversations about proficiency that come up.  Students take an active role in concretely understanding where they are and what they need to do to level up and meet the goal.

It took some time to figure out how to best do the drop down menu and have the cells change color, but I eventually figured it out.  Good news is that you can can copy the Google Sheet directly to your Google Drive.

Digital Tool to Support Foreign Language Sentence Creation

Students at the novice proficiency level typically speak and write in memorized chunks of language and phrases that they learn by memory.  As they progress in proficiency teachers can support their attempts at creating language on their own.  It is useful to guide them in finding their own ways to add on to the target language that they produce.  I find that one effective way of doing this is to begin by focusing on verbs that they know well and give them opportunities to use them in context.  First with various subjects and then by adding on to the verb phrases in ways that shows their understanding of the meaning of the verb.

Digital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence Creation

This activity is called Hidden Forms (Formes Cachées in French and Formas Escondidas in Spanish).  It is useful to use in PACE lesson as students engage in extension using the verb forms and structures that were introduced.  There is an added element of fun and strategy as students search for the correct verb forms in the grid.  Not necessarily the most communicative part of the activity, but I always think that students enjoy these small amusing elements and it has the added benefit of being done in the target language.

These Hidden Forms activities are all done in Google Slides and can be easily shared with students through platforms such as Google Classroom.  They work well whether as an in-class activity, homework or when doing distance or hybrid/blended learning and teaching.

First slide: There is a subject pronoun and an infinitive. Students write the correct verb form.Digital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence Creation Digital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence Creation

Second Slide: There is a grid with subject pronouns, infinitives and verb forms. Students find the subject, infinitive and verb form together from the first slide. They then highlight the boxes and “color in” the boxes with the fill color tool.

Digital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence CreationDigital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence Creation

Third Slide: Students write a sentence with each subject and verb form.

Digital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence CreationDigital Tool to Support Foreign Language (French, Spanish) Sentence Creation

Watch a video that shows how students engage with these digital activities.

Take a look at these Google Slides activities that you can copy directly into your Google Drive to share with students.

You can also see paper versions of these activities in this blog post.