Tuesday, July 14, 2015

5 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for your Bilingual Classroom


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One of the challenges of being a bilingual teacher is finding the right Spanish resources for your class. Even after I translated all the parent notes, created countless of activities for reading and writing, and  was always the one to ask "Is it available in Spanish?" I just could not do it all.
If you are feeling the same way, and even if you don't teach kinder and/or gifted and talented, here are
5 ways I used social media to help me find what I needed for my students:

1. Search on Pinterest
It is almost as if Pinterest has in a way replaced google images, if I need to find something, my first instinct is to go to Pinterest.  If you are already on there, but don't want to overload it with boards about education, remember you can make your boards secret (private).

If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, change the wording you use. For example, switch between English and Spanish, if I am looking for morning work, I could write any of the following

"Trabajo de la mañana"
"Morning work in Spanish"
"Daily work in Spanish"
"Trabajo diario para kínder"

Follow Teaching with Nancy's board Bilingual Resources PK-5 on Pinterest. Follow Gisel's board  ¡TPT Gratis! Español k-2 grado on Pinterest.
Two Pinterest boards you will find useful if you are a PK-5 Bilingual/Dual language teacher

2. Join Twitter Chats
A Twitter chat is a fast paced hour where teachers from around the world learn from each other. Usually, there is a moderator that will guide you through questions.
I recommend using Tweet Deck because it is very user friendly and you can keep track of the questions and answers to participate in the chats. Here are two examples of  the chats I particularly like for teachers, but there are so many more out there...

Twitter chat for bilingual teachers every month                                        Early childhood chat every Tuesday

3. Follow teachers on Periscope  
Periscope is new to me, but I'm already following teachers that are sharing really useful tips, classroom ideas, technology tips and more. You get to see them live and interact by writing them a message. @Luckylittlelearners is a teacher I like to follow:

Teachers on Periscope
4. Find Organizations on Facebook 
Many organizations create a Facebook page to stay connected with their members, you will be the first one to know about conferences, future events, new information, etc.

You can be part of various organizations that offer conferences throughout the year.  I recommend finding groups on Facebook to learn about these conferences. Here is a small list of bilingual/dual language organizations:

ATDLE  Association of Two-Way &Dual Language    Educators 
CABE California Association for Bilingual Educators
TABE Texas Association for Bilingual Educators 
BSETN  Bilingual and Special Education Teachers 

And don't forget, if you are in the North Texas area, a group of bilingual teachers will be hosting the first ever iTeachbilinguals meet and greet, where you will get free bilingual activities for your class, click here to find out more. 

5. Use Instagram 
Teachers are also using Instagram to share organizational ideas, to show their classroom set-up, activities, videos, etc. Here are some hashtags to follow:


***Bonus***  Follow Teacher's Blogs/Websites
There are many teachers sharing really good content on their own website/blogs, you can use the website bloglovin' to follow the ones that you want. There is also an app for that! :) I  noticed that if I don't follow the blogs I like, I quickly forget about visiting them again, even if I really loved the content.

There are also collaborative blogs, where many teachers share their ideas.
A group of bilingual/dual/Spanish immersion/ FLES teachers created a website where they share free activities every single day once school starts in August:

Short video (1min) explaining what is iTeach Bilinguals 

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