More than just projecting: discover how to make better use of your digital components!
11 mai 2018
Back in the day, teachers purchased a big teacher’s guide that contained all of the pages from the student’s book and also some extra handouts to be photocopied. Forgot the teacher’s guide at home? Too bad, it would have to wait. And if your school already purchased a teacher’s guide years ago… forget about the new and improved one that just came out. Remember those days?
Now, most textbooks come with an online component that has become a teacher’s best friend. What began with USB keys (a lot smaller to carry around) is now online with easy access from anywhere! So how can you make the most of this friendship with your online component?
Digital components are necessary in today’s classroom. Here are 5 easy ways to use your new tool!
1- Use your online component as a visual support and as help to animate your class
Teachers can now project the page students are working on. We all know it does help students find the right page and saves us some time! But it also helps students follow along and focus. It helps any student who is visual and teachers can easily point to things, zoom in to sections and bring the attention to the important elements they have chosen to focus on.
2- Use your online component to customize your lessons
Your online components come with tools that allow you to highlight words or entire sections, to draw, add notes and do lots of little things to customize the page or handout you are projecting on the board. For example, you might want to highlight discourse markers if you are working on dialogues with your students or highlight all of the cognates in the text. Even better, have students come to the front and use the tools to “play” with the texts. This will not only help customize your lesson to the group and the students at the front with you but also to the strategies you are currently working on. Some of your students may struggle with a section while others need some extra focus on another part of the page. Your online tools allow you to customize your teaching to the student’s needs.
3- Use your online component to quickly find the audio and video that you need
Do you remember the time when you had to put in that CD, find the right track… and pray that the CD was not scratched and would work? If you are like me... and are a little older… (I mean more experienced), you may even remember tapes. Having to rewind to one specific place to play that 2-minute discussion between two teenagers to complete an activity was so much fun, right? Your online component has a direct link to the online pages, allowing you to quickly access the audio or video needed for the lesson. No more having to remember to bring the tape or CD with you and no more wasting time looking for the right track. Everything is right there. Plus, your online component often has extra audios and videos to use with your students. Use them to differentiate by assigning different audios to different groups of students or to go further with a stronger group. The Poptropica collection has lots of songs, audios and videos to use with your elementary students that can help you differentiate from group to group or from one student to another. In high school, the On Track collection also has lots of audios and videos available and even some grammar lessons and demos for you to use when reviewing elements of grammar with the students. Offering this extra audio or visual support will help some of your more auditory or visual students.
4- Use your online component to learn through interactive activities
Students love to to use the interactive activities in conjunction with their activity book: they help the students stay engaged. They become excited (in a good way) and love to participate when there is a little bit of competition and fun involved. The interactive activities such as the ones in the Poptropica Digital Package are a great way to review vocabulary, grammar or simply to get students talking! Most activities included in your online component can be easily done using your interactive whiteboard. Consider having students come to the front and be the captain of their teams. Being able to play on the actual board is a great privilege to students!
Watch this video to see how a Grade 4 teacher engaged her students by using Poptropica’s interactive activities:
5- Use your online component to go even further
Your online component is much more than an answer key or a visual of the book. It is everything that you need in one place. Check out the extra activities, the evaluations and the online exercises. Poptropica offers all four levels in one package which will then let you customize your teaching to your students; it even includes teaching tips! Best of all, online components can be constantly updated by the authors and publishers of your selected material. You never have to wait for a new edition of the teacher’s guide to be printed and you may be surprised to find new things to try out the next time you visit!
So, it’s time to find that password you received and explore your online component!