Making the Worst Situation Amazing

Last week, I had a great lesson planned. I was going to have students design their own reference pages in French, using Slides on Google Classroom. I had everything set up, including a template and examples. Using tech had never been an issue as the class shared a computer cart with the class next door, who had a class at the same time that never required technology, so it never required booking and was always available. I was pumped. It was going to be a lot of fun and I had an engaging way to get the students interested in learning French!

I went down to the classroom to meet the students, and as they lined up I asked a couple students to bring the computer cart with us. “It’s dead, Mme Leier! The cart won’t charge any more.” Ouch. Re-calculating lesson… Don’t panic. Don’t let them see your fear!

We head down to our room and I revise my plan for the day. Do I tell the students about my original plan? Eeek!

The students settle in. They look to me, as students tend to do, wondering what I’m about to teach them. What AM I going to teach them? Why, a revised, paper version of my original, of course.

I began by showing them the paper copies of the French resources that a few of my colleagues had given me. They were each a collection of different types of resources and work sheets all put together. I asked the students if they’d like to complete one….silence….”me either,” I replied, which got a giggle out of everyone.

The students and I all agreed that the booklets left something to be desired. It was just too simple to fill them out, so what would we do? Make our own, of course!

Students eagerly selected areas of interest, such as verbs, sports, numbers, months, or clothing, and got to work re-designing a page, along with a game to help them review or learn French words. Were they as “neat” as what we could have made online? No, probably not, but the students really enjoyed making them!

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