“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand” - Confucius.
As teachers, we know we should encourage our students to put what they have learned into practice as soon as possible, and give them constructive feedback to allow them to improve their skills. But how?
Printed worksheets are great for homework and can be completed collaboratively in class, but if we wish to return feedback to the student, worksheets create a repetitive marking, correction and assessment burden that sucks up valuable teacher time. Computer-based exercises are fantastic for giving immediate feedback, but can isolate students from their peers, and make it very difficult for the teacher to monitor progress, or to tailor activities for their students’ needs. Furthermore, some activities are by their nature subjective, and are unsuitable for computer-generated feedback. Both printed worksheets marked by the teacher and computer assessed activities suffer because they must tell the student the correct answer right away, rather than leading him to it inductively, as a teacher would, given unlimited one-on-one time with each student!
The Spanish worksheets on this website combine the best of both worlds - activities give students instant feedback, but can also include subjective essay-writing and speaking exercises - these allow students to request feedback and assessment from their teacher or from peers. Students can form small groups to finish worksheets as a team, either in class or for homework - even when they are on opposite sides of the world! When students make mistakes, they are led through an inductive process to find the answer, meaning they are much more likely to remember it for next time. As a teacher, you know that students are paying attention to the all feedback and corrections you give them. Furthermore, all the Spanish exercises on this site can be adapted and reused however you like. You can adjust the difficulty, add additional exercises, or even create your own worksheets from scratch and share them with colleagues. It is also possible to upload your old printable worksheets and convert them into an interactive format.
If you would like more control over the process, you can first select a resource from the site, then hit ‘Set work’. You will then be led through a series of screens which will let you set deadlines, disable features such as the noticeboard or collaboration, and pre-create accounts for your students under your control (be sure to have a list of students’ names ready for this).
If nothing you see is quite suitable, you can click ‘Adapt’ to make edits to an exercise before sending it to your students.
Once you are using the activities here with your students, you can explore the rest of the site at your leisure. The markbook is great for keeping track of your classes’ work, and students’ portfolios let them and you monitor their progress over time. Collaborating with colleagues online using the system can also be a lot of fun and you can try out the upcoming exchange program with your overseas partner school in a Spanish speaking country or experiment with using peer assessment with your own rubrics.
The answer is, you can’t - at least not on your own! We recommend choosing a worksheet to practise an area you need to improve in, and then hitting the ‘Ask for help’ button to bring your friends, your tutor or your teacher online to study with you. You can also join in discussions in the activity’s noticeboard, but beware - don’t just ask for the answers, because everything you write will be visible to your teacher!