Handouts hold a certain nostalgic appeal for me.
They remind me of my earliest days as a student, when I first delighted in writing legibly and storing papers in a sturdy folder, just like a grown-up would.
Growing up, we received everything in the form of a handout. Assignments, explanations, study guides—everything related to school was printed out and given to the class.
Then we started becoming environmentally conscious. There was a bigger focus on going green, which meant we stopped getting handouts altogether. We went digital instead.
While paperless is great, sometimes an old-fashioned handout is the best way to get your point across.
Fortunately for teachers and their students today, contemporary recycling efforts have made paper a more sustainable resource. Teachers can now print handouts in moderation with a clear conscience, and students can benefit from supplemental exercises and explanations that help them improve their grasp on the Spanish language.
Look Good on Paper! 5 Sites for Spanish Handouts
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Read further to see how you can use Spanish handouts to enhance your students’ learning experiences. But first, let’s look at a few reasons why you should be giving your students handouts alongside their prescribed coursework.
Why Use Spanish Handouts?
They work well with other methods of instruction
Spanish interactive notebooks are growing in popularity among teachers and students of all levels for good reason. Thoughtful and practical Spanish handouts are essential to the compilation of a high-quality and useful Spanish interactive notebook. Whether you create or use ready-made handouts, they can be seamlessly integrated into interactive notebooks and used for teaching grammar points, vocabulary and more. They also come in handy for teachers who enjoy offering students group work and opportunities to flip their classrooms.
They help students focus on specific learning objectives
Handouts are a great way to target one or two specific learning outcomes. A grammar handout on irregular verb conjugations, for example, allows students to focus on the irregular verbs at hand without any distraction that might confuse them. Teachers can even break a difficult concept down into several different topics that each fit on one handout to make the subject even more accessible to students.
They’re easy to grade and file away
As long as both teachers and students have a basic organization system in place, like a simple folder, binder or interactive notebook, handouts will always have somewhere to live. As handouts accumulate, these storage systems become a handy study resource for students to reference back on when they’re stuck on a particular concept.
Handouts are a great way to give students a balanced learning experience—especially when paired with FluentU. That’s because FluentU gives you all the tools necessary to teach Spanish in a way that students understand. FluentU lets you teach Spanish with interactive games and exercises and real-world material like newspaper articles, songs and clips from popular television shows. As a result, students learn to speak like a Spanish native while learning more about the language and culture in Spanish-speaking countries around the world.
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Where Do You Find Spanish Handouts?
Share resources with colleagues
Colleagues are, without a doubt, your most valuable resource.
Suggest that your department create a Google Drive account for handouts. This works especially well if your department is spread out over an entire school district. If you’d prefer to keep things offline instead, a file in the teacher’s lounge with blank copies of handouts and worksheets is an easy way to share resources with your coworkers.
Have students design handouts for you
Student-generated materials are a great way for teachers to assess learning while giving students the opportunity to engage directly with the content. For example, you can ask students to read about a country and design a handout or worksheet using the information they’ve read. Or you can give students a song in Spanish to listen to and ask them to create a vocabulary handout based on the lyrics of the song.
Look for resources online
Thanks to the internet, teachers can locate Spanish handouts on all sorts of topics related to Spanish grammar and vocabulary for all levels of study. Check out these online resources below for more details.
5 Fabulous Online Resources for Spanish Handouts
The creator of the site teaches Spanish for International Baccalaureate students and many of her own materials appear in the handouts. She also compiles handouts and worksheets from Spanish teachers everywhere to share with anyone who might need them.
The website offers presentations and lesson plans, as well as activities and teaching ideas. Everything is clearly organized for easy access. The website asks that the copyright and footer information be respected for all of the materials, but everything is yours to use for free!
This online marketplace offers Spanish teachers almost 110,000 different resources, all created by educators. Though teachers must pay for many of the resources, there are some free ones available for download, like this handout on the irregular verb poder and this worksheet that reinforces colors and prepositions through astronomy.
The most expensive bundle of lesson plans, activities and handouts costs over a thousand dollars, but most single downloads are priced very reasonably. This website caters to Spanish teachers of all levels and audiences, and you can search by grade level, topic and price range.
This subscription service for Spanish teachers focuses on the various versions of the language spoken in different Spanish-speaking countries. As most of these countries share the same grammar structure, the handouts for these kinds of topics are universally relevant, but the fun happens when vocabulary studies begin and you can see the fascinating differences between different dialects.
One of the most useful aspects of the handouts is the fact that they can be edited; you can customize them to suit you and your students specifically. You need to pay a subscription fee in order to access all of the different resources available, but you can sign up with your email address and receive free materials to see if they work for you and your students.
The USDA has long been involved in healthy eating efforts across America, and this unique multilingual resource within the Choose My Plate framework is free and appropriate for all levels and audiences.
The focus of these handouts is nutrition and health, and much of the information is practical and suitable for a unit of study around food and making healthy eating choices. This handout on food groups is clear and concise, while this handout on vegetarianism is thorough and descriptive.
In addition to being full of important information for all students, teachers can feel confident in the accuracy of the dietary recommendations as they come from a reliable government agency. Because the content of these free handouts is the focus, teachers will need to create their own vocabulary banks to accompany the information if vocabulary-building is a learning objective for students.
Cactus is a UK-based company that offers language learning. In addition to their language learning course, they have compiled some helpful general resources for Spanish teachers and made them available for free through their Google Drive. These resources are accessible through a website they call miscositas. Spanish teachers can access their thematic curriculum units about the Day of the Dead and other important cultural events, as well as downloading bundles that include handouts, realia, even videos and related vocabulary-building activities.
Want to give your students a balanced learning experience? Use handouts to supplement the information covered in their coursework.
Check out the resources listed above to make sure they’re appropriate for your students, and be sure to review the handout thoroughly before distributing. Handouts are a great way to introduce and reinforce Spanish concepts as your students work towards the next level.
Lynn Ramsson is an educator who enjoys working with students of all ages. She has taught in Virginia and California, and now, she writes from the south coast of England where she lives with her family. She travels to Spain as often as she can, in search of the perfect gambas al ajillo.
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