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Fremont teacher's bilingual videos featured in several media forms
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Fremont teacher's bilingual videos featured in several media forms

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Like other teachers, Dan Moran isn’t in a schoolroom these days.

But with help from a couple of friends, Moran has created seven bilingual videos designed to be a fun way for students to learn and practice language at home.

The videos—called “Bilingual At Home”—can be seen on the Daniel Moran YouTube channel. They’re also airing on the Nebraska affiliate of the Spanish network Telemundo and can be seen on its website and Facebook page.

Moran is a kindergarten teacher and dual language coordinator at Washington Elementary School in Fremont.

When he learned last month that students would be out of the classroom for a while, Moran said he thought it would be fun to create an educational and bilingual resource.

He enlisted help from friends, Joe Hamilton, a third-grade teacher at Clarmar Elementary, and Matt Rief, a videographer and multimedia designer.

The result has been videos, which help students learn about various topics from handwashing to vocabulary to math facts.

Four videos incorporate games and activities. One is a song. Moran has a read-aloud-in-Spanish video, too.

The videos are for Spanish and English speakers—from those who are proficient to those who are just learning.

Moran uses hand gestures and graphics to help students of all language levels understand and engage with the videos.

He hopes to give students and parents more options that make learning at home more enjoyable and engaging.

In a video called, “Story Charades,” Hamilton speaks in English and Moran in Spanish.

“We’re going back and forth,” Moran said.

That’s important for language learners—especially those in bilingual education—because they’re constantly involved in what’s called “Translanguaging.”

In other words, they’re using knowledge from one language to understand another.

“Story Charades” is a practical exercise parents can do with their children. One person tells a story, while the other acts it out.

In the video, Hamilton tells a story in English, while Moran acts it out, then they reverse roles, adding a little comedy along the way.

Moran created a handwashing song in Spanish for a video—called “I Wash My Hands” or “Me Lavo Las Manos.” Viewers can learn Spanish and English words in a video that’s not even two minutes long.

In one scene, Moran even comically pretends to wash green, plastic fingers attached to his hands.

A video called, “War,” or “Guerra,” involves a card game. Numbers and math problems are written on index cards.

In one game, each player gets seven cards. A number is written on each card.

“You count to three, you flip them over and whoever has the greater number gets both cards,” Moran said.

Players continue until they’re out of cards.

That same idea can be adapted to math problems. At one point, Hamilton has a card which reads: “9—1” and Moran’s card reads “6—2”—so Hamilton gets both cards.

“Today’s my lucky day,” Hamilton said, collecting Moran’s card.

Moran noted the game’s adaptability.

“I didn’t want to show a game that’s set for a certain grade level or age,” Moran said. “I wanted to show families how they could develop their own games and ideas, regardless of age or academic ability.”

Moran said all of the games and activities are rooted in things he’d done in his own classroom. He expanded on them in the videos to make them more relevant to children at home.

He plans to make more lesson-oriented videos as opposed to open-ended activities and games.

One recent video deals with strategies for addition for kindergarten and first grade students. He plans to develop content for students in grades kindergarten through fourth.

Telemundo has been showing educational videos on television between 10 a.m. and noon each day this week.

More said bilingual people, who are teachers from across the state, are submitting videos, which Telemundo is showing so children can access the content from their homes.

Website access is available at telemundonebraska.com. Viewers then click on a tab that says: aprende en casa to find the videos. They’re also available on the Telemundo Nebraska Facebook page. On YouTube, people can type on Daniel Moran and search for titles, such as: “Add a Word” or “Agrega una Palabra.”

Moran said he’s had a good response from the videos, mostly through Facebook.

His first videos to show on Telemundo on Monday already have almost 3,000 views.

He knows the videos are reaching children. He’s had comments such as: “Thanks, these are great. My kids love them. They can’t wait for the next one.”

After Moran posted the hand-washing song video, he said one parent texted him that night. His daughter had written out and already memorized the lyrics.

“It’s been fun, especially considering the current circumstances where I can’t see my students to hear from their parents, saying they watched the video,” Moran said. “To be able to connect with them through these types of means, really means a lot.”

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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Calvary United Methodist Church at 2438 E. 12th St. has garden spots available at no charge for anyone interested.

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