We have one week of face-to-face (or should we say mask-to-mask?) teaching under our belts. Our students are spaced 6 feet apart with plexiglass around their desks, and going in, we weren't sure how our partner activities were going to go. The distancing and the masks do make it very hard to communicate, and sometimes it's hard to know when a student is speaking or not!
Thankfully, we have the chance to take the students outside whenever we want, and once they are sitting 6 feet apart, they are able to take off their masks. After teaching indoors the first two days, it was such a joy and relief to see their smiling faces! And we were relieved that communication became much easier outside without the masks; partner activities will be a possibility!
One "hack" we have come up with to get the students practicing is the use of puppets. We created three sets of "Partner Conversation Puppets." We printed them out on card stock, and used masking tape to attach a popsicle stick to the back. We give each student a set of two puppets to keep in their folder. (We also provided a pdf for our virtual learners so they can print some out at home.). They can practice their conversations on their own in a fun way.
We created three different sets that we will use with different age groups. Click on the images below to get your own at our TpT Store: