I am revamping what I teach in Spanish 3 this year! We have moved some novels around and also some new novels have come out that I wanted to teach! People always ask “What do YOU teach?” so I try to keep up-to-date with it on my blog for people who either need a little guidance or for those who are just plain curious!
We have 2 18 week semesters and meet for 55 minutes each day. Each of my semesters contains two major units anchored by a novel.
I started my Teachers Pay Teachers store last year, and I didn’t have a level 3 class. Look for lots of new items to be added to my store this year that I will be using with Spanish 3! If I reference it in this post, you will be seeing it in my TPT store this year! Everything I sell is something I have used with my own students. I know I could make money selling lots of other items but I want to keep it real, and besides, I don’t have time to waste making materials I don’t plan to use myself!
NOTE: In addition to the novel and culture units listed here, we also watch El Internado on Fridays as well as do many activities with our “song of the week.”
Thematic songs/videos/films: Te dejo Madrid by Shakira, Blood Brothers documentary, Blancanieves (various videos), Blancanieves feature film.
Overview: I begin by teaching the story of Snow White TPRS-style. I teach the story, we do lots of acting, and I movie talk a short Snow White video. We watch the film Blancanieves which I movie talk several scenes from and do several readings based on the film (with all films, PREVIEW first. There is one scene I cut.). During the film we begin discussing bullfighting terms. I also use the video for “Te dejo Madrid” by Shakira as a movie talk and further discuss bullfighting.
I also teach the story of Ferdinand.
We then read Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos by Carrie Toth. I follow the teacher’s guide for the novel.
Kara Jacobs has an awesome blog post about teaching this novel here!
View clips from show “Grimm” to intro La llorona legend [Grimm Season 2 episode “La llorona” (on Hulu) (first few moments are great! don’t need to watch whole episode! –and in Spanish! Then show very end also)]
I have been really looking for ways to increase my Spanish 4 students’ ability to comprehend more types of text and gradually up their “authenticity levels” in their reading. They are awesome kids to work with, and I am looking at most likely having a Spanish 5 class next year for the first time! I have a blend of extremely proficient kids (advanced in both listening and reading on the AAPPL exam) all the way down to those who are still scoring in the novice high range on the AAPPL. Some kids just LIKE learning Spanish and stick with it even though their proficiency isn’t increasing as rapidly as some of their peers. And I am totally ok with that! I’d rather have them stay with me and make slow gains than quit and gain nothing. (On a related note, check out #nationofadvocates on Twitter!)
One of the things I have been working with in Spanish 4 is reading news articles. I often will take an article, simplify it, and make an activity with it. (By the way…if you teach Spanish 1 or 2 and want an AMAZING wealth of non-fiction CI amazingness, I highly recommend you check out Martina Bex’ El mundo en tus manos Spanish news stories for novice learners!) I really wanted to come up with an activity that students could use to process ANY non-fiction text. Plus, since I am left with only half my students in my Spanish 4 classes (our seniors finish 2 weeks early) I wanted to come up with some activities that felt like valuable work yet not a punishment. In many of their other junior/senior combined classes they are simply “done” for the year. They admitted to me that they are bored with so much free time and are tired of watching movies all day.
I’ve really been liking the content at NewsELA.com, and they have a ton of Spanish articles. Students can select the lexile level they’d like to read, and I encourage them to select what feels comfortable to them. I told the students to get into groups of 3-4 with their chromebooks and choose an article that they ALL wanted to read. I allowed them to read silently or aloud, together or individually, and they could have WordReference.com open if they wanted. Their task was to make sure everyone in the group was able to understand the article.
They were to use the Kagan structure “Fan-N-Pick.” Our school is a Reading Apprenticeship school and we have been using Kagan structures for many years. I highly recommend them!
The basic gist is this:
Students sit in a circle.
One student fans the cards out (like they are going to do a card trick “pick a card, any card!”)
The student to the left of the fan selects a card and reads the question to the student on THEIR left.
That student answers the question.
If there is a 4th student in the circle, that student either adds to the answer or restates the answer.
Pass the fan of cards to the left and repeat.
I allowed my students to reference their article DURING the Fan-N-Pick activity if they needed to.
I had my students put away their articles and task cards. Their task was to video record themselves having an informal “book club style” discussion about their article. They were well-prepared, knowledgeable, and I daresay they even had fun doing this!
Today on #langchat, I mentioned that I like to offer options to students as a way of differentiating. I needed a little more space than twitter affords to explain!
1.Options, options, and options within the options. Teenagers LOVE to feel in control and have choices. We do a LOT of reading of novels in class. I like to offer students options. I allow them to choose between:
pair reading (they can choose to just read quietly next to each other, they can read aloud in Spanish together, or they can decode to English [loose translation] together)
small group reading (same options as pair reading)
read with me (I decode to English, pausing frequently for students to chorally fill in the next word they see. For unmotivated groups I have been known to fling candy at participators as though they were seals at a zoo getting fish!)
2. #AUTHRES As much as I go on about comprehensible input, I do really love using authentic resources in class, especially in level 2 and up. The trick for me is to keep it quick, keep it fun, allow the task to be simple enough as to not frustrate, and then EXPLOIT the authentic resource as a vehicle for providing MORE comprehensible input, either verbally or with a modified reading.
Here is an example of an activity I made with a Coca-Cola commercial. Students get the entire sheet, and THEY select whether they want to do the advanced or beginner segment. Following the activity, we can then do a comprehensible discussion about what kinds of gifts an elf could make, what they wish for for a gift, or what are some examples of non-material gifts they would like to give or receive.
3. Embedded readings. I often will offer students an embedded reading with 2-5 different levels included. I allow students a choice about which level they start on (I intervene gently if they are choosing poorly…sometimes a student will try to start out on the highest level just to speed through!).
Here is an example of an embedded reading I made for the story Chac Mool for Spanish 3 that is free to download.
You will notice that in the lower levels of the reading I use clip art or gloss some of the vocabulary. Using visuals is a great way to lend support to students whether you are speaking to them or reading.
4. Layer upon layer and lots of connections. It is important to spiral and recycle and always be focusing most heavily on high-frequency vocabulary. Keeping the topics relevant and high-interest is also key. I am always looking for things in the world that might spark some excitement with my students. This is how I came across the story of the organization Amigos de las Aves and the Flor de Mayo bird refuge in Costa Rica that inspired me to write Robo en la Noche. 3 years later the movie Río came out and it was a perfect fit to blend together a unit! That led me to want to know more about the inspiration for the movie and I discovered the story of Presley! These are all unique and interesting stories yet they connect to the theme of wildlife poaching. By bringing them all into my classroom we are then able to make comparisons and re-use that same set of vocabulary and same language structures to discuss new scenarios. We can then personalize by talking about our own pets. Did you know “felangérido de azúcar”? Well, I do now!
5. Adapt expectations. I have one Spanish 2 class that just plain struggles. Many of them have failed at least one semester of Spanish previously, most of them don’t really consider being bilingual a priority, and many of them just hate school plain-and-simple. I invest LOTS of time getting to know them and just trying to relate to them as people. The sugar-glider girl is in this class. She loves to listen and understands IF I CAN ENGAGE HER. If it feels too “schooly” she and many of her peers tune right out. For this class, I often try to make them feel like they are “getting a deal.” I will say things like “How about if you guys give me the next 10 minutes of good eye contact and respond to all my questions we can listen to your favorite Spanish songs for the last 10 minutes of class?” They will go for it AND they will sing along with the songs to boot. Win-win. Or “How about instead of taking this quiz we do a Kahoot instead?” Same questions, but they buy in. “On this 10 question quiz, you only have to answer 8 correctly to get an A.” Make them feel like they just got a great deal.
How do YOU differentiate and provide choices to your students? Let me know in the comments!
Spanish 4 and 5 students created videos to promote specific borrowers from Kiva. The top 3 vote-getters will be able to choose a borrower for a $25, $75 and $100 loan from Señora Placido and will also receive extra credit!
Please vote for your favorite. You may decide the criteria for what makes it your favorite! 🙂 Check back soon for more links as they are turned in!
I LOVE using music in my classroom every day! It is motivating, cultural, popular, fun, and if you ask my students years later what they loved most about my class they will most likely tell you it was dressing up and acting things out and MUSIC! I’d love to share with you some of the ways I use music and hopefully you will leave a comment and let me know your favorite ways of incorporating music in your classes too!
My students receive a large music packet each semester. We spend about 1 1/2 weeks on each song. We begin class every day by listening to the song, and students are expected to have the lyrics out and follow along, and singing is ENCOURAGED but never forced. I have several words/phrases underlined that students are expected to know for the quiz we have at the end of the 1 1/2 weeks. After we listen for several days we do a practice cloze quiz (included in the packet).
Additional activities that I may or may not do for each song:
Extra cloze activity with a secret message.
Lyric line-up (put lyrics strips in order while listening – best in a small group)
Musical slap and grab with vocab picture cards
Storytelling with the song or with a music video
Connect a song to something else we are studying
Use a song to highlight a grammatical pattern
Use a song to compare cultures
Read about the artist performing the song
A reading which turns the song into a story
Use lyrics to create a “found poem”
Use blubbr.com to make a trivia activity based on a youtube music video
Lyricstraining.com example with Yerbatero by Juanes
Dance contests or flash mobs (Waka Waka is a fun song to try!)
Use a song as transition or “worktime” music or during passing time between classes.
How do YOU use music to spark learning in your classes?
I am going to use this post to compile ideas for future stations, general or specific! Feel free to comment if you’d like to add your own ideas!
Textivate.com – Using a reading that we would do in class, create a textivate. My station can be located in front of the big screen and use my wireless mouse and keyboard with my desktop computer! (Accountability: group takes a screen shot of completed puzzle and saves on computer at designated location.)
Commercials – Create a cloze activity, Q&A, put phrases in order, etc with any of these commercials.
Puppet Pals – Using my ipad in Guided Access mode (locks the ipad so that only the chosen app can be used until a PIN is entered by me), students create an animated video. NOTE: because ipad won’t turn off in Guided Access mode, bring a power cord!
Lingro.com – Set up on a computer with a google doc listing several articles. Students choose an article to read together as a group and use lingro for when they need a word defined. A good introduction to this useful tool?
Jenga game / Don’t Break the Ice game – both of these games can be labeled with a permanent marker with numbers or letters. Provide the students with a list of questions or “problems” that correspond to the letters or numbers on the game. By answering the questions/completing the task/problem correctly students get to play that game piece.
Good old-fashioned flash cards. A simple idea but could make a good station!
I have a large “library” of children’s books and magazines in Spanish. I would LOVE ideas for incorporating these into stations. Currently we do Sustained Silent Reading twice a week for 5 minutes in my level 2 classes. Ideas?
I had a great time doing stations the past two days. The absolute best part for me was the station where I sat with each group and just conversed. It was really fun and I definitely got a feel for who is really on their game and who needs a little bit of help.
The listening stations were GREAT! The only minor problem was the audio book CD station took 9 minutes and the other stations tended to go more quickly. I will try more carefully to balance out the times. The kids really liked the 2 music stations.
The describing the scenes station was good but needed some accountability. I tried having them record but ran into a few glitches. I need to think about that one some more.
Bananagrams station was a lot of fun but some groups were more into it than others. I might offer a choice of a couple of different games. I really want to get a Jenga game to make into an activity center! (I saw a cool idea on pinterest…more later!)
The cognate station was also good, but again, could have used some accountability.
Next time I will have groups rotate IN ORDER and set a timer. By the end there were a couple of groups who didn’t get into certain stations because there was no order to the whole thing.
I ended up putting out an Apples to Apples game in Spanish as an extra “bonus” station. They actually played it! I will use games more for sure next time!
All in all it was a success and will definitely be revisited in many forms in the future!
Today I tried stations in my class for the first time! It was great! I had 7 stations (since my largest class is 34!).
Station 1: Waka Waka (the “song of the week” this week)
I cut the lyrics of this song into strips. I also wrote a 33-letter sentence along the left side of each of the 33 strips. “Shakira is from the country of Colombia.” I plugged a Belkin 5-port headphone jack splitter into a desktop computer and attached 5 sets of headphones. Students played the music video from Vevo on the computer as many times as needed to line up the lyrics in the right order.
Station 2: Superman es ilegal (song from movie “La Misma Luna” which we are in the process of watching right now–they heard the song in the movie yesterday).
I made a large cloze activity out of the song lyrics. Instead of writing the missing words in, the words were on little slips of paper which had to be physically placed on the space in the lyric sheet. The whole lyrics sheet was the size of 8 sheets of paper which I taped together. I plugged a Belkin 5-port headphone jack splitter into my classroom’s Chromebook (thanks so much to @edbacker, an anonymous donor, and Hudgins Real Estate for the financial support on that!) and attached 5 sets of headphones. Students played the song from Youtube on the computer as many times as needed.
Station 3: Esperanza
Students listened to the next chapter of their novel, Esperanza by Carol Gaab on the audio CD. I plugged a Belkin 5-port headphone jack splitter into a desktop computer and attached 5 sets of headphones. I provided novels for students to use if they wanted to follow along as well.
Station 4: Conversations!
I sat with students in this group and we chit-chatted en Español about their plans for that afternoon, what sports they play/watch, and the book we are reading in class. SO FUN!
Station 5: La Misma Luna
I made some screen shots of the DVD and printed them out. In this group, students worked together to describe their photos based on their knowledge of the movie. I started out also having them make a puppet pals video (an app I have on my ipad) but I abandoned that for lack of time after the first class.
Station 6: Cognates
I made a large alphabet on a huge sheet of paper. I put a sticky note next to each letter. Students searched through my large collection of children’s books trying to find at least 1 cognate for each letter, and no more than 5 for any given letter. This was pretty easy, but hopefully tricked them into finding some new books to read for SSR next week!