Would you rather…?

 

IMG_3186My Spanish 4 classes have been acquiring Spanish with comprehensible input methods all along, and they are GOOD. They are PROFICIENT. And guess what? We are not done. Just as I myself continue flooding my own free time with target language to increase/maintain my proficiency, they need a constant push to acquire more. However, they can communicate! And they enjoy using their acquired language to communicate. It is fun and satisfying! Output has a role and to me, this is it!

Continuing my quest to promote an environment of fun and productivity in Spanish 4 classes that have dwindled down to only a few juniors, today we played “Would you rather…?” In Spanish I called it “¿Preferirías…?”

I gave each small group a set of cards that I created with “Would you rather…?” questions. Students placed the cards faced down and took turns drawing a card. After they read the question, they gave their answer, then as a group they discussed their opinions and decided if certain conditions would determine their answer. This is a GREAT way to practice speaking in the conditional, and it is also just plain fun.

My 6th hour class is sometimes a little tiny bit more in need of “management,” so I gave them a carrot to keep them in Spanish. I set a 20 minute timer. I told them that if I heard ANY English, I would reset the timer. I needed to hear 20 minutes of “Would you rather…?” in Spanish and then we would watch El Internado for the remainder of class.

Not only did they completely hold it together and speak all in Spanish, but they were good at it, and we all had a lot of fun. We only had 3 small groups and I was able to circulate around to each group and participate with them (HEY–INPUT!). At the end one group said they wished we could just keep playing. One student said “You should make more cards and let us play this all hour some day!” So, this activity is a keeper, and yes Rachel, I will work on making more cards for you for Spanish 5 next year!

You can make your own questions, or get mine here!

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We can still use Spanish to communicate even though half the class has graduated!

 

Kiva! Video contest!

AND THE WINNERS ARE…….
1st place Sarah
2nd place Stephanie
3rd place David

Congratulations! You each get extra credit (not that you need it!) as well as you may select a recipient for a Kiva loan from me! Way to go!

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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!

Hannah      Emily H.     Holly

Marissa     Olivia     Alex      Jordan     Tucker

Kayle     McKinzie     Emily Q.     Alyssa L.

 

Future ideas for stations

Stations are a fun alternative to traditional whole-class activities!
Stations are a fun alternative to traditional whole-class activities!

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?

 

Stations – What I’ll do next time

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!

 

Stations

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)

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Waka Waka Station

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).

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Superman es ilegal Station

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

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Book on CD Station with Esperanza by Carol Gaab

 

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.

 

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Small group conversations with Señora Placido!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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La misma luna scene description station

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.

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Find the cognates in the children’s books!

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!

Station 7: Bananagrams

Students played bananagrams in Spanish!

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Bananagrams
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A game makes a quick station and a nice brain break!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Village

Spanish Village is a long-time tradition in my school. I teach at my alma mater, and I’ll just say that when I was a freshman in 1989 the activity seemed to have already been done many times!

In May of each year, we celebrate the culmination of another year of Spanish study with a day of Spanish immersion, music, food, and fun.  It started out with a few kids in a classroom and has grown to a huge event that takes over the lobby of our performing arts center for a day.

Students in Spanish 3 and 4 are the “townspeople” and in groups of 2-3 they create stores, community services and attractions which can be visited by their classmates in Spanish 1 and 2.

The level 1 and 2 students each have a passport, and included with the passport are a list of tasks which must be completed in order to receive stamps on the passport.

Spanish 3 and 4 students spend all day putting on this event, and level 1 and 2 students visit only for their assigned class hour.  All Spanish is expected to be spoken and grade penalties are given for those speaking English.

El Cine where students view student-created cinematic awesomeness!
La cafetería for the finest cuisine!
La farmacia will cure what ails you!
One stop shopping at Spanish Village!

Level 4 Spanish Civil War / Art / Film unit

Recently my level 4 Spanish class finished up a study of the Spanish Civil War and Franco. It was a lengthy unit, which encompassed a novel study last semester, and then continued into the current semester with a film and art study. I was really pleased with the learning that took place, the increased ability of my students to discuss more advanced topics (these are 4th year students, but not pre-AP. Most of them are just interested in Spanish and not all are even college bound kids.), and what seems to be a genuine appreciation for the struggles of the Spanish people, the understanding of the concept of fascism, the understanding of left-wing versus right-wing, and the concept of film and art as a powerful political statement rather than simply entertainment or beauty.

I’d like to share an overview of what we did, much of which unfolded as a result of some really powerful collaboration with my colleague Carrie Toth (@senoraCMT). I am so grateful to know her and call her my friend!

Materials:

La hija del sastre
García Lorca Biography Packet

 

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Article on Spain’s Falsified Adoptions under Franco

Films:

La lengua de las mariposas

El espinazo del diablo

El laberinto del fauno

Video:

Guernica by Pablo Picasso in 3D

El Ambidiestro

Students kept journals, we did lots of discussion, and they also were told to look for imagery and especially what they believed might be symbolism. We kept track of the powerful images that were common across more than one of the items we viewed or read. Students practiced speaking about the imagery with an inside-outside circle activity.

Finally, after studying the painting Guernica by Picasso, students were given time to create their own art representative of what they knew about the events and consequences of the civil war for the people of Spain. Once their art was finished, we displayed it in a “gallery” (a large open unused choir room in our school!), complete with tapas (ok, popcorn, chips and oreos, but it was a nice thought!). Students were divided, each group had 10 min to circulate and talk with others, 10 minutes to stand near own art. All talking in Spanish. I circulated asking questions to help them refine their own thoughts and statements. At the end, they had to describe their art to me in Spanish (via cell phone using Google voice), and then were randomly assigned to the art of another student to describe or discuss in Spanish.

Here is a video of two of my students describing art created by their classmates.

Collecting student video for speaking assessments

I’m looking for a little tech support from my PLN (personal/professional learning network) today. I just found out our school will be getting wifi at some point in the near future (yay!). I’ve already been encouraging a “BYOD” (bring your own device) atmosphere in my own classroom, namely cell phones and ipods so far. I am envisioning what wifi could do in terms of our ability to be productive with a multitude of devices, especially considering the large numbers of kids with ipod touches.

My question is, what would be the best and most efficient way for me to be able to have students making video recordings of themselves engaging in interpersonal speaking tasks with others and sharing those clips with me?

Considerations:

  • Limits on data storage
  • Access outside of school and inside school (need cloud)
  • I don’t want to have to visit many locations to find clips
  • Must be easy to use and readily available
  • Multi-platform is a must
  • I need access but I don’t want other kids to be able to take vids of classmates and upload to youtube, etc.
  • App or utility needs to stick around for a while, not disappear on me
  • Should be free or very cheap

Possibilities:

  • Dropbox
  • Google
  • Skype
  • MMS

So, my friends, how can you help me with this? Thank you!

ACTFL Communication Standard

For most language teachers, the primary “bread and butter” of our course is Communication. This year, in my quest to be more standards-based in my instruction as well as more proficient at communicating the standards to my students and their parents, I have had several things on my mind.

First, I realize that there are now 3 modes rather than 4 skills.  How often and in how many different ways should I be assessing students in each mode?  How do you do it?

I’d really like some more ideas and to collaborate with some of you on how you assess the various modes in your classroom!

In Spanish 2, here is what my class will look like in terms of the modes:

Interpretive Listening

Song quizzes every 1 1/2 – 2 weeks.  After studying a song, students take a cloze quiz and are also asked to interpret the meaning of various words in context.

Commercials.  We will do cloze listening activities with a variety of commercials.

Myths, legends, and stories project.  Students will select from a variety of audio clips of different myths, legends, and stories.  They will use the audio as the basis of a video project in which they select or create appropriate  images for the audio.

Identifying pictures.  After learning the story of Jorge el curioso va a la fábrica de chocolate, students will view several pictures from the book, listen as I read descriptions of the pictures, and they will select the picture I am describing.

Interpretive Reading

We will read a total of 4 novels in the class.  Students will read and take quizzes recalling the information they have read.

Students will complete a “Choice board” project in which they choose from a variety of options in which they demonstrate their comprehension of the reading.

Presentational Writing

Students will write an in-class narrative based on a picture.

Presentational Speaking

Students called Google Voice and described pictures from a story we had learned in class.

Interpersonal Speaking/Listening

Students will discuss what they did over the weekend with classmates each Monday.  They will have assessments in which they use Google voice to record several of these conversations.

Students listened to a guest speaker from Perú.  They formed questions for her with a partner and asked her the questions.

Interpersonal Writing/Reading

I’d like to have my students write to our new Peruvian friend (who is an English teacher there) and ask her students some questions!

 

 

 

MiWLA Handouts and Links

Rejoinder List  we dicussed in Carol Gaab’s workshop on Friday

Transforming the World Language Classroom With Formative Assessment 1:00-4:30 pm University 1

Formative Assessment MiWLA 2011

Angry Birds Article

Robo en la noche Choice Board Projects

Formative Assessment Teacher Tools

Reading Comprehension Assessment

Writing Rubric

Cute “Secret Message” Activity

Formative Assessment Card Sorting Activity (if you are a coach feel free to borrow and use!)

Online Resources for Maximum Learning Impact  2:30-3:20 pm Ballroom F

Handout

Leave your impressions of these resources here! http://willyou.typewith.me/p/miwla