Monday, December 31, 2018

Viva El Toro

Our second unit of the year for 10th grade is a reader and our goal is an interpersonal assessment.  We read Blaine Ray's Viva el Toro (and hopefully we'll get the new edition next year!). This unit has definitely shifted and grown as we've incorporated IPAs to be our structure for a unit.  There are so many fantastic authentic resources that support bullfighting and I'm sure that we'll include more in the future.  We wanted to structure this similar to a Socratic Seminar in which students referenced different resources to link them together.  We set our goal for Intermediate Low and try to model and encourage effective communicative skills throughout the lesson and also focused on asking questions on a regular basis.  We set daily learning targets and try to hold the students accountable each day with closure in regards to that goal. 


Saturday, December 29, 2018

My Five Favorite Lessons

Following Martina's lead of #MyFive, I'm sharing my top five fave lessons that I think are useable with all units.

1. Beanie baby toss
1 did my mariposa lesson in my unit called perspectivos de muerte that we studied to align Día de los Muertos. It's a lesson plan format I'll copy again because it engaged students and increases their level of accountability.
Teacher provide hook. in this case we did a Mariposa hand clap (just replace chocolate)
Teacher provide first round of comprehensible input. I pulled out my objects with butterfliesbutt at a time and gave input and asked questions (pics below)
Beanie baby toss as a class:  class stands in circle and give one word you associate with mariposa when you get beanie baby.
Teacher provide more input. I created a "book" and had students readalone before more comprehensible input and engagement via plickers 
Beanie baby toss with partner (same as before but not each student shares out more)

2. Salad bowl

Martina shared this 8 years ago. Carrie Toth describes with pictures on her blog post. It is fin and really gets the vocab into their heads!

3. "Close Watch"
When we have students read, we do a lot to get them to do a close read. I started doing that with videos this year as well. Whether it is a music video or not, the first viewing requires students to watch and write on whiteboards all they can see in Target language. They write nouns, actions, people, etc. Teacher calls on everyone to report out a word and then writes on front board. Watch again to try to get five more. Teacher can pause video and provide more CI and refer to the words the students provided.
The next watch can then be specific to your goals of the video.

4. "What's that?"
Gather around table in the middle to see what teacher has. I leave all objects in the giant "pot" for an suprise element.  As I pull out, I describe and ask some questions (thinking about giving them ideas and vocab they'll need for next idea)
Then hand out sentence strips (aka sentence starters) and students form their sentence when ready and teacher can elaborate or comment on students sentences when appropriate

5. Achi Pachi
Trick them into practicing questions through repetition.  My friend Senorita Walpole wrote a blogpost about it

Thursday, December 27, 2018

My 5 Blog post Influences

Here's my top 5 Blog posts that had a huge impact on my classroom:

1. Encouraging L2 from students
La Maestra Loca Points System
Huge game changer and easy to implement!

2. Sentence stems
Such an easy trick to prepare students to participate in a group conversation. No more crickets!

3. CI Tips
Notes from NTPRS 2017
high-leverage strategies ...those yielding amazing results with minimal effort

4. Deskless

Joining the trend!
Benefits of going deskless

5. Vocab List-Less
I saw Amy Lenord present this idea at ACTFL 2016 and was inspired!  I have really tried to lessen the list and depending the unit may have no list!  Added support from Carrie Toth

Friday, November 9, 2018

Spanish 5: Perspectives of Death

I wanted to make this unit to align with the PERSPECTIVES of Day of Dead. For the last few years, it was on family traditions, but we wanted to tweak this to give the students more to talk about in their final interviews.

We also set our goals on creating experiences and going slow.

Overall plan:  Perspectivos de Muerte
  1. Vamos a Morir (movie talk and song analysis)
  2. Holiday Comparison (show clip from El Libro de Vida)
  3. Art: Jose Guadalupe Posada (IPA reading)
  4. Cemeteries (stations, including a chat station with teacher)
  5. Mariposas
  6. Ofrenda (lots of hands on stuff)
  7. Perspectives of Death (Octavio Paz quote)
  8. Work day 1
  9. Work day 2
  10. Interview & on-demand writing
I would love to add a day about the parade in Mexico City.  I had no idea about this.  Hollywood actually inspired the new tradition.  Prior to 007, there was no official parade in DF and the parades were in small towns.  I feel like this could be a rich discussion.  

Choice HW (this was quickly made, so it’ll have to be added to as I collect more #authres)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Cuentos y Leyendas

This is our intro unit for Level 3, 10th Grade.  We make the goal clear from the beginning with our students.  We're doing a unit in which they'll have to retell a story popular in the Hispanic culture at the end at Intermediate Low.  So we created a unit with Backward Design in order to build them towards a successful presentation. We set daily learning targets and try to hold the students accountable each day with closure in regards to that goal. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Soy Yo additions

I am still very happy with my level 5 intro unit, but as we do, had some areas I wanted to improve in.  So using my unit, I think the big changes were to "pelo malo" and Frida Kahlo.

1. We wanted to spend more time actually talking about Pelo Malo so we could try to get to perspectives...this is always a work in progress, right?  Identifying products and practices is fairly easy (not for all in the target language!)

a. To better prepare, we changed the "world beauty" article to focus on African influences.  I did take this article and (eek!) altered it to make a (practice) interpretive article!  It's too long for my goal.  I want them reading authentic, but I don't want to overwhelm them and I want to stay true to my goals.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Frequent Feedback #4

My last post (for now) on feedback!

Feedback FROM the students

I want the students to give me feedback so I know what works, what they like and what they don't like.  So here are two ways that I can do that.

  • Using an idea from @lamaestraloca for her classroom management system   
    That sign was so that we could identify certain characteristics that we want in our intermediate-level students. Making Connections is one that we have also. We reward away when they ask questions make comment and connections.  But regarding feedback FROM the students, it's just something that I make myself build in my lessons.  After I introduce or use something such as an #authres or an activity, I pause, point to the sign and ask students if they'd like to comment, question or opinion about it.'s in L2 and it's in front of the class, so I know I don't get full disclosure, but it sets the tone that I want their feedback and I encourage L2.  So maybe a student says I don't like the song.  I can ask if it's too slow or too fast or the wrong style and then I can ask if other students agree.  I reward points for those that speak up (ultimately giving them a celebration of some sort at the end of the unit if they make the goal) and get some insight into their opinion.
  • I've blogged about my unit reflections before.  It's just another opportunity to get insight from them for my personal planning.  

I like my unit reflection.  It’s feedback for me about the students overall take-aways and their opinion of the unit.  It’s also a way for me to keep identifying the cultural Ps.  Sometimes my students tell me this is stressful, though they say it lightheartedly.  I don’t know why…it’s in English and there’s no grade!