Okay, so I am going to try to not let my excitement take off on me! As most of my readers have figured out...I teach Spanish 1, Spanish 3 (our school does not have a Spanish 4) and AP Spanish. Teaching upper level has been a journey as well as a challenge. Every year I get to fight the battle of my students close to forgetting every lick of Spanish I have taught them and then of course....I have to get them ready for one of the most difficult exams to ever walk the earth...the AP Spanish Exam...yikes!!!
After years of first day disappointments that my "UPPER LEVEL ADVANCED" kids forgot how to conjugate a freaking present tense verb...I knew something had to change. Sooo....last May I introduced the lovely "SUMMER HOMEWORK". It was a little shocking at first and I'm sure I probably ticked off a few kids but my thought was...you want to learn Spanish bad enough...you want to take AP bad enough...you'll do it.....and.....they did! I still have a few stragglers that need to turn in their assignments and they have until Friday with a small late grade attached but wow, look at those completed books, papers, etc!
So...I decided to share my assignment since it turned out to be pretty darn successful!
First, every AP student (no matter what subject) needs to be familiar with the college board website and familiar with the class they are going to take and the exam that is attached to it. Now, I know we preach we are educators, not "exam prep instructors" BUT in this case...they have to know what is sitting at the end of that very dark and challenging tunnel.
First assignment....easy easy....get on the site, look around, read about YOUR class, YOUR test, and then send me an email and tell me what you think. What are you scared of? What are you confident in? What do you need me to do this year? What can you do to prepare? At least two paragraphs and bam, you just completed your first "summer homework"
SUCCESS...I was ALREADY getting emails by the first week of break...chu-ching!
Second, 10 hours of logged Spanish work....2 for writing, 2 for reading, 2 for speaking, 2 for listening, and 2 for grammar work.
I GAVE THEM FREE REIGN!
I said...for writing...journal, make a blog, write letters, text, etc.
I said for reading...read a novel, read twitter stuff in SPANISH, read texts, read CNN Espanol, etc.
I said for speaking...visit little mexico communities (and we have them where I'm at), visit the Mexican restaurant and order a 1.50 taco if you're broke but talk to the employees, use a friend in our class to chat, visit groups of people that will just speak Spanish...
for listening...everything in reverse with speaking...
and grammar...get online, buy an AP prep book to work in, download a Spanish practice APP on your 500.00 iphone.
They had to bring in their writings, provide proof of their speaking/listening, and bring me proof (written) of their grammar practice.
IT WENT WELL!
If anyone is interested in copies of my AP summer work...please send me a message and I would be happy to share my assignment with my readers as a "thank you" of support! :)
You guys excited about going back?! Let's make it a great and fun year!