Friday, February 6, 2015

Readers, Calling All Readers....

So I want to do something a little different! Any teacher knows this time is year is known as the mid-year crunch! I don't know about you guys, but this time of the year my head is spinning in two different directions. I have all these PLANS in my head I want to do, all these revisions, ways I want to better my classes and program but I'm sitting here writing this blog entry instead of grading the heap of papers sitting beside me! :( 

I think this time of year, teachers need INSPIRATION! I know I do.'s what we're going to do...I want you guys in the comments to share what you are MOST proud of in your classes and with your language program. It could be that you have increased your higher level numbers, conquered performance assessments, flipped your classrooms, etc. It's up to you but I want to hear it because I NEED IT. I need praise stories, I need inspiration, and I love hearing what makes all these language classes unique. 

So, anything that you want to share, please do! 

Gracias & God Bless,
Brittany B. 

1 comment:

  1. I am proud of our efforts to get our Spanish 2 students to speak more spontaneously. Per unit, we give them 6 scenarios to practice at random with partners selected through an online group generator. An example of a scenario would be "You are at a restaurant and order food. When the waiter brings it, there is a hair in it! Simulate a conversation that begins when you walk through the door of the restaurant and ends with you paying the bill and leaving" or "You and your mother are having a conversation about your weekend plans. You tell her you want to go to a party, but she tells you that you have chores to do first. Work together to create a logical conversation for this situation."

    They are not allowed to write anything down or use vocabulary/notes. They change partners and scenarios each time they practice. Each scenario gets practiced between 4 and 6 times with as many partners. They don't have to be long - no more than a minute or two at most. We practice for about half of 2 or 3 class periods before taking another half class period to assess.

    At the end, we assess them by assigning them another random partner and they get to pick one of the 6 scenarios out of a hat. They get 30 seconds to figure out who is going to take on which role and get themselves situated before performing the conversation for the class. Students are assessed on their own Spanish and how they respond to their partner and not on how much their partner can say.

    The rest of the class fills out an active listening sheet in which they must figure out which of the 6 scenarios they are hearing and check off the elements of the conversation (in the restaurant example given above, they can check off "greeting, waiter asks what they want, customer orders food, waiter brings food, customer finds and reports problem, waiter solves problem, customer asks for bill, waiter brings bill and says what payment they accept, customer pays bill, both say goodbye".

    They are assessed on their comprehensibility rather than their grammar. This takes the pressure of speaking perfectly off of them. They don't have to worry about getting a bad grade because they said rojo instead of roja accidentally.

    The students have had overall positive reactions to these assignments. They have told me that it has helped them feel a little less self conscious in class since they get to practice so many times before they actually get assessed. They have come to expect them because they are a part of every unit. I have noticed an increase of Spanish used in the classroom (students talking to each other in Spanish, to me in Spanish, etc) and their writing has increased.