Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Conjugation Frustration!

Okay, so not every post is butterflies and sunshine and today....I'm doing a little blog venting BUT I do offer a solution in the end (if you're willing to hang with me).

So....if you are a language teacher, (while you were learning the language yourself) you figured out that verbs were important. You also learned very quickly that conjugation is super important. 

If you can't conjugate a verb well, then...you sound like Tarzan, and even though they may "know the main idea" there is a lot of uncertainty, and you can't call yourself a proficient speaker. 

Well, I TRULY feel like my kids do very well with their verbs and conjugation, but there is a small percentage that never learned it, refuse to get it, it.just.doesn't.stick! 

So of course, I'm trying to find the secret formula to make it to where EVERYONE can conjugate a verb in the blink of an eye. 

My kids who are going onto Spanish 3 and are over-achievers can forms all kinds of sentences with the correct subject pronoun and make sense of it. I'm amazed at their abilities! 

Okay, so, my kids in the middle (on paper) can do it, but they still lack that "be able to do with your eyes closed & hand behind your back" kind of skill. 

So, I got curious and decided an investigation needed to take place. I have a couple students who I like to use to get honest information about my teaching and just a general insight into the student's minds. Of course these kiddos are geniuses, but I feel like they can outgoingly (is that a word) represent their classmates. 

So I asked them, 1)Do you think conjugation is important? "Yeaahhhh...(eyebrow raise)" 2)Do you think we do enough of it in class? "Not really sure (confused look)" 3) Do you think we should be conjugating verbs everyday in class? (developing a little confidence to speak about this) "Well I think that your "smart" kids are going to get it no matter what but I feel like the ones that don't care or the ones in the middle easily forget it" hmmm....I liked his answer but this is what got me more when he said "I think that if we did something everyday with it, the kids CAN'T forget it. It will be stuck into their heads. And to be honest, I sometimes struggle with the irregulars anyway."

Wow, eye opening...very eye opening! 

So their lovely answers gave me enough evidence that I needed to work on incorporating a daily conjugation practice. Here's the problem....HOW? WHEN? And the final thought...seriously, how am I going to get through everything?! (Hands on heads, gripping hair, moans of frustration)! 

So another guilty confession? (I'm just letting it fly today, ain't I?) I don't really like my bell ringer system and another confession, I change it almost every other trimester. I want to start with a bell ringer, and I think it's important. But, I struggle with a few things: making sure every kid is accountable? Grading? Meaningful? How--worksheet, notebooks, their notebook paper? and what exactly do I push in the bell ringer? 

So this trimester has been great, and I honestly do like my bell ringer choice a bit better BUT I'm still not totally in love with it. 

I make a worksheet, Yes, I make it (I hate that I'm killing trees). The worksheet is front & back. Front is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and back is Thursday & Friday. They come in, pull it back out from the day before and do the 5 to 7 questions on the projector. Usually, they are translating "something" 

So...I've got an idea to incorporate daily conjugation & I'm going to be working on it asap! It will include something you can do everyday, have them turn in, check over, etc. 

Coming in a couple days!!! 

Does anyone else struggle with constant conjugation & wanting to make sure your kid NEVER forget it?! 

God Bless, 
Brittany B. 


  1. YES!!! I am a 5th grade Dual Immersion teacher in San Diego. This is very common with my 10 year olds. In their speaking and in their writing. I know that modeling proper conjugation is critical as we teach. I am going to be creating charts to post around the room of verbs conjugated in different tenses. I am hoping that having a visual reminder will help them when they get stuck in their writing.

    1. Love it!!! Your job sounds so fun! I am visiting San Diego this summer for a friend's wedding, any recommendations on places to visit?! :)