Hola Señora Baxter! I've found your blog a couple times through pinterest, and every time I'm directed to your site I always find amazing ideas! This is my second semester of teaching Spanish, and I'm teaching level 2. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to teach with music, but I've sorta hit a snag this semester. My third period is only 21 students, with 35 desks. That leaves for a lot of empty space. Because of this, I think that my students are shy, and they never want to sing. The just stare at me, or mumble quietly. Am I trying to force this too much on them, or should I just go back to traditional charts (which I really don't want to do!)? Any help or advice would be appreciated!Sinceramente, Señor Brown
Hola! I think this is something that happens often. One of the first things I do with my kids is on the first day I let them know that we will be talking, singing, dancing, etc. I let the kids know that this is the norm and they will have to adjust to the class. I know this may not be a POPULAR idea but I do give a participation grade and I feel like yes, I am sometimes making the kids be talkative BUT I stand behind the fact that I am preparing them for the real world. Imagine going into a meeting where your boss is demanding input and participation and you and your colleagues just stare back...he would probably think it's time to get a new TEAM of people in! I know let them PICK their groups at times if I see that separating personalities goes against my plan of having that fulfilling participation. I use bribery often (candy & cookies work well). Also, in classes where you have a BIG room but few people, try to bring the kids all in closer. Don't let them spread out...use only a certain half of the room & make them come in together. It sounds like you are consistently trying and doing a great job. I would just put the work in THEIR hands and the accountability in THEIR hands. If you would like to talk more & share ideas, like my FB page at Senora BB Spanish & we can message ideas back and forth. :) hope this helps!!!