This year, I made a big change for me, but what may seem like a small change for others. I ditched the cloze song activity on my exam this year which was my listening section. I really loved (and still kinda love) the song portion. It was a bit of fun during the exam as many students would ask me to play it again even if they had all of the answers. Also, I had students practice the song activities throughout the year, so I felt like it was a cumulative activity. The majority of my students scored well on this section. I also had students who would reference this song section in later years. (One group of girls got really excited when they saw one of the songs on my desk just last week!) Plus, I thought it was so authentic and better than a traditional listening activity from the book.
But this year, I realized that it wasn’t as authentic or relevant as I want. It doesn’t always mirror what my students need to know or do as Spanish listeners. This year, I made the decision to replace it with an EdPuzzle. An EdPuzzle actually assesses their interpretive listening skills, and I can find a YouTube video of a native speaker. It also mirrors something they may encounter in the outside world. (Although they will also hear a Spanish song, they do not need to understand every word. I still hear the phrase Starbucks lovers when I listen to Taylor Swift’s Blank Space…)
Although this post may not be as helpful or relevant for others, I hope it will inspire you to make a small change. Many times, it doesn’t seem like our small changes will amount to a lot, and when you want to make a change, small changes don’t always feel important. It can be difficult to drop an activity that you love and the kids love. Also, it can be overwhelming to read blogs or posts on Facebook and think that you will never be there like that teacher. Just make a small change and start there.