In my previous posts, I wrote about some of the activities for the first chapters and second group of chapters. With the last batch of chapters, I tend to repeat many of the same activities that I have done before. While novelty is wonderful, it has been weeks since we have done many of these activities, so they are not repetitive. It is also nice not to have to explain some of these ideas not as extensively. Students continued to work on their retrieval practice from each chapter. We took a break and play a Kahoot game which reiterates many of the chapters in the book. It is awesome that you can search within Kahoot and find many Kahoots related to the book. I also have cobbled together a Quizizz for the final book as well from other people’s Quizizz questions. We also did another collaborative mural to talk about events in the book as well.
In this post, I will mainly focus on the assessments that I have used. I believe that you can apply the IPA (Integrated Performance Assessment) format to novels. I mentioned before, that I gave an interpersonal speaking assessment earlier in the book. They could discuss characters and their actions. We would also lightly discuss setting and make a few predictions. About 3/4 of the way through, I gave an interpretive reading assessment. I wrote my own story using key vocabulary words from the book. I realize that ACTFL applies interpretive reading only to authentic resources, but I believe that an interpretive reading assignment with a teacher created story can also be valid. I use these assessments to see if my students have acquired the language that has been repeated throughout the book. Once I write a new story, I ask vocabulary identification, comprehension questions and inference questions.
We completed the last two assessments at the end of the novel. For presentational writing, I give students a variety of creative topics to write about. I typically always allow them to rewrite the ending to have a different story. I also had students writing about what happens to Antonio when he wakes up on the beach alone. Many students really like to be creative, and I often end up laughing at their stories as well.
Finally, I used a different technology tool for their final assessment. I used Sutori which is a way to create an online timeline. I only have the free version which allows text and images. It also allows students to work together at the same time, which is always a great aspect! I had students collaborate to write a short summary of each chapter and find a picture that represented it. Then, we used these timelines to participate in an interpersonal assessment. Students can ask questions about mostly the pictures. The chapter summaries are just there to help guide them. As I have mentioned before, I allowed students to brainstorm questions ahead of time, but many times, they used questions off the top of their head. This is great as they continue to push their proficiency level.
For some reflections for next year, I taught this novel in January, and it was a good time for my level 1 students. They really seemed to understand it. As always, at times, I want to drag some of the novel out, but I also believe that students feel that the book seems too long that way. As I am always cognizant, many students do not love reading. The purpose of the book is to make them feel successful and help them acquire language.
Many of my students were successful on the IPA tasks, so I am pleased with that. I like the addition of Sutori at the end; however, doing both retrieval practice and the timeline seemed repetitive. I also want students to use some of their resources from the unit that they create (like the Goosechase videos or digital storytelling pictures). I think next year, I can substitute Sutori for the written retrieval practice and have students put their pictures in here instead of our class dropbox.