Posted in beginning of the year

Details: Part III, Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities

Details Part III, Unit I Spanish I: Introductions and Activities

This is my fourth post about my first unit that I have planned for level 1.  You can find my preliminary post here, the first set of details here, and the third post here.

I am making my way through my first unit.  I just gave my first interpretive assessment on Friday.  It went well!  I want to continue to work on the purpose of the article.  Also, I want to start working with students on identifying where they found information in the article.  I did not do that before, so I am marking that for the next interpretive reading assessment.  I also stuck a free write in the plans to start working on students’ writing.

The last can do focuses on dates and time- while still recycling likes.  We have been discussing the dates throughout this unit.  We also did a quick review of the months with Quizlet Live.  I have a few activities bookmarked to continue to practice dates.  I also found this authentic resource talking about school dates in Argentina  (last few pages).  We will be able to compare when we start school versus the trimester dates of Argentina.  Also, as always Zachary Jones has some great resources about comparing schedules in many different countries including Argentina.  I mentioned this resource about Independence dates that I used years ago.  I like this because it is also timely with Hispanic Heritage Month as a way to explain why it is from September 15-October 15.  Also for times and dates, I like to look at TV schedules like this one.  Students can also discuss what they like or dislike on TV.

Using this awesome MovieTalk database, I found this clip about an annoyed penguin.  I will start the week with this short video.  It is easy to use penguin because it is a cognate.  We can also work on the phrase- No le gusta/n.  Also, this will allow us to work with ¿cómo está?

My outline for the MovieTalk consists of:

Hay un pingüino grande.  Hay tres pingüinos pequeños.  Hace frío.  Está nublado.  Al pingüino grande no le gustan los pingüinos pequeños.  Los pingüinos pequeños saltan mucho.  Saltan muchas veces.  Al pingüino grande no le gusta saltar.  Tampoco le gusta el entusiasmo.  Está mal.  Está frustrado.  Los pingüinos pequeños saltan.  Finalmente, el pingüino grande lanza un pingüino pequeño.  Hay una ballena grande.  Es posible que la ballena coma el pingüino.  ¿Qué hacen los pingüinos pequeños?

I plan on drawing this as I explain it which is a bit more like some of the story listening techniques.  I did the same thing with the first chapter of Frida Kahlo, and it seemed much more engaging for students.

As we continue to work through students’ likes and dislikes, I will do a 1-3-5 free write (a variation of 1-3-10.)  When we do free writes, I like to have students write on a piece of paper then I can have students upload a picture to Seesaw.  Also, to help students improve their writing, I am going to have them read a lot of summaries about their classmates’ likes and dislikes.  Since their final assessment will be a version of a free write, I will focus my efforts here.  Going forward, we can focus more on a variety of aspects of language.  Initially, I just want students to put down what they can.  Their final assessment will involve writing what they like to do based on a schedule (like the TV schedule or class schedule) and also a free write of what their peers like.

As I continue to work with this unit, I will update this and finally, I will reflect on any changes that I want to make at the end of the unit.  Hope this helps you if you are doing a similar unit.  If you have done something similar, also let me know the activities that you planned!

 

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Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: September 15, 2017

Brillante Viernes: September 15

¡Es viernes!  It has been a long week with our back to school night on Thursday night.  This year (and last), I decided to do a Kahoot with parents.  I found this fun Kahoot on cognates and copied it.  Parents seem to enjoy it- and it gives them a different view of how we use technology now in the classroom.  I also pass out the students’ Seesaw codes as well.  Here are some of my favorite posts from this week:

Flashback Friday from my blog:

  • How it helps me to write down questions before a MovieTalk
  • I tried to project my class objectives, but I found it was easier to remind myself what I was doing by rewriting them
  • Beginning of the year info gap for my level 2
  • How to practice dates using dates of independence for Spanish-speaking countries

 

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 25, 2017

Brillante Viernes August 25

Happy Friday!!  Congratulations to everyone who has made it through another school week!  I went back part time to help with my new mentee teacher and tie up some loose ends with our beginning of the year experiential education trips… and I was SO exhausted!  My husband and son were literally running around me as I lay on the couch useless.  Hope you have time this weekend to catch up on your favorite blogs and relax!

And a flashback to previous years here on the blog:

Posted in beginning of the year

Details Part II: Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities

Details Part II Unit I Spanish I Intro and Activities

This is the third post about my preliminary plans for my first unit in Spanish I this year.  You can find the first post including my final objectives for the unit here and the first days here.

My other objective for this section is:

  • Focusing on how to discuss likes and dislikes

For the next day, I plan on working with likes and dislikes.  When students enter, they will read the following infographic.  (Me gusta mucho)  I will then use PearDeck’s polls to have students vote on which ones they like and do not like.  The nice thing is that I can set PearDeck to student paced mode, so students can move at their own pace throughout the questions.  Once we have done this, I can lock their answers and we can view and discuss everyone’s favorites.  After this, we can go through the date and weather as well.

As I plan to start with interpretive reading, I will provide students a practice reading activity with Yahoo Respuestas.  I will give students the print out to read and mark up.  Then students will move around and write on large papers cognates, words that they have learned in the first week and items that people identify that they like from their reading.  Throughout this unit, students will be able to keep a list of important and useful words that they find.  While we will have a list of main words for them to know, they will be able to put together a list of words that would be important to them.  When they are done, they can move around and include any new words that they learned on their list.  Then, we will answer some questions in English about the reading together.  Finally, we will play a game of Kahoot about the reading.  Once the Kahoot is done, we will continue to work with talking about students in the class.

My goal is to have their interpretive reading quiz the following day.  Of course, I will have to determine how the previous day goes.  I will also provide students a study guide.  The study guide will be another Yahoo Respuestas question.  It will be different from the one that they will eventually get on the quiz.  I realize that many teachers like to have unannounced quizzes and they do not like to give as much information up front as I do.  While that may give you a better idea of the level of your students, I like to build up the confidence in my students.  I have many nervous students (and parents), and I want them to feel capable and able to study for their task.  Also as ALL of you have searched for authentic resources before, you know that there is a very slim chance that students can find the same authentic resource that you have.

After the quiz, we will switch it up to practice some listening with these video clips from Zachary Jones.  I love that he uses clipart to help novice students decipher what the words mean in Spanish.  This also allows me to have a full lesson plan based on how long it takes the students.  There are many different video recordings for students.

The following day, we will start Señor Wooly’s Puedo ir al baño as our input in the beginning.  After the weather, I will give students a list of questions including introductions and likes/preferences.  Each student will get one question and practice using quiz-quiz-trade.  They each ask their question then trade questions with their partner and find a new partner.  I will circulate to note which questions are difficult to students to highlight in the next few days.

Once they are done, they can add another entry to their Seesaw journals using these guiding questions:

  • ¿Prefieres octubre o mayo?
  • ¿Prefieres el océano o las montañas?
  • ¿Prefieres el té o el agua?
  • ¿Prefieres la música pop o rock n roll?

I want them to add a picture to their entry and find someone else in the class that prefers some of the same things that they do.

The next day, we will start with a Quizizz about what students have learned about the likes of their classmates based on our talking with cards/circling with balls at the end of each class.  Then, we will do the weather and date.  Students will then go on a linguacafe talk using some guided questions to again reiterate and practice introductions and likes/dislikes.  We will play a quick glob game before reading.  I made this reading about an Argentinian tennis player who is number one in the world for wheelchair tennis.  I included questions about it and a video that we can watch as a class.  I also included a reading about the Argentinian women’s field hockey team with questions and a video to watch.

The following day, we will complete an interpersonal interview.  I will interview each student.  As I am interviewing each student, the other students will be working on Señor Wooly nuggets from Puedo ir al baño.  At the end of class, we will complete a free write for students to brainstorm everything that they have learned.  Once I look at their free writes in addition to their speaking practice, I will determine how to finish practicing before their final writing assignment.  I will be finishing up this week with more ways to focus on writing in addition to focusing on when events occur.

Posted in beginning of the year

Details Part I: Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities

 

Details Part I Unit I Introductions and Activities

Earlier this week, I started to plan for my first unit.  I started to collect a variety of resources to complete it next.  I also had to decide what order made sense to tackle the can do statements.  The first few days I will work on “I can introduce myself and I can identify cognates.”  I will also start to work on weaving in “I can talk about my likes.”  You can find my first day of school plans here.

For the second day, I will start by defining what a cognate is then we can review some of the cognates that they brainstormed the previous day.  Then, I will have students visit this website (or you can take screenshots.) At each table group, I will challenge them to find as many cognates as they can while they explore the website.  We will compare the number of cognates that they can find.  After this, we will start the calendar and weather introduction.  We will have a quick brain break where we introduce ourselves asking what is your name then tossing a soft ball to another classmate and asking his/her name.  At the end, we will continue the circling with balls/card talks that students started the day before.  This starts to reinforce the likes/dislikes ideas.

For the third day, we will continue with these ideas.  First, students will set up their Seesaw account.  Then, students will be able to answer the following questions:

¿Prefieres el parque o el café?
¿Prefieres las hamburguesas o la pasta?
¿Prefieres la televisión o la computadora?
¿Prefieres la clase del arte o la clase de ciencias?

I will provide students with the word “prefiero” to add to the beginning of the sentence.  I also want students to add a picture to their post to play around with using Seesaw.  I will again reiterate that these words are all cognates.  After this, we will start the calendar and weather.  Then, we will watch this video that reviews introductory phrases.  It is an awkward video, but I think we can stop it a few times and ask questions- like if we think that the two characters will finally dance together.  Then, we will do a quick round of rock, paper, scissors a la Maestra Loca.  Finally, we will continue to work through the circling with balls.  I will write up a few of the previous class stories for students to read as well.  These are preliminary plans, so I hope that you can take these ideas and modify them for your own use!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 11, 2017

Brillante Viernes August 11

Happy happy Friday!  If you are back in school, I hope that you have had a successful back to school week.  We are going up to Volga, West Virginia for our annual summer trip.  I go back to work for a few days early because I have a mentee teacher!! (Squee!  I am so excited to work with our new Chinese teacher!)  This is a little longer Brillante Viernes because I wanted to add some technology updates at the beginning!

  • In the past if you wanted to upload a series of pictures to Seesaw, you had to make a collage.  Not anymore!  You can now add an album!  This is perfect for digital storytelling.  Students can upload all of their pictures then retell the story right in the same entry.
  • Have you seen the new Flipgrid that was unveiled last night?  I keep reading about all of the foreign language teachers that are using it and all of the awesome ideas that they have.  Check it out!

Now onto the blog posts (and more!)

  • I typically don’t listen to a ton of podcasts (I mean with all of my blog reading, I have to sleep SOMETIME!)  But this summer, I have been listening to some on road trips, and I am SO excited for We Teach Languages.  The most recent podcasts have included two amazing WL teachers- Noah Geisel and Lisa Shepard (of Madame’s Musings!)
  • Sara-Elizabeth asks the hard questions… and finds that there is more than one answer about authentic resources.
  • This is a perfect follow-up about language advocacy and other skills that you learn in a FL class.
  • As I continue to make free voluntary reading a part of my class, I really appreciate Mike’s reflections and learn so much from him. He is honest about what works and what doesn’t in his own classes, and I always admire his risk-taking.
  • Finally- I blogged over at Path2Proficiency about how I want to become more of a language advocate this year in and out of my classes.

Finally- here are some of my older (but still useful!) posts:

Posted in Technology

Tips for teaching with technology

Tips for teaching with technology

I am a huge advocate of using technology in any classroom but in particular in the foreign language classroom.  I frequently blog about my blended class, and I have presented twice about technology tools that facilitate my foreign language class.  However, using technology can be daunting, and I keep seeing a lot of questions pop up in various teaching groups about how to teach with technology!  I wanted to offer some tips that I have learned in the past few years.

First, don’t be afraid to tell students to put away their technology!  (I know, I just told you how great technology is- and I am telling you to put it away!)  Just because your school is 1:1 or your students have iPads does NOT mean that they have to always use their computer.  I believe that teachers think that once their students get a computer or iPad that everything MUST be done with technology.  That is not true.  There have been many studies done saying that if a student is just using a computer throughout class to take notes, he or she will likely get distracted easily.  I struggle like many teachers to encourage students to use an online dictionary and not to rely on Google Translate.  Typically, my students blog and do a lot of writing on Seesaw, but many times, I would have them write on paper.  I gave my students a topic, we brainstormed important words as a group on the whiteboard, then I let them look up 5-6 words that they personally wanted to use.  Then, the students put their computers away and wrote.  Also, I make sure that all students put away their technology in the beginning and end of class when I am introducing/reviewing topics.  You are the teacher, and you know when they are using their technology effectively by using the programs below or if they are watching YouTube videos.

In addition, think about the value of working on an assignment individually versus full class.  Will technology ALWAYS make things better or is it nice to just interact with one another in the class?  For example, I am a huge EdPuzzle fan.  It is great for listening to videos, and it allows students to replay sections as many times as they need to really differentiate for each learner.  However, I rarely have students listen to music or watch music videos on EdPuzzle- even though they easily could.  I like this to be a whole class activity- especially watching the music videos.  I enjoy seeing the reactions by students for videos such as Soy Yo or my C Block’s personal favorite .  Same thing goes for Flipgrid.  I am excited to continue to use Flipgrid next year to have students record themselves speaking in Spanish, but many times, my students need to talk to each other face to face.  Just because it can be done with technology doesn’t mean that it always should.

Be choosy about what you use with technology as many pre made materials for teachers are not necessarily made by teachers with the most recent pedagogy in mind.  I have been playing around with Duolingo to learn some Greek.  I have completed the first lesson, and I don’t think that I have learned much.  Luckily, I was in a sorority in college which helped me eke through the alphabet unit (barely)!  In the program, you can hover over each of the words that you have to translate, and it displays the English translation for you!  Then you just type that into the box.  Also, I HAD to do that when as I have been learning Greek because I barely remember any words from the previous units.  Is this really the most effective way to learn a language?

With that being said- let’s get into the great aspects of using technology!  If you are going to use pre-made materials via technology (and I totally suggest it and use it myself!), use pre-made materials from other teachers.  You can typically find these in many programs that I have included below.  To use teacher made materials, do a search on EdPuzzle for MANY teacher edited videos.  You can find videos on any topic that you want to teach!  And you can still edit their questions- so save the ones that you want and change the others.  It is easy and quick!  Or, use Quizizz to search for pre-made questions on a variety of topics or novels in Spanish.  I was able to create Quizizz practices for homework in about 5 minutes max.

Additionally, make sure that you try the program before you assign it to your students.  Although your students may be digital natives and can figure out how to add filters to their snaps that does not mean that they know how to edit a video in EdPuzzle that you assign them as a project.  (I particularly like this article on EdSurge that debunks some of the myths that we have about our students and technology.)  I practiced on Flipgrid before I assigned it to students.  That does not mean that I can troubleshoot everything that happens to them, but I have SOME idea of how it works.  Once you can give students the basics, they can normally trouble shoot on their own.  If not, I like tweeting to ask for help because so many tech companies respond quickly on Twitter.

Finally, find some basic programs that you like to reuse and can be used in multiple ways, so students are used to them.  While I will throw a wild card at them from time to time (like Triventy when we have played too much Kahoot or a fun Goosechase scavenger hunt!), stick with similar programs, so students do not have to worry about the technology side of things too much.  Also, I like these programs because they enhance my lessons.  Technology should make your life easier- don’t use it because it is fancy or flashy.  Below is a brief overview of my go to resources and why they enhance my classroom:

  • Seesaw is an online learning journal for writing/some speaking: students can upload their writing, and then others in the class can leave comments for some nice interpersonal writing.  This is one BIG reason why it is better than traditional paper writing.  Students have an audience (the class) and can practice both interpersonal and presentational writing.  Or students can upload a picture and talk about it.  They can also leave voice comments or listen to my voice comment.  Again, this is a more efficient way to provide feedback than traditional feedback.
  • Flipgrid is a quick and easy way for students to record speaking videos or interviews with their classmates.  It is really fast to record, and it does not require a log-in which I really like.  I am also hoping to connect with other classes this year to have students communicate in this way.  While face to face speaking is a big goal in our class, some students feel more confident speaking to a video instead of each other.  This can support students to feel more comfortable.
  • EdPuzzle allows teachers to embed questions within a video, and as I have mentioned before is great for differentiation of videos.  When we would watch videos as a class and students needed to listen one more time to a certain section, we had to rewatch the whole video, and many students were already done (and bored).  This way, everyone can listen as many times as he or she needs.  Also, it is easy to grade to give feedback.  If you choose a few multiple choice questions, students can get instant feedback.
  • PearDeck allows you to embed various questions/drawing etc into a presentation and is great to jazz up my presentations.  Students can see others responses if we go through a presentation as a class.  I am able to see where everyone is with the material, and it is anonymous for the students.  Again, PearDeck is a great tool for students who typically would not always speak out in class as it allows everyone to participate at the same time instead of having one student give an answer.
  • Finally, ActivelyLearn is great for interpretive reading.  Students submit their answers to questions or polls that I have embedded throughout the document, PDF or website then the class answers are displayed.  Students can resubmit their answers and learn from their errors (instead of waiting for me to go over it).  By inserting the questions throughout the reading, you can also support students who struggle with reading.

With these programs, I encourage you to choose ONE to start.  Think about what you use most in class: reading?  Choose ActivelyLearn!  Videos?  Try out EdPuzzle.  Again, remember while technology is a great support for the classroom, as the teacher, you know and understand what would help your students.

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 4, 2017

Brillante Viernes (4)

Happy Friday!  I know so many people are starting back to school.  We don’t start until after Labor Day, but I am obviously starting to get ready.  BUT I know as much as I feel like it is AUGUST and I have to get all the things done or they won’t get done for a long time… it is still summer for me!  I want to make the most of it.  I took my son to an amazing art and technology exhibit in DC (see above picture), and I certainly plan more days in the sun before it is up.  As everyone is back in school mode, there have been SO many great posts this week!  Here are my favorites:

  • I am SO glad that Amy is blogging again!  I shared her post on Facebook, Twitter and NOW here!  The most important paragraph is the last one.
  • The seasons of teaching is another valuable post to read.
  • I always admire Sara-Elizabeth’s honesty, and I appreciate the boundaries that she has drawn.  It is so important for us as teachers to realize our limits.
  • I have been loving using Flipgrid recently.  Check out this post for many more ideas that I hadn’t even thought of!

And some more posts of mine from about this same time:

  • Some of the ways that I use the app Seesaw in my classes
  • Over 70 #authres that I have used in class! (Hopefully I will update this soon!)
  • Some reflections from NTPRS
  • How to use Pinterest for teachers (or craft projects!)
Posted in beginning of the year

First Day of School activities (and my goal!)

First day of school plans (and a goal)

Now that August has hit, it seems like everything is falling back into place.  As usual, I have been inspired with a lot of back to school resources by other bloggers, and I have been inspired by taking a shower (as per usual!)  The first day of school we have shortened classes.  Our schedule hasn’t been released yet, but I have tentative plans that I can lengthen or shorten based on our actual schedule.  Here are my ideas so far:

For all of my classes, I plan to be by the door with Spanish music playing in my class.  I also will be able to make sure that they are all in the correct place- especially my freshmen students!  I also always want to reiterate that even though I RARELY orally take attendance especially as the first thing, that is ALWAYS the first thing I do on the first day of school.  I would hate for a student to sit through the majority of my class to find out that they had me for a different block or were supposed to be next door!  I always explain this to them at the beginning of class, and I believe that it goes a long way to establish that I care about them.

For Spanish I, I want to start with the presentation from Creative Language Class.  After that, I will have a few big pieces of paper for them to brainstorm in small groups any words that they already know in Spanish.  This will give them a nice break from listening to me (and all of their other teachers on the first day!)  After this, I will have them make name tags with a few items that they like, so we can start discussing this.  This is based on Ben Slavic’s circling with balls that Scott Benedict also does a good job of explaining.

For Spanish II, I plan on keeping most of my same plan from last year.  I will do the Soy Yo activity along with the play doh activity on Seesaw.  It was a lot of fun, and it sets a good tone for the class.

I will be honest.  Spanish V was a hard one to tackle.  Everyone discusses the early levels because that is what most teachers teach.  In addition, I have taught the majority of my students before, so I didn’t want to do anything too much like an icebreaker either.  Most of these students know each other as well since I will not have any new to our school students.  Finally, it hit me!  I plan on creating a Pear Deck with the following information.  I want to show a picture of me when I was a junior/senior in high school which is their current age.  That always breaks the ice because everyone likes to see old pictures.  I plan on sharing why I started taking Spanish (it was the only foreign language that they would let me take in 7th grade… I really wanted to take Latin!) and why I kept taking it (pretty much, so I could major in Spanish in college, so I could study abroad for a semester in Spain.)  Sometimes, it would seem that we are so different from our students.  While I definitely loved speaking a foreign language, I didn’t keep taking it for the pure love of grammar structures.  Also, I can share that awkward feeling of when your parents try to force you to speak Spanish in any restaurant that they believe has someone else who speaks Spanish in it.

After explaining that, I want to give them the opportunity to anonymously share why they decided to take the course via Pear Deck and what they hope to get out of the class.  Pear Deck is great because I can see why all of the students are taking the class, but their responses are anonymous.  Also, this gives them some think time to start writing in Spanish instead of expecting them to speak right away.  Spanish V is obviously an elective for all students as they could have stopped taking a language a long time ago.  I want to know why they decided to sign up for it when they had a lot of options.  Finally, I plan on giving each student a sticky note to write one goal that they have for the end of the year or something that they want to improve.  I want them to display this on the bulletin board.  This can serve as a reminder why they are in the class throughout the year.  The second day, I want them to craft an introduction to me via Seesaw.  I am interested in learning their proficiency levels of Spanish as many students are coming to me from different classes.  By looking at their writing, I can start crafting ways for them to improve.

Finally, while I have a lot of goals for my school year, I have a BIG one for my first day of school.  Even though this will be my 11th year teaching, I always get really nervous before my first day of school.  I have crazy nightmares (starting in July) where I cannot find my own class.  I also do not sleep well the night before school starts.  My goal this year is to focus on relaxing and looking forward to seeing my students.  I am really excited to teach some of my same students as juniors and seniors that I taught when they were in 8th grade!  I want to focus on my excitement with being able to work with these amazing students again and not worry too much about the details!  Hopefully if I am conscious about it, it will happen for me!  Do you have any first day of school goals?  Plans?  Share away!  I can’t wait to hear them.

Posted in Uncategorized, Warm-up activity

Bellringers and I are never getting back together… Like Ever.

Adobe Spark (16)

So earlier this year, I wrote a post about breaking up with my bellringer.  I was nervous about not using it.  It was everything that I had learned was “good pedagogy.”  It was on my teacher observation checklist!  It worked for me… somewhat.  But brain research really wasn’t on my side.  And it was BORING (mostly).  Occasionally, we would start with a interesting game etc, but many times, it was a handout or book activity… that we needed to go over.  So by the time we really started it was far into class.

I realized that I didn’t come back and discuss how it went when we started a Twitter discussion about it.  I ended up keeping a similar schedule from my original blog post.  We would do the special person interview (and later in the year weekend review.)  To keep it fresh, one of my favorite weekend review options was on this blog.  Other days, I would start with Free Voluntary Reading.  To keep some accountability, I would have students find two new words to them to share with a partner.  Or we would do some booksnaps.  I started my level 2s with five minutes of reading then I bumped it up to seven or eight minutes by the end of the year.  In addition, I would either do a song or a MovieTalk as well.  I would also play around with commercials during February and the music mania in March.  I also would mix in some PictureTalk as well.  Because we would typically assess once a week, this would summarize my week of “warm-ups”!

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take attendance or check homework.  I managed to fit that in later in the class.  I rarely forgot to take attendance.  (Although sometimes I would forget to check homework… but that is probably for the best!  I am changing up my homework this year anyway.  Don’t ask me what, but I won’t have a work book to make students complete.)

I was also worried that students wouldn’t know to “get started” or that there would be discipline problems with them getting started.  I found that they settled down just as much as they did before with a bellringer.  They knew that class was starting and they didn’t act any different than they would have with a bellringer.  I like the same flow of my class.  As I wrote in my previous blog, I think this helped me further back away from the textbook as I wasn’t relying upon a textbook activity for my bellringer.  I believe that it made my class more engaging overall.  I encourage you to try to move away from the bellringer this year!  Also- check out how Laura moved away from bellringers this year and how she started her class.