jueves, 15 de febrero de 2018

Textivate to review stories

Image result for textivate
I am loving reading A Natural Approach to the Year, which is a follow up to A Natural Approach to Stories by Tina Hargaden and Ben Slavic. If you are looking to teach CI starting in level 1, these books are essential readings! The second book, A Natural Approach to the Year, has so many concrete examples for teachers, specifically they have 30 "Instructional Sessions" that teachers can do throughout the year. As you many know, stories are an integral part of this way of teaching. Stories make class engaging, interesting and compelling!!

So, what to do after the story has been created and/or told?!?! One of the many things that Tina and Ben mention in their book is Textivate. I love Textivate! I have used it in the past as a way to review stories. I like it because it is easy differentiation and students can go at their own pace while reviewing stories.

So far  in Spanish 1 (10 days of 85 minutes so far), I have used Textivate for our two OWIs (my first time doing this and I (and students) LOVE it!)Ricardo El Balón and Carla La Cuchara and for three stories based on music videos/songs. I used the Story Listening technique to tell these music-video-based-stories, then students watched the videos, then we did a variety of activities. See the links below for resources. (I am aware that I need to have some female representation!! Coming soon!)

For the first time this year, I bought the Premium subscription, which allows me to keep track of student progress. With this premium subscription, I can also set "sequences" of specific activities that students have to do. Students do these activities in class, in TASC (a special enrichment and/or extra help block we have every day), or for homework. I can also see how long the activities took each student and how accurate they were. Here is an example of what I can see (I have omitted the student names):

And here is an example of a the "Details":

miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018

Simple, repetitive stories with a reward for listening!

Image result for listenI posted a bit about this last week, but I want to share something that I am very excited about! I am working on writing very basic, repetitive stories for my Spanish 1 class in this doc. This will be an ongoing project that I hope to develop a lot this semester (and would love some more collaborators). 

All of the "stories" are based on music videos. These stories are for Spanish 1, but could also be a great way to start a Spanish 2 class or for sub plans (or really any level any time). The doc has the stories and links to other activities too. These stories could be used in a variety of ways. Here are some possibilities:
  • Tell students the story in a "Story Listening" style. This is new to me and I am still learning, but I have realized that (for me), I really need to explain to my students: what the Story Listening process looks like  and why we are doing this (#acquisition). For me, this process takes a lot of energy and thinking! I am drawing a lot and going slowlyClick here to watch Mike Peto doing Story Listening. 
  • After doing the story listening activity, show them the video. This is a fun reward for being good listeners! Also, the music videos are Cultural Products in themselves, but students will see a ton of Cultural Products, Practices, and Perspectives in these music videos.
  • For homework or in class, students can translate the story to English
  • Students could listen and/or read the story again and illustrate it.
  • Students could listen and/or read the story again and act it out.
  • Students can also do Textivate Activities (linked in doc) to get more input. I have a 45 minute TASC block (for extra help, homework, and/or enrichment), so this is perfect for that block. I am trying to include two types of Textivate activities for each story: put the story in order and translate.
  • For another listening activity, students could play "¡Agárralo!" For this activity, students do the following:
    • Sit in pairs with a marker between them.
    • Listen to the cierto/falso statements about the story that the teacher says.
    • Grab the marker if it is a true statement. The first student to grab it earns one point.
    • If a student grabs the marker and it is false, s/he loses two points.
  • The same cierto/falso statements could be used for a listening or reading assessment.
  • Some of the stories have (or will have) cloze activities for the song too. I am working on those, but hope to have a cloze activity and the English translation for most of the songs. I find that students enjoy the songs much more if they know what it is saying! 
Why am I sharing this all for free?!? To help others! And to maybe make Spanish class more enjoyable, engaging, relevant, current, and fun for us teachers and for our students! But, if you feel this doc and all the other linked docs/activities are useful and these activities are saving you some time, consider giving back here.

Also, if you want to help out with this project, please comment in the doc and I will add you. Thanks to Marcia Vera and Jennifer Zimmer who have already helped out! And to Isabel Irizarry, who is also going to collaborate.

Below are three examples of songs/music videos that I am using. Click on the name of the song for the docs, which include the story, a translation worksheet, a cloze activity for the song, two links for textivate, and cierto/falso statements. They are also linked in the original doc.

miércoles, 31 de enero de 2018

Starting off anew in Spanish 1... Personalization, ICR, Story Listening and OWI

Day 2 Spanish 1:

I don't often teach Spanish 1, but I am teaching it this semester. I have 24 students the last block of the day. I am excited to share some of the things that I am going to do for the first few weeks.

I read (and reread) A Natural Approach to Stories and I am going to implement some of the techniques in that book. This is what I have used during the first few days (and what I plan on using for the first 1-3 weeks):
  • Personalization - talking in Spanish about the students in the classroom - Students filled out the Anne Matava questionnaire that is in the Appendix of the book A Natural Approach to Stories. I will talk about 2-4 students each day (in Spanish) and then give a quiz about what I said. The quiz is very basic. Sometimes I will say facts in English and they have to write the name of the student or I will say true or false statements in English.
  • ICR - the Interpretive/Interpersonal Communication Rubric - I am using the rubric (Anabelle Allen's version foundhere) to set expectations and also to assess the students. This will be a big part of their grade for the first few weeks. Students self-assessed on the first day. This is a really good way to set expectations and explain what they need to do to be successful in the class!
  • Story Listening - There is a great explanation of it in the Appendix of the book, but this post explains more about it. Instead of starting with familiar folktales and/or stories, I decided to start with stories based on music videos (and probably some cortometrajes). So, how is this different than Movie Talk? Well, the students don't see any images from the video during the process and there aren't as many questions during this process, as students are mostly listening. Also, there are not necessarily targets. After they have listened to the story, they will get the reward of seeing the music video... which is in itself a cultural product that shows more cultural products, practices and perspectives. It will also serve as a good brain break in our 85 minute class period!
    • On Day 1, we did Story Listening with a story about the song "Corazón" by Maluma. Listening and comprehending a story in Spanish, followed by watching the video and hearing that music on the first day of class was a positive way to start the class!
    • This doc has some of the BASIC Spanish 1 scripts for the Story Listening activities that I will be creating. It also has follow up activities, such as translating to English and Textivate. This is a work in progress and I will be adding and refining it a lot, but I am sharing it now in case anyone wants to use it... or better yet, crowdsource?!
  • OWI - One Work Image - If you haven't seen this in action in a classroom, I highly recommend watching it. I went to the Express Fluency conference and it was very helpful to see Tina Hargaden do this process. There are lots of videos on Youtube of this process. My French teacher colleague also did it throughout last semester and had lots of success. I am looking forward to doing a lot of this during these first few weeks! I hope to share more about that here soon. Update: Here is our first OWI: Ricardo El Balón.
  • I will also still use a lot of  the stories and activities that I did two years ago when I taught Spanish 1. (See here and here.)