miércoles, 17 de abril de 2024

Creating songs to connect to units with AI - Suno

 Have you seen Suno.com yet? It is pretty wild. It is an AI site that will create short songs for you. Currently, my Spanish 3 classes are doing a unit around the movie Pachamama (thank you Arianne Dowd and Amanda Benavidez-Williams for your ideas and resources). So I put in this prompt, which includes vocabulary from the unit, the name of our school and the name of the town that the school is in.

A rap song about Pachamama and a small school in the village (vocabulary word in the movie) of Andover. The school called Proctor. Use the words aldea, cultiva, cuida, huaca  (vocabulary words in the movie) . Write it in very simple Spanish.

And it came up with two versions: one and two. These are the lyrics:

Students entered class and did this cloze and translation activity. Their reactions were: surprise and confusion. 

In Spanish 1, we are reading the book Tucán, so I entered this prompt:

Make a simple rap about a tucán from named Panchito with an injured beak. Oscar and Ana find him in a park. Oscar cries. Oscar's dad brings him to the animal rescue center. Put the song in Spanish.

And it came up with two versions: one and two. These are the lyrics:

My Spanish 1 students were equally surprised and confused. They did a similar cloze and translation activity. 

I highly recommend this site. It is a fantastic site to create short songs to accompany any unit!

lunes, 11 de marzo de 2024

Intercultural Competence + Milena Wharton + Diffit

I used to create a ton of resources and share here (mostly for free)...

I posted and shared resources 176 times from 2017-2020! 

but post-covid I was just spent. However, with a change of school and location, I am happy to back at it - and excited about creating resources and sharing them here.

While I love "teaching Spanish", I think what I really actually love is "teaching about the Spanish speaking world in Spanish"... and then seeing two things:

  1. Students learning how to communicate in the three modes of communication in Spanish 
  2. Students increasing their Intercultural Competence

In case you need a refresher, Intercultural Competence is defined as: "a combination of attitudes, knowledge, understanding and skills applied through action which enables one, either singly or together with others, to:

  • understand and respect people who are perceived to have different cultural affiliations from oneself; 
  • respond appropriately, effectively and respectfully when interacting and communicating with such people; 
  • establish positive and constructive relationships with such people; 
  • understand oneself and one’s own multiple cultural affiliations through encounters with cultural “difference.” (Huber, J., & Reynolds, C. (Eds). (2014). Developing intercultural competence through education, 2014, pp. 16–17).

And here are the ACTFL descriptors:

So, with all that in mind, my third term of Spanish 3 is going to revolve around Peru. Students will learn about a wide variety of Cultural Products, Practices and Perspectives. We are going to watch the movie Pachamama (and use Arianne Dowd’s resources) and then listen to some Duolingo podcasts to learn about: Heroes del Clima in Peru (2 episodes), Andean music, a Peruvian dog’s experience in Maine, and el Rio Hirviente.

But FIRST, we are going to delve into some Milena Wharton music! 

I compiled Spanish 3 the Milena Wharton (for free) here. It includes three of her songs, basic information about Peru, three possible assessments (one still being created) and two readings + activities created by Diffit. If you haven't tried Diffit, I highly recommend it! 

I used Diffit to adapt an excerpt of text form this article and this entire article. Check out pages 6-8 and pages 11-13. It is an enormous time saver! 

We will start the unit with some estructuras importantes and then students will get a basic overview of Peru (text created by ChatGPT) with this slideshow and this Quizlet Live review:

Then, we will dive into the music videos and the articles (see here)! Possible assessments (with rubrics) are also in the unit packet.

martes, 27 de febrero de 2024

An "out of the box" final exam that is enjoyable to take and grade

 I am at a new (amazing) school this year, so I am still learning about the school's culture, my students' abilities and how to best teach and assess here in my new setting. This year I am teaching Spanish 1 and Spanish 3. We have trimesters, so I am giving final exams this week. 

One of  Spanish 3 class took their Final yesterday and the other will take it today. I feel really good about the assessment and how the first class did (I have graded all of the speaking sections and 1/3 of the listening/writing/intercultural section for ).

I thought I would share the assessment here because it could be used for a variety of classes.

The first part was a Caja de Identidad (thanks Arianne Dowd for introducing this to me). Click here to see the details and the rubric. Here is what is being assessed in this part:

  • Presentational Speaking: Present basic information on familiar topics using language that you have practiced using phrases and simple sentences.
  • Interpretive Listening: Understand words, phrases, and simple sentences related to a familiar topic. Recognize pieces of information and understand the main topic of what is being said.
  • Interpersonal Speaking: Communicate and exchange information about familiar topics using phrases and simple sentences. Ask and answer simple questions.
Here are some examples of what students came up with. Students presented in groups of 3 and recorded on Flipgrid (where I watch later). I was so impressed with what they came up with, in particular the 5 symbols and the gift. As you can see, all the students chose a character from Encanto because we just finished that unit. However, they could have chosen a character from our Lotería de Navidad unit or from the book Robo en la noche.

Before starting to create their caja, I presented an example (see sides of box below and click here to see text) to my students. It was about Edna Liliana Valencia. So, not only was I demonstrating to them what they would do, but I was also teaching them something about the Afro-Colombian research that Disney did and the Afro-Colombian representation in the movie Encanto, so win-win! 

The second part was choosing a Duolingo podcast (of 3 that I give them), listening to it, filling in the blanks and then writing a series of things about the podcast. Click here to see the details and the rubric. Here is what is being assessed in this part:

    • Interpretive Listening: Understand the main idea and some pieces of information on familiar topics from sentences and series of connected sentences within texts that are spoken or  written.
    • Presentational Writing: Communicate information, make presentations, and express my thoughts about familiar topics, using sentences and series of connected sentences through spoken or written language.
    • Intercultural Competence: In one's own and other cultures, make comparisons between products and practices to help me understand perspectives.
    Note: If you have not used Duolingo podcasts in class, I highly recommend using them! They are an excellent "bridge" to authentic audio and they are chock full of culture! They are in Spanish and English, but the English compliments the Spanish. It is not a translation of the Spanish. The bits of English give students a "mental break" while listening. If you are interested, previous posts are here and here.

    All of the podcast were related to Colombia, so one of the questions was how does this podcast connect to Encanto. Below are the choices of podcasts. I love that students had a choice and I love grading these because there is variety and a lot of open ended answers. 

    This what students had to do:

    As you listen/read or after, fill in the blanks, answer the questions and write the following things on a separate piece of paper:
    1. El nombre del episodio
    2. Un resumen breve (brief summary) de 8-10 frases de lo que escuchas/lees  
    3. Vocabulario nuevo y/o importante, por lo menos (at least) 10 palabras
      1. El inglés y el español
    4. Si te gustó el episodio y por qué sí o no
    5. Identifica 2 a 3 Productos, Prácticas y/o Perspectivas Culturales del episodio y escribe una comparación y/o un contraste con algo de tu cultura
    6. ¿Cómo conecta este episodio con la película "Encanto"? 
    7. Escribe 3 preguntas, comentarios y/o predicciones sobre lo que escuchas/lees

    What are some of your favorite assessments to give and grade?