June 2016 - Mis Clases Locas

Box 1

Box 1
Teaching with Novels

Box 2

Box 2

Box 3

Box 3
Meet Sra. Wienhold

Novel Resources - New Page!

Resources for teaching specific novels

I finally put together a page on the blog with all resources I have used for teaching with novels. There is a portion with links to resources sorted by novel. They in order from easiest, to most difficult (in my opinion). There are also links to other novel resources such as Literature Circles and more. 

Check out the page Novel Resources for my growing list of posts related to teaching with novels. 

Now back to reading the two newest novel additions to my classroom library: Soy LorenzoLas Lágrimas de Xóchitl

#WBW - Proficiency Puzzle

Here is this week's #WBW - Way Back Wednesday, bringing back some older posts with a new and updated spin.

In my 1st week of Spanish class plans I mentioned that the first week of class I wanted to do a station involving students beginning to distinguish between proficiency levels. A way I came up with to introduce the idea to Spanish 1, as well as check for understanding from the upper levels is an activity I am going to call Proficiency Puzzle

The goal of this activity is for students to gain an awareness and begin to distinguish the various world language proficiency levels. **I know that this is an activity in English that does not follow TCI methods, but I feel it is an important part of setting expectations in the world language class. It gives students' ownership in their language learning experience and lays the groundwork for years of language class by giving students the vocabulary to discuss proficiency. 

To prep

  • Download the Proficiency Puzzle here
  • Print the proficiency descriptions and cut the squares. If you are planning on using it for multiple classes, print on card stock and laminate for durability. Since I plan on using it at a station and not as a whole class activity, I only plan on prepping a few sets in different colors, so they will not get mixed and jumbled together. 

  • Print the blank proficiency levels on card stock. Attach them to form one poster if you would like.  

To Use

  • In pairs or groups have students work to match the proficiency description in the corresponding box. Provide guidance by walking around and assisting where needed. 
  • Once finished, project the answer keys to discuss the proficiency path and the expected proficiency at their particular level. 

How do you talk about proficiency in your class?

If you would like to download all of my back to school products together, you can find them here.


Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha - Resources

I am really excited to use Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha from TPRS Publishing this fall in Spanish IV. It is how I will start with when I return from maternity leave in November. I gave out an end of year survey with possible novel options for Spanish IV and this novel was the clear winner. I purchased a set of novels and the Teacher's Guide using our curriculum budget, but they will not be ordered until the new fiscal year in July (which is the end of week!). Of course that did not stop me from already searching to see how other teachers have used the novel and what kinds of supplemental activities they have come up with. Just like I already posted for Fiesta Fatal, I have already started planing with my large slide show for the unit. As I find resources, I add them to the slide show, so once I get to the chapter, I do not forget them. Once I have the teachers guide, I will add discussion questions and many other cultural expansions.

Great Resources for the Novel

Articles in English - Students read on own for background knowledge

Chapter by Chapter plans by Carrie Toth

Like many have shared, I think I am going to start the unit by watching the movie Voces Inocentes using the guide from Kristy Placido & some activities from Kara Jacobs. This should provide a better visual and background knowledge before beginning the novel. We already watched Which Way Home last year as a part of our immigration unit, and I plan to reference it as well. Then we may do some stations using the articles above, song resources, Fotos de MS13 & barrio 18 infografia to continue exploration of El Salvador, the Civil War and gangs. If life is not too crazy once I return from maternity leave with 2 little ones, hopefully I will be able to share my actual plans. 


How to Movie Talk in Spanish class

This past weekend at CI:Comprehensible Iowa Conference I went to a really great session on Movie Talk, from Haiyun Lu (@Haiyunlu & @ignitechinese on Twitter). You can tell that Haiyun in a teacher coach, because she did an excellent job explaining, letting us practice the skills on our own, and then elaborating with more detail. Movie Talk is a technique for language learning developed by Dr. Ashley Hastings. Here are a few more resources on the Movie Talk technique. 
Basically, the Twitter summary is - Movie Talk is a activity for a CI classroom involving playing a short, muted video clip, while the teacher explains it in COMPREHENSIBLE language. The teacher frequently pauses the clip, asking questions, which circle and repeat the target structures. The goal is not to narrate everything happening, but instead focus on comprehensible language that narrows in on the structures that the teacher wishes to emphasize. My junior high exploratory students LOVE Movie Talks and now I have a better idea of how to make them even more effective in my classes. 

How to Movie Talk in Spanish class - shared by Mis Clases Locas

Where do you find Movie Talk videos?

How do you prepare for a Movie Talk? - Check out the image below by Haiyun Lu

How to Prepare for a Movie Talk - from presentation at #CIIA16 by Haiyun Lu

As you can see above preparing for a Movie Talk is all about practicing and making sure that your target language description of the video clip focuses on your target structures. It is very helpful for a newbie to actually write out what you are going to say in the target language, as to not get too bogged down in details, and instead keep your focus on comprehensible language. 

How do you prepare YOUR STUDENTS for a Movie Talk? 

  • Explain exactly what you will be doing, watching a short, muted, clip while pausing it A LOT. Prepare students that you will ask questions during the video, and that you are looking for a response like when you story ask. Let them know you will watch the whole video with sound AT THE END. 
  • Introduce the target structures. By the time I do a Movie Talk, I have already introduced the structures by writing them on the board, using personalized question and answer, completed a class story, and maybe more. 
  • **New idea from Haiyun Lu** Create a short reading to introduce the video, using the target structures, WITHOUT spoiling the ending. While I have used Movie Talk quite a bit this year, I had never done this very helpful step. This would allow students to see the language you will be using while describing, and help give the visual learners some assistance while listening to the movie talk. Haiyun suggests trying to summarize the video in 5 sentences in the target language. 

An Example - Video - Baby brings dad a drink

We practiced in the session using this cute video. Here is an example process. 

Target Structures - Introduce to students
  • s/he gives to - le da
  • s/he has a cup- tiene una taza
  • s/he takes a drink - toma
Practice Reading 
  • Give the below reading to novice students, or project and read as a class. Circle and discuss the target structures as they are used in the reading. Notice it does not give a way the ending, but rather gives some suspense to watch to fins out what happens. 
  • You could also have screen shots that you show as well to help visually explain. 
The baby has a cup. The baby walks to and gives the cup to his dad. The dad takes a drink, says "thank you", and gives the cup to the baby. The baby give another cup to the dad and the dad takes another drink. Where is the baby and what is in the cup?

El bebé tiene una taza. El bebé camina al papá y le da la taza a su papá. El papá toma, dice “gracias,” y le da la taza al bebé. El bebé le da otra taza al papá y el papá toma. ¿Dónde está el bebé y qué tiene la taza?

Do the Movie Talk

  • Play the muted video clip pausing at each scene. 
  • Make sure to describe in comprehensible target language, not your thinking language. This means you will focus on the compressible words that your students know, as well as the target structures. 
  • Ask questions as you go. Restating the answers as well. For example when you pause the first scene of the baby, you could ask the following questions:
    • Is this a girl or a boy?
    • Is this a baby or a dad?
    • Does the baby have a cup?
    • What does the cup have?
    • Is the baby walking or running?
  • Make sure to focus on the target structures. You can even have students tally up how many times you use each structure, or have this as a class job for someone who needs a task to stay focused while listening. 
  • Once done, show the whole video, un-muted. 

Possible Extension or Assessment to Movie Talk

When I have done Movie Talk in the past, it is usually just that, describing the video and then moving on to the next activity. Here are some ideas of how to use the same video to extend the conversation or complete an assessment. 
  • Do a Up/Down Listening Assessment. 
    • Have all students put their heads down. 
    • Give True/False statements about the video and students put thumb up/down to signify true or false. 
    • This is a quick formative way to see if students get it. 
  • Put screen shots of video on a piece of paper & have students write out. 
    • This could be a mini writing assessment. 
  • Cut up little screen shots of video & have students retell video to partner.
    • This could be a mini speaking assessment. 
  • Write up a few statements in English as a listening comprehension mini quiz.
    • Ex. Choose the correct answer -  The baby has (milk/water) in the cup. 
Many thanks to Haiyun Lu for really solidifying how to make Movie Talk work best in a comprehensible input classroom!
What are your favorite short videos to use for Movie Talk?

Comprehensible Iowa Quotes

As you could see by my tweet activity on Saturday, I spent the day at the first ever CI: Comprehensible Iowa Conference. You would have never guessed that it was just an idea floating around a local Facebook group this past February, because Elizabeth, Kim & Nevada Schools did an amazing job. What I really loved was the positivity of each and every attendee and presenter. Everyone there wanted to share the magic and power of TPRS and CI teaching. There were a wide variety of experience levels, but each teacher was there to learn and grow from each other. It was even cooler that teachers from a variety of states around the midwest came as well. It was a true testament to the growing interest that teachers have in teaching with comprehensible input. 

I have so many takeaways that I think I am going to need a couple posts and days to process all of the greatness. For now here are 5 quotes that stuck with me. 

I presented on teaching a novel 101 and wish that we could have had hours, instead of just 50 minutes. I would have loved to do a workshop where I did not feel so rushed, and instead we had time to break into actually working on planning for a novel. It was especially great that every participant could visualize a TPRS novel since Carol Gaab of TPRS publishing so generously donated a novel to each participant, which they had out and were able to reference. Thank you to each and every person who came to my session! Here is the Presentation.

session participants discussing novels

Lista lunes: Back to School 2016

I KNOW that this is really early, but back to school is one of my favorite times of year. You can see this by how many posts I have done in the past revolving around back to school. Well this year I will not be at the very first day back because I am due with baby boy #2 on the exact first day of school. Since baby boy #1 came on his due date, it is very possible I may have a back to school baby. So unfortunately, I will not get to plan for those first fun weeks back, but you can see many ideas below to help you get ready. 

1st Week of School Plans

1st Week Resources

Classroom Set Up

Planning for the Year

Getting to Know Your Students

If you would like to download all of my back to school products together, you can find them here.

Teaching a Novel 101 - CI: Comprehensible Iowa

On Saturday I will be presenting at the first ever CI:Comprehensible Iowa Conference. For those of you who will be attending my session, Teaching a Novel 101, my presentation can be found here. 

If you are not able to attend, but would like more information, check out the following resources for teaching novels in your classroom:

Resources for teaching specific novels

(from easiest, to most difficult)

Let me know if you have any questions as you plan for your novels this year!

#WBW - Para Empezar

This summer I decided to do a little #WBW - Way Back Wednesday, bringing back some older posts with a new and updated spin. Something I posted about my first summer was how I start each class, Para Empezar. Now every week does not follow this exact plan, such as when we did our March music madness, but these give a good basic guideline for consistency and structure during the week. 

Why have a Para Empezar Bell ringer?

  • Classroom management - Students have something to do as they walk into the classroom. They know that as they walk in the room, there is a task they should be completing. It helps to get them to their seats and thinking about Spanish. All you have to do is ask the magic question, "What is your job right now?" as you circulate after the bell rings. 
  • Fun Routines - Many students have told me that Música miércoles or Baile viernes is their favorite part of Spanish class. There is something to be said about hooking students with the love of the Spanish culture and the camaraderie and family that comes with goofy class traditions. If spending 5 minutes a week listening to a song in Spanish keeps a student to take the next level of language study, I am all for it. 

How do you make it work?

  • Be consistent - Have a Google slideshow ready that pull up on the projector AT THE END of the previous class. This way their task is ready to go and you can do hallway duty, go to the restroom, fill up your water bottle, or chat with other human adults for one minute. Once the bell rings, I enter class, shut the door, and the expectation is everyone is doing/starting their Para Empezar. 
What students would have posted on a music Wednesday

  • Minimal Accountability - In their binders there is a Para Empezar section. This is where they answer questions if there is a prompt, write the song and artist for Música miércoles, or complete any tasks that is asked of them. Here there is also a simple reading log to record where they are at in their choice reading books. Do I collect or look at this? Rarely. I give out "chile" rewards to those who are hard at work when the bell rings, and sometimes give minimal completion points for those classes who need extra encouragement to stay on task and do their job. The students know that everything we do is practice for formative assessments, and they should do whatever it is that will help them prepare to move up the next proficiency level. 

What do you do each day?

loco lunes
  • This is usually a short video I found on Pinterest relating to their topic, holiday or a current event item of interest. It is a great way to grab their attention on a dreary Monday while sneaking in an entertaining cultural authentic listening source.
  • Weekend Chat - For Spanish II and above we discuss our weekend and sneak in some past tense. They think we are wasting time casually chatting, but really we are getting in sneaky repetitions of the past tense. Here are 4 variations on weekend chat by Andrea Brown

martes y jueves - Reading
  • Free Choice Reading - We start both Tuesday & Thursday by having about 5-15 minutes of free voluntary reading. See this post about how I started my own classroom library. Students know on these two days they go straight to the classroom library and pick out something to read. 
  • We start second semester of Spanish I with 5 minutes of reading from my classroom library. This time builds up each level, and I judge it based on class engagement. 
What is posted on a reading day

  • Students fill out this basic log, to keep track of what book/page they are on, and if they liked the book enough to keep with it. 
  • Sometimes we extend by having students share with a neighbor asking about their book. 
  • The point is to give students a chance to free read ANYTHING in Spanish. 

música miércoles

baile viernes

Para Empezar Bell Ringers

Do you have class starters? What are they and how do you implement them?
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