Saturday, September 7, 2019

Day 3: Working with the stories (and activity ideas)

Day 3

This post is the third in a series about what I actually did the first 3 days of classes.  Here are posts about Day 1 and Day 2.  

In Panamá and República Dominicana (class names for my Spanish 1B classes), my plan was to finish the story we started a couple of days ago.  I was successful in one class, and the other...well,  it's a work in progress.  We sure did get a chance to practice our procedures and routines, I tell you what!  That is a nice way of saying that they needed a lot of practice- practice not talking over each other or me, practice listening, practice not throwing things, etc.  Lots of practice.  

I believe in practice.

My classroom mantra.  

 We did establish a few facts in their story, but I am going to have to finish their story another day.

I also wanted to give all the classes their interactive-ish notebooks, but not spend too much time on them.

I spent about 20 minutes at the beginning of class passing out notebooks, getting names, updating tables of contents, going over expectations for gluing, and gluing in one important rubric- that of daily engagement.  

Then, back to the stories.  In Panamá I dispensed with the notebook stuff because several kids are gone due to a mountain bike race, so we just worked with the story (and finished it!).  In República Dominicana, I focused on the notebook and we will finish their story during the next class.  

In Cuba (Spanish 1 Honors), we did Around The World with Translations and Illustrations. It went really well.   

In my Honors 2 class, Honduras, we started with the notebooks, but since they were with me last year, it took about 5 minutes.  Then, I projected their illustrations from the mural and gave them a copy of the story that I typed out.  They had to write the sentence (on whiteboards) that best described the picture I showed- and if there were different opinions, we had a conversation about it.  (Here are directions for that activity. It is one of my favorites.)

To differentiate this activity and get more input, I asked different students to be interviewed (by me) as a character in the story about what happened and how they felt.   I let any student volunteer, but some students got yes/no and either/or questions and others got more open ended questions.  

Here are some question examples for students who needed more support: 

  • Were you scared when ___ happened?  
  • Did you go to ___ or ___ afterwards?
  • Did you do ___ first or ____?  
Open ended questions:

  • Why were you scared?
  • How did you feel when ____ happened?
  • Did you want ___ to happen? Why or why not?  

Was this forcing output?  Nope, I don't think so.  They were volunteering to be interviewed (they knew that they would be speaking) and I was using different kinds of questions to make sure they were successful.  

I also added a write and discuss so they could see the 1st person forms of the words with the answers the interviewees gave.  

 I didn't even get through all the pictures of the mural when I realized if I wanted to start the movie trailer activity, I'd better move on.  We started just as Amy describes in her blog post- discussing what are the elements of a trailer, and started brainstorming important events.  

Then it was time to go to lunch!

Next week's plans

Next week, I plan on continuing to teach procedures, add in new brain breaks, and add a few procedural things to our interactive-ish notebooks.   (Passwords, birthday compliments, and performance descriptors come to mind.)  

I will use the Around the World translation and reading activity in my standard classes (with their class story) and play some kind of secret input game with the illustrations.  

I also plan on taking one whole class period and teaching them about proficiency levels. (See this post for specifics).

In addition, I will spend at least one class period with my 8th graders setting them up for Sustained Silent Reading (Free voluntary reading), but if I don't get to it until the following week, that's ok.  

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