Sunday, November 10, 2019

A week in the life of a comprehension-based classroom

I had a pretty good week.

Not a great week- in fact, I went home sick one day with a migraine- but the rest of the teaching went pretty well.

Here are some of the things that I did- maybe you all can find inspiration here!  This is just a list with links of things that I did with all my classes!  

Spanish 2 Honors 

Monday: We started with Weekend chat, then we co-created a story from SOMOS 1, Unit 14.  After class, I typed it up.  
Here are some resources for co-creating stories:  

Tuesday: We reviewed the story- students read it out loud in pairs than worked to create their 
Top 8 events, then we reviewed those events as a class.

Students reading!  
Wednesday:I went home sick, so students read for 15 minutes (Free Voluntary Reading/FVR), did a 10 minute free write, and worked on Sr. Wooly or Garbanzo for the remaining time.

Thursday: no class

Friday:  Free voluntary reading, short discussion about upcoming all-school service project, then Running dictation with their Top 8 Events from Wednesday.   (My directions that I post are here.)  To finish, we reviewed upcoming hard deadlines and filled out daily engagement for the week. This class was shorter than usual due to a special schedule. 

Spanish 1B

Monday: Weekend chat, read and dramatized biography of Barrio Zumba from a resource from Nelly Hughes.  (It looks like the resource is no longer available, though.)  We played a short Pencil Grab game with the true/false questions included in resource.  Then we listened to the song Mexicano.

This was the starter for our discussion about food
Tuesday: We briefly discussed favorite foods, then listened to the song Mexicano again and tried to fill out the cloze lyrics included.  We listened to the song at regular speed once, than at 75% speed (I love youtube when it works!) a second time.  For a brain break, I taught them the basic steps to a zumba routine set to the song, and we danced for a few minutes.   Then we reviewed the lyrics (with L1 translation) and discussed them briefly.  Students independently read a text (also from Nelly's resource) about Mexican food, and then responded to comprehension questions by coloring a glyph that I created.  

Wednesday: I went home sick, so students read for 15 minutes, did a 10 minute freewrite, and continued to work on their glyph.  

Thursday: no class

Friday: Free voluntary reading for 10-15 minutes, then short discussion of our all-school service project.  Students then got into teams for the Lucky Reading Game!  We played that until it was time to review upcoming hard deadlines and fill out daily engagement for the week.  One section had an extra 15 minutes of instructional time, so we spent some time doing a Write and Discuss about the service project.  

Spanish 1 Honors 

Monday: Weekend chat, then we started a new unit today, SOMOS 1 Unit 04, so I introduced the core vocabulary and students put those and our unit objectives into their interactive-ish notebooks.  

Rare homework, from The StoryTeller's Corner
Then I taught them gestures for the core vocabulary and we reviewed gestures for other words. (Click here for an example of what that looks like, from a different class.)   We used the resources included in the unit to see the words in context and then did some personalized questions and answers.   (Here is a video of that process, but with a different unit, if you are curious about what that looks like.)  

Although I *rarely* assign homework, I assigned an activity from this resource from The Storyteller's Corner, where they had to draw and color what they want to be when they grow up.  

Tuesday:  We discussed more personalized questions to start- including "what class do you want to take that is not possible at our school?" I learned so much about them!  Then we spent some time on the song "Quiero Ser", by Nubeluz, which depending on how you introduce it can be loved or hated.  

I LOVE this song and kids seem to respond to that!  First, I told them how much I love it, then I gave them the lyrics to follow along with.  The second time we watched the video, and the third time (no joke!) the kids wanted to try to do the dance that the singers do.  Finally, there is a short comprehension-based activity that they worked on that is included in the unit.  

Wednesday: No class.  Before I went home sick, I took their colored pictures and put them into a slideshow for Card Talk on Thursday.

Thursday: We started with the question "What do you not want to be?" and "Why?" and that discussion lasted for a while.  We followed up the discussion with a Write and Discuss, because the previous night, one of my fellow PLC members said she was trying to do more W&D and I realized that I should try to do that as well. (I love my PLC, even if this year we can only virtually meet through voice messages.)  

Then, we listened to and danced to the song Quiero Ser again, and finished the class with Card Talk about their desired future professions.

Slide for Card Talk about the future...
Friday: After a short discussion about our all-school service project, we did the lyric activity suggested for Quiero Ser by Amaia Montero, that is included in the lesson plans. Students have the lyrics out of order, and working in pairs, they had to quickly cut them up then listen to the song a couple of times and put them in order.  After, I briefly comprehensified some of the lyrics and reviewed the order, then we read the included biography of Amaia.  This was a super-shortened class, so that is all we had time for!  

Fifth grade: I see these kiddos for 45 minutes a week.
 As a warm up, we did a little TPR (Total Physical Response) and acted out a couple of sentences that were interesting.   Let me explain what I mean:  I had them draw how they were feeling, then I asked "Who is tired?" and "Who is hungry?"  They were all hungry so I gave them the phrase "wants to eat" and asked them "What do you want to eat?" and pulled a couple of props out as ideas. It turned out that one kid wanted to eat a dinosaur so we acted that out (with another kid being the dinosaur) and so on.  Of course, I was narrating it in Spanish and making sure it was comprehensible.  

We have been working with our own version of this simple beginner story (in Spanish!).  Last week, we did "all the world's a stage" with the story and I took pictures of the kids acting it out.  Then I put the pictures in a slideshow. (Description for that activity coming soon- sorry! For a longer read about Reader's Theatre, check out this resource.)
Click for an editable slide to show!

I passed out a copy of the story for kids to review with a buddy, then I showed them the pictures.  I wanted them to look at the picture and decide what moment in the story it was representing, then write that moment down on a whiteboard (using their copy of the text). 

Here is an example of the directions etc. only I used pictures of the students acting out the story rather than their illustrations.

 I had no idea how it would go, honestly. This is an activity I do ALL THE TIME with my older students, but I wasn't sure if it would be ok for the younger ones. 
It went...ok.  A couple of kids were really frustrated because it wasn't the kind of thing that had a clear-cut answer, but I think that is the kind of kid they are at this stage in their lives, and the rest of them seemed to enjoy it and read the story about 20 times.  

Then, we transitioned to another new activity.  A couple of weeks ago, I gave them a simple storyboard to illustrate with the text of the story, and then I cut up their illustrations and the words and put them in baggies (1 per pair of kids) to make some partner activities.  I wanted to try this kind of activity (also available in French) that I learned about from an excellent presentation by elementary teacher Alison Litten, so I tried it.  I did modify the directions to be in L1 to allow them to focus on the reading and re-reading of the story.  I was surprised at how quickly it went for the fast processors (who I grouped together), and how completely on task all the pairs were!  I will certainly be doing this one again!  

So, that's it!  I hope this was a useful read!  

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