Saturday, January 6, 2018

Video: the most terrifying thing I have done in a long time

I filmed myself asking a story.

It is possibly the scariest thing I have done in ages.  No. Posting it is the scary part.  I could dwell on all the flaws.  (Because there are many areas to improve.) I could be very cruel to myself and hate on all the things that women typically hate on.  I could be embarrassed about my language (Because truth be told, ever since my first so-called mentor told me seven years ago that I had no business teaching Spanish during my first year teaching, I have been embarrassed to speak in front of adults. I know.  I need to get over that.).

But instead, I am choosing to look at what went really well.  I laugh so much during this video.  My kids do too.  It was a funny day.  The kids surprised me.  One of my actors had words falling out of his mouth.  I paused and pointed, went S.L.O.W. - maybe even too slow- and stayed in the target language for the better part of the hour.  I did lots of brain breaks and used actors and introduced a parallel character.  The story is absolutely hilarious, creative, and memorable.

So, in the spirit of doing one thing that is terrifying: here is my video. If it doesn't play, click here.  

Curriculum/story: this is from Somos, Unit 6, and I have taught it so very many times that I mostly don't need a script.  The structures I am lighly targeting are se levanta, se sienta, and le grita.
This unit is available for free.

Grade/level: these are my "honors" 7th graders, in Spanish 1.  They are, as a group, fast processors with a lot of language kicking around in their head.  They are NOT beginning language learners, so if you are watching and thinking about your own students, know that I am adjusting my pacing and my language use for this group- everything is faster and they need fewer repetitions.

What you won't see: A ton of repetition or circling.  These kids just don't need it- they don't need me to circle anything to death.  As I grow as a TPRS/CI teacher, I am getting a better handle on when to ask a billion questions, and when not to.  If this were a novice class, it would look much different.

Goals: In a pre-assessment (I used TPR), I realized that they comprehend the three structures, but they have never experienced them in writing nor from different perspectives.  My goal was to co-create a funny story that we can work with over the next week, doing activities such as rewriting from different perspectives and adding more characters in order to work on those other forms (me siento, le grito, les gritan, etc.).  I know from experience that this story (and unit) is truly an introduction to such lofty grammar topics as Indirect Object Pronouns and Reflexive Verbs, and I do not at all expect them to use the pronouns correctly for a long time.  This is just more good input.  


  1. I have struggled with story asking to the point that I DREAD doing it! This is the first video that I feel made it seem like something I could do. Thank you for sharing. This has helped me immensely!

  2. You rock for posting this! Strut your stuff : ) I know it was outside of your comfort zone, kudos to you for stepping up!

  3. This was so helpful! Thank you x100!

  4. I was dreading doing this story tomorrow and this was SUPER helpful! Thanks for being brave and posting! You are a great teacher who clearly loves her students and the art of teaching.