La Clase de la Sra. Moloney


Leave a comment

Who Are You Calling a Drama Queen?

Ok, so, if you know us in the #niplang department, we love our theatrics and drama.  The more outlandish and outrageous we can be, the better.  Overacting?  YES!  TOO MUCH AT TIMES?  Well…  Our mantra is: whatever works, we’ll do it.

As you also may know, big changes have occurred in #niplang’s approach to teaching world languages.  We are putting an increased emphasis on speaking and listening with the goal of increasing fluency and promoting communication skills.  This skills-based approach has created a new batch of competent, confident speakers who can communicate effectively with others.  However, as much as we have evolved in our language instruction, sometimes, we just have to get back to basics, especially with some important “boring grammar stuff, ” like POR vs. PARA and SER vs. ESTAR.  Differentiating between using ser or estar (the verbs “to be”) in the proper context can be very challenging.  Likewise, deciding between por/para (prepositions than can mean for, by, because of, per, in order to, etc.) can be nearly impossible without a formal introductory lesson.  Unless you learn the proper grammar rules, you can end up making some serious unintentional errors that could significantly change what you are trying to say.

But how do you make a boring grammar lesson fun?  With a little drama, of course!  Next week, students in Level 3 Honors Spanish will begin creating video “shorts” that contrast the uses of ser/estar and por/para.  So, how is this fun, you ask?  Haven’t we done enough videos?

In groups, students will have to execute their series of (10), 10-second video shorts..in the style of an over-the-top, dramatic telenovela such as:

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 5.40.36 PM Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 5.40.43 PM Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 5.46.07 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 5.40.17 PM

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 5.40.04 PMComplete with unnecessary close-ups and overreacting, students have to (over)act out these videos in Spanish, include English/Spanish text subtitles, and articulate their reason for using each respective word in context.

Knowing how creative my students are, I can’t wait to see how these videos turn out!  Check back soon for some sample student work.

 

 

 

 

 

So, how does our ridiculousness help us in our classrooms you ask?

Advertisements


Leave a comment

What is Your Ideal Global Classroom of the Future?

If you could design the ideal global classroom of the future, what would it have?  Flexible seating?  Bean bags? Holograms?  Therapy dogs?  Couches?  Vending machines?  A hot cocoa bar?

What would your ideal teachers be like?  Inspiring?  Dedicated? Supportive?  Optimistic?

How about the students?  Independent? Curious?  Diligent?  Positive?

What would teachers be doing in these innovative classrooms?  Perhaps they would be facilitating communication between their students and those from other countries. Maybe they would be brainstorming ideas for new and exciting projects or challenging their students to work with their local communities to solve real-world problems.

What would students be doing in these classes?  Maybe they would be creating indoor gardens or coding games.  Perhaps they would be designing and 3-D printing original sculptures.  The sky is the limit!

Students in Level 3 Spanish were asked this same question.  Students were given a blank classroom template and the task of designing their ideal global classroom on their Ipads. Students utilized both Notability (for its recording ability) as well as Snapchat (for its handy “sticker” feature) to create amazing learning spaces of the future.  Students then had to narrate (in both written and oral form) their view of this classroom by utilizing the present tense is Spanish.  As the first few assignments started to come in, I was so impressed with their suggestions and genuine interest in sharing their ideas with me, (never mind the excellent Spanish grammar.)  I just might have to incorporate some of these great “modern” elements into my classroom sometime soon!  (Hot cocoa, anyone?)

Here is a sneak peek but stay tuned for more amazing student work samples to come!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a comment

Student Spotlight – Kerri F.

Periodically, we will have a “Star Student” serve as our class guest blogger.  This student will have the unique opportunity to tell you a little bit about themselves and to explain some of the exciting things going on in our classroom from a student’s perspective.
Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.39.41 PMNombre: Kerri F.
Clase: E Block Spanish 3 Honors
How many years have you studied Spanish?: 2
(Hobbies) Pasatiempos:  Singing Whitney Houston
(Favorite Food) Comida Favorita:  Mashed Potatoes, Mac’n’cheese bites
(Why are you studying a world language) ¿Por qué estudias un idioma mundial?:  To have experience if I ever travel
(What are you hoping to learn in Spanish class?) ¿Qué quieres aprender en la clase de Español?: Tenses
(What activities do you like to do in class?) ¿Qué tipo de actividades prefieres hacer en la clase?: KAHOOT
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? Why?:
Shawn Mendes because he’s my favorite artist.
What are the top (3) places on your bucket list that you would like to visit?:
Germany, California, and Greece
(Dicho Favorito) Favorite Quote or Saying:  “Wherever you go, there you are.”


Leave a comment

Student-Designed Learning

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 2.16.56 PMIf you know me, you might notice that I can be a bit “particular” and I like things to be “my way” (AKA perfect..all the time).  Unfortunately, my “control freak” nature (as some might suggest) is not always conducive to learning and can be a bit overwhelming.  This year, I am trying to step out of my comfort zone and surrender more control to my students.  This is not easy for me at all (because I feel the need to give people my opinion, even when not solicited, but I digress), but thankfully, my students have already responded in amazing ways.  (More details to come…)

Student-Designed Rubrics:  This year, I am offering student a few opportunities to create their own project rubrics.  To begin, students are given a problem/challenge/scenario and must create their solution/project/response with very limited guidelines.  As a class, students then collaborate on a Google Doc to identify and explain the objectives of the project and create measurable indicators for these goals.  Then, the class agrees upon the total point value for the project as well as the rubric indicator values.

Student-Designed Benchmarks: Additionally, students choose the due date of the project and identify important “check-in” dates and benchmarks where they can solicit student and instructor feedback on their project prototypes.

Is this going to work?  I’m not really sure, but I am extremely encouraged by what I have witnessed thus far.  So many students have stepped up and taken on leadership roles in this process.  It is not always a “pretty process”, but it doesn’t have to be.

My goal is that students experience a sense of pride and ownership, not just in their final product, but in the learning design process.  I want my students all to feel comfortable delegating tasks within their group and sharing responsibility for a common purpose.

Stay-tuned for updates!


Leave a comment

First Week – In the Books!

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 2.06.15 PMWell, we made it through the big 2 days for Week One of the 2017-2018 school year!  I had an absolute blast getting to know my new students and there is NO doubt my students LOVED competing in a game of Kahoot to learn all about me (Remember how I like my coffee, kids!)  We started all kinds of activities to break the ice and get to know each other.

Since my theme for the year is “OBSTACLES”, our first activity was a paper tower challenge.

In groups, the students were given the task of creating the tallest paper tower with only construction paper and tape.  As they worked, they were given various unexpected “obstacles” such as being blindfolded, that they had to overcome in order to pursue their goal. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 2.04.10 PM

Students then “debriefed” with the following “Points to Ponder”:

  • What real-world skills did you use to be successful?
  • What did this activity have to do with this class?  Or any class?
  • What obstacles do think you might encounter this year?  So what are you going to do about it?
  • What type of learning would make overcoming the obstacles “worth it”?
  • So what do you want to learn this year?
  • Are you invested in your own learning?

Students understood the connection of this activity to real-life in that we all at some point in time have had challenges and obstacles to overcome.  The students then identified the following skills helped to complete their task:

  • Collaboration
  • Critical-Thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Risk-Taking
  • Humor
  • Guessing

Students then identified specific obstacles that they might encounter this year and brainstormed potential solutions and action steps:

  • Fear of speaking in Spanish/Practice with peers in class
  • Nervous about gaps in vocabulary/Create own personal thematic vocabulary lists
  • Forget some content from last year/Take advantage of personalized content review sessions in class
  • Different learning styles/Give feedback to teacher via survey on activity and project ideas.

The final and perhaps most important question was:

  •  Are you invested in your own learning?

(If they said NO, I ignored them) and told them that the answer is YES!  And so am I, so let’s do this!

Hope you had a great first week of school!

 


Leave a comment

3, 2, 1…..Are You Ready?

Well, all good things must come to an end. The new school year is upon in just 2 short days. I truly hope you have enjoyed your summer and that you return to the classroom refreshed and reinvigorated for the year ahead. I am looking forward to reconnecting with past students and am excited to meet some new faces in my classes this year (and quite excited to send my 2 cherubs back to school as well). Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 5.19.12 PM

I always like to start every year with a “theme” in mind upon which I build my goals and class activities.  This year, my unofficial theme is “OBSTACLES”.  If you are in one of my classes this year, be ready on Day #1 for an interesting and pretty fun team-building exercise, filled with changing conditions and unexpected obstacles.  See you Wednesday!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 5.13.46 PM


Leave a comment

Level I – Toca Mini Juguetes! Toys!

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 1.18.02 PMWho didn’t love toys as kids?  How cool was it to receive a colorful, brand new toy that could do all sorts of things?  Real-life dolls or robots that could talk, sing, and even dance! Interactive sports figures that could play ball or even swim!

Ahhhh memories…  Level I Spanish students got a chance to remember what is was like to be a “kid” again and talk about their favorite types of TOYS inspired by the following creative scenario:

“You are a famous toy maker from a world-famous toy company and you have created the most amazing doll-robot that can do so many incredible things!  You can’t wait to get it on the international market and luckily, you speak Spanish, so you can market your new product to all of the Spanish-speaking countries around the globe.  Answer the following questions with as much detail and colorful, descriptive words as you can to help make your new creation a best seller!”

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 1.18.14 PM

Students first were given the task of designing and creating a virtual “doll” in the app “Toca Mini” on their Ipad.  Students could pick a theme (sports figure, robot, animal, etc.) or could just go where their imaginations took them.  They had had to make sure that their toy was extremely colorful, intricate, and detailed with many colors and patterns (stripes, dots, plaid, etc.).  

Students then had to answer the following questions in paragraph form (integrating transition words) in order to create the advertisement narrative for the unveiling of their new product.

1)      ¿Cómo se llama tu juguete nuevo? – What do you call your new toy?
2)      ¿De qué está hecho? (plástico, metal, madera, etc.?) – What is it made out of?
3)      Describe la cara (2 adjetivos) del juguete. – Describe the toy’s face with 2 adjectives.
4)      Describe el pelo (2 adjetivos) del juguete. – Describe the toy’s hair with 2 adjectives.
5)      Describe el cuerpo (2 adjetivos) del juguete. – Describe the toy’s body with 2 adjectives.
6)      Describe la ropa del juguete (3 oraciones – Incluye (4) colores. – Describe the toy’s clothing with 3 sentences including 4 colors.
7)      ¿Qué estampados hay en la ropa del juguete? (incluye 3+) – What 3+ patterns are on the toy’s clothing?
8)      Describe los zapatos del juguete. (2 adjetivos) – Describe the toy’s shoes with 2 adjectives.
9)      Comenta sobre un accesorio que lleva el juguete. (paraguas, sombrero, guantes, etc.) – Comment about an accessory that the toy is carrying/wearing.
10)   ¿Qué sabe hacer este juguete increíble? (2 cosas) – What does this incredible toy know how to do?
11)   ¿Qué puede hacer este juguete magnífico? (2 cosas) – What can this magnificent toy do?
12)   ¿Cómo va a estar un cliente cuando compre este juguete? (Use an Ud. sentence here). – How is a customer going to feel when he/she buys this toy?
13)   ¿Qué va a querer hacer un niño cuando reciba este juguete? (Use an Ud. sentence here). – What is a customer going to want to do when he/she receives this toy?
14) ¿Cuándo debe comprar este producto un cliente? – When should a customer buy this product?

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 1.18.50 PMFinally, students embedded their written narratives with a picture of the front/back of their toy in Notability and recorded themselves “selling” their new “toy” in their best Spanish accents.  Some savvy students were able to video their narration while utilizing the 360 rotation feature within the app.  So cool!

This activity is a great culminating assessment that gives all students the opportunity to integrate ALL of the knowledge and skills that they have gained during the year to:

  • Introduce /name items
  • Distinguish origin/material
  • Describe items in detail (sizes, colors, shapes, patterns, etc.)
  • Identify articles/clothing/body parts/basic items
  • Discuss/predict opinions and feelings/emotions
  • Articulate obligation and desire
  • Narrate action and knowledge/ability
  • Address near-future occurrences/deadlines/date/times

Refining these communication skills is crucial in helping students to grow in building their proficiency in the target language.  And just think…all of this was in only one year! We are so proud of all of our Level I students and can’t wait to see what they will achieve next year!

The last planned step, is to have students read a classmate’s descriptive narrative and attempt to “reproduce” all of the colors, details, and patterns they have read on a blank Cricut-generated doll-template.