La Clase de la Sra. Moloney


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It’s That Time Again…

It is oral assessment time!  In level 3, we are doing it a bit differently this time.  We have been studying the imperative mood and how it fits into daily life situations.  We also have been looking into cultural celebrations such as el Día de los Muertos, Halloween, etc.  Instead of having a specific question that students must address and answer, students were given open-ended “cultural scenarios” in which they had to give a friend a command.

For example: Escenario #1 – Eres mi amigo/a. (You are my friend) Estamos en un autobús en Oaxaca, México porque estamos de vacaciones durante el Día de los Muertos. (We are on a bus in Oaxaca, Mexico because we are on vacation during the Day of the Dead celebrations.)  Quieres mostrarme algo interesante que miras por la ventana. (You want to show me something interesting that you see out your window.)  ¿Qué debo hacer yo? (What should I do?)

Students brainstormed some unique ideas such as:

Look at the ofrendas in the cemetery! – ¡Mira las ofrendas en el cementerio!
Pay attention to the parade in the street! – ¡Presta atención al desfile en la calle!
Check out the costumes! – ¡Fíjate en los disfraces!

During the face-to-face oral assessments, students get to process and interpret these scenarios by:

  1. Hearing – students are given these scenarios orally
  2. Visually – student are able to read these scenarios AND have a picture or a some visual “cue card” to help them put their scenario into context.

Some examples of our visual prompts are:

By the end of Term II, all Spanish III CPS students will be able to interpret and respond appropriately to the following scenarios:

 

Escenario #1 – Eres mi amigo/a. Estamos en un autobús en Oaxaca, México porque estamos de vacaciones durante el Día de los Muertos. Quieres mostrarme algo interesante que miras por la ventana. ¿Qué debo hacer yo?

 

 

Escenario #2 – Eres mi amigo/a y te visito en EEUU por una semana durante Halloween. Soy de México y me gustaría experimentar una celebración típica de Halloween. ¿Qué debo hacer yo?

 

 

Escenario #3 – Eres mi amigo/a y te visito en EEUU por el mes de noviembre. Soy de Guatemala y me gustaría hacer actividades típicas durante el otoño.  ¿Qué debo hacer yo?

 

 

Escenario #4 – Eres mi primo(a) y te visito en Massachusetts por dos semanas durante el mes de diciembre. Soy de Paraguay y me gustaría hacer cosas típicas durante el invierno. ¿Qué debo hacer yo?

 

 

Escenario #5 – Soy tu amiga de Ecuador y te visito en EEUU para celebrar la Navidad en la Ciudad de Nueva York por una semana.  ¿Qué debo hacer yo?

 

 

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Por vs. Para Telenovelas – Student Work

I promised that I would have student sample work for you from our “Por vs. Para” Telenovela video project and, let me tell you, you will NOT be disappointed.  These amazing students did an UNBELIEVABLE job in making a pretty boring grammar concept into dramatic and fun telenovelas.  Check them all out by clicking on the image below!

 

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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:

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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?


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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!

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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. 

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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!