La Clase de la Sra. Moloney


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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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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.”


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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!

 


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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!”

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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.


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Oral Assessment Time – Term 4 Cara a Cara Interviews

first_impressionsIt is that time of the year again! Our final oral assessment is nearly here!  Spanish II Honor students have done an incredible job of learning and integrating 9 verb tenses this year and now they have a chance to showcase their ability to use them in context to communicate in a meaningful way.  by the end of this term, all Level II Honors students will be able to execute (ask, answer, and expand upon) the following (20) questions (and several complex variations/scenarios of these questions).

  1. ¿Qué hacías _____________________?
  2. ¿Cómo era __________________ que _______________? (Descríbelo/la/los/las)
  3. ¿Qué hiciste cuando tenías __________ años?
  4. ¿Qué hora era cuando _____________?
  5. ¿Qué tiempo hacía cuando _____________?
  6. ¿Cómo estabas cuando _____________?
  7. ¿Qué harás si ganas la lotería?
  8. ¿A qué hora llegarás a casa esta tarde?
  9. ¿Cuándo me dirás tu decisión?
  10. ¿Me ayudarías con mi tarea?
  11. ¿Cuándo podrías visitarme en México?
  12. ¿Por qué querrías continuar estudiando espanol el próximo ano?
  13. ¿Adónde has viajado?
  14. ¿Por qué has estudiado el español?
  15. ¿Habías estudiado el espanol antes?
  16. ¿Habías gozado de todas tus clases siempre?
  17. Para el fin de este año, ¿qué habrás aprendido en la clase de espanol?
  18. ¿Qué habrás logrado este año?
  19. ¿Qué habrías hecho diferentemente este año?
  20. ¿Qué habrías hecho si fuera candidata a presidente este año?


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Student Spotlight – Michelle A.

Here is another “Star Student” from our LAX class!

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Nombre:
Michelle Arsenault

Clase: Latin American Experience

How many years have you studied Spanish?:
10 years

(Hobbies) Pasatiempos:

  • Hiking
  • Playing the flute
  • Painting

(Favorite Food) Comida Favorita:
Burritos

(What are you hoping to learn in class?) ¿Qué quieres aprender en la clase de Español?:
How to make connections within the community and use Spanish to communicate.

(What I like most in this class) Lo que me gusta más en esta clase:
The freedom we have and the projects are different from other classes.

(What are we currently doing in class?) ¿Qué hacemos ahora en la clase?:
We just made a Spanish lip sync with English subtitles.

(Dicho Favorito) Favorite Quote or Saying:
“I can’t wait to go home and take a nap.”

 


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Student Spotlight – Meg B.

Here is another senior “Star Student” from our Latin American Experience class!

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Nombre: Meghan Bolotin

Clase: Latin American Experience

How many years have you studied Spanish?:
6 years

 

(Hobbies) Pasatiempos:

  • Playing Soccer
  • Painting
  • Art
  • Church youth group

(Favorite Food) Comida Favorita:
Beef Stew

(What are you hoping to learn in class?) ¿Qué quieres aprender en la clase de Español?:
I hope to learn more about different cultures within the Spanish-speaking community and how the culture influences their everyday life.

(What I like most in this class) Lo que me gusta más en esta clase:
What I like most in this class is that every assignment can be used and applied in a real-world situation.

(What are we currently doing in class?) ¿Qué hacemos ahora en la clase?:
I recently just learned the differences that distinguish Latino from Hispanic.

(Dicho Favorito) Favorite Quote or Saying:
 “JUST DO IT” and ¿Por qué no los dos?  – Why not both!!!!