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

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.


Leave a comment

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?


Leave a comment

Kindness Rocks Project – In Spanish!

Our Latin American Experience class is all about making connections within the Latino community and reaching out to others in kindness and friendship with the goal of promoting tolerance and understanding.  What better way than to create a Kindness Rocks Project in Spanish!

I first learned about The Kindness Rocks Project this past summer while I was hiking with my children, Eamon and Delia.  We came upon this assortment of beautifully-painted rocks and noticed that they had wonderful, positive messages written on them. Uplifting statements like “May all good things happen to you today” and “Focus on the good” adorned these rocks of various sizes and shapes.  My son and daughter were immediately intrigued and we spent quite some time reading the positive messages and talking about what they meant.  We also noticed the hashtag #thekindnessrocksproject written on each rock and were curious what it all meant.  Looking more closely, we also noticed a small wooden sign that welcomed us to take a rock if we needed some positivity in our lives and to share them with others in need.  It also said to take a photo of the rock and to put it on social media with the hashtag #thekindnessrocksproject.  I was amazed at what we found out when we did a little more investigation at home of how this all began.

The Kindness Rocks Project was started by an anonymous woman in Barnstable, MA.  She liked to collect rocks on the beach and would paint inspirational sayings on them and leave them in places for people to find.  One instance, before her trend went viral, this woman simply left a painted rock at a local Whole Foods and a woman, who had been experiencing many recent hardships in her life, picked it up and posted a photo on Facebook.  She explained how that simple message of hope changed her life and helped her to move forward through difficult circumstances.  And thus, The Kindness Rocks Project was born!

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 9.02.59 AM

As she continues to pay it forward, she has inspired people, like us,  from around the globe to create their own Kindness Rocks Project!

Students in our Latin American Experience classes collected up some rocks and painted positive messages and inspirational quotes in Spanish on them  Then, they ventured off to set up their “rock garden” in a local Milford park.  If you were a Spanish-speaker and you came across a rock garden with uplifting messages in YOUR language, how cool would that be?

Learn more about The Kindness Rocks Project here!

Check out some of our student-created Spanish kindness rocks below!


Leave a comment

Preterite or Imperfect?

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 2.58.28 PM.pngPerhaps one of the most challenging grammatical components in Spanish is correctly utilizing and integrating the (2) past tenses: the preterite and imperfect.  These (2) past tenses are employed in different ways to express various ideas in the past. The tough question is, which one do I use when?

Well, the preterite is used to: narrate in the past and give just the facts of actions that have a distinct beginning and clear end…..WHAT??

The imperfect is utilized to describe or express feelings/opinions in the past and to emphasize ongoing or repeated action in the past….

SO….WHAT DOES THIS MEAN????

Pretty abstract, challenging stuff, huh?  Instead of trying to memorize this nebulous concept, it makes more sense to put it in a more realistic, authentic context.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 3.00.17 PM

Who is your favorite move star?  Athlete? Singer?  We all have one and let’s be honest, we know all about our favorite stars.  What better way to compare and contrast the (2) past tenses than by creating a a timeline of their life?  Students identified (10) benchmarks in their favorite public figure’s life and “narrated” in the preterite on multi-colored squares.  Then students identified (10) repeated actions or personality descriptions and articulated them in the imperfect on circles.  By utilizing the squares and circles (created by our newly-acquired Cricut machine) on a timeline, we are creating a visual/graphic organizer which delineates, compares, and contrasts the past tenses.

After, we will be creating WANTED posters for our public figures, utilizing the imperfect to describe physical attributes.