My tentative plan for 2016 – 2017

rtss-475x267WOW!!! This is year 38 for me…….and it still feels brand new! This will be my eighth full year without a specific textbook, and my fifth “full on” CI intentional year (I was transitioning for several years from the grammar based, vocabulary list laden curriculum). Like so many other bloggers, (here are a few of them Allison Weinhold, Dustin Williamson, Kristy Placido,), I thought I would also share what I plan on teaching this year. Our school year is divided into 4 marking terms, with each class between 45 – 50 minutes in length.

Spanish IV

Term 1

  1.  I will kick the year off with some great plans from Carrie Toth, using Atrévete . We will take about 4 days to go through this material, break for Labor Day and come back ready to plunge into the school year.
  2. La Llorona de Mazatlán by Katie Baker. This will be my 4th time teaching it; it has always been a popular novel and I have blogged about it extensively. My students become entranced by the legend, the music and all of the additional cultural aspects. They also really enjoy the “teenage love interest” in the story, although the ending always makes them mad.
  3. Día de los Muertos with some of the elements from this unit a few years ago.
  4. El Arte de Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and, to a lesser extent, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. I’ve done some considerable blogging about this unit in the past. This will be the 7th time in this unit that has undergone a lot of change since it’s inception. It is now heavier on Frida/Diego and Mexican history, with less time for Picasso and Dali. This year I am excited to be adding the novel Frida by Kristy Placido for the first time.

Term 2

  1.  The novel Frida will carryover into Term 2.
  2. La Comida de México y Perú (and Argentina if there is time) I’ve been teaching this unit for 5 years and it is always a favorite. The original inspiration for this unit came from Kara Jacobs.  Great music such as Mole by Lila Downs, the Cuy ads and songs from Peru as well as the Ñam Ñam Boys and the Anita/Beto ads for Inca Kola.
  3. Las Metas y los Sueños, an important “pre” unit prior to diving into the heaviest, most intense unit. I love this unit as my students explore their own goals and dreams and compare and contrast them with the stories of others (both famous and ordinary). I find that this unit is an exceptionally creative unit for them. Here is an example of what it looked like this past year. It does change from year to year, depending on the current fame of some individuals. The music for this unit is great, with past favorites including Vivir mi vida, No me doy por vencido, Creo en mi, La lista, No creo en el jamas and Celebra la vida.

Term 3

  1.  Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha 13 (anonymous) This will be the third time with this novel and it has been a compelling read the past two years.  Along with a background unit on the Civil War in El Salvador, the movie Voces Inocentes and parts of Romero, this is an eye opening, thought provoking novel that my students invest in heavily. It helps that they have just finished exploring their own hopes, goals and dreams as they look at the lives of the characters in the novel. The music in this unit includes Casas de Cartón, Gangsta, part of Razones (Bebe), Tu cárcel, Adentro, Nada Valgo sin tu amor and Así crecí.
  2. Immigration is always a “hot topic” unit where students are challenged by what they think they know and believe.  We start with the Statue of Liberty, it’s history, poem and music and go from there. The music in this unit includes Welcome to America, American Oxygen, Wake Me Up, This Land is Your Land (bilingual version), Bandera, ICE, Pa’l Norte, La Bamba, and La Bamba Rebelde, Movies include 30 Days and Which Way Home.

Term 4

  1. Immigration will carry over into Term 4.
  2. Narcoviolencia, which I’ve been teaching for 5 years (with original inspiration from Kara Jacobs and Cristina Zimmerman), is an ever evolving unit based on what is happening in Mexico with the violence, cartels, drug warfare, kidnappings and repression, etc. I always base the length of this unit on how much more “heavy” topics my students can continue to benefit from and grow. This past year we were only in it about two and a half weeks because we had spent so much time with Vida y Muerte and Immigration. The music in this unit, however, really draws them in: Lágrimas, La Patria Madrina, Have You Heard, México (Instituto Mexicano del Sonido) and La Llorona (43 Lágrimas) which brings us full circle back to the beginning of the year.
  3. If I have funding, I would like to purchase La Guerra Sucia or Felipe Alou.  If not, I will probably do the novel that I wrote 2 years ago called Amigos, Abrazos y Aventura: Argentina.

Spanish III

Term 1

  1.  The year begins with a short 4 day unit from Carrie Toth, actually from a colleague named Paige,  about the Cactus and the Bank. I also plan on using La Persona Especial (as developed by Bryce Hedstrom) with these students, who are all new to me and I’m new to them. I will adjust the questions to a Spanish III level.
  2. Esperanza by Carol Gaab, one of my favorites! Such a rich story with so many cultural components. For me, I think it is the perfect way to ease my Spanish III students  into my style of teaching without any pressure. The story is written essentially in present tense, but lends itself beautifully to past tense retelling. It will also be their first experience with my pretty intense focus on and inclusion of music to not just enhance what we are doing, but to highlight, illustrate and teach. Ave que emigra is the first focus song of the year.
  3. A brief, 2 week Puerto Rico and food unit with stories written by me and my colleague, Megan Matthews. This is a good, light hearted unit and serves as a nice break from the seriousness of Esperanza.

Term 2

  1.  Día de los Muertos with the possible inclusion of Tumba by Mira Canion, dependent on funding.
  2. A short unit on clothing with stories written by me and my colleague, Megan Matthews.
  3. A longer 3 week unit on geography, animals and weather with stories written by me. This unit takes us to the Baltimore Aquarium for a field trip! We skipped this unit last year, and I really missed it.  It will be interesting to see what changes are made to it this time around.
  4. Robo en la noche by Kristy Placido begins as we return from Christmas. Teaching it for the fourth time, this is a great book with so many additional elements with geography, environment, and just fabulous Costa Rica. A favorite song for many students is Pura Vida by Percance.

Term 3

  1.  Robo en la noche continues into Term 3.
  2. Jai-Alai, flamenco, music and sports from Spain come next, preceding the next novel Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos. Two favorite songs from this unit are Buleria (David Bisbal) and Dame Vida (Huecco).

Term 4

  1. Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos by Carrie Toth  I am looking forward to teaching this again and not feeling the pressure of the end of the year creeping up. I plan to use the Ferdinand movie again as well as Blood Brothers. I love the fact that Carrie got the present subjunctive into this book so naturally. Last year the students really enjoyed the bullfighting elements that easily flow from the novel.  They also LOVED Reader’s Theater with this novel, so much that I worried about using it too much!
  2. Colombia and Juanes is a unit that I have been teaching in some form since 2005, and it has really undergone quite the transformation over the years. In its’ early years it also included the Dominican Republic (Juan Luis Guerra) and Venezuela (Carlos Baute) and was called my Social Awareness Unit. As the unit grew, it just became too large, so it got trimmed to just Colombia and Juanes. It is possibly my favorite subject material of all time to teach and was definitely the first unit that initiated my gradual conversion to CI.  I love just about all of Juanes’ music, but the music with social messages is just phenomenal.  In this unit we study the Civil War in Colombia, which just might be over (finally), the impact of drugs, Pablo Escobar, landmines and Juanes’ quest for peace, not just for Colombia, but for the world. I use the movie Los Colores de las Montañas, a beautiful movie. I love the stories that I’ve written for this unit and I love the impact that the unit has on students. On the end of the year evaluation/assessment of the course most students list this unit as their favorite, year after year. I have never taught it as the last unit of the year before, but I want to be able to give Bianca Nieves the chance to not be rushed this year.

So, these are the plans. But, as all plans go, they are subject to change and evolution.  Time will tell!

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An outlet for art

art I have written extensively about using music in my classroom, especially the past two years. More infrequently I may write a post about student projects or PBT’s. However, today, day 5 of summer break, I started thinking about the past school year and what I did to help my students remember the year and to be able to appreciate what we had covered. The last week of school, I created a “year in review” presentation for both my Spanish III and Spanish IV classes. While I was not surprised by the amount of music that we had incorporated into our units and into our opening routine each day, I was surprised by the amount and variety of their expressions in art.  In my individual “end of the year” evaluation of the course, just about every single one of those 110 evaluations indicated music as a major way that they had learned Spanish and enjoyed class.  Most of them now have Spanish music in their personal playlists. Also mentioned in those evaluations was the additional learning, exploring and enjoyment that was derived from other artistic endeavors.  From Martina Bex’s “freeze frame” to Allison Weinhold’s “Baila viernes” to the creation of original songs and artwork to showcase and express what we were studying, art was everywhere.

Since I have posted many student created PBT’s from the novels that we have read (Esperanza, Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha, Robo en la noche, and La Llorona), I am going to focus on other works from this past year.

Esperanza:  Freeze Frame and the results the next day here:  Ch 4 retell period 2 Ch 4 retell period 3

 

Colombia/Juanes :Interpret a song

Bandera de Manos b1

Minas Piedras

Vida y muerte tattoos: What did the tattoo look like that Anonymous received after his first mission?

Frida: Using one of the “color me” pages available online, show me what you have learned about the life and art of Frida

Metas: Take one or more of the songs we have studied in our goals and dreams unit and interpret it for your life.  Songs were:  Vivir mi vida, Creo en mi, La lista, No me doy por vencido, and No creo en el jamas.

Narcoviolencia:  Show me, in a visual fashion, what you know about las pandillas principales in Mexico.  They used their visuals to then complete an oral assessment.  The idea was to have minimal writing on the visual, but that the visuals would help them remember items to talk about, representing what they had learned.

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Robo en la noche: Choose the six most important scenes of the chapter.  In this case, they had a choice of chapters 11, 12, or 13.

Immigration: Choose two of the three principal songs in the unit to illustrate key phrases, statements, commentaries, opinions,etc. about immigration.

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Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos:

Poems:

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Freeze Frame

Just like I did at the end of the school year, I found myself wishing that I had taken more pictures of what they created.  It’s on my list of “things I need to do better” for next year.  I would love to learn about the “art”creations that your students have done.

Music Through Social Awareness….2015

Later this week I will begin my social awareness music unit again, but much altered from years past.  I have to shorten the unit due to 2 weeks of snow days and the 16 days of PARCC testing.  Therefore, I am only focusing on Colombia and the music of Juanes. Each year I have always struggled with a biography for Juanes….they were all either too long, too advanced, or too something for my kids.  So, this year, I wrote my own, with comprehensible input, and I intend to begin the unit with it! Juan Esteban…. It’s created, but I don’t have the followup activities for it yet.

I’ve also written a story that I will use prior to the song Segovia. I wanted to preteach some of the vocabulary in the song and the actual historical event,  as well as reinforce vocabulary that we will have done in the first two songs in the unit ( A Dios le Pido and La Historia de Juan).  I took the actual events, an actual survivor, and the record of those killed in the attack and created a story.  I added details to flesh out the story, creating a homelife, a job, feelings and background information. I have not used it yet, so there may be errors/typos, etc. and I will develop other activities to go with it.  I welcome any suggestions or activities.  Cuento de Segovia rev     and a ppt to preface it and use with it. Segovia    Here is an activity with the song SEGOVIA

My Essential Questions are based on those that @Karacjacobs created (thanks, Kara!)

PREGUNTAS ESENCIALES
1. ¿Qué pasaba en Colombia entre 1960 – 2014?
2. ¿Ha cambiado la situación en Colombia? ¿Cómo? Explica.
3. ¿Cuál es el mensaje y/o el propósito de las canciones de Juanes?
4. ¿Cómo se manifiestan las realidades de Colombia durante los 80 y 90 especialmente en las canciones Segovia, Minas Piedras y Sueños y en la película “Los Colores de la Montaña“?
5. ¿La música y el cine pueden ser promovedores de la paz? ¿Cómo?

Additionally, I have some new resources to add to the part of this unit when we study the landmine situation in Colombia (and the world), working with the song Minas Piedras. There is a website in Spanish, Suelos de Paz,  with current updates and statistics for Colombia. There is a new video, Ya Olvidamos, published in February 2015 and a great video with subtitles:  Qué es y cómo se hace el Desminado Humanitario

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If you are interested in following what we are doing, here is my wikipage that I use for daily lesson plans.

La Copa Mundial 2014

FIFA 2014 official logo   I have been collecting resources for La Copa Mundial 2014 for almost a year on my Pinterest board…..and now it’s almost here.  I’ve also followed the incredible Zachary Jones, as he  has created activities for La Copa, and of course, the fantastic work of Kara Jacobs. I will be starting my World Cup unit in two weeks (really it is a unit on several World Cups and soccer in general), and have created a page on my wikispace with my essential questions (similar to Kara’s) and all of the resources now divided by category: essential questions, informal and formal assessments, videos to support the essential questions and soccer in general, focus songs, additional songs, and useful links to articles, infographics, etc. During the next two weeks, I will be creating activities and worksheets to go with my focus songs and the songs that I will be comparing/contrasting (such as the multiple versions of La Copa de Todos/The World is Ours and Shakira’s 2010 Waka Waka with her 2014 LaLaLa), and also for several of the videos that will support my essential questions.  All of the activities that I will create will be posted on that wikipage as I finish them and get ready to use them.  I’m really looking forward to sharing the excitement with my students, and I welcome any additional material you might like to share!

 

“Demanding” the Subjunctive!!! Or…additional ways to use a song to enhance a grammar concept

Songs continue to be one of my favorite authentic resources to introduce, reinforce or enhance a grammatical concept.  While this post is about a song that I used for work with the present subjunctive, the actual activities are applicable across the spectrum.

My three Spanish IV classes are about 8 days into intense work with the present indicative and present subjunctive.  We have used many songs:  Quizas( Enrique Iglesias), De Todo el Mundo (Enrique Bunbury), Azul (Natalia Lafourcade), La llave de mi corazon (Juan Lulis Guerra), Mi Princesa (Victor Cruz), and Inevitable (Samo).  We have used authentic “clippings” from current events, exercises of rote practice, lots of picture prompts of incredible, bizarre or interesting situations, and even more speaking/listening prompts.  Up next: another song, this time, Exigimos (We demand) by Doctor Krapula (from Colombia).

Exigimos was the song that was playing in class on Tuesday when the students were entering.  I had also used it as “background” music while working on other activities last week.  After the bell rang, we took a preliminary look at the lyrics for Exigimos and then quickly moved to something else. On Wednesday, I placed the students in groups of two and gave each group sentence strips (in vibrant colors) for the first verse of the song.  They listened one time to the verse, putting the strips in the correct order.  Next, they quickly discussed the meanings of the lyrics, identified the subjunctive verbs and the reason for the subjunctive verbs, and also the infinitive for each verb.

Exigimos parte 1 verse one in order

photo 6I then gave them verse two with 12 verbs on separate pieces of paper.  The first thing that they did was divide the verbs into two columns: present indicative and present subjunctive.  Again they quickly determined the meaning of the verbs.  I then had them orally change the subjunctive to indicative and vice versa.  I then played the second verse of the song (two times) and they placed the verbs in the correct places on the paper. Once again, they determined what the second verse was singing and the reasons for the subjunctive verbs.

Exigimos parte 2 subjunctive verb in blank

photo 5As a class, we had a discussion about why the group would be singing about “demands” for Colombia.  I taught about two thirds of these students in Spanish III, so they had a good background for discussion based on a big unit we did on Colombia in Spanish III.

The third part of working with this song involved the spoken part of Exigimos.  The students definitely struggled with the first two lines in this part, so I had them determine for everything else first. As a class, we then worked with those first two lines.  Individually, they completed the four questions based on this section.  The last part of this marathon with the song was a Free Write that was completed as the song was playing again.  Prior to beginning the Free Write, I told them that I expected to see subjunctive in their writing…that they could “bullet” items if they wanted to do that, but that subjunctive had to play a role in their writing.  When the song was finished, they exchanged papers and had a peer read it, with the option of circling the subjunctive verbs they saw.  I gave them an additional moment to correct or add anything.  Finally, they completed a shorter Free Write (about 3 minutes) on the reverse side.  This dealt with applying cultural knowledge to the song.  I collected the paper and scored it for content (15 points) as well as subjunctive use (5 points).  As a whole, almost every student scored well with the content assessment, and I was pleased with what they knew and were able to say.  The use of the subjunctive was more uneven, with students who did really well, and others who did not. Below are some of their responses.

Exigimos parte 3 la parte hablada y Free Write

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4There will be another part of this lesson tomorrow as I will ask students (in small groups) to come up with a list of “demands” that they could create as students in our school.  I will then ask them individually to write seven demands:  Exigo que…..