Las Metas y Los Sueños…..part 2

In the last post I included the activities for the first 4 days of the unit.  This post includes the plans for Days 5, 6 and 7 (my class periods are just 45 – 50 minutes long).

Day 5

Neil Jones has a great blog with wonderful resources and ideas for Spanish teachers.  In 2012 he posted an activity:  El sueño y el orgullo, that will fit nicely in this unit.  It has many of the vocabulary words that I am targeting, reflexive verbs and subjunctive.  It is a good cloze listening activity that I will expand into conversation and reading.

Day 6

I wish I remembered where I read the following idea, but I don’t…if you recognize the idea, please let me know and I will credit the source!  Five to seven students will volunteer (depending on class size, my largest has 26, the smallest 20) to stand in front of their peers.  I will give each of those students 2 pictures that the rest of the class will not see.  The class will receive a grid with potential jobs listed.  Their task is to ask questions to their classmates standing in front of them, trying to determine who has which job.  The students standing in front with the pictures may only answer yes/no.  Every student must ask a question, with the “winning student” being the first student to match his classmate with the job correctly. This may have to be adjusted!  Following this whole class speaking/listening activity, I will give a picture to each student in the class and have them respond to this prompt:

Eres la persona en la foto. ¿Cómo llegaste allí? ¿Cuáles eran tus sueños/metas? ¿Cuáles eran tus retos o desafíos? ¿Cómo lograste tus sueños? ¿Cómo conseguiste tus metas? ¿Siempre creías/pensabas que tenías éxito? ¿Tenías miedo o duda alguna vez? ¿Cómo puedes usar tu posición para el bueno, para cambiar algo en el mundo? ¿Cómo vas a alcanzar nuevas metas?

Here are the pictures and the student grid: Metas Tus Trabajos del Futuro

Day 7

The Axel song, Celebra tu vida, which has been playing several days as students enter the classroom, will be the focus of today.  Students will complete a cloze activity of the first part of the song, which we will then discuss (vocabulary) and will take a brief glance at the subjunctive being used.  I will then place the students in small groups, 3-4 students to a group, and I will assign each group one of the remaining verses.  Their task will be to illustrate their part of the song and share it with the class. Next, we will look at several tweets from Axel that use several of our targeted vocabulary words about goals, dreams, reaching the goal/dream, etc.  The last tweet that we will examine is about an unlikely duo that auditioned for the X-Factor in England, which will lead us to viewing that audition and responding, first with conversation and then in writing.  The resources for today are here: Metas Celebra tu vida Axel

Additional note:  I will be speaking individually with several students over the span of several days, working toward the first evaluation in which they are to describe their own dreams and goals to me.

Thoughts and comments, suggestions, etc. are always welcome!!!

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And the curriculum guide says………

para alcanzar tus suenosOur curriculum for Spanish IV says that we are in a chapter that focuses on aspirations (tough vocabulary, abstract ideas) and,…..tons of grammar (preterite of stative verbs, grammatical reflexives, preterite versus imperfect, subjunctive with adverbial conjunctions). So, am I tied to this textbook that we have been given? No!  With this post I hope to encourage those of you who have a textbook that may not be the most relevant….meaning that it simply doesn’t have the authentic resources that will tie it to comprehensible input……to take part/some of what the curriculum dictates and create something that does use authentic resources.

For the past three years I have been modifying this chapter, trying to add interest, trying to make it relevant and not so overwhelmingly dry and so heavy, grammatically. Even so, I have not looked forward to tackling this chapter again this year. To some extent, I have had success, but not enough for me to be content with what we’ve done.  Therefore, I decided to undertake a complete overhaul of this unit.  I’ve created a master plan (backwards design) and have modeled the “look” of the plan on one that I started using after admiring/implementing the work of Kara Jacobs. The name of the unit is now Las metas y los sueños, and it does include many of the elements of the original chapter. Here is the ” BIG PICTURE.”

Preguntas Esenciales

1. ¿Qué es tu rutina diaria? ¿Cómo te escapas la rutina?                                                    2. ¿Cuáles son tus metas, tus sueños? ¿A qué quieres dedicarte? ¿Cómo han cambiado tus metas /sueños desde tu niñez? ¿Cómo vas a lograr tus sueños? ¿Cómo te enfrentas a los retos, los obstáculos?                                                                                                   3. ¿Quién es una persona que ha superado mucho? ¿Cuáles son las características y/o las acciones de la persona que ha superado mucho?  ¿Quién es una persona que admiras?¿Porqué?                                                                                                                                        4. ¿Cómo presentan los sueños y las metas las canciones y/o las películas populares?                                                                                                                                5. ¿Cuál fue la banda sonora de tu infancia? ¿Cuál fue la banda sonora de sus años de escuela secundaria? ¿Qué crees que va a ser la banda sonora de tu futuro?

Evaluaciones

1. Examen Oral (25 puntos): describe tus metas y tus sueños y cómo han cambiado (6 febrero)                                                                                                                                   2. Examen escrito (25 puntos): describe a una persona que admiras (11 febrero)                                                                                                                                   3. Examencito oral (20 puntos): Contesta preguntas sobre tu rutina diaria (14 febrero)                                                                                                                                    4. Presentación (con compañero, 30 puntos) : Escoge una de las canciones/películas y haz un video/ppt, etc. que refleja el significado (26 febrero)                                                  5. Presentación: La Banda Sonora de tu vida con audio/explicación escrita (25 puntos) y presentación oral de 2 minutos SIN APUNTES (20 puntos) (5 marzo)

I am going to try to post the various materials being used as I use them.  As with so many of my Twitter colleagues (so many, but to name a few: Kara Jacobs, Sarah E Cottrell, Cristina Zimmerman, Kristy Placido, Mike Peto, Bethanie Drew, Cynthia Hitz, Carrie Toth, Amy Lenord) the emphasis for providing comprehensible input will come from authentic resources. However, I will say that with the constant weather interruptions, it has been impossible to gather momentum yet!

I introduced the unit with an unusual video:  Elvis Presley, singing If I Can Dream in English, with Spanish subtitles.

This was followed by some discussion of his dream and dreams in general.  I had pre-targeted some vocabulary, which was on the word wall in Spanish only: metas, intentar, realizar, soñar con, retos/desafíos, and I kept trying to insert the words into our conversation as I pointed to them on the wall.  Next I had them work with a partner with a “Twitter” page (modeled after Twiccionario by Zachary Jones).  To create your own Twitter page is relatively simple by using the #hashtag with the word(s) desired.  In this case I wanted authentic tweets about #metas.  Metas day 1 beginning

Day 2 began with several posters from the site desmotivaciones that focused on dreams, goals, challenges, etc. Working with different partners, they worked their way through the 8 posters, trying to derive meaning while adding to their vocabulary.  After about 7 minutes, I had them choose two that they either understood well, spoke to them, or were giving them trouble.  They then shared with the class. Here are the Metas carteles, and here is a link to them on my wiki (so they could see them in color). Following this, students worked in small groups (3-4) creating definitions for los sueños y las metas and discussing whether a dream is the same thing as a goal.  After that, they worked individually to focus on their own dreams and goals in three categories: education, family/love, and profession/future plans. They also began to write briefly about how they would reach these goals/dreams and the challenges they might face. Metas personales

Both days I have had Celebra tu vida by Axel playing as they come to class.  I intend to use it extensively this coming week. The plan for Monday is based on a lesson that has gone well for the past 5 years, and one that came from Zachary Jones‘ older site, Actualidades.  It includes a lectura, video, and a free write about Kseniya Simonova, an artist from the Ukraine who won the Ukrainian version of America’s Got Talent in 2009. Metas Kseniya Simonova If you have not heard of her, or seen the video, it really is worth watching.  Each year my students have been amazed, and very moved.  It has led to some rich discussion and some interesting free writes.

We also will be looking at parts of the famous speech by Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream, using the Spanish text. (This idea came from something that Zachary Jones posted on MLK Day, what an incredible resource he is for Spanish teachers!!!!) We will watch small parts of this video 

  We will use this lectura based on the speech.   Metas MLK

Both the work with Kseniya and Martin Luther King are activities designed to support the oral assessment of dreams and goals as well as the written assessment on a person that they admire.  Since this is a work in progress, I would really appreciate any ideas, suggestions, comments that you might have.

“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…..

Art in the Spanish classroom

I love teaching Spanish IV!  Although I follow the framework of an outdated curriculum, I am able to add topics that really engage my students.  While student interest in units on narcoviolencia, food from the Hispanic world, and identity may not surprise you, it may be surprising that students really get into Spanish art.  Prior to this year, I have only taught one of the three sections of Spanish IV in my school.  This year, I have all three sections and have been free to expand/incorporate units based on just the preferences of my students and me.  In the past, we taught a 4 week unit on Spanish art, focusing on the development of art vocabulary (and related activities), comparatives and superlatives and a brief glance at Dali and Picasso with a bit more involved week on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.  I decided before school began that I was going to expand the art unit to 6 weeks, with a week devoted to developing vocabulary and interest, a week for the art/music/history and traditions of Dia de los Muertos, and a week each on Dali, Picasso, Rivera and Kahlo.

I will not say that all students were thrilled when I told them that we were going to study some Spanish art and artists in depth.  They were not!  Sure, the artistically inclined students were interested, but the bulk of them were not prepared to enjoy it as much as they have so far.  I decided to write this post because so many of my students told me yesterday, week three in the art unit,  day 4 of Dali, that they couldn’t stop thinking about him after class….that the videos, readings, paintings, and music that we were using did not stop when they left class.  I had students telling me that they dreamed about the art, or a video we had watched, or the song by Mecano that we had studied.  To me, this is amazing!  Their level of involvement in class, their willingess to share their opinions and ideas, and their receptiveness is so rewarding!  I am not going to claim that everything is happening in the target language.  It is not.  However, large sections of class discussion and activities are!  Yesterday, as we took an  in depth look at some Dali paintings (Geopolitical Child, The 3 Sphinxes, Swans Reflecting Elephants, Raphael Exploding Head, etc.), we definitely had to use a lot of English as they shared what they first saw, what they saw on the second look, what they thought Dali was trying to tell us, and what they thought the painting was titled.  There is great interest going into day 5 (Monday) as they know we are going to look at one his most famous creations, The Hallucinogenic Toreador.  They are eager….yes, eager….to continue with Picasso.

While I could use this blog to upload all the documents that I have used, instead I’m going to link to my wikispace, where the entire lesson in progress is a bit more detailed.  If you scroll to the bottom of the page and move upward, you can see the daily progression of the unit.  When items are listed under more than one day it means that we didn’t finish or get to the material the first time it was listed.  While I have developed a lot of materials myself,  I also have borrowed and adapted materials from many, many sources.  Hopefully, all of them are credited; any missing citations are not intentional, and if brought to my attention, I will definitely fix.

Art 2013

Dia de los Muertos

Keep them eating……

We all have units about food, and I’ve certainly blogged about ideas for the food units before.  I tried something different this year with my Spanish III students thanks to a chance encounter with the Mexican Subway website!  Details about pacing and what I did each day can be found on my wikispace elmundodebirch.  I was able to incorporate  listening, reading, writing and speaking (speaking activity developed by my wonderful colleague Megan Matthews)!  Here you go:

Intro/Attention getter:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGBn_EEcjqg&feature=player_embedded

Reading/Writing/Speaking:  Subway

subwayListening/Speaking: Subway Listening X 3

The first video I couldn’t get to embed here, so this is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGBn_EEcjqg&feature=player_embedded

Speaking: Listen to your partner as he describes three Subway sandwiches.  On your paper, check off everything that he says! Subway listening with partners

Picture Prompts

Somewhere, on Pinterest, I found many images that I felt would be useful to use for speaking or writing prompts.  They are filled with so many people/animals and activities that even the most reticent speaker has something to say.  While I projected the images on my SMARTboard, I also gave each student a black/white copy to examine in detail. To get my students going with the activity (which I used as a review activity several times in the last two weeks of school), I gave very specific directions. First I had them, with a partner, name all people/animals or things that they could.  I then asked them to list as many verbs as possible that might apply to the picture. Next, I asked them to create questions for their partner:   ¿Quiénes toman el sol? ¿Cuántos animales nadan?  Finally, I gave them a list of verbs to use and asked them to make oral sentences. This was the first one.Pool scene

Pool scene picture to describe

As I circulated the room, each pair was given an informal assessment grade, based on what I observed and heard.

Other images that I used: Park picturebeach sceneclass pictureMore images are available on my pinterest boards

:Conversation Prompts    

Writing Prompts

Obviously, these images make great writing prompts, too!

10 years of teaching social awareness through music….

I finished my 10th year of teaching social awareness through music with my Spanish III classes this week.  And, as has happened every year since I created this unit, it got longer and more involved, and the kids were terrific!  When I started 10 years ago, I used 3 songs (two from Juanes and one from Juan Luis Guerra).  This year, I used 15 songs (Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Baute and Yerson and Stuard).  I spent about 6 weeks in the unit full time, but I actually started the music as we were finishing a unit about travel.  Within the teaching of this unit, I also incorporated preterite and imperfect, present subjunctive, geography of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and South America in general, history of the three focal countries and background information with authentic readings of all of the artists except for Yerson and Stuard.  I plan to post the entire unit here this summer, when school is done; however, you can see the bulk of the work here.

This year, as I have done for the past 6 years, the students all chose one song as their focus, and created their own interpretation of it.  This was the assignment: PBT La Música 2013.

With this unit, I give the only “test” of the year, which is essentially identifying the geographical and historical points for the 3 countries studied in depth, identifying positive and negative vocabulary, choosing their own vocabulary to show me what they have learned, writing what they know about Juanes, and using the lyrics of the songs to support the themes of the unit.  The last part of the “test” is to let me know what they may have gotten from this unit.  Here are some of their responses.

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Additionally, I had some students create extra things, and I had one class, my smallest, ask to create their own Bandera de Manos.  I’m posting some of the projects below as well as pictures of the Bandera de Manos and some shirts that students created.

Minas Piedras 2

Bandera 2Bandera 3bandera 4bandera 5bandera 6 groupbandera 7Bandera de Manossuenos