domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Embedded reading that lead to text with AUDIO and VIDEO

Image result for simplify
I love embedded readings that lead to an authentic text, especially when it has authentic AUDIO and VIDEO! If you want to learn more about embedded readings, click here to go Laurie Clarcq's blog.

I recently created two embedded readings that will lead students to understand the audio in this video below. You can see the second version here in a these activities that Arianne Dowd created (free). You can see the first version and other activities for  the whole thing here (or here in this bigger unit about kichwa in Ecuador).



When creating a embedded readings, here is what I have done (which may not be the exact, correct method, but I am sharing in case it helps anyone):
  • Find an authentic text or an authentic video/audio.
  • If it is a video or audio, transcribe it so that I have a text.
  • I make a table with three (or four) columns. 
  • Put the authentic, final version in the last column.
  • Work backwards and take pieces out to simplify.
  • I make two (or three) other versions in the other two columns. Column one is the simplest version.
  • Simplify the language, but also include some of the authentic langue too.
  • Important: Leave out some of the important details and leave room for predictions! That will help build the anticipation.
  • There are several activities that could be done with each version, depending on the text. Some of the activities could be:
    • basic comprehension questions in English
    • listen and draw
    • listen, write, exchange papers, and draw
    • put in order
    • who said it?
    • cierto/falso
    • matching pics to text
    • read and circle the correct word
    • textivate
    • Quizlet Live with sentences (leave out certain words)
    • retell story with pics
    • cloze activity with final version
These are some of the (free) embedded readings that I have made and used in the past.
Kristy Placido has made some embedded readings for a couple of short stories too:


martes, 15 de agosto de 2017

El Kichwa en el Ecuador

A bilingual (español y kichwa) school in Shuid, Ecuador -
This school visit inspired me to learn more about kichwa.

I traveled to Ecuador this summer with ICTFL (even though I am from New Hampshire). I was fortunate to travel with the wonderful Carrie Toth and we knew that we would have to create something Ecuador-related to use in our classrooms. So, we have been working on a unit based on the video/song "Si tú la ves" and I can't wait to share that soon! 

But, as I have been creating that, I went down a rabbit whole of kichwa (yup "kichwa," not quechua) related resources and I created a unit that could go along with the "Si tú la ves" unit or it could be a stand-alone unit. It is called "El kichwa en el Ecuador" and I am so excited to teach this unit!!

(Or if you just want a new legend to use with a legends unit, click here.)

These are the resources included in the unit:
  • These Essential Questions:
    • ¿Es importante mantener vivos los idiomas y las culturas? ¿Por qué sí o no?
    • ¿Qué es la interculturalidad y cómo y dónde está presente en el mundo?
  • Discussion questions to get students to think about other languages and the concept of interculturality (without really explaining it) 
  • A reading about el kichwa in Ecuador
  • Some short activities to do with Wawa Kichwa videos/activities every day to start class for four days
  • A interpretive reading activity about bilingual (kichwa/español) schools (based on a simplified version of this article). Students could do this alone, in groups or as an entire class.
  • Two embedded readings related to legend "Las guacamayas" with possible assessment ideas
  • A presentation that will lead teachers through the two easier versions and finally to the full audio of the video below
  • A cloze activity with the audio from the video below
  • A short reading about a hip hop band that sings in kichwa
  • Suggestions for a final evaluation on the unit




viernes, 11 de agosto de 2017

Ingredients in the soup

Image result for pozoleDuring the last four days, I have been thinking a lot about all the "ingredients" that we teachers use in our classes. As teachers, we all have our own "soup" that we serve to students. (I'm pretty sure that I read this metaphor on someone else's blog.) Every teacher's "soup" is unique and there is no exact, correct recipe for language teaching. (But yes, some soups definitely "taste" better and are more nourishing!) My soup ingredients have changed a lot and my soup has gotten much better in the six years that I have been sharing on this blog, partially because it is a place of reflection, but just as much, it has helped me to create an amazing PLN that I learn so much from!

I have spent the last four days at the Express Fluency Teacher Training in Brattleboro, VT. During this time, I observed some amazing teachers (Tina Hargaden, Grant BoulangerDustin Williamson, Annabelle Allen -AKA la maestra loca, Elissa McClean, and Justin Slocum Bailey) in classes and learned a ton from them at sessions too. One of the best parts of this conference was observing CI classes (if you can find a conference where you can do that, go!). I spent two days acquiring some French in Tina Hargaden's class. She is an amazingly skilled CI teacher. She made it so easy that at times that I didn't even realize I was sitting in a French class. I feel like I can really implement some of these CI strategies much better now.

Another highlight was that my sons (9 & 12) were able to be in class for four days with Annabelle Allen and Grant Boulanger. They really enjoyed the classes and acquired a lot. My boys even made comments about how this way of learning (really acquiring) Spanish is so easy and fun.

So, as I was at the conference, I got to thinking about what some of the main "ingredients" in my "soup" are, and I came up with these:
After these last four days, I have a some new "ingredients" to add to my soup.
I hope to share more about these new ingredients during the school year!

How to assess the "Communities: Lifelong Learning" standard?

I love the Communities: Lifelong Learning standard, but how to assess it has always been tricky for me.

I (and many others, like Laura Sexton most recently) have blogged about "choice homework". In my classes, I call it "Tarea Semanal" it has gone through many variations, particularly in how I grade it and what percentage of my students' overall grade it counts for. First semester of this year I will be teaching Cultura y Civilización (Spanish 4/5/+) and Spanish 3, and both of those classes will do Tarea Semanal.

For my Cultura y Civilización class, I am thinking about using a Standards Based Grading approach. In my district, we have true Standard Based Grading in grades K-8. The report cards show each standard and they get a 1-4 for each. There are about 20+ standards on the report card. At the high school, students still get the traditional number grades, but we might be moving towards a more Standards Based System. So, (I think) I am going to use these percentages in my grade book this year:
  • 40% Communication (broken down into the three modes of communication)
  • 20% Cultures
  • 10% Comparisons
  • 10% Connections 
  • 10% Communities
  • 10% Work Habits (not a WL standard, but this is where students will be assessed with school wide rubrics on a variety of things, including: collaboration, time on task, creativity, etc.)
I know that this is not a true standard based grading approach, because if it were, there wouldn't be one grade, but rather several (possibly 11 for the standards and sub-standards)... but this is the best I can do under the system that I am working. There is so much overlap with these standards, but having these categories will make me focus on making sure that I am assessing all of them.

So, anyways, how to does Tarea Semanal fit into all of this? Tarea Semanal will be the way that I am assessing the Communities: Lifelong Learning standard and I have come up with this rubric (click here to see it) to help me assess my students. The rubric (like all rubrics!) will help in several ways: explain my expectations to my students so they can meet "exemplary" in this standard, give them more targeted feedback, and help me to give them a fair grade.

Do you use Standards Based Grading? How do you assess the Communities: Lifelong Standard?


sábado, 5 de agosto de 2017

Robarte un beso

Have you seen the video for "Robarte un beso" by Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra? The song is catchy, easy to understand, and appropriate! And the video is sweet and appropriate too!
Arianne Dowd and I spent some serious hours with this video (therefore we are selling the majority of these things on TPT, but there are two freebies at the bottom of this post)! We have created a whole bunch of activities (best for Spanish 3+) to go along with the song including:
  • "I can" statements aligned to the ACTFL Standards to share with students at the beginning of the unit
  • A suggested order of activities for the unit
  • A list of possible assessments aligned to the ACTFL Standards
  • A Movie Talk Slideshow that shows images of the video with the story 
  • A cultural reading about the tradition of serenades with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A cultural reading about el vallenato with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A reading about relationships with related PQA for before and discussion questions for after 
  • A prediction activity with some pictures from the video 
  • A reading called "Problemas con el amor" that tells the stories of the four couple in the video with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A matching activity with pictures from the video and descriptions 
  • An "advertisement" for "los Doctores de Amor" (Carlos Vives y Sebastián Yatra) with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A sequence of events activity to go along with the video 
  • A ¿Quién lo hizo? activity that goes along with the video Short biographical readings about Carlos Vives y Sebastián Yatra with follow up comprehension activities 
  • A put the song in order activity to do while listening to the song 
  • A classic, basic, cloze activity to do while listening to the song An Instagram activity relating to the story of the characters in the video 
  • A "Grítalo" activity 
  • A "Blind Retell" activity of story gesture reading
You can find them all on Teachers Pay Teachers in Arianne's store.

We are sharing this slideshow (click here for PDF) that tells the story of the video. And here is a basic cloze activity and a "put in order" activity for the song lyrics.