21 September 2014

Mucha Basura: my first PBL/TPRS story

I want to combine the principles of PBL and TPRS, so I have written a story about trash in preparation for a unit on saving the Earth. Students will be working in groups to make a plan to reduce the impact of one material that negatively affects the environment (you can still join in to compare, contribute, or compete!), so my story is about a girl who needs to change her ways.

A David le gusta reciclar.
I have picked the brains of Carrie Toth (@SenoraCMT) and Martina Bex (@MartinaBex) through blogs and LangCamp hangouts. I kept this tutorial and these examples from Martina pulled up the whole time I worked on my story, too.

I focused on the target structures tiene, lo tira a la basura, and puede ayudar. We will be frontloading vocabulary from relevant infographs, maybe doing a little cloze with authentic videos for kids on the environment, and then, I'm trying STORYASKING.

Here's my story and my questions. Please send me suggestions before I crash and burn!
Lena es una muchacha muy desordenada. Tiene mucha basura: en su cuaderno, en su locker, en su carro y en su casa. Tiene papeles importantes con papeles del semestre pasado en su cuaderno y su locker pero nunca los tira a la basura. Su profesora, Sra. Sexton, puede ayudar, recomienda el reciclaje, pero Lena no quiere. Lena tiene una botella de plastico con la comida pero no la recicla: la tira a la basura. Va a McDonald’s mucho y tiene mucho papel del restaurante en su carro, pero no lo tira a la basura. Su madre puede ayudar con la comida o la basura, pero Lena no quiere ayuda. También, Lena usa mucho petróleo cuando va en su carro a su trabajo o a jugar al fútbol. Los amigos de Lena pueden ayudar y usar sus carros, pero Lena quiere ir sol@. Lena puede ayudar el medioambiente pero no comprende la importancia. Entonces un dia, Lena ve un muchacho guapo, David. Su amigo, Paolo, puede ayudar y presentar Lena a David. Pero David es un muchacho muy ordenado y no le gusta como es el carro de Lena. A David no le gusta como Lena usa tanto agua y poliestireno y energia. David ve cuando Lena tiene una lata de Coca Cola y la tira a la basura y no la recicla. Entonces el número de Lena David lo tira al reciclaje.

Storyasking questions:
  1. ¿Quién es la muchacha? ¿Cómo se llama?
  2. ¿Dónde tiene basura? ¿Su locker? ¿Su carro? ¿Su cuaderno? ¿Su casa?
  3. ¿Quién es su profesora? ¿Sra. Sexton? ¿Srta. Strader? ¿Sra. Obama?
  4. ¿Qué tipo de envase tiene con la comida? ¿Lata? ¿Caja? ¿Botella?
  5. ¿De qué material es el envase? ¿Plastico? ¿Vidrio? ¿Metal?
  6. ¿A qué restaurante va? ¿McDonald’s? ¿Sweet Frog? ¿Bojangles?
  7. ¿Qué tipo de basura tiene del restaurante?
  8. ¿Dónde tiene basura del restaurante?
  9. ¿Quién puede ayudar con la comida y basura?
  10. ¿Qué usa la muchacha cuando va?
  11. ¿En qué tipo de vehículo va?
  12. ¿Adónde va en su vehículo?
  13. ¿Quién es el muchacho guapo?
  14. ¿Quién es el amigo de los muchachos?
  15. ¿Qué no le gusta al muchacho?
  16. ¿Qué usa la muchacha que no le gusta al muchacho?
  17. ¿Qué tipo de envase tiene la muchacha?
  18. ¿Qué tiene la muchacha en el envase?
  19. ¿Qué hace el muchacho? 
Think it'll work?
Image adapted from fanpop

#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge, Day 21: A life outside of teaching?

Do you have other hobbies/interests that you bring into your classroom teaching? Explain.

Years ago, my AP US History teacher affirmed that he thought I would be a great teacher, which meant a lot coming from Mr. Priest. He cautioned me, though, that I would need to have a life outside of teaching. "That won't be a problem for you, though," he assured me.

I think I have failed you, Mr. Priest.

Back then I was swimming, playing cello, doing drama and debate, joining environment club and mock trial. I don't get out much anymore, partially because of work, partially because of parenting, and partially because, well, I'm a bit of a homebody at heart.

I do pin a lot...realia and teaching ideas. I tweet and blog excessively...about teaching. I read and research frequently...about language acquisition and educational policy and current events in Spanish-speaking countries. I shared some of my writing that got published with Creative Writing last year...about teaching.

Is David Bisbal a hobby? David Bisbal should be a hobby. I definitely bring him into my classroom at every opportunity. My 9th grade French teacher, Madame Kultgen, for whom my daughter is named, had Robert Redford to demonstrate Il est tres sexy. And he didn't even speak the target language! I think class boyfriends could count for bringing interests into the classroom, and it made me feel a little more linked to Mme. K.

I used to knit and crochet quite a bit and was kind of an obsessive scrapbooker and jewelry maker before my daughter was born. There just doesn't seem to be any room--in the house or in my schedule--any more for those sorts of things.

But there is at school.

It's not a class, per se, but one of my favorite parts of the week is Art Club on Friday afternoons. I took art classes in 8th and 12th grade. I dated an art ed major in college. Otherwise, I am totally unqualified to lead such a club, but I love it anyway.

I have drawers full of yarn and paints and other crafty things. Just the other day, I got to bust out my old finger crocheting skills with some freshmen in the club. Sometimes I sketch along with my little artists or demonstrate skills I haven't gotten to explore in years, like oil pastels and shading. And it feels good.

I haven't even had all of the Art Club kids in class yet, but some have decided I'm probably going to be their favorite teacher already. We share a passion, and we get to play together.

It might not be outside of school, but I think Priest would be proud.

20 September 2014

#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 20: Curating student work

How do you curate student work–or help them do it themselves?

Well, it all starts with Google. Or rather, a combination of a cart full of chromebooks (or PC laptops), a small stash of iPads, a modest display of class desktops, and smartphones--students' and mine--and Google.

And this year, a notebook.

What do they curate?
Of course in a world language class, students collect audio and/or video recordings, but they also need to collect authentic texts and their responses. Here is a list of several things I have students collect:

  • audio of them singing the week's chorus
  • photos of them doing actions representing current vocabulary
  • practice scripts
  • running webmap vocabulary lists
  • emergency class vocabulary
  • personal pronunciation guides to relevant vocabulary
  • recorded conversations
  • short authentic texts related to Genius Hour and PBL projects
  • summaries of/responses to said Genius Hour and PBL resources
  • target language summaries of their findings for Genius Hour/PBL
  • weekly English reflections on communication modes, goals, and proficiency
  • reactions to picture books, magazines, etc. in the target language
  • directions for constructing their portfolios

How do they curate?
There is time and a place for everything. In my class, we work on a class project Monday-Wednesday and then spend Thursdays on Genius Hour and portfolio reflection and assembly. (Fridays are set aside for enrichment, volunteer, remediation, and club activities at my school and it is AWESOME.) 

Most of the regular class project things are collected through Google Classroom, and it is BEAUTIFUL. No more forgot-to-share, no more wouldn't-let-me-turn-in. It's all integrated with Google Drive. They either use a template I created for them--sometimes worksheet style, sometimes just with basic headers or instructions--or submit a link. 

Everything Genius Hour is submitted to Google Classroom too, but in the form of a link to a blog on our class Pasiones blog where the information was typed up or embedded. This is handy for the portfolios later, so embed codes for Vocaroo clips, Glogs, Storify stories, or Pinterest boards can be copied into an embed gadget. Screenshots can work too where the comments need to be captured.

The portfolio itself is a Google Site template I rigged up from elinguafolio.org standards (you can use it too--just search for GECHS under templates when you create a new Google site!) I've found it helpful to create a Doc outlining what activities we've done that correspond with different proficiency modes like so:

Notice my snazzy ForAllRubrics badges! I bold the sections that are completely covered by activities from the unit at hand. I require students to submit 3 sections each 6 weeks, and you will see here they have 4 sections to choose from without having to create anything extra beyond what they've submitted for class or can find in their interactive notebooks.

How do I curate?
Aside from Google Classroom, I do a little extra collecting on their behalf myself, in part to make my life easier. I keep a portfolio webmix on Symbaloo each semester, with links to each student's portfolio alphabetized for easy checking (in case they forgot to link to Google Classroom or I need to refer to them for examples or comparison). I also started keeping an Evernote notebook of  what should be in their interactive notebooks, using stunning examples from their classmates. I haven't gotten the swing of it fully, but it's a way to keep information available to students and parents without having to release the precious notebooks to the wild

And everything else is either on Google Classroom, the blog, or their portfolio sites!