Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Secret Password" happenings

Last school year, I started out incorporating a secret password to get into class.  This year, I no longer teach on the block, so I am doing new passwords that I never had the time to get to last year!

So it's been neat. In conjunction, I have really been having fun to break away from the monotony.  While sometimes, I just wait for the password, I played around with these two recently.

Last week's was:

Ojalá = I wish (let's hope)

Each day I would ask students different questions in TL that were accesible to their level(s):
   Do you want a million dollars?!
   Do you have 5 bellybuttons?
   Is it Friday yet?!
   Is it June yet?
   Is it hot outside?
   Is it July?

And they would respond with: "Ojalá" (I wish).

It was a lot of fun and later gave me the opportunity to throw Ojalá + past subjunctive in a reading for Spanish 1 that some kids were able to figure out (once they knew "ojalá" was like "I wish"). Cool!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Response to Chris Cashman - part 2 - Learning vs Acquisition

This is part two of my response to Chris Cashman's questions, which can be seen here. Part one of my response can be seen here. I have put Chris' text in blue so you know whose words belong to whom.
First of all, I’ll share some common points between how I teach and some of the methodology you brought up. But then, I’ll launch into a big gap that remains for me – a gap from what you shared, and the lack of response about it when I post about these things on other blogs, discussions with colleagues, and ACTFL Discussion Boards. Still coming up dry.
The thinking behind your grammar videos actually overlaps a bit with the pattern that I myself use to present grammatical structures – and vocab too, actually (I give vocabulary lists for four out of eight units in Spanish 3).  
Keep in mind that the grammar videos are there to help others learn Spanish. They are not necessarily made for my students. While some of my students use them, I would say that the majority does not. And considering the medium (online), it is very hard to replicate what goes on in my class with the internet since what I do is not lecture at all, but instead incredibly interactive and contingent upon my students to provide feedback, ideas, reactions, input, etc.  Meaning: we have conversations in the TL on a variety of topics.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Response to Chris Cashman - part 1 - Why the grammar videos?

Background info: Chris asked me a question and I responded here. He then asked me a question about how I assess on this post. Here is my response broken up into more manageable chunks. Chris' portion is in blue.

Thank you for your kind words both about my blog entry and my videos. It means a lot that we are still able to dialogue about this considering that for some, a wall is quickly built that can never be crossed by either side when someone teaches differently.
I appreciate your taking the time to write such a well thought out response. It shows me how much you really care about what you are doing and I bet your students are incredibly thankful for you!
I’m going to be very honest from the get-go in this response that I don’t have many of the answers that you might seek. I appreciate your challenging me in those so that I might be able to further grow in those areas.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chris Cashman's response #2 (posted with permission)

The other day, I responded to Chris Cashman's question posited to me on the Spanish Teachers in the U.S Facebook Group.  

A little bit of background, Chris and I have communicated over the years through Youtube about my video lessons, which are relatively grammar heavy.

After some reflection, Chris graciously responded but said it wouldn't fit in a comment on my blog due to length constraints. 

So with his permission I have posted it here for you to see. I will respond once I have organized my thoughts.
Señor Jordan – Amazing blog entry that you posted the other day. I really appreciate the time you took to flesh out what you do. I specifically appreciated how you respond to the criticisms of TPRS head-on.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Spanish 2 story idea in the store - Shopping infidelity

So this is based around a gag video you could Movietalk (see below for video).

Because there is so much new vocabulary, I almost want to tell a similar story beforehand.

So here are the structures I am thinking of for class story (in my Spanish 2 vocab unit on every clothing word KNOWN to man).  This one might be a little more structured than others and fewer details added.

  • se prueba
    s/he tries on [clothes]
  • a su novia le parece que
    it seems to his girlfriend that 
  • "no lo/la conozco"
    "I don't know him/her"
extras (if you need them):
  • sale del probador after ____
    s/he comes out of the dressing room and says to him/her
  • escoge
    s/he chooses
  • tiene vergüenza
    s/he is ashamed/embarrassed
*Just make sure that you don't have anymore than 3 new structures per story to keep it focused and repetitive for your classes*

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Black Friday story (reflection)

In a previous post, I talked about a story idea for Black Friday.  It really could be for any time of the year, but lends itself to Black Friday because of the craziness that can ensue.

The structures were:
  • arrived / got there
  • saw the perfect __.*
  • bought it for only __.
  • it was a bargain!

Here's what I tried out with the story.

It turned out not to be anything earth shattering or groundbreaking. I would chalk that up to my making up the story but not scripting it out well enough.  And my Spanish 2 students aren't always very good yet at playing around in the realm of silliness.

So I had three different people in each class and we narrated when they arrived, what they wanted to buy, and how much they payed. Then we decided if it was a deal. No one wanted to pay with anything other than dollars unfortunately. But that's ok. I'll know better for next year!

Here's what we came up with for our class story and my present tense story.  I decided it might be humorous to have the Incredible Hulk wanting to buy SpongeBob underwear.

viernes negro - Embedded readings

In the subsequent versions I added more vocabulary that we had previously gone over to review in a new context.

Friday, December 2, 2016

How do I teach my classes these days?

If you're in the Spanish Teachers in the U.S. Facebook group, you might have seen this question to me by a talented teacher: Chris Cashman:

Señor Jeremy Jordan​​, el grande, el honorable y majestuoso:
I read the great article about your recognition posted by an admin. I noticed that the day the reporter was present, you were doing a TPRS style lesson. However, you are well-known for your videos of verb conjugations and explicit grammar (albeit presented in a super fun and attention grabbing way).
These two camps of people -- TPRS folks and learn-the-verb-chart folks -- tend to belong in different camps. One group believes that students will learn things gradually over time with repeated exposure, so don't worry about the verb charts and certainly don't assess knowledge of them. The other believes that language learning can indeed be aided by explicit grammar teaching.
I know I'm hugely overgeneralizing an issue here, but you're showing some evidence of perhaps having found a middle ground, or a way to merge the two worlds. Would you mind sharing either in a blog entry, or a response here in this group, of the method to your madness, the thinking/theory behind it? I have my own answer, but I'm *mega*interested in seeing/hearing yours!
Don't mean to put you on the spot, but this really caught my attention.

Of course the article he is referring to is this one where I was interviewed at my school after winning Missouri Foreign Language Teacher of the year.

Here is my lengthy response to Chris. I appreciate his question. I hope that it is understood that I am not telling anyone how they should teach. I am only expressing what informs instruction in MY classroom.