Friday, June 7, 2013

TPRS year 3 - review

Well the school year ended a week or two ago and it was my third year of using TPRS and CI.

As far as the year, I would say it was a success.  It was probably the most intense year I have ever gone through with ups and downs and the variety of activities.

I worked hard in making sure things stayed fresh while at the same time maintaining the general consistency of class.

In first quarter in my Spanish 1 classes, we did PQA about the students, their loves, their interests.  They picked up some basic conversational words and a lot of the third person forms of verbs that interested them.  Then we finished up with TPR of the body parts and some other concrete action words that we could act out.

By the time we got to second quarter, I introduced the routine of class:
Monday - Trending Tweets and Weekend chat
Tuesday - Joke and Oral Story (past tense)
Wednesday - Miáucoles and finishing Oral story
Thursday - song 
Friday - Fail and written story

We continued to prep the Spanish students' understanding of words that would appear in the first book Agentes Secretos y el mural de Picasso.  

Then by the time we read the book, we still did a little storytelling and the usual warm up activities and by the time second quarter had ended, my Spanish 1 students felt a sense of success.  A couple of the kids weren't doing as well as the rest for various reasons, but they were still learning.  Some did hate the book.

Third quarter, we started off with a PQA activity because of a structure common to Spanish 1 students and in the next book to be read, ir + a + infinitive.  So I had the students talk about a goal they had for the new year.  We talked about those for a few weeks and I tried something new out….

I wanted to try to get some of the first and second forms into the verb paradigm.  In my first two years of TPRS, I noticed students didn't do much more than the 3rd person singular of the verbs.  This is the most easily acquired form in language, which is why children speak in 3rd person at first.  

But I still figured we should try to introduce those other forms little by little in the year.  So I had the question written on the board, "¿Qué vas a hacer?" (What are you going to do?) and then underneath I wrote "Voy a ____r" (I'm going to…) and "va a ____r" (s/he is going to __).  

Then I asked kids to own their phrase so that when I asked them, they could respond, "Voy a _____."  It was a great attempt.  Some kids didn't seem to get it as well.  Perhaps to have butcher paper on the wall for different classes so that the words stayed on the wall until the unit was over might be nice.  Maybe next year we can do that.  Otherwise, I thought it went well.  The complete conjugation of verbs is something that not even traditional Spanish students completely get the hang of.  So I figured I was doing a better job.  They had a pretty good understanding of the "n" at the end meaning "They" from second quarter.

So long story short, I think we managed to get the other forms hit during the year.  

After the PQA activity, we started storytelling and further prepping the kids to be able to read the second book Piratas del Caribe y el maps secreto.   While reading, we continued doing the other activities (storytelling, jokes, songs, etc).  

By the final test on Pirates, I was able to see that my students were learning this year and were learning to write sentences to express their understanding of the book. 

All in all, I would say the year was a success.  Many of the kids retrospectively appreciated the books because they realized how much Spanish they had learned this year.

I would say that this year has further reinforced my love for TPRS and CI teaching.  Throughout the year, I was able to converse with my Spanish 1 students daily.  I was never able to converse with my Spanish 1, 2 or 3 students as well before when we "covered" grammar and vocabulary.

I look forward to the coming years!


  1. Hola, Jeremy!

    I am a high school Spanish teacher from NJ. I am also a TPRS convert. This past academic year was the first one in which I had implemented TPRS completely. This was my 4th year teaching and it was by far the best and all because of CI. I'm a member of Ben Slavic's PLC and I've done so much Google research of this method-including reading all of your blog posts that existed by last Summer. I would like to know what kind of assessments you gave in this schedule. Ben advocates for listening quizzes at the end of PQA as well as scoring on an interpersonal rubric...and that's about it. Others push for a more standards-based grading, which really excites me. I've attended a Scott Benedict workshop and have seen all of his examples of assessments. I'm just curious...what did YOU do this year?

    1. Hey Jennifer, thanks for your questions. I'm currently revisiting my "assessment" process because in my new school we'll be using Standards Based Grading. But I responded to your question in a post:

      Please let me know if you have anymore questions!