Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stations for review

Seems like everyone is talking about stations lately.  Or at least to my twitter feed, it seems like the new buzz term for foreign language teachers.

Regardless, I have to show I am a team player at my school and tried to find a way to get them to work (more or less) with what I do.

We have to take a test over the entire Agentes Secretos book in my department for Spanish 1.  I had heard the other Spanish 1 teachers made stations to review, so I did the same.

So I grouped my kids together according to level and here were my stations:

  1. 1. re-read chapters 13-14 together
  2. write/draw/pass of some sentences from chapters 13-14
  3. memory (match description to pictures from teacher's guide from chapters 9-14)
  4. one scratch paper, describe pictures from chapters 9-14 with as many words/sentences as you can in 1 minute per picture.  Then compare with your group.
  5. Who am I?  - I statements from different characters/places in the book I wrote down.  Took turns reading one, everyone else had to guess. Place confusing ones in a pile.

Each station was supposed to take 12 minutes.  I never finished the activity in any of the classes. Each group was able to get to one less station than they were supposed to!  (I must waste more time than I realize or I just use a lot of time at the beginning of class on "how are you" and the menu, and weather.)

What worked:
I did make sure to generally put together the high performers with the mid performers and the mid performers and the low performers.  The highs and lows don't mix well.  The highs tend to push each other and those groups were fun to watch in the production (output) activities).

I think this was a nice way to put the wind back into some of the kids' sails at this point in the year.

They had enough language to be able to do the writing part about the pictures.

What didn't work:
The first day, I put too many of the lower performers in the same group instead of staggering them with some of the mid-range performers.  This made it harder to push them to try.

I also accidentally put a star performer in a group with lower / mid performers and she outperformed them and discouraged them.

Final thoughts?:
I should do this every once in awhile to offer something different to my kids.

I also think it helps them get more comfortable with one another.

The prep is ridiculous though.  Not a fan, but since it wouldn't be all the time I think I could handle it.

I would share the document with all of the activities here, but it has some images from the Teacher's Guide of Agentes Secretos by Mira for the memory game.

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