Thursday, September 8, 2016

Persona especial - happenings

I've been at the "la persona especial" activity for the last 4 weeks in my classes. I have been using it in Spanish 2 (more on that later) and Spanish 1.

I figured I would blog on it in a few days, once the weekend hits and I can reflect.

So far it's going ok. It's definitely a change of pace for me from just the Circling with Balls activity that I used to use in Spanish 1 for the first 5+ weeks to get to know the kids and teach some basic concepts.

Nevertheless, if you saw my previous entry, you probably saw the Powerpoint I adapted from Bryce's script of questions.  I haven't decided to go ALL in and teach all of the questions he has been doing. I'm just baby stepping. But it has still been an interesting experiment.

It is similar to something I started last year when I used stories even from the first day (in conjunction with TPR and the Circling with Balls activity). That was thanks to 90 minute classes.

This year at my new school I am back to 50'ish minute classes and so I am sticking to one activity + warm up + quiz (and song/brain break if needed).

Back to what is similar. Last year when I used the stories first thing, I noticed the kids were exposed to the I, you, and he/she forms more than ever because I was really doing my best to interview my actors and coach them through answering questions and helping them out.

So I am now trying this out with the personal interviews. If a person doesn't know how to answer the question, I'll just ask the class if they know how that person could say "I ___". And usually at least one person knows and I have the class applaud them and praise their awesome Spanish and ask my actor (interviewee) if they want to try to answer the question again to which they pretty much always say, "yes". Then when they get it right, we applaud them too.

Anyways, so I have done pop-ups here and there and point out that the "o" on the end of the action means "I".  So I also talk about myself pretty much with that form instead of the 3rd person stuff I used to do about me.

What has this done?  It seems to have really helped them grasp the ending of the "o" on the end a lot better to use it with more accuracy when we are talking. Writing is another issue entirely. ;-)

Baby steps.

I'm bringing this up today because in a Spanish 1 class, I noticed the class didn't seem to want to talk and so I asked (gesturing), "¿No quieren hablar?" ("Do you all not want to talk?") and they gestured that they didn't understand so I went to write it on their butcher paper and then a student said, "Oh.  So is "I want" "quiero"?"

I praised his awesome Spanish and had the class applaud him and it was just magical.

I love when their brains make those connections because they've been exposed to the rich language so much.

It reminds me of what Dr Farley who taught my methods course in college told us. He said that when we teach, we should explore the language with the students and allow them to slowly peel away the wrapping paper of the present (that is the language).  If we just teach them via grammar and as if they were getting a minor in linguistics, we spoil those fun surprises for the kids to enjoy.

Today was one of those days that really rang true for me and my students!

But anyways, more on how I've been doing La persona especial later!

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