Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I could almost SEE their brains absorbing

Student sketch (before hearing storyline)
Today's class started with me meeting the first 10 students in my Spanish 2 classes outside my door with pink construction paper, black markers, and sentence strips.  The students had to sketch what was written on the sentence strip. The sentences were from a story that they were going to hear later in class, which is the first time I put that twist on the sketches.  Usually, the students hear the story and then they sketch it.  They kept the sketches at their desk until the last 10 minutes in class.  Because I gave the materials to the first 10 students to arrive to class, many of the sketches were complete and ready to be used later i n class before the starting bell rang.  

The focus words for today were: limpió, se cepilló los dientes, and le dio. I did 25 minutes+ of PQS using the focus words.  The PQ session went extremely well, and I credit that to my emphasize on going slowly, pausing, and pointing.  I am still amazed at how much quicker the students learn, when I take the time to pause and point.  As I looked directly in their eyes during PQA, I caught a glimpse of their brains processing the information.  They had such focused looks that it was if I could see the connections in their brains taking place.  "Question, pause, point, question, pause, point". 

Another advantage to not rushing through the PAQ is that I found out additional information about the students.  So much information from 3 target words.

I followed up the PQA by "reading" the book "Max va al dentista" a la "Kindergarten Day".  I told the story to them in the past tense (instead of following the words that used the present tense).  Once again, their expressions were super focused.  It almost seemed surreal.  

I distributed a printed copy of the story and we read that together and in small groups.

Finally the 10 students, that made the sketches, formed a line in the front  of the room (not in any particular order) and held their sketches for the remaining students to see.  The sketches were of things that happened in the "Max va al dentista". I collected the sentence strips, and read those sentences in Spanish.  The students said the name of the student that was hold the sketch to which I was referring.  Then I choose volunteers to order the sketches, saying a sentence for each one as they put them in the correct order.

By the end of the class period, the students looked as if they were mentally spent.  It was packed with CI and thinking back, I probably should have incorporated a few more brain breaks throughout the period. Looking back, it was nice not having to stop the flow of the instruction to have the students make the sketches, but maybe it would have been better for their brains to have that break. Live and learn, right?

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