Thursday, April 11, 2013

Back to the basics...

In Chapters 8 and 9 of El nuevo Houdini, there are several examples of the following structures:

- mientras +imperfect, pensaba en + infinitive
(while someone was doing something s/he was thinking about doing something else or thinking about someone/something else)

- le envió un texto a (s/he sent a text to - person's name)

- pasó el día en (s/he spent the day at...)

 We read chapter 8 and did activities for that chapter as described in an earlier post. Before reading chapter 9, I wanted extra reps of the above structures. Following is a description of the activities.

1. Homework: make a sketch of something you were doing, but at that time you were thinking about something else (doing something else or someone/something).

Mientras leía, Trish pensaba en la playa.
2. Monday: Use sketches w/ the document camera and talk about what each person was doing and thinking about. Note: I realized later, when reading the homework, that I rushed through these sketches. 

3. Monday evening homework: I made a collage out of some sketches and put it on Edmodo. Students wrote 6 sentences to describe the sketches that used the "mientras" structure. When I graded the assignments, I realized the students did not understand how to form or use the imperfect.

4. Tuesday: (Unfortunately, I lost my vision & slipped back into my old style of teaching.) Grammar lesson on the imperfect. It was painful for me and for the students. (I was upset about this for the rest of the day.)

5. Wednesday's lesson plans: Back to TPRS basics. I even wrote on the lesson plans: 
          ___TPRS story – GO SLOWLY!!!
se pusieron + adjective
mientras ______
le enviaron textos;
pasaron el día …
 I "story-asked" in my three Spanish II classes and, because I focused on going slowly, checking for comprehension, adding quick pop-up grammar, it was successful in every one! (Whew!)  We never did get to "pasaron el día" because the students were engaged and giving me great details for the story.  

It also helped that I had 3 students that volunteered to help with the chores: 1 person kept track of how many times I said the structures, 1 person tracked each time an individual participated (many times it was the group responding together but other times it was individuals); and lastly I asked for someone feeling "hard-core, with no heart" and that person tracked any time a student said more than 2 words of English. That organization had a huge impact on the focus of the students!

After creating our story, we read a story I had previously typed (click HERE to see my story). The students breezed through it. In the last 10 minutes, students worked w/ a partner to write a similar story guided by the steps I wrote on the board:
1 - Who were the two people?
2 - Where did they go?
3 - Whom did they see?
4 - What was that person doing when they saw him/her?
5 - How did they react?
6 - To whom did they send a text?
7 - What did the text say?
It was amazing how focused the students were and ready to write their own story.

Thursday: PQA style session. We talked about where/how they spent the day yesterday. Their job: be creative and don't tell me you were in school (in other words-lie). They took this and ran with it. It was soooo enjoyable. We also read several of the students' stories I typed from yesterday. Then we breezed through chapter 9 of El Nuevo Houdini

Lesson learned...for me (again)...DON'T RUSH through TPRS. Take your time and enjoy interacting with the students!

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