Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Reading to Students - part 3

Today I finished reading Brandon Brown quiere un perro with my students. Below is a short explanation of how I presented chapters 6-10.

Chapter 6
I made a "vocabulary" paper by choosing words from chapter 6 that I felt the students either needed to review or words they may not know.  I put 3 or 4 words/phrases in boxes along with the English translations to make it as easy as possible for the students to decode the words. After students completed the matching we went over their answers.  I also had a large version of the same words printed on a big piece of white butcher paper.  As I read the chapter, I pointed and paused at the words on the butcher paper that were the same words on their paper.  
As always, I stopped reading throughout the chapter to ask questions and check comprehension. The screenshot to the right shows the top portion of the paper I gave to the students.

Chapter 7
I took the easy way out on chapter 7. I looked for words that I felt the students needed more exposure or review with.  Then I wrote 12 sentences exactly as they are written in the chapter and underlined the words I had previously selected.  I wanted the students to see the words in context to help them with the meaning. I read the chapter to them using the document camera so they could follow along as I read to them.

Chapter 8
For this chapter, I did a similar activity that I did for chapter two (found HERE) except instead of T/F questions, I had multiple choice questions.  Many of the answers for the multiple choice, I wrote full sentences for more input in seeing the structures in full sentences and not single word answers.  I read the chapter and students listened for the information on their papers.

Chapter 9
This chapter has repetitions of the following structures:
   - está sorprendido
   - está preocupado
   - está contento
   - está nervioso
The students told me the meanings for each of the above phrases (easy for them because many have been used before in the book and their cognates).  Then, as I read the chapter to them, when I saw one of the expressions in the text, instead of saying the expression I asked the students how the character felt.  They chose the answers from the 4 expressions listed above.  It also helped to point out that the "o" changes to an "a" when referring to a female.

Chapter 10
In my classes, I always make a big deal out of finishing a book.  I emphasize how great it is that they read (in this case, they listened to because I read it to them) a(nother) book in their second language.  I felt we needed to go out with a BANG, which meant actions and noise.  I chose the following words and wrote them on the board.
  se despierta, se duerme, de repente, está contento, feliz cumpleaños, fiesta, & regalo

Most of the words they knew already from previous chapters or from last year. For the first two words, they used the same motions from a previous chapter.  Anytime I say "de repente" in class, students have to snap their fingers one time, so that motion and sound was already established.  I added "está contento" with my last class of the day because I realized how often it is repeated in the chapter after reading it in my two other classes.  The class suggested the thumbs up and pointer finger pointing away (as if, yeah, I'm happy and I'm cool about it).  Everytime I read "fiesta" they yelled, "wooohooo". For "feliz cumpleaños", they had to clap their hands 3-4 times and say in English, "Happy, happy, birthday", similar to what some restaurant staffs do when you celebrate your birthday in their restaurant.  The last one was regalo.  I had students quickly sketch a present on a 1/2 sheet of paper and then each class decided what action or noise when with it.  My favorite was the last class' idea.  One girl blurted out, "let's jump up when you say it". I only needed to hear that one time and I was all for it.  The others were not exactly convinced that this was the best choice, but they obliged.  At first, not all students were "jumping up" together, but I didn't mind.  Then one brilliant student said, "we should do it in a wave". Yes....brilliant. After that, each time I read "regalo" there was a beautiful wave around the class as the students jumped up with their sketches of presents. It was a blast! I was so hoping the principal would walk in to see and appreciate all their gestures and sounds.

I felt comfortable that they had a high comprehension of the chapter, but still paused at times to check their comprehension or ask "what does lo mean in the phrase lo observan?"

And with that, we finished the book. One book read (listened to) and we are on our 16th day.  My goal is to read 3 or 4 more books before the end of January.  We're off to a great start!


  1. You go girl! Which other books will you be reading, do you think??

    1. According to my syllabus for Sp2, we'll read 3 of the following 4 books: Houdini, Robo, Felipe Alou, and Esperanza. However, I've made a change since writing the syllabus and I'll remove Esperanza from the list and add another book.
      LOVE when the kids are reading. The benefits are always so evident.

  2. I love how you have so many ideas for a novel! Do your students have the novel and read along with you? Or have any reading for homework or do you just read aloud to them?

    1. For the Brandon Brown book, I had only one copy so that is why I read it to them. I have a classroom set of all the other novels the students read. In Spanish 2 (or in Sp1 for that matter), I like to read to them as they follow along so they hear the words pronounced correctly. I don't send the books home with the students which means they don't have homework directly related to the chapters. Sometimes the students work in small groups and read a chapter, then I ask them comprehension questions to make sure they understand what is happening.

  3. I notice your worksheet above has the letters M, N, O... does that mean you had that many boxes? Or is that a clever way of giving them some input with letters that aren't used all that often?

    Thank you!

    1. You guessed it correctly Travis!!!
      Sometimes I choose letters NOT at the beginning of the alphabet for papers like above so they hear those letters used instead of always using A, B, C, etc.