Friday, April 24, 2015

Lesson Plans for when you lose your voice

I almost made it through the 2014-15 school year without losing my voice...but when I awoke this morning and started to talk, I knew my luck had run out.  

I, like many of my colleagues, think it's easier to go to school when I'm a little under the weather than to write lesson plans for a substitute.  Instead of calling in sick, I altered my plans in an effort to preserve what little voice I had left through my four classes.  

In Spanish 2, my original plans included reviewing the class story from yesterday using the structures, oyeron un ruido, se durmieron, & se despertaron.  I wasn't satisfied with the number of repetitions of the focus words from yesterday and I wanted to add some additional circling of the structures.

So...if I couldn't circle the different parts of the sentences, why not give that job to the kids? 

The first thing I told my Sp2 students was their instructions if I held up a large index card that had a frownie face on it.  If I held it up and then looked directly at a student, that meant the student was too chatty and the class' job was to say "shhhh" to the student.  I demonstrated the card and was sure I would be using it several times for each class, but I didn't need to use it once!

Then I made 9 additional index cards to represent 3 different types of questions:
3 cards w/ questions that circle the subject (yes/no, either/or, short answer)
3 cards for questions that circle the action (yes/no, either/or, short answer)
3 cards for questions that circle the rest of the sentence
                                                             (yes/no, either/or, short answer)

I wrote a sentence on the board and modeled how to ask questions (circle) for each part of the sentence. Of course I did the following in Spanish, but I'm writing it in English for those that don't teach Spanish:

EX:   Sally ate the hamburger.
(subject) Did Sally eat the hamburger? 
              Did Becky eat the hamburger or did Alice eat the hamburger?
              Who ate the hamburger?
(action/verb) Did Sally buy the hamburger?
                    Did Sally buy the hamburger or eat the hamburger?
                    What did Sally do with the hamburger?
(rest of sentence)  Did Sally eat the apple?
                           Did Sally eat the apple or eat the hamburger?
                           What did Sally eat?
Then I handed the cards out to 9 different students and wrote a sentence on the board that paralleled the beginning of our story from yesterday. After I said the sentence on the board, the students with the "Subject" cards asked the class questions, followed by the students with the "action" cards, and ending with questions from the students with the "rest of the sentence" cards. While I wrote the next statement on the board, students had to give their card to another student so others had to ask the questions for the next statement.

This isn't an activity for a long time because you will lose the interest of the students.  What I noticed helped to keep their interest was the storyline and creating l-o-n-g sentences.  These are the sentences that students asked questions about from one of my classes:

Dan y Omar fueron a la playa en Costa Rica.
Los chicos se durmieron en la playa a las once y veinte de la noche.
Dan y Omar se despartaron rápidamente porque oyeron un ruido.
Vieron un oso grande en el agua que tenía un sándwich en una mano y un
     bikini en la otra.  

Needless to say, this isn't the most compelling input w/ target structures, but it:1 - keep their attention (especially since there were 9 cards for each statement)
2 - gave them multiple repetitions of each structure
3 - gave them practice on forming questions
4 - gave my voice a break

Hopefully, by Monday, I will have my voice back and be ready to resume teaching again.

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