Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sharing Lesson Plans & Juggling

Recently, I read a world language teacher's comment online in which she said she had changed her curriculum to focus on teaching with comprehensible input.  She had several preps and the amount of work required to prepare new materials and lessons for her classes, along with the mountain of extra tasks that all teachers know too well, was leaving her feeling overwhelmed. She was a mother of 4 children and school demands were overtaking her family time.

Many teachers, possibly all teachers, can relate to her feelings because they are either on that path now or have been in the past. For those World Language teachers that have left the textbook on the shelf and have ventured into the world of planning their own curriculum, scope and sequence, lessons, materials, and activities, they are well aware of the time commitment and energy needed for this task. 

It's been a few years since I started on my "Adiós textbook, Hola Comprehensible Input" journey. I've been adding, changing, deleting, tweaking, improving, etc, my lesson plans ever since.  My focus this year is to be even more diligent in my efforts to recycle previous structures as new structures are added.

Below is a link that I'm sharing that has lessons and materials for teaching several focus structures with my Spanish 2 students.  The structures in the lessons are:

1- quería, había, fue (also puso - needed for class story)
(s/he wanted, there was/there were, s/he went) also (s/he put)

2 - estaba triste, (no) encontró, buscó
(was sad, didn't find, looked for) 
3 - se llamaba (s/he was called)

4 - tenía, vivía, era (had, lived, was)
5 - se llevaba (s/he was wearing)
6 - se sentó, a la derecha de, a la izquierda de
(s/he sat down, to the right of, to the left of)

Follow this LINK to lesson plans and materials for the listed structures. My hope is that you will find something that will be useful to you and your students.

Overhauling your curriculum is a huge task. The more knowledge you have on second language acquisition and the more experience you have in teaching (which includes a compilation of lessons that you learned from both your failures and successes), the farther ahead you will be when planning.

Another thought: Teaching should not be done in isolation.  Sharing materials is related to juggling (which is on my radar now especially since my focus is on recycling structures as new structures are added):

I'm a juggler. 
I begin the school year juggling a few balls (new structures). That's fairly easy. 
Then I add a few more balls while at the same time I have to keep the previous balls in the rotation.
After adding more and more balls, I start to feel a bit overwhelmed...
when I find another juggler and we can share the same amount of balls between us, the task is less daunting.
When I find 2 other jugglers, all 3 of us have an easier task.
Imagine how much easier it is when there are 4, 5, 6, and many, many more juggling at the same time, lessening the amount of balls each of us have to manage.  
It's much easier and the social interaction is amazing.
THANKS to all the other World Language "jugglers" out there that have helped make my task easier throughout the years.  You know who you are. I am grateful to have you as my colleagues and friends.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for these ideas! I am definitely going to use some of them next semester, when I teach Spanish 2.