I was in a really comfortable routine last year, but this year I’ve had some new changes put on and and some new changes I’ve decided for myself.
The schedule changes is a little funky. 3 days a week our junior high and high school classes are 41 minutes Monday/Thursday/Friday, 48 minutes on Tuesday, and 45 minutes on Wednesday. I’m definitely still getting used to the wacky time changes and fitting my previous plans into to.
What I’ve changed or added this year that I learned from NTPRS:
- Spanish 1 – 3 has a weekly reading log and will be doing Bryce Hedstrom light reading book reports.
- The independent Spanish 4 class is totally new. They are doing reading logs and checking out books and also using Edmodo to communicate with me. I wanted to have at least one Edmodo thing every week, but I am juggling a ton right now. I know I will get into a groove better.
- Classroom jobs! I did use structure counters for a couple of days but the numbers I get from them are the numbers I expect and I don’t know if I want to keep doing it. I definitely appreciate the job of the details writer and quiz writer. Thanks again, Bryce.
- Using embedded readings as a way to access the harder vocabulary in the long readings. Use Blaine Ray’s new Level 1 & 2 books and old Level 3 book, there often is lots of new or random vocabulary that appears in the long reading. I had a bunch of different things I would do to prepare my students to handle that reading but now I put my list of new words on the board and have a mini-story that uses the structures on the projector and the classes have been writing embedded readings that slowly add the “reading words.” So far this is great and I have some great stories that the class has written. I think next year, once each lesson has its 4 or 5 version embedded reading, I can save some time and instead of creating new ones each time, just read the ones the class wrote. I may occasionally write them ahead of time this year but my students like to be creative, so I will let them keep helping me write them until they seem to get bored.
- Something as a bell ringer while I’m doing attendance, etc. This is actually the thing that is working out the least for me because it “takes away” time I was used to having. The negative change means that we do songs a lot less. My class used to have tons of songs and we just haven’t been doing them the same anymore. This is something I have to commit to fixing because songs gave my students some awesome vocabulary that we wouldn’t have otherwise practiced.
Well, that’s where I am so far.
I gave my Spanish 1 students their first timed write this week (we started August 16). To say “first” cheating, though, because this set of freshman did the old version of Cuéntame Más with me in 7th and 8th grade so I already know they can write a full page story. The only new student I had to the school in their class was absent that day (and had been for a week), so I’ll just have to wait and see how they’re going.
I always feel the most proud of my Spanish 3’s because each year’s class is more advanced than the previous year. (Can I say, “thanks to me”?) It will keep like this at least for the next couple of years before it plateaus, so I’m going to bask in the joy of it while it lasts! I like being able to celebrate how awesome they are!
Thank you for adding your voice, Angela. I love them name and theme of your blog and I look forward to seeing what you are learning and thinking.