1) High frequency verbs:
I've posted high frequency verbs on my classroom walls, and in the few weeks they've been up, I've already seen the benefits. My 5th-6th graders are using them for putting their thoughts together in class discussions and on writing prompts. I've given the clear message that using them is not cheating--rather being resourceful. In middle school, this scaffolding will be removed as the students integrate them into their working vocabulary. One observation I've made is that it allows the students more freedom of expression and encourages self selection in how to put their thoughts together--it's helping to keep our class in the TL, too. The children also make suggestions on what other words need to go up there and they're used across grades and units.
2) Looking at culture: I used the video "Families of the World(Mexico)" with my 5th graders, who are in the midst of our unit, "What Makes A Family?" I told the class that they would be working to make a Venn Diagram about the two children featured, so they took a few notes during the video. They worked with a partner to make their own Venn, then as a class, we collectively created the one below. You can see lots of high frequency verbs to create sentences. I integrated my large scale classroom map of Mexico, so geography came into play, too.
Teaching many levels is the perennial challenge in elementary. I've been wrestling with how to give feedback and have the children reflect on their own learning with so many of them, moving quickly in and out of the Spanish room. Here are some things I'm trying--with success so far:
- Evidence Collection/Self Assessment
on an assessment, TALK score with feedback from me, stored in their "evidence collection envelope," glued into the back of their notebook(below).
- A paper girl in a digital world.
This has allowed me to save and organize materials in Google Drive, so I can easily find and edit them for future use, but I can hand write notes and have a hard copy to take with me to classes, and be prepared when technology fails.