Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How do you DO that?!

This year I am implementing a family -style environment in my classroom in which levels I, II, and III are all together in the same class. When presenting at conferences or talking to colleagues in house or out of the district, the question always arises: How do you DO that?! They wonder how to teach and have a discussion with all three levels at the same time. This is the motive of this post. Below you will see a basic "lesson plan" that demonstrates how to pull all 3 levels together. This outlines the immersion process and the conversation components of the classroom. All these activities are done completely in the target language.

Day 1: Getting ready to communicate

Preteach vocabulary – city places

Guiding questions:

I: ¿Adónde va?

I: ¿Qué va a hacer?

II: ¿Cuánto tiempo hace que __?

III: ¿Qué está haciendo?

These pictures are put on the IWB and they can be easily moved around. I usually stack them so that the students can only see one image at a time. They don't know if there are just a couple of images or a dozen. While I focus on the guiding questions as a main topic, I also reinforce old vocabulary through the pictures. This helps them keep the vocabulary fresh in their mind and give a purpose for their learning - they never know when that word will pop up again!

Differentiation of the lesson for different learners becomes much easier. For example, if a student is struggling with the basic structure of the grammar or pronouncing a certain vocabulary word, it is merely a listen and repeat exercise. Usually the repetition is enough to help them understand the grammatical structure or how to pronounce the word, giving them more confidence. Likewise, if a student is understanding the basic structures, she can advance another level and begin to glean additional grammatical structures and vocabulary from higher levels. This is where the beauty of a multilevel classroom comes into play!

The questions are constantly restated via TPR-S style of questioning. For example, where is he going? Is he going to the movie theater? Is he going to the movie theater or the stadium? Is he going to the fruit stand? Is he going to the police station? What is he going to do at the movie theater? Is he going to shop at the movie theater? Is he going to ride in the police car? Is he going to watch a movie or play football? Is he going to eat or watch at the movie theater? Where is he going? What is he going to do?

Day 2: Structured communication – wikisticks

Students were given 2 colored wiki sticks and directed to create a store.

Students create a structured story using:

I: ir, future, city place (store)

II: hace time que V - how long something has been happening

III: present progressive (if working on this goal)

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Day 3: Free conversation

Using 5-card flikr, discuss pictures or create a story using the 5 pictures and the guiding questions of the week.

Day 4: Guided Comprehensive quiz

Students take a 3-question quiz for their level that relates to a grammatical point, vocabulary list, and and previous goal from an “old” unit. Students complete the quiz and I guide them through the answers via a “talk – a loud” activity.

Spanish I

Spanish II

Spanish III

Day 5: Continue working on additional goals and vocabulary to be used in future conversations