Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dramatize vs Visualize

For over the past year I have plunged into the fascinating world of TPRS, otherwise known as Comprehensible Input. I have been in awe what my students are able to do grammatically, and recall. when they need it. However, one thing that has been a hangup with me is the idea of dramatizing a story, or even a sentence.

For every formal summative assessment, I have the student reflect on their learning, what works best and what doesn't. The last test inquired about what they thought was most productive for their learning and why. It was an interesting observation that an overwhelming number of students commented in someway the acting was their most effective learning tool with the readings. After some additional self-reflection it occurred to me that it wasn't just the acting per se, but rather that they could visualize.

Visualize. Yes, visualization rather than dramatization is what I needed to hear. Maybe it's my theater background that made me want to have props, a stage, audience, for a full-blown dramatization. What they really need is a way to see what is happening in the story, no matter how lame or goofy it may turn out. Putting a warm body in the place of a mental image and/or creating a (new) mental image for the learner is what it's all about.

Vero (mamá de Ana), Anita (Pobre Ana), Antonio (papá de Ana)

Alejandra (mamá de Ana), Adalicia (Pobre Ana), Jacovo (papá de Ana)

So, visualizing "Ella es una chica." vs "Él es un chico." becomes more real for the students. I can then take it to the next level, asking students about the chico or the chica. ¿Es alto or bajo? ¿Es grande o pequeña? ¿Es de Iowa o California?

It's a simple word, but one that made all the difference for me and reinforced that the images are so important to beginning students.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pobre Ana HISHE

We are all enamored by the How It Should Have Ended videos on youtube. This idea sparked the cumulative project for the novel by Blaine Ray, Pobre Ana. Students have read the novel this quarter while learning grammatical structures, vocabulary, and cultural topics. Their final project was to create an alternative ending, while maintaining the integrity of the novel's storyline and using the structures from the story.

The students could work solo or with a partner, using voicethread, makebeliefscomix, iMovie, blabberize, bitstrips, storyboardthat, etc. They were only limited by their creativity beyond these requirements. Students started exploring various suggested websites, setting up accounts, and writing their script.

Students then produced their movies and they are published here:
Please vote for your favorite or add comments at the bottom of this post. We'd love to hear from you.