BACHATA NIGHTS RADIO
Juanes-La Luz (Tribal 2014) by BACHATA NIGHTS RADIO
What's Happening in my Classroom?
I have taken on my CT's full class load for just about a month now! I will of course admit that at first things were a little rough. Spanish IV is truly a different breed of Spanish class. It is not based on vocabulary or grammar at all! Instead, it is a history class taught in Spanish. I really do love the curriculum, but it has taken me some time to learn how to teach this kind of curriculum. I think I am finally getting the hang of it! In Spanish IV, I have had to teach both history and literature. As challenging as it seems at times, it has helped me tremendously in teaching my Spanish II students. I have been able to enhance my Spanish II lessons by bringing in some of the strategies I use from my Spanish IV class. Chances are that I will start out teaching lower level Spanish classes, so I am super thankful to have had this time to play and learn with Spanish IV! I think I have done a great job with managing all the planning as well. I try my best to stay on top of things. I may not always be a week ahead in my plans, but I am close. One thing in particular that has gone well is my introduction lesson on the history of El Salvador. The text book my Spanish IV students use covers the history of each country over several pages of reading. It can be long and challenging to understand. To make things a little more fun, I broke the students into 6 groups of 3. I gave each group a different section to read in the text that covered some part of the history of El Salvador. The group had to read their section, answer some comprehension questions, create two possible quiz questions that are covered in their section, and come up with at least three symbols to represent their section. Then each group got a big piece of butcher paper. They were asked to draw a mural to represent their section and include the three symbols they had just come up with. The following day each group presented their murals and information from their section to the class. The students took notes over each presentation. This was really fun and successful. It was a lot more effective than having students simply read the entire history portion of the book! Overall it was really successful. The best part for me is that the students came up with their own quiz questions that I can just adjust and use!
What has not gone well:
Nothing has been terrible thus far, but I have definitely learned a lot from the small mistakes I am making along the way. Last week, I gave my first test to my Spanish IV students. My CT is really great in that she allows me to see and use any of the materials she has created in the past. This has been a great help in my Spanish II class. However, Spanish IV is in the process of restructuring their curriculum on a county wide basis. The files my CT has created in the past do not match the curriculum I am currently teaching. Basically, we are re-designing it from scratch. It is super beneficial for me to see, but also super challenging. The test I just gave to my Spanish IV students covered the Violence and Conflict chapter which included Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, and Chile. My CT taught Mexico and Colombia, and I taught the remaining 3 countries. My CT asked me to come up with the assessment for this chapter. The first challenge I faced was coming up with appropriate test questions that covered Mexico and Colombia. Because I was not the one that taught this section, I wasn't really sure what to emphasize on the test. My second issue was that I designed the test after teaching the material. NOT A GOOD IDEA! I am now a huge fan of backward design. In teaching my 3 countries, I just covered the material. I did cover all the material that I needed to, but I just briefly covered everything and did not really emphasize anything. By doing this, I know that my students would have a hard time really picking out the most crucial information. Had I made the test, before teaching the material, I would know what to most focus on and emphasize as I was teaching. In order to make up for my mistake, I made a detailed study guide for the students to use to prepare for the test. I did not want them to be unsuccessful, You definitely live and learn, and in the future, I will always create the test first. This way I can know what to emphasis as I teach. Also, I can provide my students with practice activities that mimic the test.