martes, 15 de agosto de 2017

El Kichwa en el Ecuador

A bilingual (español y kichwa) school in Shuid, Ecuador -
This school visit inspired me to learn more about kichwa.

I traveled to Ecuador this summer with ICTFL (even though I am from New Hampshire). I was fortunate to travel with the wonderful Carrie Toth and we knew that we would have to create something Ecuador-related to use in our classrooms. So, we have been working on a unit based on the video/song "Si tú la ves" and I can't wait to share that soon! 

But, as I have been creating that, I went down a rabbit whole of kichwa (yup "kichwa," not quechua) related resources and I created a unit that could go along with the "Si tú la ves" unit or it could be a stand-alone unit. It is called "El kichwa en el Ecuador" and I am so excited to teach this unit!!

(Or if you just want a new legend to use with a legends unit, click here.)

These are the resources included in the unit:
  • These Essential Questions:
    • ¿Es importante mantener vivos los idiomas y las culturas? ¿Por qué sí o no?
    • ¿Qué es la interculturalidad y cómo y dónde está presente en el mundo?
  • Discussion questions to get students to think about other languages and the concept of interculturality (without really explaining it) 
  • A reading about el kichwa in Ecuador
  • Some short activities to do with Wawa Kichwa videos/activities every day to start class for four days
  • A interpretive reading activity about bilingual (kichwa/español) schools (based on a simplified version of this article). Students could do this alone, in groups or as an entire class.
  • Two embedded readings related to legend "Las guacamayas" with possible assessment ideas
  • A presentation that will lead teachers through the two easier versions and finally to the full audio of the video below
  • A cloze activity with the audio from the video below
  • A short reading about a hip hop band that sings in kichwa
  • Suggestions for a final evaluation on the unit




viernes, 11 de agosto de 2017

Ingredients in the soup

Image result for pozoleDuring the last four days, I have been thinking a lot about all the "ingredients" that we teachers use in our classes. As teachers, we all have our own "soup" that we serve to students. (I'm pretty sure that I read this metaphor on someone else's blog.) Every teacher's "soup" is unique and there is no exact, correct recipe for language teaching. (But yes, some soups definitely "taste" better and are more nourishing!) My soup ingredients have changed a lot and my soup has gotten much better in the six years that I have been sharing on this blog, partially because it is a place of reflection, but just as much, it has helped me to create an amazing PLN that I learn so much from!

I have spent the last four days at the Express Fluency Teacher Training in Brattleboro, VT. During this time, I observed some amazing teachers (Tina Hargaden, Grant BoulangerDustin Williamson, Annabelle Allen -AKA la maestra loca, Elissa McClean, and Justin Slocum Bailey) in classes and learned a ton from them at sessions too. One of the best parts of this conference was observing CI classes (if you can find a conference where you can do that, go!). I spent two days acquiring some French in Tina Hargaden's class. She is an amazingly skilled CI teacher. She made it so easy that at times that I didn't even realize I was sitting in a French class. I feel like I can really implement some of these CI strategies much better now.

Another highlight was that my sons (9 & 12) were able to be in class for four days with Annabelle Allen and Grant Boulanger. They really enjoyed the classes and acquired a lot. My boys even made comments about how this way of learning (really acquiring) Spanish is so easy and fun.

So, as I was at the conference, I got to thinking about what some of the main "ingredients" in my "soup" are, and I came up with these:
After these last four days, I have a some new "ingredients" to add to my soup.
I hope to share more about these new ingredients during the school year!

How to assess the "Communities: Lifelong Learning" standard?

I love the Communities: Lifelong Learning standard, but how to assess it has always been tricky for me.

I (and many others, like Laura Sexton most recently) have blogged about "choice homework". In my classes, I call it "Tarea Semanal" it has gone through many variations, particularly in how I grade it and what percentage of my students' overall grade it counts for. First semester of this year I will be teaching Cultura y Civilización (Spanish 4/5/+) and Spanish 3, and both of those classes will do Tarea Semanal.

For my Cultura y Civilización class, I am thinking about using a Standards Based Grading approach. In my district, we have true Standard Based Grading in grades K-8. The report cards show each standard and they get a 1-4 for each. There are about 20+ standards on the report card. At the high school, students still get the traditional number grades, but we might be moving towards a more Standards Based System. So, (I think) I am going to use these percentages in my grade book this year:
  • 40% Communication (broken down into the three modes of communication)
  • 20% Cultures
  • 10% Comparisons
  • 10% Connections 
  • 10% Communities
  • 10% Work Habits (not a WL standard, but this is where students will be assessed with school wide rubrics on a variety of things, including: collaboration, time on task, creativity, etc.)
I know that this is not a true standard based grading approach, because if it were, there wouldn't be one grade, but rather several (possibly 11 for the standards and sub-standards)... but this is the best I can do under the system that I am working. There is so much overlap with these standards, but having these categories will make me focus on making sure that I am assessing all of them.

So, anyways, how to does Tarea Semanal fit into all of this? Tarea Semanal will be the way that I am assessing the Communities: Lifelong Learning standard and I have come up with this rubric (click here to see it) to help me assess my students. The rubric (like all rubrics!) will help in several ways: explain my expectations to my students so they can meet "exemplary" in this standard, give them more targeted feedback, and help me to give them a fair grade.

Do you use Standards Based Grading? How do you assess the Communities: Lifelong Standard?