Spanish 1: Face-to-Face

By Friday, both of my Spanish 1 classes will have completed their first cara-a-cara or face-to-face interview exam of the year. Students are asked to answer 10 of 20 questions that we have practiced daily over the course of the term in a one-on-one interview with me during class time. So far, I’ve been impressed with the skills that my students have demonstrated!  Below is a screenshot of the 20 questions, which include basic personal information, as well as talking about time and date. This type of exam is more authentic than a traditional, written test for this type of “conversational” exchange. And in my experience, students really step up to the challenge! My hope is that right now, my students could interact in the real world with a native Spanish speaker in order to convey basic information like name, age, origin, telephone number and a few more.

Using a Google Form to grade them in real time during the interview, I’m able to share their results with them almost immediately in the form of a spreadsheet. Since students recorded their interviews, the next step will be for them to go back and listen to our conversation while identifying and correcting their errors using my feedback.

As we move into Term 2, we will continue to practice the last 20 questions, but build another 20 before our next interview exam. We will study the difference between tú and Usted, and learn the formal form of all the Term 1 questions as well as practicing talking about others (él and élla forms). Additionally, we will go into more depth on the topic of origin, learning the names  and locations of the Spanish-speaking countries, adjectives of nationality and the concept of gender of nouns.



Pack your bags!

It’s time to go on a field trip! The 21st Century Skills classes are wrapping up their work on designing a field trip for the sophomore class. Over the weekend, a panel of teachers and administrators will watch the students’ video proposals and choose one winner out of all 12 proposals. Some of the possibilities in my two classes include the MFA, MOS, Fenway Park, a historic Boston Harbor cruise, a high ropes course and simulated “shipwreck” situation at Hale Reservation, a math-themed walking tour of Boston and a trip to the BSO. Next week, we will spend time watching each other’s proposals and giving constructive feedback, as well as reflecting on the planning process as a whole. Additionally, we are all going to pitch in and help the winning group promote and execute their plan! I have had a lot of fun listening and observing as the students worked in groups to finalize their plans; its great to see them problem-solving and thinking on their feet! screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-22-57-pm

In  Hispanic Civilization, we will be taking a vocabulary quiz tomorrow on a list of 40 “refranes” or “dichos.” These examples of idiomatic language are a requirement for scoring well on all of the AP Spanish rubrics. Students have enjoyed exploring the differences between the “literal” translations of some of the sayings and their “best” English counterparts. A few of us have even learned some new English vocabulary in the process! As a way of becoming familiar with these phrases and hopefully moving them from short-term to long-term memory, students created short skits in which the saying was used in context. They also created memes that included a “refran.” Check out a few examples:

In Spanish 1, we are really making progress! Students have spent the past week reviewing the days, months and seasons and have been busy making calendars in partners. The calendars are posters to be hung up in the classroom and students are enjoying working with colored pencils and markers for a change of pace. Students are able to tell the day and date today, tomorrow, and yesterday when asked and we have had fun figuring out each other’s birthdays and favorite seasons. Students spent time today in stations correcting written work as well as creating their own Quizlet sets for the 20 questions they will need to know for their Interview Exams, which are soon approaching! For this test, students sit with me one-on-one and answer 10 of 20 possible questions in complete sentences in Spanish. While this can be intimidating the first time, last year students really excelled and I expect no less this year!