14 February 2011


My first problem was that even I was unconvinced by how tightly connected the appliance/peso lesson from my Spanish I cooking unit was.  Solution? Record something juicy from my narcocorridos unit!

Second problem? Though the lesson was, I believe, sufficiently juicy, I was only able to get 7 of the 16 kids present that day ON camera.  Solution? Record it with the other class.

Which brings me to problems 3-9 and the need to brainstorm in the wee small hours of the morning.

Problem: class 2 is woefully behind, partially because of extraneous snow delay, partially because of how our schedule just IS
Solution? catch them up, adjust their schedule, al diablo con keeping the 2 classes on the same schedule (that's what edmodo's for, right?) and bring on the 60-degree highs!

Problem: student(s) complain and shut down when presented with a text in Spanish
Solution? give students a "cheat sheet" to make them think they have an advantage in the interpretation that others don't

Problem: if given translations for comparison, students will rely on translations without comparing
Solution? give students only key words that could become road blocks/excuses not to continue interpreting

Problem: students insist on translating EVERY word when asked to interpret
Solution? clearly communicate larger goals: interpreting & purpose of interpreting (i.e. comparison, connections) to divert focus from literal, word-for-word translation

Problem: students are easily distracted and derail the class for attention/entertainment
Solution? assign students (especially derailers) DIFFERENT important jobs that recur throughout interpretation exercise, e.g. key vocabulary words, essential questions to be answered, comparison texts (depending on ability/focus levels)

Problem: some students' engagement is hard to, well, gage
Solution? on top of important jobs, require something written that demonstrates comprehension and connections, e.g. journal answering select questions or discussion with credit for contributing at least twice?

Problem: limited amount of time to get to the juicy part
Solution? keep an eye on the clock, try to stick to no more than 5 minutes per constitutional article, no more than 15 minutes for pre-writing

Last problem? Teaching this on 4 hours sleep tomorrow...

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