15 August 2013

Daily Chorus Bellringer

Literacy expert Tim Rasinski gave me an idea for a bellringer that I think will improve students' vocabulary, fluency, listening, reading, and speaking skills and get them hooked.

Rasinski proposes an acronym for those wishing to improve students' literacy skills, and although Rasinski's research and strategies revolve around L1 literacy, I think his theories align perfectly with L2 acquisition.

AMAPPS stands for
Accuracy as in being able to sound out words correctly
Modeling fluent reading
Assisted reading e.g. choral or partnered
Practice with a variety of texts as well as repeated exposure to the same texts
Phrasing or chunking words in common combinations
Synergy of all of these elements
I had the opportunity to hear Rasinski speak as part of my district's Teaching and Learning Conference, and he gave us a poetry lesson as an example containing all of these. Rasinski advocates strongly for using poetry and songs as texts that are intended to be spoken, thus making them a natural fit for modeling the fluency. And who doesn't love songs? Moreover, who doesn't love a catchy song? So my thinking is that I could use either the some simple children's rhymes or pop songs that have a catchy chorus. This way students can hear native speakers speaking in context and probably absorb some useful phrasing.

I'd like to make this a routine, but I still want to have room for Genius Hour on Fridays and SSR on Mondays, so I split the lesson up into a three-day cycle that captures the modeling as well as the assisted reading and repeated exposure to increasingly difficult texts (as long as I choose my choruses carefully). I tried to split it up to spend about 10-15 minutes a day on each activity, but we'll see how it actually goes and if sections need to be redistributed.

Below is how I envision the division going as well as a Spotify playlist with some of my favorite songs with catchy choruses (which may date me a bit, except for those I found through El Mundo de Birch)--in no particular order.

Day 1
  1. Play whole recording (video, if possible) with lyrics displayed as class enters.
  2. Read the chorus 2-3 more times.
  3. Read chorally 2-3 times. (antiphonal reading?)
  4. Choose 3 or 4 words to add to word wall.
  5. Discuss nature, content of passage as a class. 
  6. Take copy home to practice with parents/family.
Day 2
  1. Play recording as class enters.
  2. Read chorally.
  3. Student pairs: partner 1 read 3 times while partner 2 supports, switch.
  4. Word study activities.
  5. Practice with parents/family/friends at home.
Day 3
  1. Play recording as class enters.
  2. Read chorally.
  3. Individuals/groups perform for class (recording?) other audience
  4. Partner read for fluency/accuracy check



Now you can get your copies of
coro handouts
SMARTboard slidesor a bundle with both
on TeachersPayTeachers!

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great post. This gives me some things to try out and think on.

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  2. I love the idea of incorporating music in Spanish. How do you do this with level 1s? Like choosing the right songs that they would actually get something out of instead of one that has a lot of vocabulary and verb tenses they don't know? (I just came across your blog and I keep finding more stuff that I love and want to try! Lots of questions too! Thanks for your help!)

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    1. I do look for things with simple, high-frequency vocabulary and structures, and we only use the chorus, so that helps. The verb tenses honestly don't make much difference--based on research and my own observations. I've found 4 lines is the ideal length, too, especial if they're short or repeat.

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  3. I love this idea. I am curious when you say "word study" activities, what do you mean? I could see doing this in multiple levels.

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    1. I do in fact do this on multiple levels! I did have to modify for native speakers, though. For word study I have them do different things: take pictures of themselves doing actions they invent to represent words, draw pictures for words, use them in sentences & illustrate, describe a picture using the words.

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  4. I am so happy I came across this activity! Do you translate the lyrics for students? When you discuss meaning, is it in Spanish or English?

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    1. I'm happy you're happy, Tameka! We work through the meaning of the lyrics in English together, picking out words they know first, then trying to figure out the rest.

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  5. I am glad that i stumbled upon this post after #langchat. I love the suggestions

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  6. Love, love, love this! Modified and used your Coros second semester with Spanish 2 last year. Ss this year already requesting them again for Spanish 3! Any ideas of how to use them differently for upper levels? Would appreciate any thoughts you have.

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  7. I tried a chorus roulette, having them discuss and choose from 3 each week: http://www.pblinthetl.com/2015/02/coro-roulette-process-novice.html

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  8. How do you assess them? Do you use a rubric?

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    1. Honestly, just completion. The point is completing the practice, and the fruits should show up on IPAs.

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    2. Honestly, just completion. The point is completing the practice, and the fruits should show up on IPAs.

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  9. Hi Laura! I know I'm late to this party, but I love the idea of focusing on the choruses so the students understand at least part of the song well. I have learned that they don't like not knowing what the lyrics mean!

    Anyway, I have questions about day 3 activities. When they perform, do you mean they sing the chorus? Act it out? Both? And when you say "partner read for fluency/accuracy check"...I just don't know what that means.:-) Could you explain it? Thank you! Kimberly

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    1. Hola, Kimberly! When I did the chorus this way, they actually got in front of the room--sometimes even in other classes--and recited. Some recorded with a partner and shared the video. As for accuracy, one read to another while the other circled problem areas in their copy of the lyrics.

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