01 October 2014

Storyasking: "Mucha basura" Week 1

I think I may be doing something right!

The TCI/TPRS storyasking approach seems to be complementing my Project-Based Learning approach nicely, as students become more familiar with the vocabulary and structures we're working with, and they are engaging more easily in interpersonal discussion as a class.

Here's how it's gone so far.

I prepped the strategy a lot, explaining (in English) that it should help them improve their listening and interpersonal fluency, and that it should make the vocabulary more accessible to their brains. Then I introduced the story with a SMARTboard slide (featuring my recycle-friendly "muchacho") and a locked square covering the questions I would be scrolling through.

I collected possible responses to the following questions and settled on one via informal sí/no poll.
¿Quién es la muchacha? ¿Cómo se llama?¿Dónde tiene basura?¿Qué tipo de basura tiene?¿Qué puede hacer con la basura?¿Quién es el muchacho? ¿Cómo se llama?¿Qué hace la muchacha?¿Qué hace el muchacho?
I repeated and rephrased multiple ways--as per la Señora Placido's instructions!--to confirm the vocabulary and the constructions. Then I wrote the answers we settled on on the board.

After our coro warmup, we dove right in. The kids were excited. They giggled every time we talked about animales muertos (it was a kind of waste on the infographs, I swear) or basura del sanitario and the muchacha having it in her mochila or bolsillos (I let them add those words with well-placed como-se-dices).

Though Señora Toth (or Señora Bex?) had recommended in our LangCamp Hangout leaving the words up until students quit sneaking glances at them, I confess I was pressed for space. I took a picture of the first class's and referred to it myself on Day 2, but I left up the second class's to see how they responded. Honestly, I think second period may have been a little too dependent--not giving people a chance to recall what they really did have in their brains. I think in the future humongo post-it posters may be the way to go, so I can keep my story image and question scroll on the SMART and still control when they can see the options and when they can't.

We had a lot of planning to do for the projects, what with students forming questions and setting calendars and getting ready to survey each other, so our storyasking was kind of dessert after everyone packed up the laptops. We had spent at least 20 minutes the previous two days, but we got through the story in 5 today (without goat noises when they talked about comer el metal and nose holding when talking about basura orgánica en el lócker). Also, neither class had the board to refer to today, and they still were able to piece the story back together collectively!

I've gotten several comments about how funny the story was, how they liked it, and how they felt it working, too!

Overall, I feel like I had to get away from my intended structures for simplicity's sake, but I think it worked well for reinforcing some familiar ones like interrogatives and especially tiene (which actually was one of my original goals)I think the context for the vocabulary has been very useful reinforcement for the project that we're starting. Between this and having students record themselves reading words they recognized off of infographs, I feel they actually had enough vocabulary to start to lay out a project goal and work out their Driving Questions and Need-to-Know questions (though I did let them discuss them in English as long as they wrote in Spanish. I know. I'm a Spanglish teacher. Mea culpa.)

Thursdays I have reserved for Genius Hour and a little bit of portfolio reflection/updating, and Fridays are special school days for volunteering, remediation, and clubs, so that was our week! Next week, I think we'll start with reading the story.

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