One of my classes achieved OVER 90% in the target language during group work today! And all I did was watch!
Well, watch and poke their monsters.
With a Project-Based Learning approach, you have to build in times for small groups to collaborate, and there's not a whole lot of scaffolding you can do a lot of the time, since different groups
might have to take the Driving Question in different directions. They also need to set their own goals and discuss their progress with each other, something I cannot direct for every group.
I can, however, have the whole class set a goal for how much they think they should stick to the target language in their discussions for the day overall. Maybe they'll aim a little lower if we haven't had group discussion time in a while, maybe more if we have been on a TL streak and they've been working with the topic a while. They know that since this is the last 6 weeks of Spanish I, we should at least be approaching 90%.
This goal setting is not only a convenient way to make students mindful of how much they are sticking to the target language, but it really is a great way to have a purposeful conversation with larger numbers. I post the visual you see at the left on the SMARTboard, we reflect on how we did the previous day, and everyone votes for what today's goal should be by saying the number they prefer.
Then they get to work in their groups, and I get to work on ClassDojo.
I set up my classes on ClassDojo with only 2 behaviors:
- en español :)
- en inglés >:(
After they get used to the idea of the monstruos, I keep my iPad handy while circulating or conferencing with groups, so I can quickly add español points or subtract inglés points from wherever I am. I have found leaving the monstruos up and leaving the sound on can, indeed, be useful motivation when they have a clear objective, like setting their group's deadlines for various parts of the project.
I'm especially proud today because both of my Spanish I classes beat their 70% goal, even when I was a little ruthless with kiddos who slipped just a little. This bodes well for the rest of this project!