17 December 2014

Love, Hate, and Spanish 1

To compile a list of what worked and what didn't and begin to develop a plan for improvement, I promised to try not to cry myself to sleep when I polled Spanish I about their Top 5 and Worst 5 activities from class this semester. Of course I also swore their responses would not affect their grades either way.

Love/Hate logo adapted from NetKids DeviantArt page
If they liked it, their task was to tell A) how it helped and B) why they enjoyed it. If they didn't like it, they were to A) describe the problem and B) propose a solution.

Now the whole thing probably would have been a lot more useful if the young ones actually HAD stuck to these tasks, but still, I got information I think I can use.

These activities were pretty overwhelmingly in the Top 5 category.
  • Coros
    Pretty much UNANIMOUS favorite (barely anyone could resist putting it in the top 5, no dissenters), students said it helped them "learn some everyday words" and "got my brain on the right track." Now I've got to figure out how to take it to the next level to promote intermediate skills next year.
  • Pinterest (18:6)
    Most liked reinforcing vocabulary, for Genius Hour and Plan Verde, with images and finding more information easily. The main complaints was some topics were hard to find pins for (I'll have to counsel on passion topics better), and some thought it was too easy, which I think I can live with in Spanish I.
  • InfuseLearning (14:1)
    Only one kid admitted they "didn't learn anything" from the vocabulary doodling exercise, but others said "seeing other people's [images] helped the definition really stick."
  • Emergency vocab (14)
    Taken from First Day Fun Stations, kids had a reference for how to ask to go to the bathroom, etc. at the back of their interactive notebooks. They didn't use all of the words, but the reference was handy apparently.
  • Daily language goals (9)
    They may not have hit 90% every day...or very many days at all...but they liked how it made them conscious of their language usage and accomplishments.

Like  No real complaints about these, but not many put them in their Top 5.
  • Socio/monitor cards (4)
    I, too, was pretty pleased with how well these worked. Kids almost sounded natural when they had an English script of what they should ask.
  • Interpersonal Playbook (6:2)
    Some thought it was too easy, but others thought it was a handy reference.
  • Calendar (3)
    A few thought it helped them organize well and communicate expectations with group members. Plus the instructions to set them up were useful for practicing numbers and dates.
  • Presentations (4)
    A handful got a kick out of getting in front of class (Q&A especially helped with "thinking on my feet") and others liked learning from each other.
  • Vocab visuals (3)
    The visual connection was important in different activities, and including them in their passion presentations was especially key for communicating with classmates.
  • Web map (3)
    Some liked making the connections to keep words they "needed throughout the semester on hand."

Mostly just on the Worst 5 lists
  • Tweeting experts (0:15)
    I never got up the guts to do it, so I shouldn't be surprised. I bet WeSpeke would work way better!
  • Collaboration (1:8)
    Last year it seemed to get kids to face their shortcomings. This year, they mostly complained of just getting people upset. Frankly, I think that's a strong indicator of the necessity of the conferences about collaborative skills, but I'll be thinking of another way.
  • Exploratextos (1:11)
    I tried. A few suggested doing a few books together as a class. Maybe we could have a rotation? Order some more after they browse a bit? Maybe some Google Community reader response?
  • Metas/Resultados del dia (4:15)
    Some it organized, most it didn't. I kind of liked the one suggestion for checklists, but I'm not sure how to structure that to help students maximize their time.
  • Portfolios (3:18)
    I showed them what I've been working on for a new template using ACTFL I-cans, and most feel better having less choice in this and were relieved upon seeing the clearer objectives.
  • Diigo (5:16)
    I couldn't have survived grad school without it. Maybe it was the blog publishing. Maybe I did too many steps at once. I think maybe I will have students focus on one resource at a time, highlighting, paraphrasing, summarizing it before moving on.

Some thought they were great. Some just wanted them to stop.
  • Invento project (8:5)
    I'm gonna call this one a keeper. I was intrigued by the idea of scrapping Plan Verde to devote more time to this and passion projects. I mean, really, if my tests are portfolios or IPAs, there's no reason I HAVE to do 3 projects!
  • Glog (3:5)
    I didn't like shellling out $40 to make overly complex soundboards either. I'm contemplating VoiceThread or Prezi as a substitute, although TinyTap might be a useful app to substitute, and if I could convince the powers that be, I'd totally shell out $30 to get MadPad HD on each of my class iPads.
  • Storyasking (4:8)
    Some thoroughly enjoyed Mucha basura and El mejor invento and how they "figured out new words on my own." Others iddn't get the point of all of the repetition. I guess I could try shorter less complex stories.
  • Reportajes (3:3)
    I need to tighten this process where individuals take turn standing up and telling what they have and what's next. I need to make it a quicker, more interactive routine.
  • Personal Goals (11:5)
    Some liked exploring what mattered to them, though there is the passion project for that...Others just liked the easy grade or felt like it was busy work. This one bears a closer look.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you asked your students for feedback. I've done this at the end of the year before, but no time is bad time to get feedback from them. It makes them feel like they have a say in their own learning. And it gives you a good idea on what you can do to make things better! A few of these ideas I am going to have to try in my own class! Thanks for sharing!