19 March 2016

IPA: How to Win a Talent Show

An IPA can be an important part of the planning process for group PBL projects. Take for example our mission to keep our school's winning streak going at a nearby language competition. Students need to stop and think about what it takes to win, what steps they need to plan on going through in order to have a successful skit or song performance.

A goal is a dream with a plan, you know.

So once my young ones have carefully contemplated the process, they can begin to plan out their schedules leading up to the Big Day, as well as their expectations for 1) themselves and 2) each other.

So the goal of this IPA is not ONLY assessing communicative performance, but also to help them set up a framework for success in their project!

"Como ganar un show de talentos"

Interpretive Reading

If you want to combine IPAs with PBL, then I highly recommend seeking out authentic texts with ADVICE. The time management IPA went pretty well, but it wasn't 100% aligned with everyone's explicit goals. This one, however, is almost exactly aligned with our project goals, and it seemed to make students' responses to the text a whole lost more engaged and purposeful.

I've also started nudging the baby parrots out of the nest with this text. No infograph for this IPA--though there are images. And beaucoups cognates and borrowed words ("Cómo ganar un show de talentos": the title says it all, really). And since I'm testing what they CAN do rather than what they CAN'T, it really doesn't matter if they read
  • Parte 1: Decide cuál será tu acto
  • Parte 2: Ensaya bastante
  • Parte 3: Prepararte para el show
  • Parte 1 + Parte 2
  • Parte 1 + Parte 3
  • Parte 2 + Parte 3
  • or all of the above
As long as they can show me that they can do what they can do more than just a couple of lucky guesses, I can evaluate their level.

And though there were some confidence issues and translator confessions, we had a good talk about what I was looking for and how pointless looking up alrededor was when they could clearly figure out everything else around it. Some have, however, requested a signal--an extra column or just highlighting the words in yellow--to show what they guessed, mostly so they can assuage some of their own anxiety over being wrong. Their brains intellectually grasp it's okay to guess, but their little hearts are still all a-tizzy when they know they could be wrong.

Interpersonal Conversation

I'm getting closer to a genuinely authentic conversation here because this time I had something they needed. I mean, I've actually been to this competition before AND brought home some hardware. So of course they need my expertise. Plus I think there are some tips in the article they definitely 1) can understand and 2) can use. So here's what I gave them in advance:

Next time, though, we're going to try a GROUP conversation. I got the idea from Sra. Toth at #CSCTFL16. I'm a little concerned about everyone being ready at once, but I think it'll be a lot more authentic sharing ideas with others working on the same project.

Presentational Writing

And now, the piece de resistance: The Group Contract. In response to all of the suggestions--from WikiHow, from me--students had to put together their expectations for their grupos. Not mine, not the judges' (though they did already have the criteria the jueces would be using in their interactive notebooks). I recommended that they include:
  • at least 3 REQUIREMENTS for participation in your group
  • at least 3 things that will PROHIBITED in your group
  • an explanation of the GOALS for your group 
  • and possible CONSEQUENCES.
(In hindsight, we should have discussed the terms prohibido, requisitos, and consecuencias ahead of time--but they're cognates, and not actually the point.)

Now, was I grading these recommendations? No. I was grading based entirely on the AAPPL rubrics. This meant that some didn't get an Intermediate score (though about 50% DID! Halfway through Spanish 2!) because they didn't demonstrate that they could write questions, but the repercussions for an incomplete contract would come later--and they would not be severe, just logical consequences through later assignments that build on this one.

That's probably what I'm most proud of, is how this IPA will continue to be a useful reference throughout the project. We'll revisit this contract and use it to scaffold not only the project, but their language skills.

And then we'll have something shiny to show for it!

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