10 September 2016

3 Infographs for Gamification in Novice Spanish

I wish I could infograph all day. Reading infographs, analyzing infographs, creating infographs--and it doesn't matter the topic. From eyeliner to Einstein, ancient artifacts, augmented reality, or syllabuses: infographs my idea of a supercool hobby. (Note: this is probably why I myself will never actually be supercool.)

Fortunately a good chunk of Spanish I may as well be called Infografías 101. Novices need infographs: small chunks of text with plenty of visual support. And they can learn almost anything they want--IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE--from infographs. Oh yeah, my little biologists and physics enthusiasts were tearing it down Week 3, not to mention my makeup artists and fellow Pokémon trainers with our first IPA, where each kiddo selected an infograph from this Pinterest board. Pretty much everyone rated a Novice Mid interpretive performance. WEEK THREE!

After they got an idea of why they should learn Spanish, it was time to figure out the how with gaming strategies. And where do you start learning anything with the target language?

Input, of course! Yummy, yummy infographic input!

So I've been collecting every infografía I could find on gamificación (and some articles just in case), but there were two that I thought really drove home 

A) what gamification is and
B) what gamification does.

What it does

I started with what it does for buy-in purposes: here's the point of all of this up front. It also give a little transparency and language to discuss what we're doing, and eventually how well it works.

I pasted this into a Google Drawing (I may have a problem) so students could respond to what they were reading just by moving around some symbols: arrows that said either "cierto" or "falso" and a star that said "¡IMPORTANTE!" (Incidentally, several asked if they had to use the falso arrows because they found so much to be true!)

Before they touched their own copy of the Drawing, though, I had them guess which words on the infograph meant 
  • Learning
  • Student
  • Help
  • and Skills
They got pretty good at picking words out based on what was around them and clues in the sentences. You know, like actual English translations, but also cognates like motivan and thinking "Who would be motivated?" They were able to use a lot of prior knowledge and a lot of cognates to figure stuff out.

What it is

I actually only needed half of this infograph to make my point. So the bottom half is what into their interactive notebooks, basically as their vocab list.

We went through each elemento and discussed whether or not they thought that element could help them. Also: super easy to do in the TL!
¿Te gustan niveles? ¿Niveles pueden ayudar tu español? ¿Qué niveles tiene la clase de español?
THEN we discussed if SPANISH class had those elementos. Perhaps one of the proudest moments I had was when a couple of kids tried to say students don't have control with their blogs and two blunt and generally Spanish-apprehensive girls seemed offended that someone even dare SUGGEST that they didn't have control over their personal practice, their cultural topics, their personal vocabulary--each and every day! It wasn't exactly a TL takedown, but oo the fire in their eyes!

PS I meant to have students write notes on what Spanish class did and didn't have next to this infograph, but I didn't exactly time things right to make that possible.

BONUS: Gamification in action

 Now this one's not "authentic" by any means, but it sure is personalized. In the quest (ha! get it? game? quest?) to give students more control (and in a fit of fly-by-the-seat-pants, to be perfectly honest), I decided to let students suggest and vote on what their premios would be for their Classcraft powers.

So basically I took the infograph I'd made before for breaking down Classcraft powers, copied it, and switched a few things out and got this:

A photo posted by Laura Sexton (@srasxtn) on

I'm most tickled by the girl who memorized trabajar afuera IMMEDIATELY. (Also really hoping the timing works out with Abuela's annual trip so she can come show them how to make tortillas like she did a few years ago!)

You will notice the practice with quiero to show comprehension--we also used these powers (and the behaviors that lose you HP) for our examples on the puede page.

After interpretation

I've set up a Hangout with gamification guru Glen Irvin for our upcoming IPA this week so we can talk about how Gamification works in the classroom and see if the kiddos agree when we discuss the elements they want to see--and can or can't see--in class and how those gaming elements can help them keep learning.

Then it's time for them to make their own game plan.

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