15 December 2016

Final Exam Stations: Presentation, reflection, and anticipation

That's right, I'm conducting final exams in stations (although really only one station constitutes part of the final exam grade). The rest are more "daily" sorts of assignments, but they are designed...
A) to promote reflection and anticipation and
B) to keep 80% of the class busy while 20% of the class presents their speeches in small groups
So far, they're working great. It takes a little pressure off of my presenters (although their amigos still have to make eye contact and giggle from their stations, of course), and it keeps students thinking about how to keep their Spanish alive in the twelve months between Spanish I and II!

Presentation Station

So obviously station 1 is where the presentations happen, not unlike Mme. Blouwolff's conversation stations (though I haven't mastered the barrier area yet). One student at a time has their "Ignite Lite" presentation pulled up on the SmartBoard directly in front of a table where 4-5 classmates listen raptly and then ask a few questions. I keep a little chart where I track each kiddo's participation as far as
  • questions
  • answers
  • overall speaking level
My chart notes mostly consist of N1-I2 codes according to my beloved AAPPL rubrics in each slot, adding an approximate code next to the appropriate name each time someone in the group speaks. This is working nicely, as it allows me to see what they can do with a week of straight preparation for the performance but also how they respond to questions on the spot.

And I gotta tell you, these are the best questions I've heard all semester, too! They're getting their point across and really picking something in the presentations to latch onto, since they're covered if they ask each presenter one question. I think this may be how I conduct assessments moving forward!

Debriefing afterward since all of the presentations have been going so smoothly has also been really beneficial for me and, I think, the kids.


Reflection Station

This is mostly survey filling time. In the past, I've asked about which activities and tools they enjoyed the most and/or learned the most from and solicited suggestions for the future. This year, though, the focus has been why and how, so I think that's the direction I really want to head this year. I still have some quick 1-5 Likert polling on a select few tasks and tools, but I'm mostly be looking at questions like:
  1. Why do you think Sra. Sexton made you  ___?
  2. How well do you feel ___  accomplished those purposes and why?
I want to choose my proverbial battles so I don't get a zillion hurried, thoughtless responses, so I'm focusing on recurring tasks like:
  • interactive notebook pages
  • novel reading
  • vocabulary blogs
  • personal practice blogs
  • Adobe Spark conversations
  • game time
Portfolios and IPAs still get their own sections, because I believe there will be a lot to say there. And of course, they get a chance to tell me what they think I should do more/less of before Spanish II.

So far it looks like I'm on track with the gaming, but I need to do more with their notebooks.


Contact Station

A calendar year between Spanish I and II is a fact of life for us here at the early college. But if it means I have all of the sophomores at once and all of the juniors at once, I'll take it.

Last year I had students do refresh portfolios in their absence, but I thought since we had the novel now, they might prefer to stay up on their Spanish reading, say, a chapter a month and maybe doing an activity here and there. Most wanted to stick to portfolios or blogs. Go figure.

I decided I wanted to make sure that they were interacting fairly regularly with the language, so I want to see dates: blogs it is. I also decided that there are twelve months and four skills I want them to practice with, that I'll require 3 posts about each skill before next year. And to make it even easier, we'll meet once a month (most months) and do some fun stuff that also helps fulfill a blog requirement.

So at the station, their job is to

  1. sign up for any meet-up dates they're planning on attending
  2. make suggestions for what we can do at that meet-up
  3. help brainstorm a list of activities for reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and then
  4. make a personal plan for an activity for each month
So far it looks like everyone is planning to cram some practice in in the final months before Spanish II, but I think I'm okay with that.

Competition Station

I wanna win. So at this station, everyone will have to decide what activity they want to compete in for the language festival, then start building a team and a plan. They have to pick acting or singing, and if they pick acting, they havt to suggest a skit topic' singing hast to suggest a song. Then whoever wants to do each creates a video (in Spanish) promoting their idea to upload to Seesaw, and get people to like their video. They can create the video with as many people as they can get to agree on their idea, but all have to talk. The video with the most likes on Seesaw will be our focus in Spanish II!

I'm a little worried about our skit chances next year, as it's looking pretty darn music heavy...but at least they're passionate.

Cuaderno Station

Here, they make a cheat sheet. They fit everything they need to remember from their notebooks on one page. We talked about sketch notes last year when I tried to help them survive their college Health class, so I think this is a perfect opportunity to bring those lessons back (and give them something they can keep in their pocket of or take a picture of to review when they're bored).

They've been taking to this one like ducks to water. They knew what to do and mostly seem to zero in on conjugation so far.


I'm looking forward to another full day of presentations and stations, and I think the kiddos might actually be feeling pretty good about it too...considering it still is exam day.

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