04 January 2018

Mascota Especial

I've failed at Persona Especial. I can think of nothing more admirable and relevant and beneficial than making your students your curriculum. But as I have failed at becoming Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell in the past, I have failed at becoming Bryce Hedstrom. I run out of patience and so do the kids, and I just don't have the intellectual fortitude to keep hammering at it until it works. I just don't think I work like that.


I might have the fortitude to keep it up with pets, mostly because there's more novelty and variety to pets. I LOVED the Persona Especial for pets that Nissa Quill from the CI Liftoff Facebook group tried and vowed to make it mine. So that's how we're starting the semester today: with my cat Cleo.

Thus Cleo is our first mascota especial because, I mean, look at her. Also, my kids are going to care way more about her than they do about me, or, frankly each other.

What's more, I think she can build confidence. I mean look at her. Well, her description. I can CI about Cleo all over the place (although it is a little difficult to express comprehensibly that she likes to be held--but not carried--and that she will claw you mercilessly if you try to administer medicine). The point is that a lot of these Spanish Twobies have been making a lot of noise in the off-season (read: nearly 400 days without a Spanish class) about how they remember nothing and weren't about to do homework for a class they're not even in. Reading about Cleo, though, I think even the most vocally clueless will HAVE to admit they remember SOMETHING.

My plan is (after some review PUEDOS) to
  1. Picture talk Cleo: with an unlabeled photo, tell/ask them about basically everything I have in the description, perhaps with flourishes about her TV habits.
  2. Read aloud then chorally interpret the description a la Tina.
  3. Have students actually COUNT how many words they understood (out of 53, not including names).
  4. Make notes on the board of the verbs they understood/need to understand.
  5. Discuss strategies used to figure out unfamiliar words like sonido or cama (we didn't do the house unit in 1: sue me.)
  6. Assign the Seesaw activity.

PS if you haven't tried Seesaw activities, they're super cool. Previously I would just make a template that students would have to hunt down then copy and edit (see: memes). That got tricky when the template got lost in the stream of copy/edited submissions, and I would just have to copy and edit myself to create a newer one for fourth period, for example. 

You can see that I have both Spanish 2 classes in one Seesaw class, and I like it this way. I made a folder where all of these submissions will go, and I also added 2 skills (a neat feature of pro): Novice and Intermediate Writing. This will let me get a preliminary read on where they are without grading them!

Now, I'm pretty sure that most of this class is pretty pet crazy. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Chickoletta one Twobie's Paw Patrol inspired chicken who participated in her Public Speaking video on "How to Prepare a Chicken for Dinner."

However, if someone A) does not have a pet or B) does not have a picture of said pet readily available, they will have the option of using someone else's pet, whether its the pet of a classmate with multiple pets or, say, a celebrity pet. I made an example to demonstrate:

To be perfectly honest, I don't actually know whether that's Clyde or Bonnie. But they do totally have an Instagram account, whence I derived the photo.

I figure they can have about 20 minutes to find the right picture, compose (preferably in another Doc because those Seesaw labels are wonky as heck), and format. Those who get done early can start browsing my playlists to pick their song for the semester, maybe one by Clyde's human.


  1. This is such a great idea! I have to admit the novelty of PE has worn off with my 2s so I really love this spin!

  2. I really like this idea. I think it is fabulous that you can take an idea and make your own to match your teaching strengths, and those of your students. You mentioned a song for the semester. Do you have a post about this?

    1. They're each working on a song, individually or in pairs, to present week by week! Check it out at bit.ly/pblinthetlstudentsong!