By far, my favorite lessons are the ones that begin with a plan, veer off course completely, and then somehow end up at the final destination, relatively unscathed. Today had a plan, but unfurled so beautifully that I had to share.
First, we finished–FINALLY!!–our class story. If you recall, we do storytelling most Fridays, but as we missed multiple Fridays due to half days and holidays, our story stretched into a saga of over a month and a half. Here, “evil Pato” keeps taking a wolf’s lunch and eating it. As a result, the wolf cries. And cries. And cries. (cue THIS SONG, first eight seconds only/”sing and don’t cry”/canta y no llores). Finally, the wolf puts a shoe in the sandwich, “evil Pato” eats it, and the wolf laughs. The end. #YesIKnowItIsARidiculousPlot!
There are gestures for every single word in the story, so it requires a lot of movement and energy. But second graders ROCKED IT this morning and we told and acted out the entire narrative in 12 minutes. Bravo!
Next, second graders shifted to centers. This week, I have been trying to “trick” students by asking them different and unexpected questions in the target language, to make sure they are listening and comprehending, as opposed to repeating memorized phrases. They have made good progress with this.
Other grade levels have gotten excited about “train rides” in Spanish class, and recently we decided to extend this to second grade. Here, students climb on top of my long tables [after paying]–and we push the tables and students verrrrry slowly across the room. The tables are on wheels, and make a very soft “hum” sound when moving, much akin to the soft hum of trams at airports.
I play realistic train sound effects on loop in the background; there is an old-school bell they ring to get off the train; the train drivers have licenses (which can be revoked); and students “travel” in circles around my room on the trains [moving tables] to different places in the town, while studying a [real] map of the metro system in Madrid. “Do we switch to the red line now? Is that train #5?” etc. Some students even tie yarn around my stuffed animal dogs as leashes, and “wait” at the train stations, walking their dogs and “talking” on rectangular pieces of plastic, err, I mean, cell phones; and take the train to the “office”, where they work furiously on cardboard laptops until it is time for the commute home in the evening.
Other students use huge cardboard boxes to “build” up the neighborhood, or work at the supermarket, waiting for customers to get off the train and spend their hard-earned cash. Some days, students’ Spanish is lacking, but today was not one of those days!! Spanish just kind of fell of their tongues so naturally that I was absurdly delighted and smiling head to toe!
Thank you for your general support of the language program and for raising such great kiddos! Have a blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving and break.