Earlier this year our school district offered high school teachers an opportunity to submit a proposal to “Re-imagine the 21st Century Classroom” . I, along with two English teachers - Tricia Buck and David Lunn - were awarded 30 netbooks and an opportunity to introduce technology driven activities to our curriculum. We are being supported by our district’s Instructional Technology Specialist, Cary Harrod. I am thrilled to discover what my Spanish students can achieve when they augment their studies with technology on a daily basis.
Our first activities started at the end of this past week, after a bout with a stupid cold. On Thursday and Friday I combined traditional instruction and self-paced work online to help students learn how to use the present perfect and review verbs that use indirect object pronouns. I gave students a quick explanation of how the present perfect works in Spanish, and then assigned a couple of workbook activities for practice. No questions. The students then moved on to a self-paced game on www. quia.com over the same material. The interactive activity tells them immediately when they make a mistake. Most of the kids figured out their mistake, but a few needed my help figuring out how to use the reflexive pronouns with this tense. These same kids must have made the same mistakes on the workbook activity, but either didn’t notice their mistakes or didn’t ask for clarification. I really like how quia practice gives kids that direct feedback, and doesn’t let them complete the activity till they correct the mistake.
After the grammar practice the students moved on to a listened activity. Thanks to Zachary Jones’ site, they were able to view and listen to an Argentinean pop song that used the verb gustar over and over. They filled out a clozed activity and answered some comprehension questions about the song. The kids were able to go at their own pace when they used the netbooks and headphones. Some students understood most of the lyrics the first time around, and others needed to pause and rewind the song a few times to understand what was being said. When we get back on Monday, my students will work with their partner in Spanish to talk about what they liked or disliked about this pop song, and that will transition into other verbs that follow the same pattern as gustar. I like how my students can work at their own pace, and all students were actively engaged when they were online. Some students finished very quickly, so I am brainstorming open-ended activities that these kids can work on while their peers complete the original lesson plans. Any suggestions are very welcomed.