Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nothing can compare...

You know the point in certain movies when a giant storm comes rolling in, things start swirling around the sky, everything seems out of control?...And then that eye of the storm moment arrives where the characters see the light, gain clarity, find meaning in something they have been wondering about for a long time? Every movie watcher loves that moment. I love those moments as well! Except today I was not watching a movie, I was watching my students. You can call it organized chaos or whatever you want, but nothing can compare to those moment in my life of teaching when I see my students enter that zone of clarity understanding and learning!

In one of our wonderful labs I have the space to let the students spread their wings and take off with structure they have been studying in the classroom! Today I wanted the students to apply what they had learned about the comparative structure in Spanish (mas..que, menos...que, tan...como) through series of learning stations. I designed these stations to be fun and engaging for the students by including small physical challenges and comparisons, some higher order thinking games, and opinions of current events.

My goal in the lab was to have students visit these stations with their classmates, perform the small task at the learning station to determine who was better, stronger, smaller, more creative etc. and then write a comparative sentence (in a notebook, their journal, a worksheet that you make up) that describes the outcome of the task.

My pictures here capture all the learning going on, and I am always really proud of how well my students work together. Not only does this activity foster learning, but it also fosters classroom community as well :)

Here were the stations my students visited that day. I like these a lot, but you are only limited by your creativity and time in the class period!

1. Who can make the most words in Spanish out of the phrase "La Clase de Espanol"? You have 2 minutes.
2. Who is the strongest? (arm wrestling station- my boys loved that one!)
3. Who has the longest legs? (Keep a measuring tape next to this station)
4. Who has the biggest head? (Keep a measuring tape next to this station as well)
5. Who is the prettiest/most handsome? (I clipped some pictures out of a People magazine)

If you were in a space that allowed food you could have even more fun with:
1 Which cookie is better, Cookie A or Cookie B? (I usually buy Oreos and then a package of generic "Oreos")

I love this activity every year because the learning is personal and meaningful (and fun!) for the students. You know it is a successful class when the students mention how quickly the time flew by!


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