Friday, March 9, 2012

Improving each year...

As I was cleaning out my desk today, I found my student surveys from the end of last year. I decided to throw them out, but I read them one more time first. It made me cringe to think of who I was last year with those students. These two classes were TERRIBLE and I treated them just as terribly. The students still felt like I cared and like they learned French, but I know how much better I could have been. And that was just last year! When I think back to my first or second year of teaching, I cringe even more!!!

It does, however, make me excited to see what kind of teacher I will be in five years or ten years!

Embedded Writing

This week, I had to come up with an independent activity that kids could do while I did a speaking test. I decided to take the idea of embedded reading and twist it so that students were doing an embedded writing instead. I gave the students three sentences and then asked them to double that "story" by adding details. I really had to model this a LOT for my kids because they could not understand what I meant. It helped to say "Imagine cutting and pasting the text and then adding details or sentences between those words or sentences."

Once they had doubled the initial story, I had them give their paper to another student and double someone else's story. Then, if there was time, they did it one last time.

As I read over what they came up with, I was pretty impressed. Of course, some students still didn't understand the concept and changed the story or started writing their own...but, for the most part, the students did a great job of using vocabulary from waaaay back and synthesizing French.

I will definitely do this activity again and I'll be interested to see how this activity impacts their next round of free-writes. I'm hoping they'll be longer and more detailed.