So, the race to the end of the semester is finished and all of the grades are in. The last unit assessment and the finals went pretty well.
First, let me talk about the unit assessments. The assignment was for the students to have a conversation with another student about their future plans. The idea was that they would use some of the vocabulary from the unit and the future tense. However, I found that only a small amount of vocab was used and virtually no future tense. I got a lot of, "en el futuro, quiero ir a Harvard." However, the students did have CONVERSATIONS! There were virtually no awkward pauses and dead silence. I did have stronger students whispering hints to slower students. I did have quite a few conversations that seemed to involve very few verbs. But, one of my main goals was for the students to have a conversation, and that did happen. I think in hindsight that thinking I was going to require a specific tense was probably ridiculous....I mean as long as they are communicating, what difference does it make what tense they are using?
Final exams went really well. The average was about an 82 across all of the classes. The students performed at the level that I expected for each one of them (i.e. my lowest students got Ds, high students got As.) The final consisted of listening, writing and reading. There were 10 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions. The students seemed to do well on all of the sections.....however, it was amusing to see some of my 8th block kids provide written answers to the question I had asked my 6th block class....lol.
I am working on my start for next semester. I am looking at using Google Voice for weekly speaking activities and having 15 min of reading time at the beginning of each class to work on a short story reader. I am still toying with the idea of taking the last 15 for wrap up......might save that for next year when I see how this semester goes.
Can't wait for Spanish Civil War Unit....the hard part will be not going overboard with the history facts. Since the kids have no idea about the Spanish Civil War, I want to give them main players and broad strokes. Maybe it will even help them out in history class!