Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Making the best of less class time - 20% time!

This last week has been a struggle for me, as I am sure it has been for many of you (or will be soon). This has been a week of standardized testing. This has turned into a completely lost week for me since 9th, 10th and 11th graders are all testing. Between kids that took the test, opted out, and just stayed home, my classes have looked like a ghost town. In hindsight I realize I should have taken this time to work individually with the students that were there (5 out of 29 in my Sp 2 classes). However, since I had missed so much of the week prior because of the SWCOLT conference and grades are due on Friday, I chose giving the kids a study hall and have been grading like my pen is on fire.

The testing has been challenging this year, and I am sure it will be a whole new ballgame when we have to do it again (yes, again) the first week in May. However, I will have a better plan when that happens. I always do my choice projects in Spanish 3 at the end of the year, but I am working on a plan for a similar project for my Spanish 2 classes as well. This way, no matter who is in class, they can be working on something for class. 

In Spanish 3, the choices are wide open for the end of the year project. They can choose anything that they want to learn more about. I believe that in Spanish 2 those students will need a bit more structure. So, I am thinking about letting them choose to expand on any topic that we have covered this year. That will give them families/friends and communities, celebrations, travel and health. These are all topics that we have covered the basics of, but there is so much to learn. 

Once the topic is chosen, Sp 3 is required to find two audio selections, two readings and write two letters as they research. Then the create a presentation for the class which includes something the students watching can do to interact with the topic. But again, I think that is quite a bit to expect from the Sp 2 students. Maybe I need to conference with each student about their topic choice and help steer them in the right direction as far as resources? Can I require my high achieving students to have more resources than the lower achieving students? Will I still require the audience participation portion of the presentation? I am trying to juggle what I would like to see with what the students can do and the amount of time they will have. 

I would love some advice from anyone who does a 20% project. (Next year, I am doing this differently and we will work on it on Fridays throughout the semester.) 

As always I will keep posting.....

PS - My PLN is the best! Check out this great idea for student created finals from Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell - this is exactly what I was hoping for.