This year I am explaining to the students in each class that we are starting off the year with dual learning tracks. This does not mean we are putting students in different groups (we are not tracking students), it means we are operating in two different language areas.
One track is the Get-to-Know-You piece. We are interviewing about one student per day per class. I think of it as “circling” the student. I want to get to know my students and I want them to know one another. I think that if they know one another they have a better shot at respecting one another and maybe even growing to like and appreciate one another. This component in Spanish 2 is “What did you do this summer?” The goal is the same. Kids are awesome and they do awesome things that no one in the entire school knows about. I want to try to cure a piece of that.
The other track is basic Spanish for the level. In level one it is classical TPR–gets them up and moving and subconsciously obeying my directives and getting the idea that the learning is active in this class. In level 2, it is the most frequently used past tense verbs.
As we move through the year these two branches of Spanish will combine and intermingle so that we can learn more about one another and use that knowledge to learn even more Spanish. Two streams coming together, combining and becoming more powerful than you can possibly imagine–compelling input.