As we interview our way around each class, we stop periodically to quiz students on what they know about one another. I give quizzes about students in class and their task is to write real information about classmates in Spanish. Students have to attend and they have to listen to learn about one another, but it is not a chore because they WANT to get to know each other.
Today was the second such quiz. It was different from the first quiz in that I gave the names of five students in the class, so that students did not have to name the individual (“Se llama…”). This time they had to write two things about each student. Total was ten items. I figured that this format would allow many kids to do well. Should have upped the ante a bit.
No one in any class got less than 100% on the quiz. Highest grade I have spotted so far was a dazzling 370%, 37 correct sentences in Spanish about the designated classmates out of a required 10. You could feel the pride in the room. Students that are “no good at language,” who couldn’t conjugate themselves out of a wet paper bag, are acing Spanish right now because it is comprehensible and interesting to them.
Makes my job easy. I really enjoy getting to know these kids. I am channeling Oprah. We are going slow and easy, savoring the moments, getting to know basic and fun information about one another:
“You have six horses? Cool!”
“You go to the skate park in the adjacent town to work on jumps?!” Whoa!”
“You are only 13 years old and you are in 9th grade! Awesome!”
“You dance for 3 hours every day?! Amazing!”
It is the start of the 5th week of school and we have interviewed only about 11 students in each class so far, but I can’t imagine picking up the pace. We aren’t trying to just get through this.
Hmmm, is the Spanish I class turning into Let’s Talk about Me in Spanish class? Could be. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Bet we keep their attention a while longer. Bet they know some Spanish that they can really use by June. And we are only just beginning to tell TPRS style stories.
Hit it, Toby!
“I want to talk about me.
I want to talk about I.
I want to talk about number one, ole my, me, mine.
What I think,
What I like,
What I know,
What I want,
What I see!
I like talking about you, you, you, you, usually,
But occasionally, I want to talk about me!”
–Toby Keith, I Wanna Talk About Me!