Thursday, November 13, 2014

Student Created Surveys

In Spanish class, how often do students use questions generated by the textbook or the teacher?  This activity is all about students finding answer to questions they have created.  I have found that it works really well to practice verb conjugations in the present and or reflexive constructions, but you may find that it is helpful with vocabulary in general.  For this example, I will use the present tense.

Overview of Activity: Here is how I begin this activity.  I take the present that we have been working on in class and I turn them into questions.  Before this activity, you will want to make sure that your students understand the words siempre (always), mucho (a lot), a veces (sometimes), un poco (a bit) and nunca (never) [students will need to be taught the position of the negative in the sentence.]  In the junior high course I used a calendar and X's to show the difference.  Some students only require a refresher or hand motions, while other students will not be able to tolerate the ambiguity.

Keeping It In Spanish: Modeling will be really important to helping students be successful. Here is how I do it.
  • I begin by conjugating the verbs we are using in class in the  form.  Chicos, ¿cómo es el verbo "nadar" en la forma de ?  (Chicos is how I refer to my student.  I got this from a professor from Spain.) What is "to swim" in the you form?  Answer: nadas
  • I then nadas with the phrase ¿Cada cuánto...? (How often...?).
  • I ask myself the question, "Srta. Robinson, ¿cada cuánto nadas?"  (Miss Robinson, How often do you swim?)  I then answer the question and put a tally mark under the word that represents how often I do a certain activity.
  • I then ask a few students (usually those who I feel confident can answer the question correctly at first) the same question, and mark their responses with tallies on the board.  (I use my projector, but I remove the screen in order to mark directly on the whiteboard.)  The following image is an example of what I project:

  • I then give students a handout similar to what they have seen from the projector.  I return to modeling questions for them.  (I've included the inverted question marks here to remind them to use them.)

  • I then have student rotate around the room (stay tuned for a post on students and rotating).
Before Creation of Questions and Survey

  • After student have rotated around the room, I show them how to consolidate some of their data into four sentences.  Here is an example:
After Creation of Questions and Survey

There are several things I really enjoy about this activity:
  • Students are creating their own questions
  • Students are off their feet 
  • Student draw their own conclusions at the end of the activity
This idea came from a co-worker, Geordie McLeod.  As I was writing this example, I was reminded at how important it is to actually do the assignments that you assign.  I learned that as an undergrad, and sometimes time gets in the way, but it really helps to see assignments from the students' side of things.

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