Shanna Hellerich, a Spanish teacher using the ¡Búscalo! story this fall, sent me this email:
“I just wanted to share with you an extension activity I made to go along with the beginning of the Buscalo unit you created. I needed sub plans for class and didn’t want to delay the vocab in the unit, so I created this:”
Okay, I always love it when readers send me materials that they’ve created, but I really love this because what she put together kills at least two birds…probably three…with one stone.
- Sub plans: we are always looking for sub plans! I have shared a lot of ideas for sub plans that work well in CI classes, but it’s hard to come up with things that keep the class “on pace” (if you have a pace)! When your classes are filled with input, it’s very challenging to come up with input activities that replace you without spending tons of time preparing them.
- Absent students: If you use the ¡Búscalo! unit, print out this activity sheet and add it to your unit files so that you have something on hand for those students that have to miss one of the first two class periods that you spend working with the vocabulary.
- Customization: While the Garfield activity is most assuredly an output activity, I don’t care. Students would not have not had sufficient repetitions of the target structures in order to have acquired them yet, but the definitions (scaffolding) are right on this page, the output is very limited (asking for short phrases), and the affective filter is low because students aren’t being put on the spot. In my classes, work like this would never be formally graded; students would receive a grade for their effort that would go into my “Work Habits” category, which contributes to just 5 percent of their overall grade in my class. While the output may very well be filled with inaccuracies, it will give YOU, the teacher, some great content that you can use to generate customized input for your students. (Customized input is a term that I learned from Terry Waltz in her incredible book TPRS with Chinese Characteristics). You can use your handy dandy doc cam (here is a comparatively cheap one that works well if you need one!) to show several students’ pages to the rest of the class and discuss what they came up with! It’s not personalized because it’s not about the students; it’s customized because it uses their ideas.