Stations: Descriptions Unit

Today was station day in Spanish 1! Today we were practicing giving descriptions, as well as reviewing numbers and time.

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List of stations on the board: I let my kids free-range (no time limits or specific order to do the stations in), so writing the list on the board helps let them know what activities are available. Later in the day, I rewrote the list and starred the “required” stations, and specified where they were in the room.

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Writing station – instructions and an example on the board. I make multiple copies of the instructions so students can take it back to their desks. One of the beautiful things about stations is that it lets students work at their own pace – they can take as much time as they need to do the writing, without feeling like they need to keep up with their classmates.

 

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This is the second time we’ve done stations and my kids are trained! Taking a picture of the instructions is always acceptable, and saves on paper and clutter.

 

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This is just like last time – get a bag of questions, and practice out loud with your partner. I used the same bags of questions, and added ¿De qué color es tu pelo? ¿De qué color son tus ojos? for the current unit focus.  “Wait, what do we write? How will you know we did it?” Nothing. I’ll know you did it because you learned it.
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Reading/drawing station: Forgot to take a picture of the instructions, but basically, it’s “Draw What I Say” based on a text instead of listening. I typed up some short descriptions, and had them choose four of them to draw and label. Later in the day (I always learn as I go!), I also offered the option to summarize in English instead of drawing – the point is to demonstrate comprehension, and I’m happy to let them do that in the way that they are most comfortable with.
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Jenga: practice with numbers. Plus, it’s fun! Had to reduce the time limit to two games, then to one, because they’re just too good at it 🙂

 

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Yep, that’s a hump day shirt.

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More practice with time. Yep, we did that matching activity two weeks ago. #ShamelessRecycler

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Guess Who: I printed these Guess Who Boards with Spanish names in color last year (google “Quién es Quién to find them – bet there are other languages, too!) and laminated them. I provided students with a list of questions (they understand pretty well, but producing these questions is beyond their current ability level), and let them play the game, marking the boards with a dry erase marker. They don’t erase perfectly (these boards might have another year in them), but it’s pretty good for a cheap version of the game.

 

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Reflection

We spent about 40 minutes on stations today, and I plan to give them another 15 or 20 minutes tomorrow. I found last time that two full days was too much time, and the behavior started to deteriorate. *Most* of my students really enjoyed the day, but there’s always that one who doesn’t, and I find it’s the negative comments that stick with me more than the positive. I had a student (at the ripe old age of 16) tell me that my class was too “freshman-y” today, and honestly, it really stung. It did inspire some reflection, though, and that comment sparked a few changes in how I managed the stations in the afternoon – mainly, clarifying that the reading, writing, time, and conversation stations MUST be done, but playing games was optional (as long as you are doing something related to Spanish), and giving the option to translate instead of draw at the reading station. I refuse to give up the [instructionally useful] silliness and games [that provide opportunities to practice language in context], but I can also find ways to incorporate options that appeal to a variety of students. Autonomy and choice are HUGE motivators, and it’s my goal to incorporate activities that allow students to learn and show me their learning in ways that are comfortable and meaningful to them. It also occurred to me that the freedom to manage your own time and participate in the learning activities that you prefer with minimal supervision from the teacher (I’m there, but on station day there’s no way I can be on top of every student simultaneously) takes a certain amount of maturity, and the freshmen and sophomores totally blew it out of the water today. 🙂

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About Andrea

I am a teacher, dancer, and Spanish-speaker. This is my place to organize & share my thoughts on teaching, foreign language & language learning.
This entry was posted in Class Activities, Sp 1 Unit 2: Who am I? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Stations: Descriptions Unit

  1. Pingback: Turning awful into awesome | lasclasesdestilson

  2. Goretti says:

    I found you today & am having a blast copying your ideas!!Thank you so much.

  3. Ckovatch says:

    Thanks for the ¿Quién es quién? game. I made game boards and laminated them also. Instead of using markers (my first period practically destroyed them the first time out), I used game markers. That will extend the life of the game boards. Thanks again.

  4. Alora L Deising-Eovaldi says:

    Can you tell me how the Jenga game works? I know how to play regular Jenga, but how/when does the number come into play?

    • Andrea says:

      In this particular game I had them translate the number to English. For other units, I give a list of questions or tasks numbered 1-42 (answer in Spanish, translate, how do you say…, list three foods/Spanish speaking countries/places in Spanish, etc.). After they pull the block, they check the number and answer the corresponding question from the list.

  5. I love stations! It’s so great to see how other people manage them in their classrooms, thanks for sharing.

  6. Lorraine Tansey says:

    Hola! Estoy creando estaciones para el ano que viene y encontre tu blog. Gracias por todas la buenas ideas! Estoy emocionada! Pregunta – como juegan el Quien es Quien? Solos con una lista de como es la persona y tienen que encontralo? O con una pareja haciendose preguntas que estan escritas ya en el papel? Tienes el papel de preguntas en algun lugar que se puede mandar electronicamente? Lo veo en la foto pero no puedo leerlo. Mil gracias!
    Lorraine Tansey Lorraine.tansey@cobbk12.org

  7. Keri says:

    Hi! Love the station ideas but since you said it wasn’t timed, when do the students move to the next station?

    • Andrea says:

      You time and have them rotate every ten minutes or so, or you can have them “free range” – I typically put a list of tasks on the board and lay out supplies for each station in the back of the room. When they finish one thing, they return the supplies and move on to the next task. With less mature students, supervise and help them to stay productive and make those transitions smoothly.

  8. Lisa M says:

    Are you willing to share your instructions and question list for quien es quien?

  9. Carol Diaz-Lombardo says:

    OMG this is a wonderful site. I am implementing stations for the first time by the end of the week. I have taken 2 ideas from your site.
    Gracias

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