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Friday, February 27, 2015

Gr. 8 DMS World Language Students Become "Teachers for the Day"

This morning I had the most wonderful experience, as my grade 8 Spanish students taught the class for 30 minutes about an aspect of culture of their choosing. Today's presentation was on a Comparison of Flamenco vs Salsa dancing. Ms. Crowley(Asst. Principal) was able to attend the beginning of the class and it just got better and better from there.

The student work included:
  • A shared Google Doc list of terms for dance moves and body parts that each student accessed during the presentation
  • A PowerPoint with embedded videos from Spain, The Caribbean and New York of dance performances and instructional videos.
  • A spoken summary of the history and origin of the dances
  • They taught (in Spanish) a warm up, which was a series of dance move commands and basic steps
  • They did a performance where they choreographed and accompanied an Enrique Iglesias song on the guitar, having already learned the basic chords
  • They had the class follow along and dance with them to both styles

As a review and closing activity they played a game they devised called Freeze Dance where they
would call out dance steps while playing a song. When the music stopped , if the participants didn't stop, they were out.
They also acted out moves and had the class call out in Spanish which body parts were used during each vignette. ("flamenco- feet, heels, wrists" "salsa- hips, arms, legs")

This was my small class that is piloting the One on One initiative. It has allowed for incredible differentiated instruction during the 6 classes students were working on this project.

The multimedia nature of their "Teacher for a Day" project was engaging to classmates.
Each group saw and heard real world applications of language to view their aspect of culture. This allowed me to individually address questions of grammar or expand on topics as they arose with each small group. I was also able to remediate with some students as well as teach a concept from the 9th grade curriculum to students who stumbled upon the future tense while reading authentic texts.

Our next presentations will be:
  • Baseball in the Caribbean
  • Folklore and Legends of the Spanish Speaking World
  • Art of the Prado Museum in Madrid
  • Cooking shows from around the world

I cannot express how amazing the 2 weeks with this group has been. It's a TON of work, but the outcome is so inclusive of ALL parts of the Curriculum Frameworks and CCO's and so engaging for the kids. I’m sold!

Gr. 8 World Languages Teacher

Ms. Bakshi
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