For our Spanish 1 final writing assessment, my students had to write about themselves (which culminated in all the personal interview from the first part of the year), daily routines, and classes (we are preparing for one of my most popular novels, La clase de confesiones next semester, so I am frontloading some of the vocabulary); you can view and download actual writing task provided to students here!
We were wrapping up our unit healthy on habits and routines (see resources related to teaching about routines, healthy habits & reflexive verbs below under “Related Resources below“).
I was impressed with my students progress overall, but even more surprised by the student featured below; let’s call him Frank. He did a bang up job on his assessment! However, there was something about his reflection that sequestered my attention, and later, ignited pedagogical epiphanies.
Although he rightfully earned a perfect score on this writing, let it be known that this wasn’t always the case. He struggled early on with writing, spelling, retention, and recall-no matter how richly differentiated, integrated or comprehensible the task.
Admittedly, I had something to do with that success. Like many teachers, it’s a natural instinct for us to come alongside and help. But it also crystallized that I can only go so far with students. I am a big believer in equity, particularly in the Vygostky model of Zone of Proximal Development. In other words, apprenticing students so they’ll be able to work on their own. That last part was key for me and plunged me into deep reflection “their own.”
Hence, another epiphany ensued: I had realized that in the name of equity, I was over scaffolding, which can rob students of those critical dendrites sparking action in the brain that is the bedrock of learning, information processing, and synthesis. The over scaffolding I had embarked on, was in fact undergirded by this belief that I have to “Input everything in their heads.
The reality is that we have a role to play, but they need to step up as well. We can show them how to be successful, which is what Frank exemplified. He took care of business. I had to step back and let him find his way. All in all, his quote made me reflect on the equity as empowerment.
As I move forward, beyond lingering fog and smog the pandemic’s effect on education, I am definitely holding my students more accountable for their own learning. I am realizing that they need to do the work; they should be the ones sweating in the classroom, not me. Hell, I’m the personal trainer! As you file back into the classroom, remember: Don’t lessen the load; help them manage it!
Yes, we all have a job to do, but we shouldn’t be the hardest working people in the class!
Below are resources related to the unit I taught. I will be publishing more resources over break. I normally post these resources on:
Related Resources for Comprehensible Teaching Reflexives and Routines
If you want a deeper dive into this topic, or looking for comprehensible and compelling resources around the topic, check out the gems below!
- La entrevista: Teens interview other teens about healthy habits (freebie)
- Los adolescentes y el sueño (informational text)
- Mi vida es un drama total (Ebook & Activities). This resources explores daily routines, school sports, life dreams, and relationship drama!)
- Los adolescentes hoy en día: this story focuses on school, household chores, and working parents, and managing it all.
- Mi rutina nunca termina: a young girl balances work and school
A.C. Quintero Literary Partners!
CI Bookshop (Europe)