Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fresh Prince Irregular Verbs

Whenever I teach the subjunctive formation, I first teach the students the regular formation, then when they have mastered that, I teach them the 20 verbs that form irregularly in the subjunctive.  They sort into three categories: boot (two) stem, irregular stem and just plain irregular.

To have them help remember which verb goes where, one of their assignments this unit is to come up with a mnemonic device to remember.  An anagram, puzzle, song, anything.

I must share this gem that I just received from a student:

The Verbs of Bel-Air
In the west of France
Born and raised
Listing two-stems is how I spent most of my days.
Venir, payer, mourir and voir,
Appeler, jeter, prendre and boire.
Then a couple of verbs who were screaming them
Started using irregular stems
Faire, pouvoir, savoir, vouloir and aller
And then I decided to go to Bel-Air

I rolled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the weird verbs,
"Yo etre and avoir!"
Looked at aie and sois since I was finally there
And then I listed the verbs that lived in Bel-Air

My students are so creative :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Keeping an Organized Gradebook

Imagine this: Every time you assign homework, EVERY student hands it in on time.  There are no absent students and no late/missing work.

What a dream, right?

Unfortunately we do not live in that world.  Because of this, gradebooks can get realllllly messy.  Thanks to absences, late work, missing work, etc, it is often hard to figure out what has been entered, and what hasn't.  It's also difficult to figure out why a students' grade may have been lower or is still a zero.

I decided to bridge some methods taught to me by my cooperating teacher while student teaching as well as some of my own methods to come up with a paper gradebook system.  Because, let's face it.  Technology sucks.  Sometimes stuff gets lost, so it's imperative to keep a paper backup.

Whenever I collect something (be it as something handed in or something for completion credit) I immediately put the assignment across the top of the gradebook, regardless of if I have graded it yet or not.  This guarantees that assignments are entered in order and nothing is skipped.  It also reminds me (especially on completion credit days) to write in their grades ASAP.  Once everything is graded/checked, any blank boxes will receive either a tiny "L" in the corner, or a tiny "A".  The "L" is if the student was in class, therefore the assignment is late.  The "A" is for a student who was absent when it was assigned OR collected, so they should not lose credit yet.  The boxes with the "L" or the "A" stay blank until I either receive the missing work OR enter it into the online gradebook. 

Once I enter it into the online gradebook, any blank boxes then receive a circle.  I do this so I know that IF the circle eventually receives a number, it needs to be entered into the online gradebook on its own, as the rest of the assignment has already been entered.  I also highlight the name of the assignment in the paper gradebook so I know it has been entered into the online gradebook.

Once a student hands in a missing assignment that has been circled in the paper gradebook, I write the grade in the circle.  Once I enter that grade into the online gradebook, I will then highlight the circled box.

Using these methods insures that nothing is missed being entered into the online gradebook and it also lets me reference why an assignment is missing and/or why the grade is lower.

You can see an example below of many of the different steps represented.

So in short:
Circled=needs to be entered

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teaching Object Pronouns

Let's face it... object pronouns are a pain in the butt to  learn.  Direct/indirect/location/person/ get the drift.

I have found, however, that by using a cross, it is easy to teach the students all of them on one piece of paper.

The pronouns are in four different categories:
1) Direct Objects
2) Indirect Objects (preposition + person)
3) Preposition + non person or location
4) Quantity or De

So I lay it out on the board as such:

Each section gets a number (which is easy to reference later when asking students "okay, which section of the cross are we in?") as well as the pronouns themselves, when to use them, and a few examples.  When I teach object pronouns, I like to take it step by step. First, I ask what can we take out of the sentence.  Then I ask what section of the cross we are going to.  Then, when applicable, I ask which pronoun we are using.  Then I ask where it is placed.

The nice thing with the cross also applies to pronoun order.  When there are multiple pronouns used, the order goes as such:
1) duplicates
2) section 1
3) section 2
4) section 3
5) section 4

I've noticed this works very well, as it is extremely visual for the kids.  You can just see them referencing it in their heads whenever we are working with this topic. 

Looking for a bunch of my Object Pronoun Activities?  Check out THIS BUNDLE.