Welcome to March everyone. It’s the time of year where we are all anxious for spring, and students are getting antsy. Hopefully I’m not alone in this, but around this time of year some of our classroom expectations need a bit of a reset. Sometimes it’s just MY energy and that I just don’t have it in me to do a story telling or story asking activity. I shared about my Plan B on my Instagram and Twitter and was asked for more detail so here we go!
What do I mean by “Plan B”?
Well, it’s not my first plan. Plan A is usually storytelling or story asking to introduce a new story. Sometimes we need a Plan B..aka independent work that centers around reading, listening, and (re)writing activities. There are a lot of options you could use for activities like that, but these are what I chose!
Take Advantage of 1:1 Devices
My school uses a mix of bring your own device (BYOD) and school provided technology so each student has their own laptop. I started with a voice recording app on my phone and used it to record myself reading the story. I made two separate recordings, one in Spanish, and the other in Spanish and English in a 1-person version of volleyball reading.
I linked the recording in the Google Form along with an image of the reading so students could read along while they listened.
Next, students re-read the story and answered comprehension questions in English using the Google Form. Then, they got to the second recording where I linked the version of myself reading the story in Spanish and English. Again, I included an image of the story so students could read along. In the final step of the Google Form, students re-read the story and were asked to translate a few key sentences or phrases from the story.
After completing the Google Form students moved onto a more advanced version of the story and some more post reading activities.
No Tech? No Problem.
Not 1:1? No access to a computer cart or lab? No problem. Give them the new structures and let them read and hand-write a translation for the lowest prep possible. Not into translation as a way to interact with a reading? Over the past month we have done several combinations of some of my favorite reading activities. Read and Draw, True and False statements, The Most Important Sentence, anything like that! I also have used my emergency sub-plan packet on days where sit, read, and interact with the text is all that I can handle. My sub-plan packet is essentially most of those activities in..well, in a packet. Sometimes some simple desk work is a great way to settle your students and give you all a break from the high energy activities.
If you would like to test this out, I decided to try my hand at sharing a Google Form with you all for the first time ever! Sign up to snag the Google Form, two recordings, and three versions of the story I used as an example in this post!