Day 57: inquiry activity

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Instead of just telling students that the endings of verbs match the subject in Spanish, I wanted them to discover the pattern themselves in hopes that they’d better understand the concept of conjugating verbs. I created an inquiry activity that I hoped would lead students to the connection between verb endings and subjects. After I created it and sent for copies, I had a feeling that the last column (that asked students to identify the ending of the verb) was going to make the inquiry less challenging and point out too clearly the connection I wanted students to discover themselves. So, after a conversation on the ride home with my husband (we talk about instructional strategies and educational policy too much since he’s also a teacher), I was given the great idea to cut off the column and use it as a “last resort support.” The activity went fairly well today, I had students take a sentence, translate it to English, then identify the verb in Spanish, and the subject of the sentence in English. Then I asked them a reflection question: What do you notice about the verbs and subjects columns? I wanted them to discover the pattern on their own, but some students needed scaffolding. So, I first began by having students fill in the translations, verbs, and subjects on the white board. Then, I divided up the sections (the “I” sentences, “you” sentences, “you formal” sentences, and “he/she” sentences were all together in the chart) so they would hopefully see the pattern themselves. For those who still struggled, I had saved the cut off strip of the last column of the chart that asks: “What is the ending of the verb?” Most students were able to recognize the relationship of the ending to the subject after that help and those that still couldn’t figure it out (as measured in an exit ticket) will be listed on an “intervention” list so I am sure to check in with them when we have further instruction and practice with verbs to make sure they are getting it.

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