Small Group Instruction for K-8 Foreign Language Classrooms


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This is a presentation that I gave at the MaFLA Conference in 2009. I gave a shorter version of it at the NECTFL Conference in 2009.

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Small Group Instruction for K-8 Foreign Language Classrooms

  1. 1. Centers and Small Group Instruction<br />for Foreign <br />Language <br />Classrooms<br />Jessica Haxhi<br />Maloney Interdistrict Magnet School<br />Waterbury, CT<br /><br />
  2. 2. Jessica Haxhi<br />Maloney Interdistrict Magnet School<br />Waterbury, CT<br /><br />Japanese Language and Culture Program<br /><br />maloneymagnetschool/japanese/<br />Wiki for Resources and Handouts<br /><br />(“World Language Teachers” Section)<br />
  3. 3. Web Viewers<br />Please note that some videos were shown during this presentation that will not be shown in the online version. <br />
  4. 4. Maloney Interdistrict Magnet SchoolJapanese Language and Culture Program<br />Prekindergarten – 5th Grade Program<br />Most classes meet 3 times per week for 25 minutes each<br />2nd and 5th grade classes meet 2 times per week, one 25 minute, one 50 minute class<br />Alumni students in grades 6-12 come once per week after school<br />
  5. 5. Maloney Interdistrict Magnet School<br />Japanese <br />Language &<br />Culture <br />Curriculum <br />The 5 C’s!<br />A typical unit will combine elements from each goal area: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. <br />COMMUNICATION<br />Interacting with others - through conversations and some written text<br />Comprehending- the spoken word and some written text<br />Presenting - orally and with some written text<br />Four Task Areas<br />These help teachers to focus planning, <br />instruction and assessment.<br />Socializing<br />COMPARISONS<br />Of Japanese Language and Culture to Our Native Languages and Cultures<br />products,<br />practices <br />and <br />perspectives <br />of Japan<br />CULTURE<br />Experiencing<br />Japan<br />Getting <br />Things<br />Done<br />Talking about<br />Myself &<br />Others<br />COMMUNITIES<br />Using Japanese with native <br />speakers, outside of class, <br />in the community, <br />and just for fun!<br />4<br />Social Studies<br />& Multicultural Curriculum<br />Talking about ourselves, our <br />families, our homes, and <br />communities in Japanese<br /> and comparing them <br />to those in Japan. <br />Talking about countries and<br /> languages of our heritage <br />and the world; finding<br />them on a <br />map and globe.<br />Language Arts<br />Using and reinforcing <br />language arts skills <br />while talking <br />about stories, <br />listening for a purpose,<br /> comparing <br />languages, finding <br />meaning in context, <br />and reading in <br />Japanese and English.<br />CONNECTIONSto other subject areas<br />Technology<br />Using iPods,<br />voice recorders<br />Powerpoint,<br />digital <br />storytelling<br />and other<br />technology<br />to learn and<br />demonstrate<br />Japanese <br />Skills.<br />Physical<br />Education<br />Using dance, <br />movement, <br />games, and <br />rules to<br />access<br /> language <br />and culture.<br />Math<br />Using math<br />facts,<br />measuring,<br />and<br />conversions<br />to get <br />things done <br />in Japanese.<br />Music<br />Using music, <br />rhythm, <br />and <br />patterns <br />to <br />access <br />Japanese <br />language <br />and culture.<br />Science<br />Using <br />predicting, <br />experimenting <br />and<br /> charting to <br />discuss<br />concepts in <br />Japanese.<br />Art<br />Using <br />drawing,<br />color, <br />impact and<br />creativity<br />as an aide<br />to expression<br />in Japanese.<br />
  6. 6. Who are you? <br />What do you want to learn today?<br />
  7. 7. Agenda<br />Defining “small group instruction”<br />Planning for Centers<br />Ideas for each of the 5 C’s<br />Setting up the classroom <br />Tracking student progress<br />
  8. 8. What is “small group instruction?”<br />The teaching of small groups of students while others work at learning “centers.” <br />
  9. 9. Why use Small Group Instruction?Lessons from the Homeroom<br />opportunity for “guided reading”<br />teachers can engage the learner<br />teachers can use “strategic coaching”<br />teachers can “scaffold” the learning<br />students develop as independent learners<br />Taken from Ford, M.P. & Opitz, M.F. (2002) “Using centers to engage children during guided reading time: Intensifying learning experiences away from the teacher.” The Reading Teacher<br />
  10. 10. Why use Small Group Instruction and Centers in our FL Classrooms?<br />Students<br /><ul><li> develop individual study skills
  11. 11. develop group work skills
  12. 12. get one-on-one time with teachers
  13. 13. get to interact with technology, realia, </li></ul> or content<br /><ul><li> can access a variety of activities in all </li></ul> of the 5 Cs and for various intelligences<br /><ul><li> appeals to the “iGeneration”</li></li></ul><li>Why use Small Group Instruction and Centers in our FL Classrooms?<br />Teachers<br /><ul><li> can get to know students more</li></ul> individually<br /><ul><li> can collect a variety of data all at once
  14. 14. can use materials that are difficult to use </li></ul> in large groups<br /><ul><li> can reduce class management issues
  15. 15. can sit down for awhile!</li></li></ul><li>Planning for Centers and Small Group Instruction<br />
  16. 16. PlanningHow much time for each center?<br />A whole class period<br />Half a period<br />One-third<br />One-fourth<br />One-fifth<br />
  17. 17. PlanningBrainstorming Activities<br />Teacher Table<br />Four to five student centers<br />
  18. 18. The Teacher Table<br />What could you do...<br /> if you had 20 minutes <br />with 5 of your students <br />around a table?<br />
  19. 19. Student Centers<br />What types of things can <br />your students do on their own?<br />3-4<br />7-8<br />5-6<br />K-2<br />
  20. 20. PlanningThe Best Centers<br />can be used independently<br />can be used by all<br />have accountability<br />are not too hard to make or change<br />build around class routines<br />Taken from Ford, M.P. & Opitz, M.F. (2002) “Using centers to engage children during guided reading time: Intensifying learning experiences away from the teacher.” The Reading Teacher<br />
  21. 21. Planning Let’s Get Specific<br /><ul><li>What are the objectives of this unit? What do students need to know and be able to do?
  22. 22. What learning and practice would best be done at the teacher table?
  23. 23. What experiences are best done in small groups or individually?
  24. 24. What skills really need extra practice or support?
  25. 25. What are engaging realia, videos, etc. for this unit?
  26. 26. What materials and technology do I have access to?
  27. 27. How shall I group students to maximize learning?</li></li></ul><li>PlanningGrouping Students<br />Depends on your objectives<br />heterogeneous groups <br />homogeneous groups (assessing oral)<br />behavior issues<br />Ways of Keeping Track of Groups<br /> class list highlighted<br /> construction paper list-up<br /> nametags in bunches<br />If a particular center is an assessment, keep track of who is absent for that center each day so that you can send them to it next class.<br />
  28. 28. PlanningKeeping Students in the Target Language<br />Very tricky!<br />Keep them busy.<br />Maybe use a reward system.<br />Maybe use a penalty system.<br />Buy iPods!<br />Build in accountability...<br />
  29. 29. PlanningAccountability for Students<br />Teacher<br />Collect papers each time and check<br />Ask homeroom teacher to circulate<br />Group (with lead student)<br />Group checklist <br />Lead student collects finished papers <br />Group behavior system – gain/lose points, money, etc.<br />Group test at end<br />Individual student<br />Checklist for each student as they go through centers (objectives or activities)<br />Completing a packet as they go<br />Correcting papers as they go, inserting in folder<br />Test on content at end <br />Behavior system for good work/problems<br />Accountability Can be Fun! <br />(when students record themselves)<br />
  30. 30. Accountability can be Fun!(Students record themselves)<br />From Low Tech to High Tech<br />
  31. 31. Cassette Player Recorder<br /><ul><li> $16 new
  32. 32. very easy to use
  33. 33. almost retro cool!
  34. 34. Best for one-time use for your scoring purposes</li></ul>SONY TCM-150<br />
  35. 35. Digital Voice Recorder<br /><ul><li>$25-200
  36. 36. Easy for kids to use
  37. 37. Uploads to computer so you can save for the future
  38. 38. Must make them say their names each time</li></ul>Sony ICD BX700 <br />
  39. 39. Computer Sound Recorder<br /> Already on any PC in Accessories>Entertainment<br /> Students can delete and re-record until it is perfect<br /> Saves easily to computer<br /> Kids can name files with their own names<br />May need a microphone<br />
  40. 40. Photostory 3 for Windows<br />
  41. 41. Photostory 3 for Windows<br />Students can record something specific to a photo that you or they have put in.<br />Students can delete and fix it until it is perfect. <br />Requires whole-class training, using some English. <br />Requires plan for saving to disk or computers.<br />
  42. 42. Flip Camera<br />About $150 each<br />Very easy to use<br />Doesn’t require tapes<br />Students can instantly view<br />Uploads to computer for <br /> saving for later<br /><br />
  43. 43. Other Options<br />Regular video camera<br />Camera already installed on computer<br />For voice –<br />For creativity –<br />
  44. 44.<br />
  45. 45. Quick Excitement Break<br />What has already gotten you thinking?<br />
  46. 46. Activity Ideas<br />The 5 C’s<br />Interpersonal (two-way conversations)<br />Interpretive (listening/reading/watching)<br />Presentational (creating a final product)<br />Culture<br />Connections<br />Comparisons<br />Communities<br />
  47. 47. Interpersonal Skills<br />person-to-person <br />speaking<br />
  48. 48. Interpersonal SkillsTeacher Table<br />Having simple conversations about personal information<br />Talking about likes, dislikes, or opinions<br />Playing “Go Fish” or a variation<br />Describing pictures<br />Talking about a holiday, folktale or books read in class<br />Role-playing with puppets or animals<br />Introducing or using situation cards<br />Hints:<br />Always ask “push” questions<br />Have a class list, rubric copy, or laptop for recording scores and making notes<br />
  49. 49. Interpersonal SkillsStudent Centers<br />Practicing a situation card or known dialogue<br />Learning new content with vocabulary, hint sheets, dictionaries or computer kiosks<br />Using puppets, cell-phones, or walkie talkies to make it fun<br />Recording with laptops, digital recorder, iPods, flip camera, or cassette player <br />
  50. 50. Interpersonal SkillsStudent Center Games<br /> Hangman<br /> “Guess who?” or Eggspert games with a designated leader<br /> Teacher-created games with dice<br /> Candyland or Chutes and Ladders (no English!)<br /> Go Fish<br /> Culturally authentic games<br /> Online games with one student as “Vanna White”<br />one student as “leader”<br />
  51. 51. Interpretive Skills<br />listening and reading for a purpose<br />
  52. 52. Listening Center<br /><ul><li> Books
  53. 53. Songs
  54. 54. Conversations
  55. 55. Poetry
  56. 56. Speeches
  57. 57. Tapes
  58. 58. iPods
  59. 59. Laptops
  60. 60. Listen for a certain word and count instances
  61. 61. Teacher-created simple listening test
  62. 62. Listening comprehension test
  63. 63. Fill in the missing words (with or without word bank)
  64. 64. Match what you hear to a picture
  65. 65. Listen and put book pictures in order
  66. 66. Put words in order (on sentence strips or copies)
  67. 67. Let’s try!</li></li></ul><li>Watching Center<br /><ul><li> Cartoon
  68. 68. Song video
  69. 69. Conversation video
  70. 70. Drama
  71. 71. Other YouTube find!
  72. 72. VCR
  73. 73. Laptop
  74. 74. Put scenes in order by pictures
  75. 75. Put written sentences describing scenes in order
  76. 76. Match pictures from story to written sentences
  77. 77. Answer main idea questions
  78. 78. Answer comprehension questions
  79. 79. Write a sentence about different scenes or characters</li></li></ul><li>Reading Center<br /><ul><li> Books
  80. 80. Poetry
  81. 81. Articles
  82. 82. Advertisements
  83. 83. Cartoons</li></ul>Authentic Materials<br /><ul><li> Look for a certain word and count or highlight
  84. 84. Find words that begin with “_” and list
  85. 85. Put summary sentences in order
  86. 86. Choose best sentence to describe character, main idea, problem, solution.
  87. 87. Answer comprehension questions.
  88. 88. Draw a picture to illustrate poem, paragraph, etc.</li></li></ul><li>Reading Center<br />Teacher-created Materials<br /><ul><li> Matching words to pictures
  89. 89. Matching words to stamps
  90. 90. Stamping words under pictures with letter stamps
  91. 91. Matching words to definitions
  92. 92. Draw illustrations for words or paragraphs
  93. 93. Word fill-in with sentences
  94. 94. Character fill-in (Japanese/Chinese)
  95. 95. KARUTA with laptop or with student leader</li></li></ul><li>Presentational Skills<br />one-way presentational<br />speaking and writing<br />final drafts, well-practiced<br />
  96. 96. Presentational Speaking Centers<br />Partners work with situation cards and prepare <br /> skit for performance later<br />Practice a short dialogue <br />Readers-theater: read story, decide how to act <br /> out, practice with props, act out later<br />Create a Photostory, based on pictures students brought in or teacher prepared<br /><ul><li>Peer-score and peer-coach using rubrics
  97. 97. Record practice OR final product with digital recorder, </li></ul> laptop, iPod, flip camera, or cassette.<br />
  98. 98. Presentational Writing Centers<br />Options:<br />dictionaries or not<br />word lists or not<br />Write word for each letter of your name, animal you love, etc. <br />Label a picture or pictures<br />Draw a picture with a word repeated <br />Write a word, phrase or sentence for each picture<br />Write poetry, stories, etc.<br />Create a Construction paper organizer<br />Write into a Photostory picture on computer<br />
  99. 99. Let’s see it in action!<br />Fifth Grade<br />Getting Around Unit<br />Buildings-Directions-<br />Health Needs<br />
  100. 100. Culture Skills<br />exploring the relationship between the products, practices, and perspectives of the target culture<br />
  101. 101. Culture-Based Centers<br />money rubbings<br />learning about and practicing specific customs <br />playing culturally authentic games<br />accessing websites in the target language<br />viewing cultural topic videos <br />eating, drinking something from culture<br />creating models of food or art from clay or other medium<br />
  102. 102. Art-Based Culture Centers<br />match art piece to sentence that describes it<br />brainstorm words or phrases about each art piece<br />one partner describes, other points to the art piece<br />do “color-by-number” of art piece, <br /> 1 = rojo 2 = verde<br />
  103. 103. Connections<br /><ul><li> to other subject areas
  104. 104. t o content only available in the target language</li></li></ul><li>Connections: Math Centers<br />one student reads number card, others use straws, base 10 rods, blocks, etc. to create number<br />measuring various objects in Metric and British<br />writing greater than/less than sentences<br />monetary conversions and websites<br />Sudoku (characters or written words)<br />Written word math (cinco x cinco = ___)<br />
  105. 105. Connections: Science Centers<br />What in the room is magnetic? (room is labeled - list up in target language)<br />What in the room is metal, wood, etc.?<br />Classifying animals by various characteristics and creating chart<br />Putting together life-cycle pictures for plants, animals, etc.<br />Listening to a YouTube video explaining simple science concept in target language<br />
  106. 106. Connections: Art, Music and PE <br />Make a target culture craft<br />Draw a scene to be labeled later<br />Compare 2 target culture songs for various characteristics<br />Write a few sentences about why one song is better.<br />Learn a dance step or dance <br /> from written directions, video, etc.<br />
  107. 107. Comparisons<br />of languages and cultures<br />
  108. 108. Comparisons-based Centers<br />Creating Venn diagrams (written or pictures) or other graphic organizers.<br />Writing about own family, home, etc. versus target culture family, home, studied (perhaps English)<br />Investigating written work in both languages (ex. same picture book in two languages) and answering questions about similarities/differences<br />Looking at maps from different countries and answering comparison questions or highlighting countries. <br />
  109. 109. Communities<br />The Ultimate Center!<br />
  110. 110. Communities-based Centers<br />Native-speaker visitor(s) as the center (be sure to give task or games!)<br />Reading, listening to or writing pen pal letters<br />Looking at video from pen pals<br />Looking at YouTube video of peers<br />Constructing an email, letter, picture, etc. to share with native speakers<br />Creating something in target language to be shared with the school or home for the purpose of language sharing/teaching<br />
  111. 111. Assessment<br />How does assessment fit into Small Group Instruction and Centers?<br />
  112. 112. Setting upthe Classroom<br />
  113. 113. Priorities<br />Easy to change quickly<br />Match activity to setting<br />Provide logical circular flow<br />Have a way to signal centers change<br />
  114. 114. On a Cart<br />“Center in a Box”<br />CD/DVD to put in classroom computer<br />Talk with teacher about using his/her reading table<br />Start with less centers (or even 1 group at your table)<br />Learning Stations Concept<br />
  115. 115. Giving Directions for Centers<br />Written sheets on table<br />Instructions on slides of Powerpoint<br />Go over on first day of centers and/or previous class<br />Walk them through transitions<br />
  116. 116. For Early finishers...<br />Word searches<br />Crossword puzzles<br />Color-by-directions<br />Continue drawings<br />Help others<br />
  117. 117. TrackingStudentProgress<br />
  118. 118. StudentSelf-Assessment<br />“Can Do” Checklist for students as they go through centers<br />“Can Do” Checklist for after centers are complete<br />
  119. 119. Work that Students Correct<br />Keep answer papers in a separate area, near you, or on a later slide of Powerpoint<br />OR, correct as a class after last center<br />
  120. 120. Work you need to score<br />Collect in “Finished Work” folder for later grading<br />Put folder on desktop of computer with class name for students to save recordings into <br />Consider recording/videotaping assessments at your table for later scoring<br />Consider having your computer in front of you to enter scores<br />Consider having rubric in front of you to score as they speak<br />
  121. 121. Let’s Brainstorm Some Centers!<br />
  122. 122. Brainstorming Centers<br />Create grade-level and language groups<br />Discuss a topic area that you find challenging to teach<br />Use the questions on the next slide to guide your discussion<br />Brainstorm what you could do at four centers, plus a teacher table using the “Small Group Instruction and Centers” Planning Sheet<br />
  123. 123. Interpretive<br />Communication<br />Presentational<br />Communication<br />Cultures<br />Connections<br />Communication 2<br />Culture<br />Interpersonal<br />Communication<br />Communication<br />Communication 1<br />Other “C”<br />Other “C”<br />Comparisons<br />Communities<br />Math<br />Art<br />Unit ___________________________________ Grade_______________________<br />Centers Objectives:________________________________________________________________<br />Teacher <br />Table<br />
  124. 124. Unit __My Family and Your Family________ Grade______4th/5th _________________<br />Centers Objectives: Practice family and hobby vocabulary (speaking/reading/writing), understand longer conversations, practice for later assessment describing your own family picture<br />Create Family Construction<br />Paper Fold-Up Book<br />Draw family member face or write name on front flap<br />On inside:<br />Write (mother, father, etc).<br />Write birth month<br />Write one hobby they like<br />Write one food they like using dictionaries<br />Teacher Table:<br />Identify family clip art pics, Identify sports/hobbies pics; Answer questions about how many people in their family; Teacher shares a photo or drawing of her (or a famous person’s) real or imaginary family and talks about names, ages, birth months, and likes/dislikes of members – asks students for input<br />One Laptop<br />Reading words – Slap the Word Game<br />Family member words<br />Sports/Hobbies words<br />Find the Word in Context<br />Look at pages from websites or an article printed and highlight family member OR sports words. Give students tally of how many of each they should find.<br />Challege – ask a few comprehension questions about readings<br />iPods<br />Watch Shingomama video and put words of song in order.<br />Watch conversation between teachers and answer comprehension questions.<br />
  125. 125. Planning Let’s Get Specific<br /><ul><li>What are the objectives of this unit? What do students need to know and be able to do?
  126. 126. What learning and practice would best be done at the teacher table?
  127. 127. What experiences are best done in small groups or individually?
  128. 128. What skills really need extra practice or support?
  129. 129. What are engaging realia, videos, etc. for this unit?
  130. 130. What materials and technology do I have access to?
  131. 131. How shall I group students to maximize learning?</li></li></ul><li>A final note...<br />Let unit goals drive center activities<br />Do your best to have every activity be a language activity<br />Don’t spend TOO much time making centers<br />Use centers, whole group, and partner activities to maximize learning<br />Enjoy!<br />