Practices of Definitive preparation
P.1: Writes and speaks clearly for different purposes and diverse audiences.
P.5: Develops a product or concept for public consideration.
P.7: Plans and implements research strategies
In the 3 different sections that I teach; AP language, Spanish 4 honors and Arabic; we start the class with an essential question where the students will analyze, demonstrate and understand the culture, either in groups or individually. Based on the 3 modes of communication (interpretative, interpersonal or presentational) the students use different approaches to present and answer these questions.
In AP Spanish as well as Spanish 4 honors, the students are tested on their knowledge and understanding of cultural products and perspectives. The student must make connections to other content areas, associates different elements and makes comparisons between other countries and their own (USA vs Hispanic Speaking countries). In order to do this the class has to do numerous studies and investigations, to understand the OTHER countries’ perspective, viewpoint or solution on the topic/ problem. Learning and using vocabulary that goes beyond any textbook.
An example of this comparison:
Section 1 Spanish AP : An example to the essential question was (Cual es la importancia de los factores culturales en la percepción de la belleza? (How do cultural factors interfere in the perception of the idea of beauty?). During the investigation the class has to use authentic resources/ magazines and audio information. The class needed to find several images and what urban tribes in Hispanic Speaking countries are. During the investigation the student got to make their own essential question that was shared with the class. Examples: Is the idea of a Hipster the same in USA and in the HH? What other urban groups are there in HH? In Spain, Why the south has more “Perriflouta o hippies?
As well, in Spanish AP the class will complete a Digital magazine https://sites.google.com/a/parishepiscopal.org/sra-yousfi-roy-2012/ so Spanish 4honors can read it in April.
Section 2 Spanish 4 Honors not only are learning advanced grammar but also understanding the culture one of the essential question was: ¿Cual es el papel de los abuelos en la familia actual?/ What is the role of the grandparent in the family? . To this the class did an intense understanding of the perception of FAMILY in different cultures. We saw several segments of movies (Bajo la misma luna, Al otro lado, TV documentarie. Audio podcast from La economia y la familia (Radio 5) and Reading pasages like cuento “El lobizón” de Silvina Bullrich and “ la casa de Mango Street”) using all these elements the student where tested by answering another essential question :
¿Cómo se manifiestan las tradiciones familiares en las celebraciones de tu comunidad y compara con un país hispano hablante? (How are the family traditions celebrated in your community and make a comparison with an HH country.). The essential question was not provided to the student in advance and in a period of 5 minutes of preparing and arranging their ideas the student has to do an oral presentational. With this assignment, and after all the research and new vocabulary on family, the student demonstrated and presented better understanding of the topic that is THE FAMILY. As well as a persuasive letter where the student has to demonstrate the ability to give a formal response in a specific time.
Continuing this, Spanish AP as well as 4 Honors will design “Infografias/ INFOGRAPHICS” using http://www.easel.ly/ to better understand the topic and to organize the comparisons. Per group-individual will post them on PINTREST for public display and to be used for other AP-Honors classes.
Section 3: In Arabic 1, the student not only learns the alphabet but also the culture and the importance of understanding and grasping the customs and the culture of the Arab world. Essential questions like: What calendar do Arab countries follow? Or : If DEESAAMMBAR is KANNUN AL Awal , and KANNUN AL AWAL is December in English, which one would I use and in what country?. \why are there 3 calendars?
Arabic Class will be using the DEN 2 to create and make a banner for PARISH, it will be displayed for public view and students can vote on which one presents Parish best.
For all this year I am focusing on a formative and summative assessment. And as a department we have chosen performance based assessments as a "tool" of choice for this year.