Kelly Thiessen

Within my future Spanish classroom, I'll be using a method that emphasizes comprehensible input (meaning, I'll be speaking completely in Spanish and not allowing much English in my room). Therefore, with lower level language learners I'm not going to expect a ton of output from the start. However, I want to encourage them toward the end of Spanish I that they know more than they think. To do this I'm going to create several Wordles using the vocab words we've focused on this year. This will be a random assortment of words with no particular connection. Each student will create a short story using at least twenty words from whichever Wordle they choose.
After we revise the stories, the students will have options in how they present their stories. If a group of two or three students would like to work together, they may create a short video of the story of their choice from their group members. Another option is to individually create a Storybird, Voicethread, Showbeyond, my.brainshark, or mini-series of podcasts.
At the end of the projects, we'll send links to the final projects to students in Spanish speaking countries and a few classes across the nation that we've been working with for the year.
As for engaging prior knowledge and getting the students intrigued, I would heavily rely on what the students have learned throughout the year. They'll need to recall the vocabulary words and grammar points we've learned to begin the story. After creating stories with the students all year, I think they'll enjoy creating their own story and sharing it with the class to show their quirky side. I'll have created several example Showbeyonds and Voicethreads that will be incorporated in the weekly lessons for them to have an idea of what I expect with the technology. I'm wanting them to expand what they've seen to make a quality product on their own that others would enjoy watching. I think they will be excited to do this since it'll be shared with other Spanish speakers.
Sample Showbeyond: Click here. No added voice; the recorder wasn't working.
My simple screencast on how to use Showbeyond.
UPDATE: In lieu of some feedback I've received, I think I might make a requirement for a bit more group work. If students wish to work more independently on a project and opt to use some of the programs that use voice recordings, they must have a classmate play the role of a character in their script or help add sound effect (something involving Spanish linguistic quirks or culture). I believe this project addresses the questions asked in our textbooks: it's encourages legitimate communication in the target language, forces them to think of the story in a sequencial manner, can be sent to parents and others across the globe, and uses programs that can be accessed anywhere with internet connections.