Okay, so, here it finally is: my persona especial post.
This year, instead of starting with stories right away, I decided to mix in my usual beginning-of-Spanish activities (Brown Bear, counting games, TPR, etc.) with La Persona Especial. I used Bryce’s handy guide to give me an idea of what I was going to do, but since I am well acquainted with PQA, it wasn’t that hard for me as a teacher. Really, it’s just PQA focused all on one student. Today, we had a bit of a weird schedule so I asked a student to be a volunteer for this. Not only did I have a student volunteer, it was one who hadn’t previously been an interview candidate, so that was great! In this clip, we speed through the introductory stuff because my students have it down pretty well. Rewatching it, I could’ve spent a little more time verbally verifying that the rest of the class was understanding what was going on, but I was “teaching to the eyes” and their eyes told me that yes, they got it. (You can see in the video when I appear to be staring into space. I’m actually checking in on the other students while my interviewee is thinking of his response.) They also were great about responding when I asked for a class response, even though they were sparse.)
My process generally follows that of Bryce’s. I do an interview with one student (I set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes, just to keep myself from wandering) while the rest of the class listens and watches. They do not take any notes; I write anything I need to on the board. After the interview, I will do some sort of recap activity. Students can tell a partner what they remember, I might make true/false statements, or whatever. Then they open their laptops and actually add to their notes. The first few interviews, I then had everyone share something and I typed it up in proper Spanish. We’re about halfway through now, so at this point, I just look at their screens while they’re working and correct any errors that impede comprehensibility. After three interviews, we took a quiz. (My classes are small, so I have sections of 10 and 9 respectively – you may want to have more in each quiz grouping.) I picked some examples to show you all as a sample of their work. Sample #1 comes from a student that has no prior Spanish knowledge but I suspect will go all 4 years with me. Sample #2 is from an average student with average mistakes. Sample #3 is from another potential superstar student who has studied a bit of Spanish through Rosetta Stone. However, as you can see, her prior knowledge doesn’t really make her writing leaps and bounds better than the others. Each student is very comprehensible. These samples are after about 25 days of Spanish class. I normally let students keep their assessments, but tonight we have parent-teacher conferences and I kept these to show parents what their students are able to do in my class. It is super cool to show a parent that their child, after a little over a month, can read and write simple paragraphs.
So there it is! I am more than happy to answer any questions or offer any help that I can. I’m no expert by any means, but La Persona Especial is so easy, any of us can do it!
PS: Here is a link to a blank copy of my quiz/rubric. Feel free to make a copy of it, change it, whatever you need to do to fit your class and philosophy.
4 thoughts on “La persona especial”
Very cool! Thanks for sharing your experiences with the rest of us. 🙂
Thank you for sharing! Did you recycle though students once they all had a turn?
I typically don’t. I like to do persona especial for first quarter, then move into stories/songs/other activities in my toolbox. This year I ran into a snag where my first period was 17 students (which is huge for me) and my 6th period group was only 10, which meant that we got to really dig deep in one class and not so much in the other. And it still took forever in first period – I don’t think any group of students has the stamina to do special person interviews for most-of-a-quarter-straight (I do mix it up with some songs and really easy stories once we have some words) so I won’t do that again, even if it means not interviewing every student.
Gracias!! Thanks for sharing! I usually have 30-35 per class so….probably it will take longer. I love the idea!