A Year in F7 – Week 29

This stretch before spring break is always difficult.  We are in the fourth quarter now, and I am experiencing that phenomenon where the days are short but the class periods are long.  This time of year there is a lot of wandering attention, a lot of side conversations, a lot of blurting, a lot of general student apathy.  A many other great CI teachers advocate, when you go too quickly or try to do too much in a class period, behavior problems start to creep in.  I know this to be true, but I am still guilty of following that little teacher voice in my head that urges: “More! More! Faster! Faster! Your students should be farther by now.  More vocab! Longer sentences! More difficulty!”

I listened to that voice for about two weeks or so and felt myself regressing back into my old ways.  I’m glad I decided to document my year in the form of a blog, because it has helped me to look at my own posts from earlier in the year, and refocus my mind on what matters most: input and interaction in context.

Monday, March 18th, Day 128

1.) FVR (3-8 minutes)

Time varies by class.  I don’t time FVR—I just plan for five minutes, but stop it early if students get restless, or allow more time if students seem interested in their reading.

2.) Movie Talk/Watch and Discuss: “Snack Attack”

Inspired by Keith Toda’s “Snack Attack” Movie Talk script, but adapted for my Latin I students.  We watched the film up until the ending.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

3.) Card Talk: Ending Predictions

Students drew pictures of how they expected the movie to end.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 15 minutes


Tuesday, March 19th, Day 129

1.) Picture Talk: “Praedictiones” from yesterday’s class.

I selected four or five student pictures to talk about.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

2.) Watch and Discuss: “Snack Attack” (ending)

Prep Time: 0 minutes

3.) Write and Discuss: The ending of the “Snack Attack”

Prep Time: 0 minutes

4.) Game: 4 Square Pictionary Game (time permitting)

Prep Time: 0 minutes



Wednesday, March 20th, Day 130

1.) FVR (3-7 minutes)

2.) Reading Game: Alea Iacta Est/Lucky Number Reading Game/Word Chunk Game

“Alea Iacta Est” (my version of the word chunk game) has been greatly enhanced this week by the addition of playing cards to randomize the scoring.  I’ve added a couple of rules to the standard scoring:

a.) Jokers are worthless, but allow the player to draw three cards as a bonus.

b) The addition of bonus rounds in which all point values draw are doubled.

Adding a single new twist to the game every time it is played helps preserve the novelty.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

3.) Listen and Draw: Character Creation

Inspired by this post on Keith Toda’s Blog.  I found that using these character pictures as a strictly a listening activity limited the potential of having a large quantity of such characters.  He are some variations:

(a) quid discrimen est inter has duas picturas? (what is the difference between these two pictures?). Show two similar pictures (or possibly three) and either ask the students what the difference is or ask the students to brainstorm ideas with a partner first, and then report the findings.  Since the options are

(b) For the vocabulary words, I used the newest words introduced in the last couple of stories, though I did allow each class to choose a few words of their own.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 10 minutes

Thursday, March 21st, Day 131

1.) Character Creation Game (listening activity, spot the difference, find the words)

inspired by Bob Patrick’s post

The students seemed to enjoy this one.  We ended up engrossed in this activity for the entire time (I had to move the class movie Watch and Discuss activity to Friday).

Prep Time: 20 minutes

2.) Watch and Discuss: Class Movie (Time Permitting)

3.) Quick Quiz: Class Movie (Time Permitting)


Friday, March 22nd, Day 132

1.) FVR (3-7 minutes)

2.) Quizlet Live: Diagram (based on Snack Attack)

(7th Period – input activity?)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

3.) Watch and Discuss: Class Movie

Here’s the procedure that has seemed to work best for me so far:

a.) show one full scene of a movie (or part of a long scene).  I show the movie in English with sound and dialogue.  I don’t pause the movie.

b.) after watching the segment of film, I ask the students questions about what’s happening, who the characters are, if certainly things that happen are significant for later, etc.

c.) after around three scenes (this ends up being about 10 minutes of the movie), I lead a write and discuss of what happened, simply asking students questions.  Together we write one sentence per scene, trying to summarize the essence of the action or the theme.   Students don’t write until we have completely decided on the wording as a class.

Reflection: This got off to a rocky start when I began using the full-length feature movie as just a longer film to watch and discuss.  Now I use it as an easy listening/extensive listening activity (as we discuss what we watched between the scenes).

Prep Time: 15 minutes

4.) Quick Quiz (time permitting): Comprehension Questions/True and False

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 30 minutes


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