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Journaling in the Spanish Classroom

   One of the things as Spanish Teachers today that we must strive to increase is the ability to read, analyze, and write. A way to do this in Spanish is to increase the amount of times a student writes. Journaling is a fantastic way to bring this to your classroom.

   First and foremost journal topics should be pertinent to high school students, both males and females. This does not mean that funny childlike topics aren't valid, such as what would you do if cows gave root beer instead of milk? It does mean that students will begin to see through too many "cheesy" topics such as how do you feel when... statements. Initializing statements should be mixed-up in order to promote interest and creativity. 

Ideas for the Spanish Classroom from The Spanish Teachers

                                                                                                                                                                    Students in Spanish I should begin the year with having to write a response that is three sentences long in English with three words within these three sentences in Spanish. As the year and vocabulary rise continue to increase the number of Spanish words required. Your goal by the end of the year is to have 75% of their journal, albeit simple, in Spanish. Further the length of the writing should increase in this way as well. Good benchmarks for increasing sentence amount is at quarters. Therefore at the end of quarter one increase to four sentences, at the end of midterm increase to five sentences, at the end of quarter three increase to six sentences. 

   Students in Spanish II should begin the year with having to write a response that is four sentences long in English and Spanish with one sentence in complete Spanish. As the year and the vocabulary rise continue to increase the amount of Spanish, by midterm students should be able to write the entire journal in simple Spanish. Give them the opportunity to add more to their journal in English as long as the Spanish requirements have been met. The length of the journal should increase as well by midterm the response should be six sentences and at the end of quarter three it should be 8 sentences in length.

   Students in Spanish III and IV should begin the year with the expectations very close to those that were in place at the end of the previous year. Only back off your expectations by one or two sentences. In addition students should be able to write in complete Spanish at both levels. The requirements for Spanish should become the practice of specific grammar points. Leave each grammar expectation in place for two weeks and then move to another. These could be from Spanish I such as noun and adjective agreement with every noun requiring an adjective to more difficult tasks such as using the conditional tense twice in each journal.

   Collection and grading can become an daunting task with journaling. One way to overcome this is to give the students a work sheet at the beginning of each week with spaces and lines on which to write the topic and the response. You can give one grade for the entire weeks worth of journaling or give an individual grade for each journal. Next you must decide on what you want to grade. A complete or incomplete grade can be given which is convenient because reading each journal word-for-word is much too much, but perusing the journals for meeting the requirements is simpler. Additionally be aware of items that students write that catch your attention so that you can comment back to them or easily give a smiley face. Students will feel that you care about what they are telling you in their writings. 

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Word of the Day Verbs are the heart and soul of this book. A teacher's resource with worksheets and masters. Spanish Bellringer Book for the Spanish Classroom Word of the day la palabra del día
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Journaling  Students need to write more in both languages. Topics for 3 years. A teacher's resource with worksheets and masters. Spanish Bellringer Book Journaling el Diario
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Literature        Four years of reading and writing through books with lots of culture. A teacher's resource with worksheets and masters. Lessons for Literature in the Spanish Classroom Book
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Culture            Arts and crafts, posters, Power Points, and so much more are the heart of this book. A teacher's resource of worksheets and masters. Creative Culture in the Spanish Classroom Book
 

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