Friday, April 18, 2014

From the mouth of babes

So I'm going to admit that reaching 90% and up target language is a something I am constantly working at. And this time of year, I don't always get there. My biggest issues with it are several "problem" classes and my first graders. The former because I struggle to maintain control even in English (and it's not just me, the other Specials teachers have the same problems.) The latter because it's the end of the day and I'm tired and they're tired, they're often late getting back from library and I have to make up time, so we just don't always get to 90%.

All this to say, that I had the following conversation with a third grade girl this week. Let's call her M.

M: Ms. K, I have a challenge for you.

Me: Oh yeah, what's that?

M: I challenge you to not speak ANY English in your next class. You have to speak ONLY in Spanish!

Me: No English?

M: None!

Me: Challenge accepted! So the next time I come back I'll only speak Spanish in your class.

M: No, no, no! Not in here, just in your next class! You can speak English in here!

 I cracked up that she wanted me to do it, just not in her class. I did speak only Spanish in my next class, which happened to be kindergarten. The kinder assistant even swore to M the next day that I had completed her challenge. I told M that since I had accepted her challenge she had to accept mine - 100% in her class.

We almost  made it yesterday. We were talking about the royal family in Spain and I was doing just fine until a question came up where I had to explain the order of succession. I looked at M and said, "I'm sorry. I have to do this in English - you guys aren't understanding in Spanish!" She looked straight at me and said very sternly "You have 1 minute!" We made it 95% but I think next time we can do 100%.

M's challenge made me realize I had gotten lax about making sure I stayed in 90% Spanish throughout the day.  So my challenge is to finish the year out strong even in the first grade and rowdy classes.  What do you do to keep yourself motivated this time of year? Share in the comments below!

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