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Teaching Spanish to Inner city kids who don't care

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ebarriga ebarriga is offline
 
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Teaching Spanish to Inner city kids who don't care
Old 10-27-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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For the last two months of school I have tried and tried (and failed) at having a successfull lesson in my 2nd grade Spanish class. They have Spanish 2 to 3 times a week. The class is very challenging, and the majority of the students I had from last year, have the same behavior this year. Their is nothing about Spanish that interests them as much as I have tried using songs, engaging visuals, PowerPoints, overhead projectors. I am about ready to give up, but I won't. Even though the class is causing me to have such a hard time, I know a few kids to want to learn. I get so frustrated when I have to write my lesson plans for 2nd grade because I have no desire to do so. I need to start thinking outside the box, but have no desire to that. If anyone has ANY advice, I'd appreciate it!


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Old 10-27-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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Can you find out their interests? Do they like science? Do they like making crafts? Maybe hands-on activities could interest them.
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You are fighting a losing battle at the momen
Old 10-28-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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I can sort of understand the kids. These are young kids who don't live in Spain!!
Spain is a long way from the USA and a world away when you are 7 years old.
They might not even comprehend or know what a spanish person looks like.
Have you taught/introduced the culture? What would they see if they landed in Spain? You have to give them reasons WHY you learn a language. Make a list with the class and go over it everytime you are about to teach a lesson.
I would also write a letter of concern about the learning to the parents asking for some home support and learning. perhaps set a short home task on Spain.
Do you think it is the language that is the problem? Maybe can you try Japanese? My class loves Japanese, but we here are closer to Asia... you have to do what is relevant.
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I hate to say this....
Old 10-28-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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But their lack of desire may be a reflection of yours.

Behavior not withstanding, most kids want to learn, especially language.

If you are in the inner city, is there a Spanish speaking population that may want to act as junior teachers.

You just sound frustrated, but I would talk to a colleague who also deals with this group.

Maybe drama, puppets. Don't give up on them. They need you to care and to perserve.
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Standards
Old 10-28-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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I don't have any specific suggestions, but games and contests usually get most students interested. Could you give me an idea of what your kiddos are supposed to be learning?


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Old 10-28-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Unfortunetely, my students cannot do activites that require scissors, therefore anything that requires cutting is out of the picture (there was an incident the other day where I had a student running around the classroom with scissors, threating another student). I have tried crafts, but the majority of them told me it was boring and stupid. We did a whole unit during Hispanic Heritage month, and thier classroom teacher did a lot of work with them understanding the culture and why it's important. The behavioral issues do not occur just to me, they also happen to the other enrichment teachers (music and art) especially as soon as the classroom teacher walks out the door. All the enrichment teachers are travelling teachers, therefore we do not have our own classrooms and it's hard with classroom management most of the time. The 2nd grade class is a very challenging class all together. I have talked to the classroom teacher to help me in getting sorted out and has told me that independent work is better in her classroom because the students cannot work in groups yet. The students are supposed to be able to count to 100, state the days of the week, months and year, know the shapes and colors by now. But we are still on days of the week because not a whole lot has been a success in the classroom.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Games... games... games... and MORE games.
If you can't get your act together, you need to take a 5 minute break. If you still can't get your act together... 5 more minutes. Make it systematic how they have to take breaks (read 1-2-3 Magic).

Students who do well can earn a raffle ticket from you. At the end of each week of seeing them, pick a prize winner. They need to be fun prizes. Ask some of your friends with kiddos if they can donate unused trinkets, etc.

It will NOT be easy for awhile. They need to get used to this system and your standards. They will FLIP at first when they cannot play game... they will kick chairs when they don't win the raffle...

if you continue to praise the students doing well and keep giving them raffles and keep playing games, the others will come around.
Does it sound like bribing? YES! Will they learn some Spanish and become motivated to participate and behave? I hope so!
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