Interpersonal Mixer

Today was a formative speaking assessment day. Students had to compare themselves to the main character in our novel. First they had to answer 3 questions on paper: what keeps you from sleeping at night, how do you help your parents, and where do you go when you have a big secret to tell and you don’t want to be overheard?

After students had come up with good, detailed answers for each, I had them find a partner. I set a one minute timer and they had to use that one minute to compare how they answered the first question. They needed to fill the whole minute which required lots of follow up questions! After a minute they went to a new partner and repeated question 1. Another minute and another partner with the same question. We did the same three rounds with the other two questions. It was great seeing them talk to so many different classmates!!

They did a good job and it seemed like they thought of better detail each round!

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

2 thoughts

  1. How do you grade formative assessments like that? Do you have a rubric or do you give them credit just for staying in the language? Thanks! I love the idea!

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