Novel Study: CLASS novel (hija del sastre)

In Spanish 3, I have lots of great readers but not everyone is ready to fly out of the nest!  In talking with Kristy Placido at CSCTFL, she mentioned that her students often divide into groups to read.  Some read silently alone, some in a small group, and some with her…. What a great (DIFFERENTIATED) idea!  Kudos, Kristy!

As we begin reading La hija del sastre (by me), I want to lay some ground work for my students to do a fully independent novel study in Spanish 4!  So I am going to do a reading club in which we are all reading the same novel but in different ways!

I started with this survey:

Reading Club- Hija del sastre

Based on self-rating, I placed students into one of 3 groups:

Grupo Alfa: These students indicated that they read best when they have extra help.  We will read in my lounge area together.  They will not have additional comprehension activities like the other groups because I will be doing comprehension checks as we read!

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Grupo Cooperativo:  These students indicated that they work well with others and can stay on task.  They also indicated that they like doing creative types of comprehension activities.  They will be in groups of four at the tables. Their daily activities will be ELA projects adapted from Pinterest for our Spanish class.

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Grupo Independiente: These students indicated that they like to read ahead, read alone, or read strictly for comprehension not for creativity.  They will be working independently but will have access to each other when they have a question.  They will be reading in a separate table area.

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This is the first time I have tried this and while my mind says that it is going to be a cool experiment in leveled grouping, we shall see what reality says!  I’ll share activities as we go!  If you want to read along with us, let me know!  Maybe we can collaborate on some activities.

Here are the character and event webs that I will give them back to back…. I want them to have creative liberty over how they web both!

Character Map       Event Map

Here is the grading rubric for class discussions:  I actually use this for ALL class discussions to keep them having a CONVERSATION not a fact-off!  I don’t keep track on the tally sheet any more!  I now have my Class Dojo set up with all the categories so I can keep it there.  The little Dojo sounds sure are motivating! 🙂

Grading Rubric Class Discussion

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 gmail.com.

19 thoughts

  1. My Spanish 3/4 combined class will be reading Chapter 2 on Monday. I’d love to do some sort of collaboration with this novel!

  2. This is awesome. I was trying to figure out how to group my students bc I have struggling readers, those that can read on their own. What a great way to separate them. Are you planning on having all the groups finish at the same time with the book? If the independents read faster do you have something else planned for them to do?

    1. I am going to have them stay with the class! If they finish early I’ll allow them to work quietly on something else! That group tends to have plenty of work in other classes to keep them busy! 🙂

  3. OMG I think this is exactly what I h been looking for! This just might work. Thanks for posting. So many ideas floating around in my head right now!

  4. Sounds like a great idea! I’m looking ahead at my Spanish 3 class next year and this would really be beneficial for them because of the wide variation in the level of abilities. Can you tell me more about the character and event webs? Also, will you use a rubric for grading the class discussions on Thursday or will it be more of whether or not students contribute? How do you structure a class discussion like this?

  5. This is JUST the solution I’ve been looking for as I ponder the logistics of reading Le Petit Prince in class with my 4s soon. Now excuse me while I stalk your Pinterest boards… 🙂

  6. Excellent ideas! One question, where did you find those enormous floor pillows? Those are amazing!

  7. Could you explain how you use class dojo? I’ve toyed around with it but don’t like how you can’t group the kids on a seating chart. Maybe it’s just me but, I find it very difficult to mark down participation notes during a class discussion when it is alphabetized… It takes me longer to find each name and while I’m searching through 35 kids, I miss parts of the discussion. That being said – I WANT to use that app more. Any suggestions?

    Also, I love the differentiated reading group idea! After they are done reading, they do the assignment correct? Then do you reconvene as a class to review?

  8. How long do you typically spend on a single novel? I’m looking to do something like this with my kiddos in the spring, but was wondering how you typically pace it. Any info appreciated!

  9. Hello!

    I was wondering if you have shared or would share how you set up the Talk Show speaking assessment that you did along with Hija del Sastre? We are about to read that in my advanced Spanish class and I was trying to think of an Assessment that involved speaking and that seems like the perfect fit!

    Thank you so much! Love your ideas!

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