Reading Club Update: Day 4, Discussion Thursday

On day 2, my Spanish 3’s reading La hija del sastre did activities directly from the Teacher’s Guide.  The independent group, the comprehension questions, and the cooperative group did a variation on the charades activity… Instead of acting out the variations of the words in new contexts, they drew a picture of what they read.

Spanish 4, who are reading different novels, did this Twitter activity Túiter in which they created conversations between characters in the novel that reflected what had happened in the first two chapters.


Day 3 we focused on protagonists in Spanish 4.  They drew their protagonist in the center of 9 thought bubbles and then wrote 9 descriptions of the person.

Spanish 3’s independent group did comprehension questions from the teacher’s guide while the cooperative learning group used the word cloud that accompanied Reader’s Theater in Chapter 3 to write a short dialogue that two characters in the novel might have had with one another after the events of the chapter unfolded.


I was excited, and nervous, to get to today…. Our first discussion Thursday.  I have never relinquished so much control to my students before!  I wondered how it would look to assess them as a large group after they had been reading in small groups.

It was AMAZING! From Spanish 2 (who are reading Robo en la noche as a class) to Spanish 4, everyone had discussion Thursday today.  I gave them this tally sheet and rubric so that they could self assess as the discussion unfolded: Grading Rubric Class Discussion

There were no long, drawn out “fact-offs” in which students just listed events of the novel because facts were only worth 2 points… There were GREAT questions… and questions are so important as students learn to communicate!  They listened to each other, elaborated on other students’ statements, and asked questions that came to them as they heard their classmates speaking.  Unbelievable.  I wish you could have been there!  Or that I could’ve bottled the flow we were in for a rainy day. LOL


So far I have nothing but happy thoughts about reading club.  If you’re following along with us, I hope you’re feeling the same!  It is NOT something I would do in the lower levels because as novices they need a diet of input…. in order to produce output, it has to go in! 🙂 But as Intermediates in level 3 and 4, it has been a lot of fun!

Next week we are looking forward to a letter exchange with @profe105 Linda Kelchner’s classes who are reading La hija del sastre as well!  Real letters!  Like SNAIL mail!  I think this should be fun!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Hi.
    I love reading what you do in your classes. They sound amazing. I am wondering if you could send me a curriculum map of what you do for Spanish ! classes? I teach middle school and pretty much try to prepare them for our high school. I am looking for some new ideas.

    • I’m not teaching level 1 right now but I do present, past, and future tense of the “super 7” verbs plus Ben Slavic’s circling with balls, 3-4 novels, and 4 chapters of Carol Gaab’s Cuéntame más! (Google all those if you’re not familiar with them!!) this is my first year without level 1 and it feels strange! I’m missing them!!! We read Brandon Brown wants a dog, El Nuevo Houdini past tense, Piratas, and Esperanza. With a group of struggling readers, I’d drop Esperanza. I have been using Martina Bex materials in level 2 and I love them! Check her out too!

  2. Wanted to thank you for sharing this! I do something called an ‘oral recap’ with my students ( – after we have read something (a dialogue, short piece etc) Your idea here gave me the idea to put together a self recording sheet with the expectations on it – coded that is. So a ‘simple answer’ is coded “MM” (minimally meeting) and an answer that ‘expands on what someone else said’ is “ME” (meeting expectations). There are several other categories. At the end I’m asking them to say – by looking at how they recorded – how they feel they met expectations. If you want I can send you what I came up with & how I use it… And at the bottom of my sheet I have credited you with the idea for this.

    • Hi Colleen! I would like to see your coded response sheet. I am really trying to build my repertoire of assessments on actionable data so that I can give students specific feedback, as well as developing their own ability to self assess and monitor progress. I think your coding system would be brilliant! Please email me the specifics:

  3. I have a question about the tally sheet with all the blanks. Is that for the students to fill out about other students or for the teacher? Thanks so much!

  4. Hi Carrie! Do you have an explanation somewhere of the final speaking assessment that you use when doing your reading groups (the interview with the characters)? Thank you in advance!

      • I think I may not have explained myself correctly: I am referring to the assessment part that you do after you finish reading the novel. In your One Book Club you explain that there is an interview with the characters. I was wondering if you have a full explanation of this part. I already purchased your Real Conversation Thursday packet! We just started today and so far so good!

      • Oh, good gravy! I’m sorry! I misunderstood! I don’t have any formal doc on the activity but I have done it with several different readers! It looks a little like a panel discussion and discussion Thursday mixed! The four or five students playing the roles of the characters are answering the questions and the class is coming up with the questions to ask them. Using Sastre as an example, if one student is Emilia and one Ignacio, their classmates might ask them “Emilia, are you going to forgive Ignacio for what he did?” She can answer but they have to try to keep the conversation going to earn their points! If Ignacio can expand on Emilia’s comment, he gets points. If she can answer the questions, she gets points. Same discussion but just a little different lens! I should write something about it some time! Actually… for their final speaking, my 3s are going to do this to compare 2 films. Maybe I’ll do it then!

      • Thank you! This is exactly what I was asking about! I am going to have my Level 4/5 students compare two films that we studied in class this semester.

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