Sunday, July 22, 2012

Questions about Exprésate & Update on Level 3

I'm getting a few emails asking about my stories and how closely aligned they are with Exprésate.  Here is a paraphrased response I just sent to a teacher who wrote me:

Hi R, well you are in luck if you need something that's aligned with Exprésate.  I am in your exact same boat and do not want to use the textbook for anything other than a guideline for curriculum content/goals (and for that I think Exprésate is reasonably good, especially if you have an AP Spanish Language class that you are leading up to.)  For each level, I literally took two chapters at a time (1 & 2, 3 & 4 in the fall, 5 & 6, and 7 & 8 in the spring), mixed the vocab together, made phrases out of it, and created stories using that vocab.  (The vocab is pared down a little bit, but not much.)  I did two chapters at time because I wanted to have as much variety as I could in terms of vocab and grammar structures, but only two chapters so that if we had common midterms and finals, my students would have had all the content a textbook student had by the end of the first 9 weeks.  So that is how closely aligned my stories are with Exprésate.  Very.

The books that are basically aligned with Exprésate are the 2009 Version 1A & B and 2A & B.  I am getting ready to put up 3A for sale this week, maybe tonight or tomorrow if I can get the whole thing printed out, and then I will have 3B ready by August 15th at the latest.  I am teaching levels 3, 4, and AP again this coming year and I WANT JALEN WALTMAN'S COMPLETE LESSON PLANS TO TEACH WITH!  So that's why I'm trying my best to crank out all of level 3 before school starts.  (It's slower going than I had originally hoped...argh, soooo much work taking up soooo much of my dwindling summer!!!)

You can look at my vocab/grammar topic lists online at www.waltmania.com to compare to your curriculum guides if you like, but I wouldn't even bother because for you it's a slam dunk since you're tied to the same textbook that I am. :-)


I would also say that no matter which textbook you are tied to, chances are my vocab lists and grammar topics are a decent fit.  I say that because if you really look at them, how different are the different publishers' Spanish textbooks in terms of vocab and grammar topics anyway?  Not very.  In fact, they haven't even changed that much over time.  The old Dime Uno I had to use 12 years ago teaching level 1 at Norman North HS had basically the same vocab and grammar topics as Exprésate level 1.  Exprésate has more vocab (very, very long lists for each chapter) and includes some technology terms, maybe some recycling/environment stuff, but there is not enough difference to really matter in my view.

The update on level 3 is this:  Yes, Spanish 3A should be up ready to purchase either tonight, tomorrow, or sometime Tuesday July 24th at the latest.  If you can believe it, right in the middle of trying to finish up this "masterpiece" (of which I am now doing the final edit/printing so I can take it to my printer for publication,) I have JURY DUTY tomorrow.  Wow.

I'd like to say that I think 3A is taking forever because it's SO AMAZINGLY GOOD, but it might just be that I'm way too perfectionistic.  I myself can't wait to teach through it this fall having it all completely done and ready to use, because it definitely reflects exactly how I am teaching and what I'm teaching, day by day by day, in painstaking detail.

Spanish 3B will go a lot faster because part of the reason 3A has taken so long is me deciding exactly how I want to format and organize and arrange and what order and how the tests will be exactly and etc. etc.; 3B will overlay on that finely crafted and honed framework (rather than take forever because I'm inventing the wheel.)  However, I decided to go ahead and put 3A up for sale by itself, now, because I know people are waiting for it with baited breath.  (What is baited breath, by the way?  It doesn't sound appealing, does it?)  Plus, that will take some of the pressure off of me trying to also crank out 3B by July 31 so they can go as a set. 3B, Lord willing, WILL be done before I report back to school August 15.  Not for you, for ME, because guess what, this school year I need to get serious about writing publish-able things for levels 4/AP, and I just can't have this project still lingering.

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