Sunday, November 11, 2012

Spanish 3B up for sale!

My Spanish 3B (second semester level 3) book went up on my website as of an hour ago available for purchase (thank you web guy.  I still owe you some homemade clam chowder...)  It's actually been finished since August and sitting on my worktable in manuscript form waiting for the final, picky little touches on the 3B final exam before being hauled to the printer.  I'm going to be needing it soon, can't wait to use it, and hopefully those of you who are using 3A feel the same way.

I just have to say that it floors me how much more Spanish I can teach in a given amount of time when the lessons are all planned out and everything written.  My threes are miles ahead this semester of where last year's threes were by this time.  Miles and miles ahead.  They know more usable vocab, can write, read, and speak better, and know more grammar, believe it or not.  We've been working on Future Tense and Conditional over the past couple of weeks, and I've got several students who already have them both down pat.  My 3B book rehashes all the complicated 3A tenses again (as well as adding a touch of Past Subjunctive at the very, very end,) and I'm hoping to have even more students who are grammar wizards by then.  I love how I was able to work the tenses into the stories and conversation topics as well to reinforce actual contextual usage of the different tenses.  That's always been a struggle for me in teaching grammar--how to get it in context "on cue" while I was teaching the rules.  Otherwise, the rules go in one ear and out the other pretty quickly with no actual gain in proficiency.

Right now I have plans to write 4A and B summer 2013, mostly because I desperately need something better (more targeted, purposeful, efficient, and results-producing) than the materials I'm using now in level 4.  I feel like my fours are actually starting to lag behind the threes now, simply because I don't have materials written for them yet and I'm not great at teaching with textbooks or novels.  My level 4 needs to be a direct stepping stone into AP Spanish Language and Culture as we flesh out our fledgling 5-year Spanish program with level 1 starting in 8th grade for some students ( those who elect to do so.)  And when I say "direct stepping stone," I mean that they need to be learning AP level vocab and grammar and using it fluently in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as getting very familiar with past and present Spanish Speaking World affairs.  So that will be my focus in writing my level 4 books.  I'd love to just teach Spanish literature and art in level 4, but unless the lessons specifically target AP vocab and skills, in my situation I'd be wasting my time.  (AP vocab for me = the 900+ words listed in the back of Pearson Prentice Hall's AP Spanish prep book by Diaz, Leicher-Prieto, and Nissenberg.) 

Level 4 teachers, please chime in about what the ideal level 4 program needs to do in your opinion. Unless you just trust me to work it out. :-)