Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Craftividad" - Otra Vez Con El Pretérito E Imperfecto

My school is digital.  By that I mean that I teach in a 1:1 iPad environment and the vast majority of what we do on a daily basis is all taken care of digitally - worksheets, quizzes, listening activities, videos, etc.

I love the fact that we save so much paper.  I also love that students can personalize their learning more than ever - by that I mean that a student can listen to a passage just once if that is all he needs or a dozen times if he prefers.  Students can pause videos to look up information.  They can do interactive practice activities.  They can even record their voices and turn in an audio file so I can assess their pronunciation.  Hooray!

But still I feel like there are times when we lose something by making it digital.  Some things just seem to be better accomplished in a hands-on and crafty way.  For example, I miss tri-fold travel brochures, posters, handmade books, and topographical maps made of salt dough.  (Am I dating myself just a bit?)

We can still engage in those things, of course, but some of these crafts are really icons of a lost world.  What do I mean?  Well, take bookmarks for example.  I used to do a splendid activity with bookmarks in the preterite and imperfect.  We then stored them in our textbook for the remainder of the year and they were so useful.  But these days I ask myself what the purpose of a bookmark is when there are no books?  Is it better to just give my students a handy PDF that they can use as reference?

I grappled with this for a year or so and ultimately decided that crafts hold their own place and have usefulness in and of themselves.  Kinesthetic learners benefit greatly from doing things with their hands and everyone benefits from a variation in the routine from time to time.  And there is an artifact that is created in the process, rather than just a collection of ones and zeros.  To me, that is worthwhile.
So, it is with great consideration and contemplation that I share my Preterite and Imperfect Bookmark.  (This might be a re-share, but I cannot find an old post of mine about preterite imperfect bookmarks anywhere.)  To make it more relevant to today's learners, I included a digital how-to file with pictures and instructions.  The digital directions make it easier for us to leave as extra credit, or maybe (if you're feeling adventuresome) with a substitute.  You can click to download the instructions and you will also want to download the template.  Or you can click the pictures above.

Today as I was circulating in my Spanish III classroom, I walked by a student who had her bookmark out from last year.  She was looking up irregular preterites.  She had her iPad open on her desk, but picked up the bookmark instead.  That is something.  I have nothing against technology, but that is definitely something.

What activities do you find work better the old-fashioned way?  Do you have any pet projects that are nearing obsolescence but you still hold onto them for your own reasons?  What are the benefits of paper over technology with certain activities?

Hasta pronto amigos,



TroubleT said...

Hola Anne!

First off, you have a lovely website. So much wonderful food for thought!

Second, I read your brief bio in About Me and said to myself "I have a twin!". I'm a 40 something Spanish teacher who is quirky and crafty as well as a mother of two. :D

I've recently stepped out of HS classroom (I taught SP1>AP Sp Lang.) and into the MS where I now teach two classes each of grades 6,7,8. I'm finding that I'm loving the challenge of properly engaging each grade level with ability/age appropriate activities. I'm bookmarking your site for later use.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Anne Karakash said...

Hi TroubleT! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing a comment with me. It's great to hear from folks out in the vast world and it's even better to meet a kindred spirit. I'm so glad you'll be stopping by the blog from time to time. I try to keep it updated but this past quarter has been such a challenge that I'm struggling right now just to keep my head above water. I know you understand - anyone who has taught for a couple of years goes through those times, I'm sure. At any rate, I've got a lot of yummy goodness cued up and waiting for a free moment for updating, so don't stay away for long.

I looked at your profile too and we do have quite a lot in common! You do needlework, I see. My preferred craft is knitting, but I get along great with other crafty creator types of folks. Any chance you live in the south? I'll be at SCOLT . . . maybe we could meet up there?

Con cariño,


Ekpihl16 said...

Querida Anne,

Muchísimas gracias por compartir con el mundo de educación tus ideas!

I am currently a credential candidate to get my Single Subject Spanish Credential out in Santa Barbara. I was given the assignment of doing a "web search" for helpful Spanish resources, and I was very saddened by the lack of good blogs and sites that are out there! However, I was SO thankful to come across this one and have already been through many of your posts. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, your heart and your drive to teach Spanish. I believe Spanish to be an empowering language, as I (a non-native speaker) learned through the Education system, by teachers like you.

Continue pursuing your passion and sharing it with the world--it is very much valuable!

Hope to use some of these ideas in my own classroom in the near future.


Anne Karakash said...


Thank you so much for your considerate comment. Your words are at the very heart of why I became a blogger; I wanted to share ideas, connect with other teachers, inspire and be inspired by others, and elevate our profession as Spanish teachers.

But the blogging world can be lonely - very lonely. I think that is why I see so many blogs that start but ultimately fall apart after a year or so. People come on the scene all excited and with something to share, but they go for months of silence and they begin to grow weary of their own echo.

I don't think people realize what a difference a comment makes to a blogger. It's the affirmation that someone is listening and that someone cares, and for many of us, that human connection is important.

So accept thanks and double thanks from me. I'm grateful to share my ideas and materials with others and I'm overjoyed when someone takes the time to let me know.

Buena suerte con tu proyecto y te espero todo lo mejor en tu futuro con tus propios estudiantes. Siempre es una avemtura. <3


Sra. Newcomer said...

Your blog is fabulous! So many wonderful ideas and resources to make Spanish fun and real while teaching about the language at the same time. Thanks for your posts, they've been very helpful to me.

exiliada said...

Acabo de descubrir tu página, y me encanta! parece que los recursos no se pueden encontrar mas
Un saludo

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