Saturday, November 11, 2017

German 2: Präteritum

While German 1 has been wrapping up their unit on regular verbs and question words, German 2 has been learning the narrative past (Präteritum).

We started with Präteritum for Regular Verbs:

and then added in irregular verbs:

and haben and sein:

We summarized what we had done so far and took a quiz

before reviewing modal verbs and adding in modals in the Präteritum:

There are some changes I'd like to make to the Präteritum for Modal Verbs notes - slightly different example sentences as well as changes to the review of modals in general, but here are the current notes: 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

German 1: Regular Verbs and Question Words

It's been a busy week in German 1!  

While working on the theme of school subjects and university vocabulary, students learned how to conjugate regular verbs:

To practice, students used our pronoun dice and white boards

Students also learned several new interrogative words:

They will be practicing question words by answering questions about themselves, which will prepare them for writing a paragraph soon.

And I'm most proud of this new worksheet, which I created using a great school drawing from

We also watched a great video from Easy German about college life in Germany and the U.S.  Lots of great vocabulary and topics for discussion in there!

Here are the files:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Welcome, Ziggi!

The highlight of this short week - only 3 days due to fall break, with one of those days being PSAT day when 2/3 of my students were out - was the arrival of Ziggi, my document camera!

My husband said I was so excited when it arrived that it was like Christmas morning.  I am really happy to be done dealing with all of the frustration connected with getting my iPad DIY document camera to work.  

Ziggi just connects directly to my computer by USB cable, and here's the result:

I ended up not bothering to write a grant and just bought it myself.  I figured that the time I would have spent writing a grant was worth $99 to me, and this way Ziggi belongs to me, so I can take him with me if I ever move to a different school.

Here's Ziggi in position:

and here are his first two pictures:

I haven't tried video recording yet - I'm still getting used to all of the features, but hopefully that will come soon.

I spent quite a bit of time Friday after school crawling around among the cords and dust bunnies behind my desk to try to figure out the best permanent location for Ziggi.

My conclusion was that Ziggi needs an extension cord.  So that's on this weekend's shopping list.  It's definitely worth it!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Three Words: Always Making Improvements

We have a four day weekend coming up, with Monday and Tuesday off for Fall Break.  Yay!  Initially my three words were Four Day Weekend, but then I noticed that most of this post was about the evolution of my guided notes for teaching haben and the accusative case.  More on that in a minute...

We don't have any big plans for the break, but I'm going to visit my parents in Lafayette on the weekend.  Then, on Monday and Tuesday we're doing all of the stuff that is hard to schedule during the school day - doctor appointment, orthodontist appointment, and delivery of a new washing machine.  I'm most excited about the last one - with 2 teenage boys in 3 fall sports having a reliable washing machine is a must!  This is my first year working full time since having children, and my husband works full time, and I just don't know how people get all of this stuff done with all the adults working full time.  

Ok, back to German:

German 1 took their unit test on Schule, numbers, haben and the accusative case on Friday.  I'm about a third of the way through grading them, and they're doing pretty well.  In my first class of 30 students, 10 scored 90% or better.  

My notes on haben and the accusative case continue to evolve.  Two years ago we made a foldable:

I liked the foldable, but it was a bit cramped, so last year I tried a different format:

Also pretty good, but I felt like maybe a foldable was more time and setup effort than I wanted to expend for this topic, so this year I went back to more straightforward guided notes:

I think I like this best - it focuses on the essential elements without overwhelming students with too much information this early in the process.

I do still love German Sentence Dissection and plan to use it in the spring when we learn the dative case and indirect objects.  I find that as we go on, students are frequently telling me that they don't know how to figure out the cases.  Usually it's because they haven't taken the time to read the sentence and analyze what it means, so my plan is to always insist on the Sentence Dissection Steps when we're working on cases from second semester of German 1 onward.

Help yourself to whatever you like best:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Three Words: Making Good Progress

Both my German 1 and German 2 classes are making good progress this week, and I felt like I was able to keep on top of things and stay organized pretty well, too.

German 1 has been working on school vocabulary using some Learning Apps:

and has learned the numbers from 0  to 1,000,000,000:

Then, on Friday, I introduced haben and the accusative case:

We've also been keeping up with current events like the start of Oktoberfest and the upcoming German elections.

German 2 has been working with clothing vocabulary, colors, and adjective endings.  The highlight of this had to be describing what my McDonald's Happy Meal toy Minion was wearing and then discovering that his hat pops off, so we can use the verbs ausziehen and anziehen:

On Tuesday, students conjugated the verbs from our current unit.  Then, each table group wrote a sentence in the present tense using one of the verbs.  As a class, we then changed the sentences into the Perfekt.  I liked this practice structure and think I will use it in the future.  My students are starting to get more confident with the Perfekt - yay!

On Thursday, I introduced that Perfekt for verbs that take sein as a helping verb.  It went well, and students had a good initial understanding.  Their assignment was a worksheet which has verbs which take both haben and sein as helping verbs, and that pushed them to think again about how we know which verbs take which helping verb.  

Links to files:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Three Words: Das doofe Fischlied (Dumb Fish Song)

It was a good week in German 2.  Students had their first unit test on Wednesday, so Monday was dedicated to review.  
We played Kahoot with holidays and their German descriptions.

Then, I pulled out 4 in a Row to give students some drill on changing sentences from present tense to conversational past and from conversational past to present.  They really needed this practice, and most students really enjoyed it.

It finally occurred to me to laminate the 4 in a Row boards so that they can be reused.  Better late than never!

The test was on Wednesday.  We've moved all of our quizzes and tests to Canvas, and one thing that became clear very quickly is that my students can be very sloppy.  They had to change sentences from present tense to conversational past and from conversational past to present tense.  This required them to type the new sentence, and Canvas graded this automatically.  I can't even count the number of students who missed those questions because they misspelled a word that was in the original sentence or because they forgot a period or question mark.  I can go back and give students partial credit, which I did, but I still took off half a point for these kinds of unnecessary mistakes.  It may be a painful lesson at first, but there's no reason to misspell a word that is right in front of you or not to punctuate a sentence in high school.

Which brings us to Friday.  We started our new unit on clothing with a review of colors and coloring.  Life is good when it's Friday and you get to color in German class.  (We also had a pep rally mid-day, so this really helped everyone to settle down after that.)

We used this activity to introduce adjective endings.

And then it was time for Das doofe Fischlied:

We first reviewed definite and indefinite articles in the nominative, accusative, and dative cases and recorded them on our German Grammar reference cards.

Then, we watched this subtitled version of the song and listened for the adjective endings.

Coloring and adjective endings - pretty good for a Friday in German 2.

If you'd like a copy, the Kleidung worksheet is here.  It was modified from a worksheet at Grundschul Atelier