Saturday, August 26, 2017

Three Words: Eclipse, Perfekt, Parents

My first set of stars (color-coded by class this year) for students earning 90% or better on an assessment are up!  These are German 2 students who earned an A on their vocabulary quiz.  [In fairness to the blue class, there are only 20 students in that section instead of 30 in each of the other two, and several were absent and did not take the quiz, so it's not that surprising that it had the fewest students earning an A.]

This week's Three Words are Eclipse, Perfekt, Parents

Eclipse: Monday was the solar eclipse.  We weren't in the path of totality, but we still went outside during Block 4 and got to look at the eclipse with our special glasses.  It was very cool, though my students and I were surprised that it didn't get very dark at all, even when the sun was 96% covered.  

I didn't take any pictures, but my older son, who attends Bloomington High School South, was on the front page of the local paper - he's #32 in the purple soccer uniform.

Perfekt: German 2 learned the Perfekt/Conversational Past Tense this week!  On Monday we did regular/weak verbs; Wednesday was prefix and -ieren verbs; Friday was irregular/strong verbs.  It was a lot, and they did well!

Parents: Wednesday night was Back to School Night, when parents come to school and walk through their child's schedule and meet teachers.  It is really nice to meet some of my student's parents - and realize things like the mom of one of my students was my younger son's 2 year old preschool teacher.  It makes for a long day, though.  I was at school at 7 AM and didn't get home until 9PM, with my only time out of the building spent picking up a child from cross country practice at a different school and bringing him home.  I wish there were a way to get the benefits of Back to School Night without the exhaustion!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Three Words: Finding My Rhythm

Phew.  The first full week of school is finished!  

It already feels like ages since I wrote last week's three words post.  I'm still learning names but can say I know the names of  my homeroom students, who I see every day rather than every other day.

This week's Three Words: Finding My Rhythm

It was my prep period on Thursday when I finally felt like I could take a breath and I didn't have to run around like a crazy person dealing with things that had to be taken care of IMMEDIATELY.

My students are starting to know my expectations and routines.  I'm starting to know which students need extra support and which classes are a little squirrelly.  We're most of the way through the mandatory bullying education and digital citizenship lessons in homeroom.  I still don't have AirServer, so I can't use my iPad as a document camera, but I'm making do and trying to be patient.  I've started teaching new material in both German 1 and 2.  I'm Finding My Rhythm.

German 1 was introduced to German Nouns and Gender and the first three ways to say "the":

Students in German 2 learned about ordinal numbers, holidays, and festivals:

That's a wrap!  Wishing everyone 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Online Resources for Starting the Year in German 1

My school year is off and running!  Over the weekend I was compiling a list of online resources for German 1 introductory topics like the alphabet and beginning conversation.  Here are some of the highlights:

The Alphabet Song

The Alphabet Song with ß, ä, ö, and ü

Sesame Street Disco Alphabet with Grover from 1978

Learning App: German Conversation Listening

Nominative Pronouns and Sein 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Three Words: So Many Names

I'm a big fan of the podcast It's been a Minute from Sam Sanders.  On Fridays he and his guests describe their week in three words.  It's a fun challenge to think back over the week and summarize it with only three words.

School started on Wednesday, and on Friday I asked my homeroom students to summarize their first week of school in three words.  It was interesting to hear what they came up with, and it helped me to get to know them a little better.

My three words, which I shared with my homeroom first as an example, are So Many Names.  I am teaching full time for the first time this year, which means I have six classes and a homeroom.  My three sections of German 1 are all full at 32 students, my three sections of German 2 have 30, 30 and 21 students, and I have 23 students in homeroom.  That's 200 students.  I know about 25 of my German 2 students from last year, but the rest of them had my colleague for German 1, so they are new to me.  So, that's about 175 names to learn.  

No wonder my brain was tired by Friday!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Enjoying the Little Things: New White Board Erasers

School starts on Wednesday, and we have teacher days Monday and Tuesday.  Just a quick post today with a little thing that makes me smile - new erasers for my white boards!

I was inspired to make these out of leftover flannel fabric after I finished making some flannel baby burp cloths for friends who just had a baby.  They're super simple - just two rectangles of flannel sewn together.  Hopefully they'll hold up well and I can start throwing out the old eraser socks I've had since I inherited them from a former colleague four years ago!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Krümelmonster als Harry Potter

Today I found this Sesamstraße video of Cookie Monster as Harry Potter and think it will be great for my German 2 students in our unit on clothing and colors.

Before they watch the video, students will look up some essential vocabulary:

Then, students are ready to watch the video.  

Since this unit is about clothing and colors, many of my comprehension questions focus on those topics:

while other questions concern primarily the story:

and one gives them a chance to practice Two-Way Prepositions:

Here's the file if you'd like to use it with your students: Krümelmonster als Harry Potter