Who still thinks that taking two to three months’ break from education is a good idea? Well, that’s a debated topic I don’t intend to get into here, but this I do know: more consistent contact with the target language can only help proficiency gains.
In my case, my students have no formal educational contact with Spanish from the first week of May to the third week of August. That’s too long for me, and it’s too long for them. They know it. Or at least, their parents do. Several asked me, “What can we do to keep them learning over the summer?” I needed something a little less demanding than our summer novel we did last year, in my painful but worthy efforts to streamline my own life, but could I put together something they could do on their own? Absolutely.
Thanks to some resources shared in a great post on sub plans by Cynthia Hitz and some things we’ve already created as an out-of-class practice in our context, I put together a way for students to record their own progress. Yes, I actually (cough) gamified. (Maybe? Is that what I did?) Yes, I actually included a (cough) badge, for those who might care. (I’m not much of a badge person.)
Here’s how it works: the family prints the level page (I included variations for elementary, middle, and upper school), and posts the calendar in a visible place. Every day, or whenever they want, students complete one of three activities. They watch a storybook video, watch a show episode, or play a game. They draw the corresponding icon on their calendar, and at the end of June and July, tally up how many of each icon they drew. They can show me, compare with each other, or just be satisfied in how small contacts through the summer helped them maintain and even improve their proficiency.
Where is it?
You can use my document here, or use “File” and “Make a copy” to change the options and make them your own. Let’s keep kids in contact with Spanish through the long break!
I’m taking a major personal tech break for the months of June and July (no publications on the blog or social media), but I’ve already got plans and drafts for #Authres August so I’ll see you then.