A Student’s Perspective

photoHave you wondered what students feel like in our desk-free classroom? This is a 6th grade, Novice-Low student reflecting on her Spanish class experiences.

There are a lot of interesting observations that she makes here; I particularly enjoyed reading about her struggle with participating and taking risks. I made her comments about participation bold so that you could follow her growth.

This student is shy and although she actively participates, has only recently been volunteering to speak in whole group discussions. These assignments started in mid-September and the most recent one was the end of October.

What stands out to you about this student’s observations?

Diario 1

So far in spanish, I felt proud that I was able to understand most words quicker than I expected myself to. The words I didn’t fully understand, I got the jist of what the directions were. There were times in class when I felt nervous to participate, and put myself out there. For example, when you asked for volunteers to say something like, “me amo…”.  After we discussed it during english week, I felt better and decided to participate. One way, I use/ make connections to spanish outside of class, is when my parents speak in tagalog (filipino language) there are   few words they use that use that are exactly the same or similar to ones is spanish. For example, quaderno. Last week in spanish, I learned a lot of new words. To name a few, excelente, fantastico, energetico, and fabuloso. I came to understanding them, by using context clues and looking at the action you made while you repeated it. I found that you making actions while saying the word and having us repeat it really helped me. Overall, this year in spanish so far has been good, besides my participation in my opinion.

Diario 2

 In class so far, this year I still feel a little hesitant to participate. I feel this way because I feel like I’m going to mess up and then I’m going to be embarrassed when I mess up. I understand that it’s a big part of my grade to participate but I don’t know a way how to gather the courage to participate. Besides that fact, I feel like I’m doing alright with my understanding and pronunciation with the new words we are learning every day. I think that doing an action along with the word really helps me understand the meaning better and also how you repeat it many times. One activity we did this week was the game that was similar or is charades. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it makes us apply what we know and understand what the word means. It also allows us to have fun in a group activity that is in a way, a friendly competition. My feelings in spanish changed from the first day. It changed by me feeling nervous on the first day, but only a little bit excited. On the first day I was scared and unsure of what to do. On the other hand, now I am excited to go to class and I’m a little disappointed that we only have an hour. I feel that time goes too quickly, and that I don’t want to leave. Days now in class, I get the procedure we go through.

Diario 3

In class this past week I feel better to participate more than the last weeks. I had an ILP last Wednesday then it was part of one of my goals to raise my participation skills. We came up with some strategies to help me with the fear. Overall, I feel better, although I’m a still a bit hesitant. An activity we played that I really enjoyed was the one with the hula-hoop. We worked as a community because we cheered each other on, and the person next to the one who was trying to get the hoop over their was, helped them. One way I use spanish outside of class is at home. When I get a phrase stuck in my head, I repeat it a lot. One time I did this, I started talking to my dog and kept saying “cuantos anos tienes” and while my dad and I went shopping at Walmart, I kept repeating the same words to him.

Diario 4

 A new way that I use Spanish outside of class is when I, do or feel something and I am able to think of a vocab word we learned in class, I would say it. For example when I’m tired after school and chorus, I’ll be in the car with my dad and say something like “muy cansado”. Another way I use Spanish is when we learn new words, I ask my parents how to say a certain word and it’s meaning and see if it matches the word and definition in Spanish. In class, I had a little frustration when I was in a group that didn’t understand the directions, and I wanted to tell them but I couldn’t/didn’t know what Spanish words to use. My experience in class this far in the year has been amazing. My peers have been encouraging and patient when I couldn’t find the right words. I feel as if this aided me with my participation skills because I know they won’t laugh at me or make fun of me if I mess up. I also think that it’s easier to understand the directions more or when you introduce new words on class.

This last journal entry tells me a lot about the community of her class and how they have helped her to step out of her comfort zone and participate more. I could say more, but I’ll just leave you with her observations.