Keys to Literacy kicks off in the BHS World Language Department

photo-2This year, the World Language Department is excited to begin implementing the strategies that the Keys to Literacy program offers.  Last year, BHS began working with Keys to Literacy trainers and the World Language Department discovered that the resources they have to offer complement our daily lesson plans in meaningful ways.

Last week, Spanish teachers, Ms. Duhamel, Mrs. DiCroce and Profesora De Sousa experimented with Top Down Webs in their Spanish III classes.  Students were presented with a vocabulary theme that focused on reflexive verbs and daily routines.  After reinforcing the vocabulary using resources, such as two column notes, students read a short story about two kids named Débora, a Puerto Rican, and Hipólito, a Bolivian.  To organize the information read in the target language, Spanish teachers modeled the use of Top Down Webs.  They created a Top Down Web exemplar that outlined the daily routine of Niko, a character from a video that acts out his actions during typical day, and, then students completed the web based off of the notes that they took while watching the video (see student Top Down Web example: la-rutina-de-niko-1).  In sum, the Top Down Web helped students organize information and compare it to their own daily routine.

In addition, Spanish teacher Mrs. DiCroce examined the literature of Débora and Hipólito using Bloom’s Taxonomy.  Students created questions based off of the reading using the various levels of the Bloom’s Taxonomy ladder, ranging from remembering information to creating new details or ideas.   Using the various stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy taught students how to enhance their level of reading comprehension through applying information to daily life, analyzing the concepts through comparisons and contrasts as well as creating alternate scenarios.

Lastly, Profesora De Sousa continues to explore the use of Two-Column Notes in her Spanish classes.  For example, her Spanish II classes have begun organizing their grammar concepts, such as the present tense of -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs using the Two-Column Notes template.  In class, her students organized and categorized the important information pertaining to each idea while using colors to compare examples.  (Check out the example: repaso-1-apuntes-de-2-columnas)

Many of the strategies presented during the Keys to Literacy workshops last spring and this fall have motivated the World Language teachers to explore the resources and collaborate with each other to recognize which tools best support our language students.  Most notably, the strategies that the students are developing in their language class will support them in all classes throughout their learning experience at BHS and beyond.

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