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HLTP: Aligning tasks and texts with learning goals (Proficiency)

The Dice Game is a fun and interactive way for students to


practice conjugating verbs. My cooperating teacher, Kim, and I have
used it many times this year, and our students seem to learn quite a
bit from these lessons. I was able to use the same standard worksheet
for the activity, until we got to Chapter 6, which involved Tener que
and Ir a sentences. Spanish speakers use these constructions to say
that they have to do something, or are going to do something. For this
Dice Game activity, students would no longer be constructing simple
sentences like, I read, but sentences that show obligation (I have to
read) or future intention (I am going to read). Of course, since the
construction of these sentences is a little different, I decided to refigure
the worksheet activity so it would reflect the learning goals.
As you can see, I took the original Dice Game worksheet and
made a few changes. In order to teach both types of sentences, I broke
it up into two sections: #1-5 are tener que sentences and #6-10 are
ir a sentences. For each section, I gave specific directions on how to
make each sentence, as well as an example. Partner As roll (subject) is
not affected by this new worksheet, but Partner Bs roll is, because he
or she is no longer rolling to see which verb the pair will conjugate.
Partner B is rolling to see which infinitive verb they will use. I designed
this activity purposefully, with the hopes that students would see a
pattern: subject + conjugated form of tener/ir + que/a + infinitive verb.
For #1 and #6, I added the que and the a into the sentence
already, so students would not forget to add those words.
This lesson went wonderfully! First, I had students work with a
partner to translate English sentences such as I have to eat or They
are going to sing on whiteboards. This was a great way to formally
assess their readiness for Dice Game activity. After the whiteboards, I
explained the Dice Game, and also modeled the activity for the class,
by rolling a number myself, and having my partner (a volunteer) roll
another. As a class, we decided which subjects and verbs to write down
and conjugate, as well as a meaningful sentence. Usually, students
breeze through this activity, because with repetition, simple
conjugations can become very easy. However, I was excited to see that
my students really took their time and had to work together to
construct these rather complex sentences. I was so proud when at the
end of the lesson, a few students turned in their papers and said, This
activity really helped me. I actually learned a lot. By modifying the
original Dice Game activity, I was able to deliver the same fun,
interactive lesson, while reinforcing complex grammar.