¡Pretérit-os!

This is my first year teaching Spanish 2, and I am really struggling with how to help my students remember all of the irregular preterite rules they are responsible for on our curriculum. In an uninspired, tired state, I consulted Pinterest, and found this project the helps students to review the preterite tense by making a cereal box!

Before you read any further, let me just say this project flopped for a variety of reasons. One: there is no communicative purpose to making a cereal box with grammar notes on it. my students kept asking me questions like “What does this have to do with anything?” and “Why cereal? This doesn’t make sense!”

I generally agreed with them, which is why I put off assigned this project in the first place. My students are used to having a real, communicative, proficiency based purpose to everything we do. This project was so exclusively structure-based that it didn’t meet my standards, or their expectations of me. My class time would be better devoted to having them practice using the preterite in real-world contexts. Writing stories, sentences about what they did in a certain place, etc. They needed to see the words in action, not write about them in a thinly veiled excuse for them to take notes.

Next year, I will focus the notes where I like to focus them: at home. I also think I want to introduce the preterite all at once, instead of chunks across weeks. I want to do a preterite unit that focuses much more heavily on USING the preterite, instead of memorizing vocabulary charts. I guess I will have to write more about that next year. For now, I will let one of my classes finish this project, then move on.

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