Novel teaching tip: buy Martina Bex’s Independent Textivities!

My Spanish 1 students are working through Fiesta Fatal at a rather quick pace to finish out our time together.  My new school has a block schedule that meets every day, so I see my students for an hour and 26 minutes Tuesday through Friday, and on Monday classes are only an hour and 10 minutes (to accommodate our 2 hour late start for students while we are having professional development).  We’re done next Friday and then I get a group of bright new faces the week after.  I’m trying really hard to give this group the perfect balance of structure to help them successfully get through the novel while still allowing them some flexibility to ease end-of-the-semester-stresses.

After we read the chapters, students get to choose a reading activity from Martina Bex‘s Independent Textivities packet.  If you teach using novels, especially if you’re wanting to give students more ownership and choice, this packet is a MUST!  Martina has a front sheet with various options for students to complete and then she has a form for students to complete for each and every one of those options.

I printed out the forms with the options on top (as a complete packet) so students had everything in their hands when we started.  Each day after going through a chapter I tell them to choose an activity from the left, middle, or right column depending on the day.  They then right “Capítulo X” (Chapter X) on what they selected so I know what I’m looking for – and also so they don’t reselect that option in the future.  Sometimes I add a stipulation.  For example, you can pick from the middle column going up and down but you cannot choose an activity you have already done in English (as some activities are the same – just different because one asks for English and the other asks students to use Spanish).

I haven’t emphasized past tense with Spanish 1 and Fiesta Fatal is primarily a past tense novelita, so I am looking for them to show me their understanding.  This is why I love that the options on the left column are English ones!  These are perfect for chapters when there’s a lot going on and/or has vocabulary I haven’t stressed before.

Students like having options, but I LOVE that I don’t have to take the time to create all the ready-to-go activities, and I’ve actually used what students created for a chapter to then review it the next day!  I cannot stress how much time this packet will save you while teaching novels.  It is worth way more than the $10 she’s asking.

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