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    Ready to cry
    By Michelle

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    If these guys are not on-level academically, you will probably need to drastically change your methods. Here are some ideas:

    Teach simple sentences related to pictures. (Ex: picture of a hot dog and they learn "I eat the hot dog.") Introduce each sentence one at a time and identify each word. Then, teach them to say the sentence. You may only teach one sentence a day and you may even need to spend more than one day on a sentence. Every time you teach a new sentence, combine it with what they have previously learned. (Ex: You teach "I read the book." and "I see the car." Help them figure out how to translate "I see the book.") You may want to only focus on doing the work orally at least at first. If they can't read and write English, a foreign language is probably too much at first.

    Realize that the behavior and not completing work may well be related to just not being able to do it. Many kids would rather be labeled "bad" than "dumb"! Keep things simple and let them experience some success until you build their confidence.

    Try to use a kinesthetic approach when possible. By this, I mean that you should try to teach hand motions for key vocabulary words. You can make up your own, the kids can suggest them, or you could even use some basic sign language.

    To teach alphabet, counting, and other basics, pair the verbal with sign language.

    Develop a word wall with the spanish word printed clearly and a PICTURE (not English translation) beside it. For an opener, give them a list of 5 words and have them illustrate the words or put 5 pictures on the board and have them write the correct word. Because the answers are on the wall, they can certainly be successful with this. Have each student create a set of flash cards for the vocabulary by printing the word on one side and sketching the picture on the other side.

    As for working in groups, you will have to teach them exactly what you want them to do. Assign a role to each group member (reader, recorder, materials manager, etc.) and have each group only turn in ONE paper -- that way they have to do it together. Also, consider doing some work in pairs before you have them tackle groups.

    I hope you glean at least one or two ideas from this. Good luck with your class.



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