I’m coming up on the quarterly test I give on the 25 target structures for my German Is and IIs and I was wondering what to do by way of review. In the past I have had students write sentences using structures I highlight on the board and illustrate them. Other times I have given them time in the computer lab to run through the words in Study Stack (usually when I have a sub). I’ve already done those, however, but darn it all, I want to get back to the full free flow of language that is a regular class.
So I sat down with my word lists and looked over them to inspire myself and then realized that I was staring at a bunch of untapped PQA opportunities. I had the word “needs” and the word “wants”, which I did almost a month apart, but then I realized I could talk about things that are part of my student’s lives–cell phones, a car, the internet, etc.–and ask them which ones are needs and which ones are wants.
For the word “lives” I had previously asked my students to draw up a house where they lived (A volcano on top of a skyscraper; a tree on top of a cloud; under a red rock in a purple barn), but I realized I could go back and revisit the drawings (from the OTHER class) and asked “If you lived (under a rock, in a volcano, in a tree, etc.) what do you want? What do you need?”
Too often I keep moving on to the next fun new structure without getting enough mileage out of my high frequency words. Have they already done them? Yeah. Do they know them? Yeah, pretty well. Can I still learn more about my students using them. Heck yeah.
I’m going to start going through my high frequency words every two to three weeks to see which ones might either a) be revisited productively with PQA I might have missed, or b) readily combine with recent or new words to give them more life. For all the push we’ve had lately on recycling stories, I need to work better at recycling the PQA that all of those stories grow out of.