This is a clip of me beginning the story Cierra la puerta with my sixth graders. This is a good clip to examine for a demonstration of circling and comprehension checks, but I don’t ask for any variables/details in this segment of the story. I’ll have to tape something else so that you can see a demonstration of that, I guess.
Circling is asking a series of questions about the same statement to get ‘repetitions’ of the structures. For example…
- Eli opens the door.
- Does Eli open the door?
- Does Eli open the door or close the door?
- Does Eli open the door or does his mom open the door?
- Who opens the door?
This is a great circling template imagined by Laurie Clarcq and re-formatted by several of the TPRS think-tanks in Alaska that you can use to get ideas. I’d recommend writing out your questions before you jump into circling if you’ve never done it before, mostly so that you know whether or not you have a circleable structure! Circling Template
Comprehension checks are brief, targeted questions made to individuals or to the class that allow you to know whether or not they understand what you’re saying. In this video clip, some of the checks that I used including asking either/or questions to the class, asking students for translations of specific words or entire phrases, and asking students for transformations of statements. Betsy Paskvan does a great presentation on comprehension checks! As you can see, my kids had a lot of trouble catching on to “son las siete” meaning “it’s seven o’clock”. I think it’s because they received the structure as “son las ocho” (it’s 8 o’clock). I should have stuck with the original first and then done the transformation later. Oops! I know for next time.
This is a clip of a significantly larger version of me demonstrating a modified MovieTalk technique with the music video for “Espacio Sideral” by Jesse & Joy. For more information about MovieTalk, click here. In more traditional MovieTalk, there would be more description and less questioning. However, the purpose of this activity was to provide additional repetitions of the structures ‘llega’, ‘lleva’, and ‘regresa’, and so there is a lot of circling, checking for comprehension, and predicting.