Sunday, April 17, 2011

Annotated Bibliography

Shannon Palmer
EDU 551-50
Annotated Bibliography
6th grade Spanish Level 1
 Unit of Study: Preterite vs. Imperfect Verb Tenses

These three trade books and two websites will aid in the Spanish unit of: Preterite versus Imperfect verb tenses. This lesson covers two verb tenses used to describe the past. The purpose of this unit is to help the students understand how to distinguish and when to properly use these verb tenses. In this unit, students will be able to describe and retell events that happened time-specifically and non-time-specifically in the past. The students will be able to identify through situations and context which verb tense is appropriate. The books are written in both English and Spanish so that the students may double check what they are reading to ensure that they understand. The preterite tense is used to describe completed actions that occurred at a specific time in the past. The imperfect tense is used to describe occurrences in the past at unspecified times.

1.       Tradebook #1- El Sombrero del Tío Nacho (Uncle Nacho’s Hat).
Rohmer, H. & Resisberg, V. (1989). El Sombrero del Tío Nacho (Uncle Nacho’s Hat).San Francisco: Marwin Productions.

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level: 2.5

This book is a short story about a man and the journey he goes on when he replaces his beloved, old, raggedy hat with a new one. There is a lot of action and description in the story; therefore, there is a lot of preterite and imperfect tense use. This story was adventurous and fun to read. I’d certainly love to have my students read this book!

El Sombrero del Tío Nacho could be used to supplement this unit of Spanish in many ways.  In order to fully grasp the concept and different usage of these past tense verbs, intensive reading must be done. Unlike English, which has one past tense, Spanish has two simple past tenses (preterite and imperfect).  This book contains an immense amount of usage of these tenses.

Once the unit chapters of the textbook containing the preterite and imperfect verb tenses have been covered, this trade book will be used as a supplementary tool to continue the learning process. The students will read the story in both languages (English then Spanish or vice versa). The students will then pull out all of the verbs in the book that are either tense. The students will then demonstrate their knowledge of why each verb was used instead of the other. The students could also create an alternate or extended conclusion to the book using the verb tenses as much as possible.

2.       Tradebook #2-The Bossy Gallito(Rooster): A Traditional Cuban Folktale
Gonzalez, L.M. & Delacre, L. The Bossy Gallito: A Traditional Cuban Folktale. (1994). New York: Scholastic Inc.

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level: 4.6

This short story is about a rooster who is on his way to attend his uncle’s wedding but find himself in a few obstacles on his way there. There is a lot of action, description, and repetition involved which means that the preterite and imperfect are tremendously used. This story was comical and interesting to read! It is definitely a great book for anyone learning Spanish and/or English.

The Bossy Gallito will supplement this unit of the class because it contains many examples of usage of the two verb tenses being covered.  The material in this book contains the exact concept being taught and would be beneficial for the students to see it in a different context other than the textbook, but rather in a trade book.

Once this unit is covered in the textbook, the students could use this fun story to identify preterite and imperfect verbs in the short storybook. Once again, the students will explain the usage of the verbs in every sentence throughout the short story.  The students could use a section or the entire book to create a reading guide for their peers/classmates. Once placed in groups of two, one student would take out each verb out of the story used in both tenses and then the other student will be given the verb in its infinitive form (non-conjugated) and will have to conjugate it properly according to the best fit. The book itself could be used at the end of the activity as an answer key.

3.       Tradebook #3- Un lazo a la luna(Moon Rope).

Ehlert,L. (1992). Un lazo a la luna (Moon Rope).Singapore: Harcourt Brace & Company.

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level: 3.7

This story is about a mole and a fox’s quest to get to the moon. They receive the help of other animals. There is a lot of action involved in their adventures. Preterite and imperfect tense usage is substantial in this short story as well. This story is appealing and fun. This is another great book to read!

Moon Rope would be a great trade book to supplement the Preterite vs. Imperfect lesson because it contains many conjugated verbs in both simple past tenses (preterite and imperfect). It would be a great tool for students to use to have an additional visual aid when learning about proper usage of these verbs.

The students could use this trade book to better their understanding of the unit after it is read in the textbook through an interactive game. For example, I could create a jeopardy game (or something similar). The students would be divided into teams. The categories could be: “Conjugations”, “Preterite or Imperfect”, and “Miscellaneous”. The “Conjugations” would include sections taken from Moon placed into the game without the verb present. The students will be given the infinitive (non-conjugated) form of the verb and its proper tense but the students have to conjugate it properly so that it matches the subject. The “Preterite or Imperfect” section would be similar to “Conjugations” however the student will have to determine which of the two tenses needs to be used. The “Miscellaneous” section would have random questions which are linked to the lesson.

4.       Website #1-SPAnish LEarn it ONline

Spanish Verb Conjugation Trainer. Retrieved from:

This website would be a great supplement to the unit.  It contains:  “word of the day” and full-out examples of conjugations of the 7 Spanish verb tenses (including the two that are being covered in this unit). The verb conjugation charts would be great resources to show the students how to properly conjugate the preterite and imperfect tenses correctly.

The students will copy the charts from the website to keep as study aids. As a daily warm-up, the students will use the word of the day to place those words in a sentence with both verb tenses (preterite and imperfect).  The students will then be given a new “Verb of the day” and will be expected to properly conjugate them into both tenses.

5.       Website #2- Quia Web

This website would be excellent to supplement the unit because it contains many fun and educational games.  The website contains a section specifically for Spanish. There are many games created on this website that are related to various subjects in Spanish, including the unit of Preterite vs. Imperfect.

The students will log into their classroom-created accounts and go to the Spanish section.  The students will then use the game search inquiry to search specifically for games targeted for this lesson.  Once the unit is covered, the students will play the games in groups, pairs, or individually (depending on the game).  Some games could be used as assessments to measure the students’ knowledge.

“I hereby affirm that I have neither given nor received help on this work.”


Sunday, April 3, 2011

What are the PASS and SCREAM variables and how can they be used for ELLs with Special Education needs?

The PASS variables can be used to promote and maximize the success of students with special needs in inclusive settings:

Prioritize instruction.
Adapt instruction, materials, or the environment.
Systematically teach with the SCREAM variables.
Systematically evaluate the outcomes of your instruction.

Systematic teaching refers to the use of effective teaching techniques for content coverage and teacher presentations. If the following techniques are carried out and the specific needs of students with disabilities, all students may be more successfully included, and overall classroom success will improve.

Appropriate rate
Maximized engagement

Using the PASS variables
When planning instruction, it is vital that the instruction is prioritized. All content to be covered should be based on specific instructional objectives. Objectives allow the instructors to know whether their instruction was successful. This is important for students who receive special education services, because their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are based on objectives.

Objectives specify:
  1. The content of the objective (what is being taught)
  2. THe conditions under which a student's performance will be assessed (i.e. writng, oral responding)
  3. criteria for acceptable performance (level of achievement)

Instruction should also be planned based on scope and sequence. These terms refer to the extent and depth of content that will be presented in the school (scope) and the order in which it will be presented (sequence).
Also, in an inclusive classroom, the selection of appropriate curriculum is very important. Curriculum does not need to be the same for every student because it should specifically address individual learning needs through differentiation.

Pace, a component of prioritizing, is one of the greatest obstacles teachers come across in an inclusive setting in order to meet diverse learning needs. While some students may grasps concepts almost instantly, others may not and may require a slower pace and additional practice.

The adaptation of instruction, materials, and/or environment can be beneficial for students with disabilities and especially ELLs with Special Education needs. The types of learner that a student may be: discrimination, facts, rules, procedures, concepts, and critical thinking, should be known by the teacher so that effective instruction can take place.

  • Structure
  • Clarity
  • Redundancy
  • Enthusiams
  • Approrpate Rate
  • Maximized engagement
Select vocab and Syntax that are familiar to all students in the class. It is important to include aids such as illustrations, physical modeling, or hand gestures to support verbally provided directions.

S=Sysemtically evaluate
Students independent performance should be evaluated. This way, a student's progress can be determined and needs can be pinpointed and met.

Mastropieri, M.A. & Scruggs, T.E. (2010). The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effecitve Differentiated Instruction. Merill: New Jersey:4th Edition.

What are some factors that relate to the reasons why some ELLs have Special Education needs?


Factors that influence the identification of English language learners with special needs:

  • Limited prior schooling
  • lack of proficiency in English
  • native language background
  • cultural expectations and personal or family concerns

Identification of English language learners with special needs should include consideration of the following factors:
  • Family history
  • Developmental and health history
  • First language and literacy development
  • Previous schooling
  • Cultural attitudes toward education
  • Learning styles
  • Learners' current academic ability

Many factors can influence the identification of ELLs with special education needs. It is important to know how to distinguish an ELL and an ELL that has a learning disability when it comes to literacy. Limited prior schooling affects an ELL because the student has not been given a sufficient amount of schooling. This limits the students abilities in his/her native language thus creating a hindrance in learning English. With the proper procedures carried out under IDEA one who lacks proficiency in  English, could be eligible for special needs. Other factors, such as culture and family background, also play a role in the influence of identification of ELLs with special needs. However, if the aforementioned factors are present, one cannot be assumed to have a disability until more factors are taken into consideration.

Family history
If the student displays a family history that seems to affect his/her literacy, it should be considered.

Developmental and health history
If the student has a history or record in these categories, it should also be considered as an important factor of identifying an ELL with special needs.

First language and literacy development
Is the student literate in his/her native language? Does he/she have enough background knowledge in his/her native language in order to learn a new one?

Previous schooling
Like mentioned before, previous schooling or lack of, plays a role in determining a students academic level.

Cultural attitudes toward education
Is education vital to the students culture? What do they believe? What do they not believe? What is taught?As an instructor, having some knowledge of the student's culture and educational views matters.

Learning styles
Once again,what type of learner is the student? Having knowledge of this will definitely help the teacher to create success with the student whether there are special needs or not.

Learners' current academic ability
What level is the student currently at academically? Is he/she above/below/at their grade level?

 Morrison,S. CAL Resource Guides Online. Retrieved fom:

¡Más sitios de Internet!

Imperfect vs Preterite Spanish Tenses Battleship Game. Battleship is a well-liked game. Why not incorporate some Spanish tenses into it? Like traditional battleship, the opponents guess where they think their opponents ships may be positioned on the board. However, when a student guesses correctly, there will be a sentence presented that asks what tense would be used? If guessed correctly, the student gets a "hit" on one of the battleships areas. This game would be a perfect ending to an Imperfect vs Preterite lesson because these two tenses are commonly confused and misused. This game can be used as a review for an assessment. (Spanish Learn it-Online)

Word of the day and Spanish verb drill charts.
This website would be great for words of the day. Each day a new word is posted with a definition. This is a great tool to help build vocabulary. The daily words can be used to obtain extra credit points on assessments each week. In the conjugator tab of the website, the top 100 most commonly used and searched verbs are listed. For each verb,  full conjugations are mapped out. The students would create their own verb charts as projects to keep for themselves.

Inquiry Group Presentation Plan

Iuiry Group Presentatio

A) Focus area: Factors that influence developmental differences in Bilingual Special Education (ELLs with learning disabilities)
B) How this area relates to the overall topic: In order to achieve success in learning a second language,ELLs need to be literate in their native langage first and foremost.
C) How I will transition smoothly to next speaker: Charlotte will discuss technology for ELLs. This can be implemented into the curriculum for ELLs in general but would be a very beneficial tool when striving for success for ELLs with Special Education needs.

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Spanish websites!

This website contains tons of games with every subject imaginable, including spanish. The students can create an account or simply use the site as a fun study aid. is the generic website, then "spanish" will be entered into the search bar to narrow down the games to their specific content area.  The games cover various topics and can be used to complement the textbook and instruction in class. The students could use this website as a take-home quiz or a study aid for upcoming tests and/or quizzes. If used as a take-home quiz, the students will submit their scores.

This website is great for the students to find online penpals. I would set them up with students their age from various Spanish speaking countries that want to learn English. The students would create a journal of their conversations with their exchange partner for a year end project that includes information about the various topics covered throughout the entire year such as their penpal's name, age, where they live,grade, hobbies, favorite foods, colors, pasttimes, etc. The students will then present the projects at the end of the year for the class.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Inquiry Question #2

With there being so many disabilites, what does the largest one, learning, consist of?

Learning Disabilities: An Overview
Individuals that find it challenging to acquire basic academic skills despite their average or above average intelligence level have a learning disability. Academic skills include: reading, writing, listening, speaking, and/or math.  IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is a federal law that defines a learning disability as a condition when a child’s achievement is significantly lower than what one might expect for that child. They do not problems that are initially the outcome of intellectual disabilities, emotional disturbance, or visual, hearing, emotional or intellectual disabilities. While there are many learning disabilities, most of them fall into three categories:  reading disabilities or dyslexia, written language disabilities or dysgraphia, and math disabilities or dyscalculia. A child with a learning disability usually struggles with reading.   Other categories include disabilities that affect memory, social skills, and executive functions such as deciding to begin a task. A description of the more common learning disabilities, how to identify them, and effective instruction are as follows.

Difficulty reading or dyslexia affects two to eight percent of elementary school children. It is characterized by individuals who have difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  Successful reading requires one to: focus attention on the printed symbols, Recognize the sounds associated with letters, understand words and grammar, build ideas and images, compare new ideas to what you already know, and to store ideas in memory. A person with dyslexia can have a problem in any of those tasks when it comes to reading. Scientists have found that those with dyslexia struggle to separate sounds and also with sounding out words that rhyme such as “cat” and “bat.” Luckily, remedial reading specials have developed techniques in order to conquer these challenges. Dysgraphia or difficulty writing, like reading, involves lots of brain functioning. The brain connections for vocabulary, grammar, hand movement, and memory must all be in good working order. Therefore, a child with a writing disability could be able to create complete and grammatically correct sentences. The third of the main learning disabilities, dyscalculia or difficulty in mathematics, involves recognizing numbers and symbols, memorizing facts, aligning numbers, and understanding abstract concepts. Those with challenges in this area most likely show them early in age. Disabilities that show up in the higher grades are more linked to problems in reasoning. Another disability related to these is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD makes it difficult for children to have their behavior under control and to pay attention. Autism, another disability, is often confused as being a learning disability. It is a developmental disability that usually appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. Usually a teacher or parent notices that a child is struggling to learn or is behind in class. Then, an evaluation can be requested and tests can be given to that child. In order to combat these learning disabilities, there must be ways to effectively instruct the students. Students with learning disabilities benefit from explicit and well sequenced instruction. Teachers often provide accommodations for those students as well. With new procedures and strategies in today’s schools, children with learning disabilities can benefit greatly!

LD Online. (2008). Learning Disabilities:An Overview.