A set of 10 exercises to help students get a solid foundation in Spanish verb meanings and conjugations.
Let me share a few thoughts with you. I taught Spanish for 12 years and developed an extensive Spanish-instruction website to help my students. My exercises really led to mastery -- and trust me, the ones in the textbooks generally didn't.
My secrets? My techniques?
INTEGRATE WORD MEANINGS WITH GRAMMAR TO PROMOTE TRUE COMPREHENSION INSTEAD OF ROTE LEARNING
When students are practicing conjugations, they should at the same time be acquiring the MEANING of the words they are using. What sense does it make to have them write charts of lavo, lavas, lava, etc, when they don't know what the words MEAN?
My exercises are designed to constantly reinforce the meaning of the conjugated forms. As students advance through the exercises they will master increasing numbers of word meanings, and all the while, they have been acquiring the target conjugations as well.
TARGET SPECIFIC TROUBLE AREAS THAT LEARNERS STRUGGLE WITH
No matter what textbook I used, the book always took for granted that students would understand when to use the nosotros versus the ellos/Uds. forms. You probably know that students have HUGE difficulty in figuring out which form is needed in any given plural situation. Sure, they'll use the ellos form when the sentence says "ellos," and they can handle a simple nosotros, too, but what about when the sentence says "Marta y Luis," or "Maria y yo," or "Los profesores y Ud.?"
Sentences like that would absolutely baffle my students until we started doing massive practice sets on how to know when you need a nosotros versus an ellos/ellas/Uds. form.
But these exercises take care of that for you! I built them that way from the start so that students would have tons of practice in recognizing real-life subjects -- which as we know, do not always consist of the pure subject pronouns.
So yes, sometimes the exercises cue them with "Ella," but sometimes they use a name or a title (La alumna) or even a non-person noun when the verb is suitable (El libro...). And when it comes to the plural forms, students will work with complex subjects from the start: Maria Elena y tú, El director y los estudiantes. Tú y yo. Uds. y yo. Juan, Elena, y Teresa.
Etc, etc, etc.
FOCUS ON COMMONLY CONFUSED VERBS
I identify problem verbs from the start, and provide practice specifically targeted to them. Problem verbs are the ones that students consistently mix up when they are trying to communicate. In this set, lavar and llevar are problem verbs. Students use llevar when they mean lavar, and vice-versa. An exercise of nothing but distinguishing lavar and llevar takes care of the problem. Students reach mastery and gain confidence with my exercises!
THE NITTY-GRITTY: HOW THESE SPANISH INTERACTIVE EXERCISES WORK
All exercises are computer based and designed to run in any web browser. All you have to do (as explained in the included Read Me file) is copy the exercise set to a computer's hard drive and double click on the START HERE file.
To have your whole class use the exercises at once, load them onto your local area network.
DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING HAPPENS EFFORTLESSLY
Because these -ar verb practice interactives are self-checking and self-paced, students will be working at their target level even when those levels begin to diverge. Presto, you have differentiated learning going on in no time at all, and with close to no effort on your part!
PROVEN SUCCESSFUL WITH TODAY'S STUDENTS
In 12 years of teaching Spanish, every single student I had who attempted the AP Spanish Exam PASSED it. I believe that my emphasis on mastery learning, integrating meanings with conjugations from the start, and lots and lots and LOTS of computer-based individualized practice is responsible.
The preview file provides you with the table of contents and four of the interactive exercises.
The full download will have all ten interactive exercises -- all of them focused on the present tense of regular -ar verbs.
LOOKING FOR MORE SPANISH INTERACTIVE EXERCISES? THESE MIGHT BE JUST THE TICKET:
Spanish Self-Checking Interactive Exercises: -er verbs, Present Tense
Spanish Self-Checking Interactive Exercises: Verbs like Gustar
Spanish Self-Checking Interactive Exercises: Spanish Synonyms, Level I
NOT AN INTERACTIVE, BUT COULD BE USEFUL IN CLASS...
If you show "Una pareja de idiotas," or Dumb and Dumber in class, you might like the following vocabulary sheet I developed for class use of the movie:
Spanish Vocabulary Worksheet for Dumb and Dumber / Una pareja de idiotas
Spanish Exercises by Elise Parker