Yesterday Bryce shared with us the “why” of the Repasito – to lodge learning in long-term memory by reinforcing it 24 hours later. Here Bryce continues with the “what” of the Repasito:
Each class each day starts with a Repasito. It is always 5 questions (so it is easy to calculate the total points), and it is always in the same spot for each class (so it is easy to find). The Repasito is already on the board when the students enter the room.
Students write their Repasito in thier composition books. These are the kind with sewn-in pages that will not fall out and that cannot easily be torn out. The compostion book is the only required material for Spanish class. They only cost $1 or so. If a student cannot afford it, I will give them one on the sly.
The students’ task is to come in and sit down in their seats with their composition books open on their desks before the late bell stops ringing.
My task is to stand out in the hall and chat with kids as they enter (and occasionally to encourage shell-shocked new staff members).
The Repasito is integrated with PAT time, so classroom management is not much of a problem – the students police themselves so I can linger in the hall chatting with a student that was absent the day before or just observing the milling masses of students from OTHER classes that are still in the halls.
One portion of the PAT minutes earned is how the students handle the Repasito time. The Repasito rules are on the board in Spanish and they are reinforced every day:
1) Everyone is on time (again, that means sitting down by the time the bell stops ringing, not a toe in the door)
2) Compostion books open (obviously, each student has to actually HAVE a composition book for this to occur)
3) Everyone quiet during the Repasito time. (they can quietly ask a neighbor for the answer, if they need to)
While the kids are working on their Repasito, I take attendance and then walk around chatting with students that have been absent or even blatantly giving answers to kids that are stuck on a question.
This is an important point: The Repasito is not a quiz. It is just a little review of some things we have been working on. It is a low-stakes activity that gets their Spanish motors running as we head out on the CI highway.
I expect every student to get every question right every day on the Repasito. They can use notes, or a dictionary, or quietly ask their neighbor if they don’t remember. They can even ask me.
After 2-4 minutes, I walk to the front and go through the questions. Normally the class answers chorally. Students grade their own Repasitos.
Afterwards a designated student (whoever is sitting closest to the PAT tally sheets) records the points/minutes. The class automatically gets 3 poitns each day because they are my students and I love them. I say this each day. I also ask in Spanish:
Was everyone on time?
Did everyone have their books open?
Was everyone quiet?
Comments and objections frequently ensue. Everything is just another sneaky way of fitting in more interesting CI. The whole thing takes about 5 minutes total time.
Works for me,