There were no Tech Explorations this week.. which I must say, was a blessing! WebQuests are much more complicated than I originally thought, and the extra time was much appreciated. After doing much research and exploring in the WebQuest world, there was much to take in! Though they may look easy and like lots of fun for the students, there is a lot of time and attention to detail to making these quests.
The first WebQuest that I found that really caught my attention, was a Spanish WebQuest, allowing the students to make their own trip throughout Spain. There were SO many different options and groups that the students could choose to use. Looking at it from a teacher's perspective, it definitely looked complicated. I enjoyed looking through it, and got some great ideas about things that I could do in my own WebQuest. Though this adventure was a bit more complicated for something I could use with my Elementary School students, it still opened my eyes to a whole new world of teaching, and lesson plans. I also liked how there was not just one element to the quest, but several different ones that needed to be followed and used. The students got to use money alloted to them, to make their own trip through Spain, without going over budget, and spending a certain amount of time in each city. The teacher broke this down even more by giving each student in a group, a role that they played to help the trip go smoothly. One student was in charge of living arrangements, another in charge of money and etc. The kids really got an idea of how much it costs to take a vacation, and how strenous it can be to plan things down to the last minute. Going abroad is not something that you can just "wing". I think that they students can take a valuable lesson away from this, and use thier new knowledge and experience in real life.
Like the main idea to the first WebQuest I found, I myself tried to make a WebQuest that students could use in real life. I decided that something they had trouble in the past with, was the usage of the verb "gustar" which means "to like". THis verb changes from masculine to femenine and singular to plural (it also changes when it is negated). In order to use these in the different forms, I had them find 10 different "food" vocabulary words, to apply them to the different sentence structure possibilities. The students had to form 5 positive "I like" sentences, and 5 negative "i do not like" sentences. After that, they had to use the food that they liked, to make their own menu. It had to be colorful and inviting, so that the customers would want to try the food. The bonus of this WebQuest is that after they are finished with the project, we take our newfound knowledge and use it in the real world, by going to a Mexican restaraunt. The students can tell the waitresses/waitors what they would like to eat. I think this could be a great experience for the students. Especially the older ones, who might have even more to say to their new Hispanic friends.
**Side Note** Because of the structure of my course, I do not give out grades or rubrics. The students freely participate in Spanish without formally being criticized. I do however, look at who participates more, and how well each student understands the concept of the project. If no more than 2/3 of the class "got it", we would spend more time on the usage of the verb "gustar".