Saturday, November 22, 2014

¿Cómo te llamas? ideas

My kindergartners have been working on introducing ourselves. We've been working on the following conversation since the beginning of the school year. (You have to take baby steps with the littler kiddos. Also we've been doing other things like working on our colors.)

Me llamo ____.
Mucho gusto.

One of the projects we did was a class book with all of their introductions in Spanish. Each student in the class made a page with a picture of him/herself, then I bound it together, and then we read the book together in class. At the end of class I gave the book to the kids and they took it back and put it in their classroom. It was a huge hit! They loved seeing each other's pictures. Between each page we asked the question ¿Cómo te llamas? so we practiced about 25 times without them ever getting bored.

After making and reading our book we watched the following two videos to practice our interpretive listening skills. Neither one is really considered an authentic resource but I like them because they feature native speakers. The first one, especially, has people speaking at regular speed with a variety of accents. I showed it first and paused it whenever someone introduced themselves using Me llamo and had the kids tell me the name. Then we moved on to the second video where they speak much slower. They felt a lot more confident so I waited to pause the video until they shouted out or raised their hand to show they had heard them say Me llamo ____. They got very excited anytime they heard it.

So how do you teach introductions? Share in the comments below!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

¿Cómo estás? Centers

We've been studying ¿Cómo estás? in second grade. I had several games I wanted to play to have students practice recognizing the different emotions and to get them speaking so I turned them into centers and away we went.

First we went over center rules in English.

1. Stay on task.
2. Stay in your area.
3. Clean up.
4. Have fun and speak Spanish.

Game 1: Spinners

Each student got a spinner. They spun the paperclip and drew that emotion on their face with a dry erase marker. I got these awesome spinner games from Riconcita de la Maestra's on Teachers Pay Teachers. I did have to change them somewhat so that the vocabulary matched what I was teaching but the kids loved playing with them. (Quick rant - do other language teachers have to constantly try to find/revise resources because there are 1,000 different ways to say things in Spanish??? I can never find things where ALL the vocab matches. I'm a pro at cutting, pasting, and writing in the vocab I need on things.) Get the spinners and other emotions activities here.

Game 2: Play-doh mats

Students drew an emotion card and then created that face with their play-doh. I downloaded the free mats from Sparklebox and I borrowed the play-doh from our kindergarten teachers. This game was definitely the most popular. Students got very excited to show me their "triste" face or "enojado face" in play-doh. They also worked wonderfully for behavior management - "Not on task and following directions? You can sit out during your play-doh rotation." I could see myself using these again for body parts.

Game 3:¡Estoy loco!

This game is similar to War. Students each took half of a stack of cards. They took turns asking each other ¿Cómo estás? The other person would lay down a card and answer based on what the card said. They continued to ask and lay down cards until either one person ran out of cards and won the game OR when an ¡Estoy loco! card was laid down. When there was an ¡Estoy loco! card down the other person had to pick up the entire pile of cards in the middle. This game had students speaking the most and they really seemed to enjoy playing. This one is a keeper and I'll be modifying it for other conversational chunks we'll be learning in the future.

At the end of each class, we did a quick self-assessment using fist to five on how students followed the center rules, if they had fun, and how confident they felt about asking and answering "How are you?" Most students rated themselves very high. All in all it was a very successful round of centers and students are now ready to start thinking more critically about the new vocabulary. Next up, we'll start matching up what's happening in different pictures and determining how we think the people are feeling about it.

How do you teach emotions in your classes? Share in the comments below!

Monday, November 3, 2014

That's how I roll - Fast Finshers

It's the beginning of November and I'm still pulling pieces of my room together. Recently I added a Fast Finisher menu to my book nook area. Students who are done writing in their dictionaries or with the activity for the day can wander over, see what their options are, and get to work.

I've tried to create options that allow them to use what we've been studying and other options that push them out of their comfort zone and into some new vocabulary. If there is a particular activity that I don't want as an option, say for example I don't always want them getting on the computer, then I simply turn it around. (The two not showing in the picture are Play a Spanish game on the computer and Complete and Activity Pack.) Sometimes I don't want kids getting out their folders so I turn around the different "worksheet" options. As we finish games and different activities in class I will add extras to the fast finisher folders so students can repeat activities that they liked or need more practice on.
So far it's working great and the students enjoy getting out of their seats and sitting in the book nook. When I was on the cart I didn't have to worry about the menu so much but I ALWAYS kept a file folder of fast finisher activities like word searches, color by numbers, and other activities that kids could do quietly. Having fast finisher activities is essential to my classroom management. It saves my sanity by not having to answer the question "now what?" over and over again.

What are your students' favorite fast finisher activities? I'm always looking for ideas so share in the comments below!