Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yo veo algo azul

One of the first things I teach my kindergartners is their colors in Spanish. Mostly this is because they learn colors in English when they first get to school so it's great for reinforcing core content. Plus they LOVE the song El gusano Tutu. 

But you can't just teach the colors once and hope it sticks. I come back to them over and over again. With the Calico Spanish curriculum there is a new color with each chapter. One of the games we play is Yo veo or I spy. I keep it easy with Yo veo algo (insert color). The game is simple - Srtudent 1 thinks of something in the room in the target color and says "Yo veo algo (azul, amarillo, verde, cafe, o rojo.) Student 2 guesses by saying ¿Eso? and pointing. Continue until Student 2 guesses correctly and then switch. 

I would introduce the new color, play the game with the whole group and then let students play with a partner for 3-5 minutes. Then we would move onto the next item on the agenda. We would play about every other class so students really got into the routine of it. 

As a treat at the end of the year I found I Spy images online (just do a Google search to find LOTS of images), printed, and laminated them. Then I handed them out and let them play. I have posters and other displays that have colors of them for reference if the students needed them. I used them first as a fast finisher but I hope to use them more regularly next year since the students really seemed to enjoy playing with them. They also work well as a backup game in case your projector breaks or the electricity in your building goes out (yes, that happened today!) 

The best part is that these can be used in variety of ways for different levels- ask students to look for specific vocabulary (I tried to find images that included various animals so they could use that vocabulary as well) or instead of guessing with just "That?" you could have them name the item in the target language. It might even be fun to have students make their own. 

So that's how we play I spy. Spanish Playground also has a great article on the song Veo, Veo. I'm hoping to teach it to my students next year now that they have a good foundation. Do you play I spy? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A quick and easy way to practice emotions

This year learned emotions and how to answer the question ¿Cómo estás?  Even though we have moved on we still practice our emotions when we sing. For example, when we do our calendar routine we sing a quick song about the days of the week from Basho & Friends. (The video is 4 minutes long so once students know the tune we just sing it acappella.)

Before we start I ask one student ¿Cómo estás? If they answer Estoy bien then we sing with big smiles. If they answer Estoy cansado then we sing with lots of big yawns. We sing Estoy enojado with angry voices and some foot stomping. The great thing is that it works for any song you might be using in class and you are constantly reviewing emotions.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mis Perritos

I've mentioned it before but I love how the Calico Spanish introduces a new number, color, and animal with each chapter. Rather than presenting them all at once and then not seeing them again for awhile my kiddos get a new word each chapter and then we review the ones we've learned before. And because there is just one animal I can find great authentic resources dedicated to just that animal.

My first graders in this chapter are working on el perro and the color rojo. Naturally this brought to mind Clifford but most of those books are above their level so instead we wrote a descriptions of Clifford.  My students could use the words rojo, negro, grande, no pequeno, and tengo hambre. I helped out by writing them in complete sentences and then we read them together.

Then we read the book Perritos by Sandra Boynton. I love her books for class! The language is easy and perfect for novice learners and the pictures are cute and funny. The students got really into this one as each perro barks a little differently (it also got really loud!)

The second book we read was Corre, Perro, Corre by P.D. Eastman. This book came with my Calico Spanish curriculum and it is AMAZING. There is so much good vocabulary and it's easy to understand. As I read I ask students to find things in the pictures for me. We practice arriba and abajo with our bodies and we answer if we like the dog's hat or not each time. 

I also showed the students these cute pictures I found on Facebook. They know the verbs nadar and saltar so we could describe the pictures fairly well. We also talked about the colors of the dogs and counted them.

Finally we made these cute perro headbands and went outside to play Corran, perro, corran (also known as red light, green light.)  Basically we acted out three of the pages from the book - a great extension activity to do at the end of the year when the weather is nice and the students are squirrely. You can find the animal cut-outs here. 

Coming soon - a collection of all the animal resources I have used. In the meantime checkout my Pinterest board. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Building a burrito

In 3rd-5th grade we've been working on "I can list some foods I like and dislike" and "I can order at a restaurant." We started by watching the same Chocolate video I used in 1st grade. Then we read the book Build a Burrito. Before we started we brainstormed what different kinds of foods are in a burrito. Then we practiced telling a partner if we liked or disliked them. As I read them the book, which is a bilingual book with very simple phrases, the students participated by saying if they liked or didn't like before I turned the page.

After reading the book we practiced as a whole class with a felt burrito I found at the Dollar Spot at Target. Then I passed out paper burrito sets I had made with construction paper and laminated. Each piece was labeled so students could remember how to say the different foods in Spanish. One person ordered a burrito, using the phrases Me gusta and No me gusta and the other person assembled it. 

The second time we played I made half the class burrito vendors and the other half very hungry customers.  They practiced the following conversation. 

Vendor: Hola. ¿Cómo estás?
Customer: Tengo mucha hambre. Me gusta _____. No me gusta _____.*
Or they could point and ask for each food item using por favor. Vendor builds the burrito.
Vendor: Dos dólares por favor.
Customer hands over the money.
Vendor: Gracias.
Customer: (Takes a big bite) Hmmm delicioso. 
Vendor: Adiós.

These sets took a lot of time to make (and to be honest they look a lot more like tacos than burritos...) but a very helpful paraeducator and some 5th grade students made the work go faster. And it was worth it to hear my fifth grade students who at this point in the year are mostly unpleasant tell me that they had fun in Spanish class. My third graders who are always pleasant squealed when I revealed we were playing with fake money. 

How do you teach foods? Share in the comments below!

*I realize that Me gustaría would be more appropriate in this situation but we stuck with Me gusta/No me gusta.  Because of time constraints I didn't want to introduce a new structure. Next year when we do our food unit I will introduce I would like versus I like.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Playing with blocks to practice colors

We've been playing with blocks in kindergarten. Kindergarten is so much harder than it used to be. They get so little time to play. Earlier this year I made a resolution to let kids play more in class - so after reading Pinta Ratones we got out the blocks. I got this idea from one of my favorite blogs This is How We Learn Spanish. 

The first round we sang our color song and then I just let them loose. They were supposed to say what colors they were using to build their towers as they did, which some of them did and some of them didn't. I walked around the room and asked them what they had and most of them could tell me. They loved building them tall and then watching them fall. Some of them figured out they could go taller if they built a wider base.  I got hugs and heard, "this was SO much fun!" as they went out the door.

Listening to hear what colors they needed to build their towers.

The second class we worked in pairs and did a listening exercise. I would tell them what colors they needed to build their towers. "Necesitan dos amarillos. Necesitan un verde." They took turns and helped each other pick the correct colors - great for interpretive listening and social skills.

The third and fourth class I wanted them to do the talking so I built a tower and hid it behind a screen. One kiddo came up and took a look then went back and told their partner what to build in Spanish. The first class they managed about half in Spanish and half in English. The second class they had a better grasp of what to do and almost all of them did it entirely in Spanish. 

Only a few more classes left in the year! What are you doing to finish out strong? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Estoy enfermo - Necesito un doctor

My first graders learned body parts earlier in the year with the video Adiós Monstruo (see the post here!) We are spiraling back to body parts and visiting the doctor.

Target vocabulary: 

¿Cómo te llamas?  Me llamo ______.
¿Cómo estás?  Estoy enfermo/a.
¿(Body part) bien o mal?
Me duele(n) (body part).
Necesito mirar en (body part).
Necesito escuchar. (to their heart)
Necesitas medicina/curita/inyección.
¡No me gustan las inyecciones!

This may look like a lot but the bolded words are phrases they have seen before. This unit was a chance for them to see/use them again but in a different context. The "necesito mirar/escuchar" is how I give them directions before we watch a video or read a book together so this was a great opportunity for them to see it used differently.

I first introduced the new vocabulary and scenario with my puppet Rafael la rana. I had individual students come up to the front and treat poor Rafael. Throughout the next couple of classes we "treated" either Rafael or another student, each time practicing chorally as a group the new phrases.

Finally, we got out ALL the doctor toys and everyone got a chance to be the doctor or patient. Each doctor got their own toy stethoscope (thanks to a stash of old toys I found on Ebay!) various tools like blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, needles, and otoscopes. They also got a patient intake form to take their history and record their prescription for either medicine, a band-aid, or a shot. My little doctors LOVED giving shots.

I got all this for $25 on Ebay!

I put these in sheet protectors and gave the kids a clipboard, a dry erase markers and a tissue.

We've played it several times now, taking turns switching who is the doctor and who is the patient. Their language production started out dicey but the more they play the better they get. And the best part is they hardly know they're learning Spanish.

You can get the patient intake form here.

How do you teach body parts or "me duele"? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang.